Earl/Dukes of Lennox - Stuart or Stewart (or both?) [closed]

+9 votes

I was hoping the EuroAristo proj. could help determine the correct spelling of the Earls/Dukes of Lennox and their descendants last name as 'Stuart' instead 'Stewart'.

In the Complete Peerage 1st ed v.4, pp.63-67 Cokayne has the surname for the Darnley branch with the surname spelled 'Stuart' starting with Matthew Stewart-1359, the 2nd Earl. His father John has both names. The CP has all the future Earl/Dukes of Lennox, which includes King James VI/I, spelled Stuart. 

It is confusing with the 1st-4th Earl that they all married into the Scottish Royal Family, and that branch seems to prefer 'Stewart'.

I checked VIAF (The Virtual International Authority File) and the first Lennox Stuart that appears is his grandson Matthew Stuart, 4th Earl of Lennox and grandfather of King James VI/I, spelled 'Stewart'

His son Henry, Lord Darnley father of King James VI/I  is spelled 'Stuart'. Stuart and all the other Lennox were spelled that way that I saw. 

There's some othere G2G questions about this spelling difference in general in Scotland but I am of the opinion this particular family should be 'Stuart'. Many of the descendants of Matthew have either Stewart or both Stewart and Stuart, which could be correct with a citation but the LNAB probably should be changed to Stuart. I hoped with a consensus that would make this a little easier or clear and assist making the change. Perhaps someone has a good reference for this name other than a peerage source since this is a pretty notable family. Thanks for your help!


WikiTree profile: Matthew Stuart
closed with the note: 3-1/2 year old question that was discussed/determined.
in Policy and Style by Kirk Hess G2G6 Mach 6 (64.1k points)
closed by Darlene Athey-Hill

The name Stewart is derived from the De Balliol family who were Stewards of Scotland for the Norman kings. 

The other Lennox line are Dukes of RichmondEarls of March and Barons Settrington who were descended from an illegitimate son of King Charles II by his mistress Louise de Kérouaille, Duchess of Portsmouth.  

2 Answers

+2 votes
I believe this answers the


by Terri Rick G2G6 Mach 3 (39.6k points)

I concur that Stuart is a French spelling of Stewart but the source and reasons cited in that G2G aren't very credible. This particular family was connected to the Garde Écossaise and held a French peerage title Seigneur d'Aubigny and seem to have used that spelling well before Mary, Queen of Scots married her 1st cousin Henry Stuart and took his last name. This is an edge case in the naming standards because the 'French' spelling of the surname eventually becomes the official surname and I wasn't sure how to represent that consistently in the last name fields. Thanks!



+4 votes
Hi Matthew.  The preferable source for the Peerage of Scotland is Sir James Balfour Paul's work, "The Scots Peerage".  The Earl of Lennox, second creation, is dealt with in Volume 5.  Matthew, 2nd Earl, is dealt with from page 351 (https://archive.org/stream/scotspeeragefoun05pauluoft#page/350/mode/2up).  Sir James Balfour Paul, favours the use of Stewart, however many of this particular line found service in France.  His son, Mungo was with the Garde Écossaise (Scots Guards), in service of France during the Alliance.  His grandson, John (called Stewart by Balfour Paul) lived almost his entire life in France and was adopted by the Marechal d'Aubigny as his heir, also fought with the Scots Guard.  Many of these men will use the French name Stuart.  For some considerable time French was the language of the Scottish court and Stuart was in common use.

Thus there was no standard.  The name used would depend on where they lived and the time they lived.  Those that resided or remained in Scotland are more likely to be known on the Charter record as Stewart while those that lived/served in France are more likely to be known as Stuart.  If there is a particular person to decide then please drop me a note and we can consider together.

by Doug Straiton G2G6 Mach 2 (20.8k points)

Thanks - the resource cited in The Scots Peerage is Stuarts of Aubigny and Paul doesn't always specify the surname unlike Cokayne but he does seem to be on the 'Stewart' side.

Here's a list of the inconsistency with the LNAB

King James created his uncle, Henry's brother as Earl of Lennox - He should have the same LNAB as Stewart-2328.

The title merged with the crown and was created a second time for Charles' uncle Robert Stuart, who isn't in WT, he died and it was created a third time along with the Duke of Lennox for Robert's nephew

Here's what I think:The Dukes of Lennox and their children all should have the same LNAB - I lean toward Stuart on that line.

Stuart-76 should have the LNAB changed to Stewart or Stewart-2328 should be changed to Stuart.

Stewart-1359 and his direct descendants all are LNAB Stewart

I agree with Dougs comments and this particular item is frequently being asked. Whatever the spelling recorded and used at the time, is the spelling we should still use. Why should we change history for the convienience of making a series of names the same? One certain thing whatever the spelling they were either members of the Royal "House of Stewart/Stuart" or members of the "Clan Stewart".

In answer to a previous question I have explained that my own name changed from Stewart to Stuart (at the whim of a cleric) in order to standardise spelling should I now change back? the simple answer is no. What you are known as and how it is spelt is a matter for history not wikitree.
That is true my Stewart family was Stewart back before Mary was ever even thought of nd we are staying that way


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