|Countess of Arran; Lady Hamilton|
Stirling Castle, Scotland
|Died||May 1457 (aged 77)|
|Spouses||Thomas Boyd, 1st Earl of Arran|
James Hamilton, 1st Lord Hamilton
James Boyd, 2nd Lord Boyd of Kilmarnock
James Hamilton, 1st Earl of Arran
Elizabeth Hamilton, Countess of Lennox
Robert Hamilton, Seigneur d'Aubigny
|House||House of Stewart|
|Father||King James II of Scotland|
|Mother||Mary of Guelders|
Mary Stewart, Countess of Arran (13 May 1453 - May 1488) was the eldest daughter of King James II of Scotland and Mary of Guelders. Her brother was King James III of Scotland. She married twice: firstly, to Thomas Boyd, 1st Earl of Arran; secondly, to James Hamilton, 1st Lord Hamilton. It was through her children by her second husband that the Hamilton Earls of Arran and the Stewart Earls of Lennox derived their claim to the Kingdom of Scotland.
Mary was born at Stirling Castle on 13 May 1453, the eldest daughter of James II of Scotland and Mary of Guelders. She had five siblings, including James III, who ascended the Scottish throne in 1460 upon their father's accidental death by an exploding cannon. Mary's mother died in 1463, leaving her an orphan at the age of ten.
Mary was married to her first husband, Thomas Boyd, Earl of Arran, when she thirteen years old before 26 April 1467. The Isle of Arran was given as her dowry upon her marriage.Law Castle in North Ayrshire was built for the couple. In 1467, Mary's husband Thomas was sent to Denmark to escort King James III's bride, Margaret of Denmark. During his absence, Mary's brother, the King, became alienated from Mary's husband by the enemies of the Clan Boyd who brought false charges of treason against Thomas and his father, Robert Boyd, 1st Lord Boyd. Mary, upon hearing that her husband was to be summoned before the king and Parliament to answer the charges, immediately went to the harbour of Leith when Thomas' ship docked in July, to forewarn him. Mary and Thomas then promptly sailed to Denmark. On 22 November 1469, Mary's husband was attainted, and his title, honours, and estates were forfeited to the crown. She later returned to Scotland in an attempt to have her husband cleared of all charges laid against him. Upon her arrival in Scotland, her brother James detained her in custody at Dean Castle in Kilmarnock, until her marriage was annulled. Mary's marriage to Thomas was then declared void in 1473, and she was forced to marry James Hamilton, 1st Lord Hamilton.
Thomas and Mary together had two children:
In early 1474, Mary married secondly as her second husband, James Hamilton, 1st Lord Hamilton, who was almost forty years her senior. They received a papal dispensation on 26 April 1476 thus legitimising the two children already born to them. Together James and Mary had three children:
Mary's son by her first husband Thomas, James Boyd, 2nd Lord Boyd of Kilmarnock, was killed at the age of fifteen by Lord Montgomerie, which ignited a feud that lasted for over seventy years. Lady Margaret Boyd, her daughter by Thomas, lived to the age of forty-eight. Although she was married twice, neither marriage produced children.
Mary died in 1488 at the age of thirty-five.
Due to their proximity to the throne, Mary's descendants, the Hamiltons of Arran and the Stewarts of Lennox, would obtain considerable power, and play conspicuous roles in 16th century Scottish politics; especially affecting the life and reign of Mary, Queen of Scots, the great-granddaughter of her brother, James III.
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|Ancestors of Mary Stewart, Countess of Arran|