The House of Stuart

David II, Bruce’s son, died in 1371 without an heir. Several families claimed the Scottish Throne. But the House (family) of Stuart won the struggle, and Robert II became king. The Stuarts kept close ties with France and fought continually with England. In 1503, James IV tried to make peace with England by marrying Margaret Tudor, an English princess. But he soon returned to a policy of close cooperation with France. The queen of France, Anne of Brittany, urged James to declare war against Henry VIII of England. James invaded England in 1513 and was killed in the Battle of Flodden Field. Scottish troops were again defeated by the English in 1542. James V, son of James IV, died that same year. His daughter Mary, Queen of Scots, then became ruler of Scotland.

(Reference: World Book Page 186)

James I 1394-1437

King of Scotland

Born in Dunfermline, Fife, he was the second son Robert III. After his elder brother David, Duke of Rothesay, was murdered at Falkland (1402), allegedly by his uncle, the Duke of Albany, James was sent for safety to France. But was captured at sea by the English in 1406 and imprisoned for 18 years. Albany meanwhile ruled Scotland as governor until his death (1420), when his son, Murdoch, assumed the regency and the country rapidly fell into disorder. Negotiations for the return of James were completed with the Treaty of London (1423) and James resumed his reign in 1424. Also in 1424, James married Joan Beaufort (d.1445), a daughter of the Earl of Somerset, niece of Richard II, and they soon came to Scotland, where James delt ruthlessly with potential rivals to his authority. Murdoch, his two sons and the 80 year old Earl of Lennox were all beheaded at Stirling, the first state executions since 1320, and others were delt with almost as severely. By such methods he was able to treble the royal estates. Finance and law and order were the two other main domestic themes of his reign. The series of parliaments called after 1424, while encouraging attendance by lesser landowners, was dominated by the king’s need for increased taxation, partly to pay off the ransom extracted for his release, and partly to meet increased expenditure on his court. artillery, and building work at Linlithgow. James described by the chronicler Boece as “our lawgiver king”, for the most part only refined, repeated, or extended judical enactments of previous king’s and many of his activities, here as elsewhere, had a fiscal motive. He was the nominal founder and benefactor of St. Andrew’s University. In foreign affairs he attempted to increase trade by renewing a commercial treaty with the Netherlands, and also concluded treaties with Denmark, Norway, and Sweden. His relations with the Church were abrasive and his criticisms of monastic orders pointed. His murder in the Dominican friary at Perth, the first assassination of a Scottich king for 400 years, was the work of a group of dissidents led by descendants of Robert II’s second marriage. James left one surviving son (James, the future James II), and six daughters; the eldest Margaret (1424-1445), who married the Dauphin, later Louis XI, of France, was a gifted poet, as was James himself, who wrote the tender, passionate collections of poems, The Kingis Quair (c1423-24 “kings quire” or book) to celebrate his romance with Joan Beaufort.

(Reference: Chambers Biographical Dictionary Page 968)

James II 1430-1460

King of Scotland

The son of James I and known as James of the Fiery face because of a birth mark, he was born in Roxburgh Castle, and was six years old at his father’s murder (1437). He took shelter in Edinburgh Castle with his mother, and was put under her charge and that of Sir Alexander Livingston. The liaison with Livingston lasted until 1444 when the Livingston’s began to monopolize offices, power, and access to the king. In 1449, shortly after his marriage to Mary, daughter of the Duke of Gueldres, James took control of the government and the Livingston’s were dismissed from office. He had also to curb the rising power of the Douglas family. Opinions vary as to who was aggressor and victim in the sharp tussle between them, which came to a climax (1452) when James stabbed to death William, the 8th Earl of Douglas, at Stirling Castle. The king was allowed to get away with murder and he eventually completely defeated the Douglases of Arkinholm, Dumfriesshire (1455). This smoothed the way for a series of grants of earldom’s and land to families such as Campbells, Gordons, and Hamiltons. A growing stability in domestic politics, helped by the king’s proclaimed concern for justice and a settled economy, was vitiated by reckless involvement in the English struggles between the houses of York and Lancaster. In 1460 he marched for England with a powerful army and laid siege to Roxburgh Castle, which had been held by the English for over a hundred years, but was killed by the bursting of a cannon.

(Reference: Chambers Biographical Dictionary Page 968)

James III 1452-1488

King of Scotland

The eldest son of James II, whom he succeded at the age of eight (1460), he was brought up under the guardianship fo Bishop Kennedy (c1408-1465) of St. Andrews, while the Earl of Angus was made lieutenant-general. James tutor was the leading humanist scholar Archibald Whitelaw, who inspired him with a love of culture and a sincere piety. The beginnings of the flowering of vernacular literature that marked James IV’s court began in this reign. His minority, although (from 1466) marked by the rise of the Boyds at the expense of others, did not see the degree of disturbance that had marked previous reigns. By 1469, when parliament condemned the Boyd’s and James was married to Margaret, daughter of Kristian I of Denmark, bringing Orkney and Shetland in pledge as part of her dowry, the king was firmly in control, but he was unable to restore strong central government. Various aspects of his rule, however, created resentment: money was short, successive parliaments reluctant to grant taxes, and in the 1480s James resorted to debasement of the coinage, stigmatized as “black money’. His efforts (1471-1473) to engage in campaigns in Brittany and Gueldres fell on deaf ears, and his attempts (1474-1479) to bring about reconciliation with England were ahead of their time and almost as unpopular. In 1479 he confiscated the estates of his brothers, the Duke of Albany and the Earl of Mar, the latter dying suspiciously. The breakdown of relations with England brought war (1480), and the threat of English invasion resulted in a calculated political demonstration by his nobles, who hanged Robert Cochrane and other unpopular royal favourites at Lounder Bridge (1482). The rebellion which brought about his downfall and death at Sauchieburn (1488) resulted from a further crises of confidence in the king but ironically was less widespread. His eldest son, who had fought against him, succeeded as James IV.

(Reference: Chambers Biographical Dictionary Pages 968and 969)

James IV 1473-1513

King of Scotland

He became king at the age of 15 after the murder of his father James III (1488), and was soon active in government. Much of the early 1490s was taken up with securing recognition for the new regime. As a result his council was composed of a far broader, and more stable, coalition than under his predecessors. Athletci, warlike, and pious. James has been called an ideal medieval king; his reign was probably the epitome and climax of Scottish medieval kingship rather than of a new monarchy (he was the last Scottich king to speak Gaelic). His rising status, as a king popular at home and respected abroad, was confirmed by his marriage (1503) to Margaret Tudor, eldest daughter of Henry VII – an alliance which ultimately led to the union of Scotland and England (1603). During his reign, vast sums were spent on building work, as at Stirling Castle, and on military and naval ventures, and in his brilliant Renaissance court he encouraged musicians such as Robert Carver and poets such as William Dunbar. The kings popularity ironically increased the scale of the disaster which ended his life. Despite his new alliance with England, he adhered to his old French alliance when Henry VIII invaded France (1513). He invaded England and was killed at Flodden (1513), when his army of 20,000 men, probably the largest ever in Scotland, was crushed.

(Reference: Chambers Biographical Dictionary Page 969)

James V 1512-1542

King of Scotland

Born in Linlithgow, the son of James IV, he was less than two years old when his fathers death (1513) gave him the Crown, leaving him to grow up among the quarrelling pro-French and pro-English factions, during which time Scotland was reduced to a state of anarchy. Imprisoned (1525-1528) by his former stepfather, the Earl of Angus, he eventually made his escape, and as an independent sovereign began to carry out a judicious policy which was largely framed by the need to increase the ravenous of his all-but bankrupt kingdom. He continued and gretly expanded his father’s policy of making the Church a virtual department of state, and raised taxes from the Scotcih Church to finance his College of Justice (1532). The pope, assured of James’s support and anxious to prevent the spread of Reformation in Scotland. Allowed the king the right to make ecclesiastical appointments. James later used this to appoint five of his six illegitimate son’s to high ecclesiastical office. In 1536 he visited France and married first Madeline, the daughter of Francis I (1537), and after her death, Mary of Guise (1538). Both wives brought a substantial dowry and confirmed the Franco-Scottish alliance. Although reasonably popular with the common people and determined to end disorder on the frontier with England, his treatment of the nobility was increasingly brusque. Relations with England, which had been deteriorating from 1536, burst into open war after he failed to attend a conference with Henry VIII at York (1541). By 1542 the countries were at war and England invaded. After James’s army was defeated at Solway Moss (1542), he retired to Falkland Palace and died, less because of illness than lack of will to live, only a few days after the birth of his daughter, Mary, Queen of Scots, who succeeded him. Sometimes seen as the most unpleasant of all Stuart kings, who overstepped many unwritten conventions, he was also a highly talented Renaissance monarch. The monuments to his reign are the literary work produced at his glittering court, such as the poems and plays of Sir David Lyndsay, and the ambitious, costly architectural transformation of Stirling Castle and the palaces of Holyrood, Falkland and Linlithgow.

(Reference: Chambers Biographical Dictionary Page 969)

James Stewart also known as Baron James Renfrew

Earl of Moray

James was the eldest son of king James V and an unknown mistress. The eldest son inherits the title of Baron at birth and would normally become king. However; because he was an illegitimate son, of the king and an unknown mistress, he was ineligible to inherit the thrown. Instead his half sister Mary, Queen of Scots became queen.

More about Baron James Renfrew later.

Mary, Queen of Scots 1542-1587

Queen of Scotland

Mary was the daughter of James V of Scotland by his second wife Mary of Guise. She was born at Linlithgow, while her father lay on his deathbed at Falkland. She became queen when she was a week old, and was promised in marriage by the regent James Hamilton, 2nd Earl of Arran, to prince Edward of England, son of Henry VIII but the Scottish parliament declared the promise null. War with England followed, which resulted in defeat at Pinkie (1547), and Mary was sent to France to be betrothed to the dauphin (later Francois II) at St. Germain. Her next 10 years were spent in the splendour of the French Court, where she was given a through French education. She was brought up as a member of the large, young family of Henry II; her special friend was Elizabeth of Valois, later the wife of Phillip II of Spain. In 1558 she was married to the dauphin; the marriage treaty contained a secret clause by which, if she died childless, both her Scottish realm and her right of succession to the English Crown (as great-grandaughter of Henry VII) would pass to France. In 1559 the dauphin succeeded to the throne as Francis II, but he died the following year, and power then shifted towards Catherine de Medicis, acting as regent for her son Charles IX. Mary became a dowager queen of France, with her own estates and a large income. Meanwhile her presence was increasingly needed in Scotland, where the death of her mother in 1560 had left a highly unstable situation. Effective power in the hands of the Protestant Lords of the Congregation, who had held and illegal parliament in 1560 to implement a Reformation and negate the authority of the pope. On Mary’s arrival, a Protestant riot threatened the first mass held in her private chapel at Holyrood and within days a proclamation issued by her privy council imposed a religious standstill, which in effect banned the mass to all but the queen and her household. Her chief advisors were Protestant, the talented diplomat, William Maitland of Lethington, and her illegitimate brother James Stewart, Earl of Moray. The question of Mary’s remarriage arose, and a series of candidates was proposed (1562-1565) including Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, but Mary decided unexpectedly on her cousin, Henry Stewart, Lord Darnley, who was a son of Lady Margaret Douglas, a grand-daughter of Henry VII; Darnley therefore might strengthen her descendants’ claim to the English throne. The immediate ffect of the marriage was to cool relations with England and to undermine the position of Moray and the Hamilton family. Darnley led a debauched life soon appalled Mary. Eventually he became involved with William Ruthven, James Morton and other Protestant lords in a conspiracy that led to the murder of the queen’s Italian private secretary, David Rizzio, in the queen’s anti-chamber at the Palace of Holyroodhouse (1566). As a result, Darnley became as object of mingled abhorrence and contempt. Shortly before the birth of their son, the future James VI and I (June 1566), the queen’s affection for her husband seemed briefly to revive, but Darnley refused to attend the child’ catholic babtism at Stirling Castle. Divorce was openly discusses, and Darnley spoke of leaving the country, but he was mysteriously killed while recovering from a bout of smallpox at Glasgow in January 1567, when the house in which he was sleeping was blown up by gunpowder. The chief culprit was probably the Earl of Bothwell who had recently enjoyed the queen’s favour; and there were suspicions that the queen herself was not wholly ignorant of the plot. Bothwell was given a mock trial and acquitted; shortly after this he intercepted the queen on her way from Linlithgow to Edinburgh, and carried her, with scarcely a show of resistance to Dunbar. Mary publicly pardoned his seizure of her, and created him Dike of Chitney, then, three months after her husbands’ murder, she married the man who was widely regarded as his murderer. This final step united her nobles in arms against her. Her army melted away without striking a blow on the field of Canberry (15 June 1567); after that Mary had no choice but to surrender to the confederate lords. They led her to Edinburgh, where she suffered the insults of the mob. At Lochleven, she was compelled to sign an act of abdication in favor of her son, who within days was crowned as James VI at Stirling. After escaping and suffering a further defeat, Mary crossed the Solway, and threw herself on the protection of Queen Elizabeth I of England, only to find herself a permanent prisoner in a succession of strongholds, ending up in Fotheringay. The presence of Mary in England was a constant source of disquiet to Elizabeth and her advisors, both as a descendent of Henry VII and because a significant minority naturally looked to her as the likely restorer of Catholicism. Her position, as guest or prisoner, was always ambiguous. A series of plots came to light, including the Ridolfi plot (1571) but Mary’s complicity could not be established. Finally, in 1586, the queen’s secretary of state, Francus Walsingham, got wind of a plot by Anthony Babington, and contrived to implicate Mary. Letters apparently from her and seeming to approve of Elizabeth’s death passed along a postal route to which Walsingham himself had access. Mary was brought to trial in 1586 and sentenced to death, although it was not until February 1587 that Elizabeth signed the warrant of execution. It was carried into effect a few day later, and she was buried at Peterborough. In 1612 her body was moved to Henry VIIs chapel at Westminster, where it still lies. Mary enjoyed great beauty and personal accomplishments, including a knowledge of six languages, a good singing voice, and an ability with various musical instruments. By 1567 she possessed a library of over 300 books, which included the largest collection of Italian and French poetry in Scotland. She is known to have been responsible for a significant revival of Scots vernacular poetry, including the important collection, The Bannatyne Manuscript. The portraits and defences of her after 1571 largely fall into one of two moulds – Catholic martyr or papist plotter – making all the more difficult a proper assessment of Mary as Queen of Scots.

(Reference: Chambers Biographical Dictionary Pages 1244 and 1245)

The following is a listing of the Kings and Queens of Scotland, after Mary, Queen of Scots, and the dates of their reign.

James VI 1567-1625

Charles I 1625-1649

James VII 1685-1689

Mary II 1689-1694

William II 1694-1702

Anne 1702-1707

The Scottish Crown was formally merged with that of England by Act of Union in 1707.

The following is a listing of the Kinks and Queens of England after 1707 and dates of their reign.

Anne 1702-1714

George I 1714-1727

George II 1727-1760

George III 1760-1820

George IV 1820-1830

William IV 1830-1837

Victoria 1837-1901

Edward VII 1901-1910

George V 1910-1936

Edward VIII 1936

George VI 1936-1952

Elizabeth II 1952-present

Charles Philip Arthur George 1948-living

Prince of Wales

The Prince of Wales, eldest son of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, is heir apparent to the throne. The prince was born at Buckingham Palace on 14 November 1948, and was christened Charles Philip Arthur George. When, on the accession of Queen Elizabeth in 1952, he became heir apparent, Prince Charles automatically became Duke of Cornwall under a charter of King Edward III dating back to 1337, which gave that title to the Sovereign’s eldest son. He also became, in the Scottish Peerage, Duke of Rothesy, Earl Carrick and Baron Renfrew, Lord of the Isles and Prince and Great Steward of Scotland.

James Stewart also known as Baron James Renfrew

Earl of Moray

James was the eldest son of king James V and an unknown mistress. The eldest son inherits the title of Baron at birth and would normally become king. However; because he was an illegitimate son, of the king and an unknown mistress, he was ineligible to inherit the thrown. Instead his half sister Mary, Queen of Scots became queen. He was a trusted advisor to Mary who deferred to him for many of her decisions. He also won the confidence of Elizabeth I, her ambassador, Trockmorton, described James as one of the most virtuous nobleman, a one of whom religion, sincerity and magnanimity as ever he knew in any man or in any nation. It is said that James left Scotland and went to France for religious reasons, Scotland was converting to the Catholic faith and the Renfrew family was predominantly Protestant. In France he married a French woman (name unknown).

(Reference: Compiled from several books)

Symon Renfro/Roufe

Symon, the son of Baron James Renfrew, came to America about 6 May 1638. After being in America for a while, he went to Barbados in about 1652. It is not known who his wife was.

(Genealogy has NOT been completely proven)

Robert R. Renfro about 1613-about 1690

Robert, the son of Symon, was married to Mary Evans. Robert was born in Renfrewshire, Scotland and died in Virginia.

(Genealogy has NOT been completely proven)

John R. Renfro 1665-1748

John, the son of Robert and Mary, was married first to Margaret Robinett and second to Tomasin Simmons. He died in Edgecomb, County North Carolina.

(Genealogy has NOT been completely proven)

William R. Renfro 1702-1789

William, son of John and Tomasin, was married ot Elizabeth Cheney. John was born in James City County, Virginia and died in Botetourt County Virginia

(Genealogy has NOT been completely proven)

Peter Renfro 1743-1834

Peter, son of William and Elizabeth was married to Hester (last name unknown). Peter was born in Orange County Virginia and died in Madison county Kentucky.

(Genealogy HAS been proven)

Samuel Renfro 1774/5-1845

Samuel, son of Peter and Hester, was married to Eleanor “Nellie” Hunter. The place of birth of Samuel has not been conclusively proven and he died in Owen county Kentucky.

(Genealogy HAS been proven)

William Thomas Renfro 1820-about 1884

William, son of Samuel and Eleanor was married to Mary Burdine Barker.. William was born in Owen County Kentucky and died in Elliott County Kentucky. William and Mary had the following children; Sarah E.; John William; Mary E.; Matilda J.; Samuel Riley; Sophia A.; James H.; Joseph E.; Margaret J.; and George Washington

George Washington Renfroe 1862 - 1951

George W, son of William Thomas and Mary Burdine Barker. George was born in Owen County, Kentucky and died in Boyd County, Kentucky. George married Nancy Ellen Holbrook, daughter of Pleasant and Mary Jane (Barker) Holbrook of Elliott Co, Kentucky. George and Nancy had the following children: Bertha Jane; Charles Lee "Charley"; James Albert; Samuel Edward "Sam"; Sarah Alice "Allie"; Willam Pleasant "Bill"; Ernest Virgil "Virgil"