John Stuart

(2nd (or 4th) Duke of Albany)

1481 - 1536

Regent of Scotland. Brought up on his mother's estates in France, Stuart was the grandson of King James II (1430-60) and son of Alexander Stuart, 1st (or 3rd) Duke of Albany (c.1454-85), who died when he was just four years old. When King James IV was killed at Flodden, Albany was invited to serve as Regent for the young James V. However Stuart's acceptance was delayed due to his lack of enthusiasm and the influence of the English King Henry VIII, whose sister Margaret Tudor was James V's mother and was happy to act as Regent until she was forced from office after her re-marriage. Stuart eventually arrived in Dumbarton in 1515, with great ceremony. He was soon occupied with putting down a rebellion led by Margaret's new husband, the ambitious and pro-English Archibald Douglas, 6th Earl of Angus (1489 - 1557), along with James Hamilton, 1st Earl of Arran (1475 - 1529), and Lord Home. Margaret fled to England.

Feeling confident and that the climate was now stable, Stuart returned to France in 1517, where he renewed the alliance between Scotland and France through the Treaty of Rouen. He did not return until 1521, when he had to stand against the English once again, but was soon back in France. He brought gold and French troops in 1523, but failed to make a military impact. He left Scotland for the last time in 1524, allowed his Regency to lapse and Archibald Douglas effectively took power.

Stuart went on to serve with the French army in Italy (1525) and was French ambassador to Rome (1530-33).

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