Charles Stuart, 1st Earl of Lennox

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Charles Stuart with his elder brother Henry, Lord Darnley.

Charles Stuart, 1st (or 5th) Earl of Lennox (1555–1576), was the second son of Matthew Stewart, 4th Earl of Lennox and Margaret Douglas, daughter of Margaret Tudor and granddaughter of King Henry VII of England. His brother was Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley.

Life and family[edit]

The 4th Earl of Lennox, at the time of his death in 1571, was acting as regent for his young grandson, King James VI of Scotland. King James's late father was Lord Darnley, who had been the elder brother of Charles. As a result, the Earldom of Lennox was inherited by King James and merged with the Crown. However, shortly afterwards, the title of Earl of Lennox was bestowed on Charles. This was a new creation of the title, even though it continued in the same family.

Charles proceeded to incur the displeasure of Queen Elizabeth I of England by a hasty marriage to Elizabeth Cavendish, daughter of Bess of Hardwick, apparently at his mother's instigation. The couple had one child, Lady Arbella Stuart, but she was prevented by the Scots from taking up the earldom because of her gender and the fact that she had been born in England.

Lady Arbella Stuart subsequently married William Seymour. She was later imprisoned in the Tower of London and died there in 1615.

Preceded by
New Creation
Earl of Lennox
1572–1576
Succeeded by
Extinct