John Stewart, 1st Earl of Atholl

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John Stewart, 1st Earl of Atholl (c. 1440 – 15 September 1512), also known as Sir John Stewart of Balveny, was a Scottish nobleman and ambassador to England (in 1484).


He was the oldest child of Joan Beaufort, widow of James I of Scotland, and her second husband Sir James Stewart, the Black Knight of Lorn.

He was created Earl of Atholl in around 1457, the first earl of the eighth creation of the title. He is believed to have had a hand in suppressing the rebellion of John Macdonald, 11th Earl of Ross, the last of the Lords of the Isles. According to legend, the Earl of Atholl had whisky, honey and oats added to Macdonald's water well, which so entranced or intoxicated him that Macdonald was easily captured. The mixture became a drink named Atholl Brose.

Stewart was buried in Dunkeld Cathedral in Perthshire.

Marriage and children[edit]

John Stewart married twice and had several children. However, the exact number, names and the attribution of his children to their mothers is unclear.

He married firstly, in 1459–1460, Margaret Douglas, Fair Maid of Galloway, daughter of Archibald Douglas, 5th Earl of Douglas. Margaret had been married already to the 8th Earl and possibly the 9th Earl of Douglas. She died between 1473 and 1475. They had three daughters:

He married secondly, before April 1475, Eleanor Sinclair (d. 21 March 1518), daughter of William Sinclair, 3rd Earl of Orkney. They had two sons and nine daughters:



  • Weis, Frederick Lewis; et al. (1999). The Magna Charta Sureties 1215 (5th edition, Baltimore, Md. ed.). ISBN 0-8063-1609-8. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
New Creation
Earl of Atholl
Succeeded by
John Stewart