The Arms of Stewart Cadets ~ 1

The arms of the Stewards are popularly supposed to illustrate, with their chessboard pattern, the checkered counting table of the stewards (the accountants of that period), but it has also been proposed that the early Stewards, a Breton family who at that time in Britain bore as surname fitz Walter or fitz Alan as appropriate, adopted the fess chequy from the Hesdin family of the first Steward's mother, Avelina. Arnulf de Hesdin, Avelina's father, whose own arms were Azure three escallops Or, was a vassal of Vermandois whose arms were chequy Or and Azure, (below left) and in these very early days of heraldry it was not unusual to adopt arms to show such alliances.
Arms of Stewart of that Ilk
William de Warenne, 2nd Earl of Surrey, married Isabel, daughter of Hugh the Great, Count of Vermandois, and having no arms (as we noted, these were very early days) adopted the full Vermandois coat for his use in Britain. (Enthusiastic Hollywood watchers may remember that the commander of the English forces at the Battle of Stirling in 1297 was John de Warenne, 6th Earl of Surrey, whose banner was seen only once, being flown, very confusingly, on the Scottish side!!!)
Arms of de Warenne
de Warenne
The marriage in 1315 of the Lady Marjorie, daughter of King Robert I, the Bruce, to Walter, 6th High Steward, brought the blood of this great family to Scotland's future kings, securely established the family's prosperity, and ensured its expansion. The number of branches that subsequently appeared on that tree is quite impressive. We intend to publish here the arms of some of them, first to make them available to readers researching Stewart ancestry and, second, to illustrate some of the factors discussed in a forthcoming article on cadency.
Arms of Stewart of Menteith
Stewart of Menteith ~ Or a bend chequy Argent and Sable

First borne by Walter, third son to the 3rd High Steward, who changed his name to Menteith after succeeding to the Earldom of Menteith in right of his wife. (He is known to have borne earlier the arms of his father with a label of five points.) The change of the Stewart fess chequy to a bend chequy (and its change of one tincture) is typical differencing for that time (circa 1260)

Stewart of Bonkyl ~ Or a fess chequy Azure and Argent surmounted of a bend Sable charged with three buckles of the First.

John, second son of Walter's brother Alexander, 4th High Steward, married Margaret, heiress daughter of Sir Alexander Bonkyl (Bunkle and many other spellings) of that Ilk who bore variously Sable three buckles Or and Argent a bend Sable charged with three buckles Or. Many Stewart families descend from this union and bear the buckles.

Arms of Stewart of Bonkyl
Arms of Stewart of Bute Stewart of Bute ~ Or a fess chequy Azure and Argent within a double tressure flory counterflory Gules.

Sir John Stewart, Sheriff of Bute, a bastard son of King Robert II, is first noted as bearing the Stewart coat undifferenced, which in view of his bastardy seems most unlikely. His representer today, Sir John Colum Crichton-Stuart, Marquess of Bute, Hereditary Sheriff of Bute, bears these arms in his pronominal quarter.

Arms of Stewart of Garlies
Stewart of Garlies ~ Or a fess chequy Azure and Argent surmounted of a bend engrailed within a double tressure flory counterflory Gules

Walter Stewart of Garlies, granted the barony of Dalswinton by King Robert I, the Bruce, was descended of a younger son of Sir John Stewart of Bonkyl. His representer today, Sir Randolph Keith Reginald Stewart, Earl of Galloway, bears these arms alone. Stewart of Minto bore the same arms differenced by a red rose in chief.

Arms of Stewart of Burray
Stewart of Burray ~ Or a fess chequy Azure and Argent surmounted of a bend engrailed within a double tressure flory counterflory all within a bordure indented Gules.

Robert Stewart of Burray was the second son of William Stewart of Mains, younger brother of Sir Alexander Stewart of Garlies, 1st Earl of Galloway. The arms are emblazoned here as they are given in Nisbet (1722), but the version matriculated at Lyon Office does not include the double tressure flory counterflory.

We do not know how the arms of William Stewart of Mains were differenced from those of his brother, the 1st Earl, but the matriculated arms of his son, Robert Stewart of Burray, suggest he bore a bordure Gules. The difference then used by Robert in the next generation, a bordure indented Gules, affords a good illustration of the way in which the modern Scottish system of differencing by bordure works.

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