Henry Stewart, 1st Lord Methven, 3rd Husband of Margaret Tudor, Queen of Scots

by Susan Flantzer
© Unofficial Royalty 2023

Arms of Henry Stewart, 1st Lord MethvenCredit – By Sodacan  Own work, Based on: [1], CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=38492949

Henry Stewart, 1st Lord Methven was the third of the three husbands of Margaret Tudor, the eldest daughter of King Henry VII of England and the sister of King Henry VIII of England. Margaret’s first husband was James IV, King of Scots who was killed in 1513 at the Battle of Flodden Field. Archibald Douglas, 6th Earl of Angus was Margaret’s second husband. Their marriage ended when Pope Clement VII granted Margaret a divorce on March 11, 1527,

Born circa 1495, at Avondale Castle, (now called Strathaven Castle) in Avondale (now called Strathaven) Lanarkshire, Scotland, Henry Stewart, 1st Lord Methven was one of the seven children of Andrew Stewart, 1st Lord Avondale and Margaret Kennedy.

Henry had six siblings:

  • Andrew Stewart, 2nd Lord Avondale (? – 1549), married Margaret Hamilton, had two sons
  • Sir James Stewart of Beath (1506 – 1547), married Margaret Lindsay, had six children
  • Anne Stewart (circa 1507 – ?), married Bartholemew Crawford of Carse, had two sons
  • Barbara Stewart ( ? ), married (2) Sir James Sinclair of Sanday, had one daughter (2) Roderick MacLeod of Lewis, had two children
  • William Stewart, 1st Laird of Dunduff (? – circa 1552), married Isobel Stewart
  • Agnes Stewart ( ? ), married John Boswell of Auchinleck, had one son

It seems likely that Henry first married The Lady Leslie and that they had a son, possibly John Stewart, Master of Methven, who died in the Battle of Pinkie on September 10, 1547, a battle that Henry also fought in.

After the death of her first husband James IV, King of Scots, Margaret Tudor married the Scottish nobleman Archibald Douglas, 6th Earl of Angus For many reasons, the marriage was ultimately unsuccessful, and Margaret Tudor transferred her affections to Henry Stewart, 1st Lord Methven. On March 11, 1527, Pope Clement VII granted Margaret a divorce from Archibald Douglas, 6th Earl of Angus to the consternation of her brother King Henry VIII of England who insisted that marriage was “divinely ordained” and protested against the “shameless sentence sent from Rome.” Ironically, several years later Henry VIII would seek to end his marriage with Catherine of Aragon and marry Anne Boleyn.

Margaret Tudor, Dowager Queen of Scots; Credit – Wikipedia

On March 3, 1528, Henry Stewart, 1st Lord Methven and Margaret Tudor were married. At the end of March 1528, Margaret and Methven were besieged by Margaret’s former husband Archibald Douglas, 6th Earl of Angus and some of his Douglas relatives at  in Stirling, Scotland. This caused James V, King of Scots to issue an order that his former stepfather Archibald Douglas, 6th Earl of Angus and all the Douglases were forbidden to come within seven miles of him or his mother. Henry and Margaret had one child, Dorothea Stewart, born circa April 1528, and died in infancy.

Henry was the stepfather to Margaret Tudor’s two surviving children from her previous marriages:

  • James V, King of Scots, son of Margaret’s first husband James IV, King of Scots (1512 – 1542), married (1) Madeleine of Valois, no children; married (2) Mary of Guise, had children including his only surviving child and successor Mary, Queen of Scots
  • Lady Margaret Douglas, daughter of Margaret’s second husband Archibald Douglas, 6th Earl of Angus (1515 – 1578), married Matthew Stewart, 4th Earl of Lennox, had children including Henry Stewart, Lord Darnley who married his first cousin Mary, Queen of Scots. They were the parents of James VI, King of Scots who succeeded to the English throne upon the death of Queen Elizabeth I of England as King James I of England.

Methven Castle; Credit – Credit – By Arthur Bruce, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=482685

Shortly after Henry‘s marriage to Margaret, her son James V, King of Scots granted his mother and stepfather Methven Castle in Methven, Perth and Kinross, Scotland, and raised Henry to the peerage creating him Lord Methven.

Margaret’s third husband Henry was proving himself to be even worse than Margaret’s second husband in his desire both for other women and for Margaret’s money. Henry kept a mistress in one of Margaret’s castles. When Margaret tried to divorce Henry, her son James V blocked the proceedings and Margaret felt that Henry had bribed her son. Margaret often wrote to her brother King Henry VIII about her situation but he never helped her. In 1537, Margaret tried to escape to England but was brought back to Methven Castle where she lived until her death. After suffering a stroke, Margaret died at Methven Castle on October 18, 1541, at the age of 51.

in November 1544, Henry married his mistress Lady Janet Stuart, daughter of John Stuart, 2nd Earl of Atholl, and Lady Janet Campbell. Janet had been married twice previously, to Alexander Gordon, Master of Sutherland and Hugh Kennedy of Girvanmains, and had children with both her first and second husbands who were now the stepchildren of her third husband Henry.

Henry and Janet had four children, probably all born before their marriage. If so, it is likely that they were all legitimized.

  • Dorothea Stewart (died 1627), married William Ruthven, 1st Earl of Gowrie, 4th Lord of Ruthven, had fourteen children
  • Henry Stewart, 2nd Lord Methven (? – 1572), married Jean Ruthven, had one son and one daughter, Henry was killed by a cannon shot from Edinburgh Castle
  • Janet Stewart, married Colin Campbell, 6th Earl of Argyll, no children
  • Margaret Stewart (died 1627) (1) Andrew Stewart, Master of Ochiltree, had seven children (2) Uchtred Macdowall of Garthland

When Henry Stewart, 1st Lord Methven died is unknown. The last documentation that he was alive was dated October 10, 1551, when he would have been about fifty-six years old. After Henry’s death, his widow Janet married for a fourth time to Patrick Ruthven, 3rd Lord Ruthven and they had one son.

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Works Cited

  • DeLisle, Leanda. (2013) Tudor – Passion, Manipulation, Murder. New York: PublicAffairs.
  • Flantzer, S. (2016) James V, King of Scots, Unofficial Royalty. Available at: https://www.unofficialroyalty.com/james-v-king-of-scots/ (Accessed: March 3, 2023).
  • Flantzer, Susan. (2016) Margaret Tudor, Queen of Scots, Unofficial Royalty. Available at: https://www.unofficialroyalty.com/margaret-tudor-queen-of-scotland/ (Accessed: March 3, 2023).
  • Henry Stewart, 1st Lord Methven (2022) Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation. Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_Stewart,_1st_Lord_Methven (Accessed: March 3, 2023).
  • Henry Stewart, 1. Lord Methven (2022) Wikipedia (German). Wikimedia Foundation. Available at: https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_Stewart,_1._Lord_Methven (Accessed: March 3, 2023).
  • Стюарт, Генри, 1-й лорд Метвен (Stewart, Henry 1st Lord Methven) (2022) Wikipedia (Russian). Wikimedia Foundation. Available at: https://ru.wikipedia.org/wiki/%D0%A1%D1%82%D1%8E%D0%B0%D1%80%D1%82,_%D0%93%D0%B5%D0%BD%D1%80%D0%B8,_1-%D0%B9_%D0%BB%D0%BE%D1%80%D0%B4_%D0%9C%D0%B5%D1%82%D0%B2%D0%B5%D0%BD (Accessed: March 3, 2023)

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