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CELTIC KNOT  Stewart  CELTIC KNOT
of Athol
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Copyright ©1995-2014 by Celtic Studio


CREST: An arm couped at the elbow holding a key paleways wards upwards.
MOTTO: Furth Fortune and fill the fetters
TRANSLATION: Go forth with good fortune and fill the prisons
PLANT: Unknown
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CELTIC INTERLACE KNOT GREEN
Stewart of Athol History

The Stewarts, who were to become monarchs of the Scots, descended from a family who were seneschals of Dol in Brittany. They acquired estates in England after the Norman Conquest and Walter Flaad, the Steward, moved to Scotland when David I claimed his throne.
Apart from the royal house of Stewart, three main branches of the Stewarts settled in the Highlands during the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries: the Stewarts of Appin, of Atholl, and of Balquihidder. The province of Atholl was one of the most prolific areas of Stewart settlement. In 1822, General David Stewart of Garth, wrote: "James Stewart, son of Alexander Stewart, Earl of Buchan and Badenoch, commonly called the Wolf of Badenoch, second son of Robert II, is said to have built the Castle of Garth, and settled there some time after the year 1390. There are now living in the district of Atholl, within its ancient boundary, 1937 persons of the name of Stewart, descendants of this man in the male line. The descendants in the female line are considerably more numerous. We have upwards of 4000 persons living in one district descended from this individual."After the murder of James I in 1437, his widow, remarried the Black Knight of Lorne, who descended from the 4th High Steward, before his family had inherited the crown. The widowed Queen gave birth to Sir John Stewart of Balveny. His half-brother, James II, bestowed on him the earldom of Atholl which had previously been held by several royal Stewarts.
Early in the 17th century the earldom passed with an heiress to the Murrays, when John, fifth Earl, died with no male issue. His daughter had married William Murray, second Earl of Tullibardine, who was created Earl of Atholl in his own right in 1627. By this time, several other dynasties had been planted there, beside that of Garth. There were Steuarts of Cardney, descendants of another illegitimate son of Robert II, and those of Ballechin, founded by a natural son of James II. The seat of the principal chief was Blair Castle, the last in Britain to be subjected to a siege, and still intact with its treasures. But the centre of jurisdiction at nearby Logierait was dismantled after the abolition of the feudal jurisdictions in the aftermath of Culloden. As Stewart of Garth recorded. "The hall in which the feudal Parliament assembled (a noble chamber of better proportions that the British House of Commons) has been pulled down, and one of the most conspicuous vestiges of the almost regal influences of this powerful family has thus been destroyed."
Many Stewart families continued to live around the Atholl lands and transferred their allegiance to the new Murray Earls of Atholl, calling themselves Athollmen. This is commemorated by the right still exercised by the present Duke of Atholl to maintain the Atholl Highlanders as the only private army in the kingdom. In 1689 Murray called out the Athollmen for William of Orange, but his Baillie defiantly held Blair Castle for James II. In 1715, Atholl again supported the government but his heir the Marquess of Tullibardine, was a Jacobite. Stewarts flocked to the banner of Bonnie Prince Charlie in 1745. It is generally accepted that the Earls of Galloway now head the principal house of this great name.

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Copyright ©1995-2014 by Celtic Studio