Born – April 1557
Died – April 1576
Father – Matthew Stuart, Earl of Lennox (1516 – 1571)
Mother – Margaret Douglas (1515 – 1578)
Spouse – m. 1574 – Elizabeth Cavendish (1555 – 1582)
Children – Arabella Stuart (1575 – 1615)
Charles Stuart, was born to Matthew Stewart, Earl of Lennox and Margaret Douglas, daughter of Margaret Tudor. He was the couple’s second son, his brother Henry had been born in 1545.
1558 (17th November)
Queen Mary I died. She was succeeded by her half-sister who took the throne as Queen Elizabeth I.
Charles’s brother Henry was sent to France to present himself to the recently widowed Mary Queen of Scots.
1565 (3rd February)
Charles’s brother, Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley left London for Scotland where he intended to present himself to Mary Queen of Scots who had returned from France. He made a good impression on the young queen.
1565 (29th July)
Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley married his cousin, Mary Queen of Scots in the Chapel Royal of Holyrood House. The marriage was not popular with the Scottish nobility.
1566 (19th June)
A son, James Charles, was born to Mary Queen of Scots and Henry Stuart at Edinburgh Castle. He would later become King James VI of Scotland. He would also become James I of England after the death of Elizabeth I in 1603.
The marriage of Henry Stuart and Mary Queen of Scots had broken down and the Scots Queen was determined to divorce her husband.
Darnley, who had been taken ill with a fever, feared for his life and went to stay with his father in Glasgow.
Darnley returned to Edinburgh after Mary requested his return. He moved into a house at Kirk o’ Field where Mary visited him regularly.
1567 (9th February)
Darnley was visited by Mary. She then left to attend a wedding celebration.
1567 (10th February)
At around 2am Darnley’s house at Kirk o’ Field was blown up. Darnley was found in the grounds of the property and it appeared he had been strangled. It was believed that the Earl of Bothwell was behind the murder but Mary Queen of Scots was also incriminated.
After marrying the Earl of Bothwell, Mary Queen of Scots was forced to abdicate in favour of her infant son and was imprisoned. She escaped and fled to England where she sought the protection and support of Queen Elizabeth I.
Charles’s father, Matthew Stewart, was appointed regent for the young King James VI of Scotland.
George Talbot, Earl of Shrewsbury and his wife, Bess of Hardwick were informed by Queen Elizabeth that they were to be guardians of Mary Queen of Scots at Tutbury Castle.
Bess of Hardwick and her daughter Elizabeth Cavendish paid a visit to Charles’s mother, Margaret Douglas. While there Charles and Elizabeth fell in love and married without Queen Elizabeth’s permission.
Elizabeth I was furious when she discovered that Charles Stuart and Elizabeth Cavendish had married. Bess of Hardwick, Margaret Douglas and the young couple were summoned to London.
On arrival in London, Charles and Elizabeth were placed under house arrest at Hackney and forbidden to meet or communicate with any other persons.
An enquiry into the marriage of Elizabeth Cavendish and Charles Stuart found no evidence of treason.
A daughter, Arabella Stuart, was born to Charles Stuart and Elizabeth Cavendish.
Charles Stuart, died of tuberculosis leaving Elizabeth Cavendish a widow.
Published Apr 30, 2022 @ 2:43 pm – Updated –
Harvard Reference for this page:
Heather Y Wheeler. (2022). Charles Stuart, Earl of Lennox 1557 – 1576.