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John Stuart, duke of Albany

Stuart or Stewart, John, duke of Albany (ôlˈbənē) [key], 1481–1536, regent of Scotland; son of Alexander Stuart, duke of Albany, and grandson of James II of Scotland. He was brought up on his estates in France by his mother, Anne de la Tour d'Auvergne, and always considered himself French. Shortly after the death (1513) of James IV, the Scottish nobles asked Albany, as heir presumptive, to assume the government for the infant James V, but Albany's own lack of enthusiasm and the influence of Henry VIII of England prevented his departure from France until 1515. Upon arrival in Scotland, he assumed the regency forfeited by Margaret Tudor (the queen dowager and sister of Henry VIII) as a result of her marriage to Archibald Douglas, 6th earl of Angus. Albany gained possession of Margaret's children and crushed a rebellion led by Lord Home, Angus, and James Hamilton, 1st earl of Arran. Margaret fled to England and accused Albany of poisoning her infant son, the earl of Ross. Henry VIII's request to the Scottish Parliament for Albany's dismissal was emphatically refused, the duke being declared (1516) heir to the Scottish throne. Since conditions in Scotland seemed fairly stable, Albany returned (1517) temporarily to France, where he negotiated the Treaty of Rouen (renewing the alliance between France and Scotland and providing for the marriage of James V to a French princess) and promoted the interests of Scottish merchants. By a secret agreement between France and England, Albany was prevented from returning to Scotland until 1521. Margaret, who had broken with Angus, enlisted Albany's aid in securing a divorce, and false rumors (possibly started by Cardinal Wolsey) were circulated of their intimacy and projected marriage. Henry again demanded the dismissal of Albany, and, when the Scots refused, English forces raided (1522) the Scottish border. Albany led an army toward Carlisle, but the Scots refused to fight outside their own country, and the force disbanded. Albany returned to France, and Margaret in his absence used her influence in the interests of England. Albany returned in 1523 with French troops and gold, but a subsequent lack of military success on the border destroyed his prestige. While on a visit to France in 1524, Albany's regency was annulled, and he never returned to Scotland. He later served (1525) with the French army in Italy and was French ambassador to Rome (1530–33).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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