Stuart, Arabella

Stuart or Stewart, Arabella, 1575–1615, cousin of James I of England (James VI of Scotland). She was the daughter of Charles Stuart, earl of Lennox, younger brother of Lord Darnley, and her descent from Henry VIII's sister Margaret Tudor placed her next after James in the line of succession to Elizabeth I of England. Many argued that her title was preferable to that of James because she was born on English soil. Her marriage was prevented in Elizabeth's reign, but after James's accession (1603) to the English throne, Arabella secretly married (1610) William Seymour (later marquess of Hertford), who was also of royal descent. They were arrested and imprisoned but escaped; however, Arabella was recaptured (1611) and died in the Tower of London.

See biographies by P. Handover (1957) and I. McInnes (1968).

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