- Sir William Stewart of Jedworth was a statesman and soldier of great ability and distinction. He was a "Knight Banneret", Sheriff of Tevestdale, Ambassador to England, a Member of Parliament and one of the Special Counsel of wyse men and leal, "to who the government of the country was entrusted by King Robert III.
(New York Public Library, Loose Leaf files "The Stewarts".)
- STEWART, SIR WILLIAM (d. 1402), of Jedworth, sheriff of Teviotdale, was the son of John de Foresta, mentioned in a safe-conduct on 26 July 1368 (and descended from Sir John Stewart of Bonkyl, killed at Falkirk in 1298), by a daughter of Turnbull of Minto. A charter of the lands of Minto was granted by John Turnbull of Minto to Sir William Stewart his relative (?nepos?) 8 Dec. 1390, and ratified by Robert III on 4 July 1390?1. The earls of Galloway trace their descent from this Sir William Stewart of Jedworth, and, on the ground that he is identical with Sir William Stewart of Castlemilk, they have been claimed as the representatives of the Darnley line since the death of Cardinal York in 1807 [see HENRY BENEDICT MARIA CLEMENT]; but that the two Sir William Stewarts are different persons is clearly proved by the fact that the mother of Sir William Stewart of Castlemilk was Janet Keith, and by irrefragable evidence of their deaths at widely different dates. Sir William Stewart of Castlemilk, who has been claimed as the father of Sir John Stewart of Jedworth, and who was a son of Alexander Stewart of Darnley, was killed at the siege of Orleans on 12 Feb. 1428?9.
Sir William Stewart of Jedworth is mentioned in 1390 as an auditor of customs (Exchequer Rolls, iii. 219), and also, a little later in the same year, as clerk of audit (ib. p. 236). On 1 Oct. 1397 he received a command from Robert III to appoint a day for the English commission to meet on the marches for the redress of grievances and negotiation of a truce (Cal. Documents relating to Scotland, 1357?1509, No. 491), and in March 1398 he was named a deputy commissioner of the Scots to see to the observance of a truce agreed on until Michaelmas following (ib. No. 502). On 27 June of the same year he also received from Robert III a grant of a pension of forty marks annually for his life out of the customs of Edinburgh for loyalty and attachment (Exchequer Rolls, iii. 207). On 26 Oct. of the same year his name appears as a ?borow? of the Earl of Douglas for the bounds on the middle marches (Cal. Documents relating to Scotland, 1357?1509, No. 570), Sir William of Castlemilk being mentioned in November as ?borow? of Douglas for the west marches (ib. No. 512). Having been taken prisoner at Homildon Hill on 14 Sept. 1402, Sir William Stewart of Jedworth was accused by Hotspur of treason for having broken his allegiance to the English king. Two successive juries acquitted him of the charge, but Hotspur summoned a third, from which he succeeded in wringing a verdict in accordance with his wishes, and Stewart, having been sentenced to the death of a traitor, was immediately executed with appropriate tortures, his four quarters being placed on the gates of York. He left a son, Sir John Stewart, who married Marion Stewart, heiress of Garlies.
[Cal. Documents relating to Scotland, 1357?1509; Exchequer Rolls of Scotland, vol. iii.; Andrew Stuart's Genealogical Hist. of the Stewarts; Wynton's Chron.; Douglas's Scottish Peerage (Wood).]