The Royal Stewart line originated with Walter, son of an Anglo- Norman baron who came to Scotland in the 12th century, and who was appointed High Steward of the royal household by David I. This office was made hereditary by King Malcolm IV.
The surname `Stewart' is an occupational one, taken from `Steward' -- the official in charge of the household and treasury, whether of the king or of some court-holding earl or bishop.
James, 5th High Steward, supported Sir William Wallace and Robert the Bruce in their struggle for Scottish independence.
William, 6th High Steward, married Princess Marjory, daughter of Robert the Bruce, and from them are descended the Royal House of Stewart.
The male line of the Royal Stewarts ended with the death, in 1807, of Prince Henry, Cardinal Duke of York, brother of Prince Charles Edward. The Cardinal of York left his personal heirlooms, including Scottish Coronation Ring and chivalric orders which always report to the Sovereign, to George III, thus tacitly nominating him `Tanist' of the old Royal line and heir ot the Stewarts' rights to the throne.
Queen Victoria thus rightly laid down that, "as Representative of the Family of Bonnie Prince Charlie, no one could be a greater Jacobite than herself."
The strengths and weaknesses of the Stewart dynasty, their self- sacrificing leadership mingled with unremitting obstinacies, brought no little of the clan spirit into national history.
[From Robert Bain in "The Clans and Tartans of Scotland", and
Francis & Bacon, in "The Scottish Clans & Their Tartans" (1954)]