24th October 1378

Birth of David Stewart, heir to the Scottish throne

David Stewart, the Duke of Rothesay, was the son of Robert III of Scotland, and Anabella Drummond. This made him first in line to the Scottish throne, which he would inherit upon the death of his father.

It must have seen that his path to power would have been a simple one. When David was 21, his father was already ailing and he was granted the powers he needed to act in his stead as lieutenant of Scotland – but only for three years.

However, the king didn’t give him an entirely free hand: as a young leader he was to be supervised by his uncle, Robert, who himself had previously been lord lieutenant. This caused friction between David and Robert, which was worsened when David ruled largely in his own interests, rather than those of the country, and interfered in Robert’s own affairs.

David Stewart arrested

This situation came to a head in 1402, when David was travelling to St Andrews, and was arrested by Robert’s men for exercising authority that he no longer had, as the three years of power that his father had granted him had expired. He was held captive in Falkland Palace until he died, apparently having been starved.

Robert Stuart seized the opportunity this gave him to resume his former powers as part of a concerted effort to position himself to eventually take the throne. Robert III was then still alive, though, and to protect his other son, James, he sent him away. James was captured by England on his way to France and held for almost two decades, during which he was king in absence, following the death of his father in 1406. His uncle Robert, the dead king’s brother, ruled in his absence, but never as king.



Other events that occured in October

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