ALBANY, DUKES OF. The territorial designation of Albany was formerly given to those parts of Scotland to the north of the firths of Clyde and Forth. The title of duke of Albany was first bestowed in 1398 by King Robert III. on his brother, Robert Stewart, earl of Fife (see I. below) ; but in 1425 it became extinct. The dukedom was re-created, c. 1458, in favour of Alexander Stewart, "lord of Annandale and earl of March" (see II. below), whose son and successor (see III. below) left no legitimate heir. The title of duke of Albany was next bestowed upon Henry Stuart, commonly known as Lord Darnley, by Mary, queen of Scots, in 1565. From him the title passed to his son, James VI. of Scotland and I. of England. The title was by him given, at his birth, to Charles, his second son, afterwards King Charles I. By Charles II. it was again bestowed, in 166o, in James, duke of York, afterwards King James II. On July 5, 1716, Ernest Augustus, bishop of Osnaburgh (Osna bruck) (1674-1728), youngest brother of King George I., was created duke of York and Albany, the title becoming extinct on his death without heirs in 1728. On April 1, 176o, Prince Edward Augustus, younger brother of King George III., was created duke of York and Albany; he died without heirs on Sept. 17, 1767. On Nov. 29, 1784, the title of duke of York and Albany was again created in favour of Frederick, second son of George III., who died without heirs on Jan. 5, 1827. On May 24, 1881, Prince Leopold, youngest son of Queen Victoria, was made duke of Albany (see IV. below).
I. ROBERT STEWART (c. 1345-1420), duke of Albany, regent of Scotland, was a natural son of King Robert II. He was made high chamberlain of Scotland in 1382, and gained military reputa tion by leading several plundering expeditions into England. In 1389 he was chosen governor of Scotland by the estates; and he retained the control of affairs after his brother John became king as Robert III. in 139o. In April 1398 he was created duke of Albany; but in the following year his nephew David, duke of Rothesay, the heir to the crown, succeeded him as governor, although the duke himself was a prominent member of the advising council. Uncle and nephew soon differed, and in March 1402 the latter died in prison at Falkland. It is not certain that Albany was responsible for the imprisonment and death of Rothesay, whom the parliament declared to have died from natural causes; but the scanty evidence points in the direction of his guilt. Restored to the office of governor, the duke was chosen regent of the kingdom after the death of Robert III. in 1406, as the new king, James I., was a prisoner in London; and he took vigorous steps to prosecute the war with England, which had been renewed a few years before. He suppressed a formidable revolt led by Donald Macdonald, second lord of the isles, who claimed the earldom of Ross and was in alliance with Henry IV. of England. The duke died at Stirling Castle in Sept. 142o, and was buried in Dunfermline abbey. His son, Murdac (or Murdoch) Stewart, succeeded him as duke of Albany and regent, but the dukedom became extinct at his execution in 1425.
See John of Fordun, Scotichronicon, continued by Walter Bower, edited by T. Hearne (1722) ; Andrew of Wyntoun, The Orygynale Cronykil of Scotland, edited by D. Laing (1872-79) ; and P. F. Tytler, History of Scotland (185o). See also Sir W. Scott's Fair Maid of Perth.
II. ALEXANDER STEWART (C. 1454-1485), duke of Albany, was the second son of James II., king of Scotland, by his wife, Mary, daughter of Arnold, duke of Gelderland. Created duke of Albany before 1458, he also received the lordship of the Isle of Man, and was afterwards captured by an English ship when journeying to Gelderland in 1468. He was soon released, and as he grew to manhood began to take part in the government and defence of Scotland, being appointed in quick succession high admiral, warden of the marches, governor of Berwick and lieutenant of the kingdom. He quarrelled with his brother, king James III., and carried on a series of intrigues with the English, who supported his pretensions to the Scottish crown. He was sentenced to death in 1483 during his absence in England. He died in France two years later.
III. JOHN STEWART (c. 1481-1536), duke of Albany, regent Iii. JOHN STEWART (c. 1481-1536), duke of Albany, regent of Scotland, was born about 1481. In 1515, at the request of the Scottish Parliament, Albany came to Scotland, was inaugurated regent in July, and proceeded to organize resistance to the influ ence of England and of Margaret Tudor, the queen dowager, sister of Henry VIII. In August he seized the latter and her children at Stirling, and subsequently was occupied in suppressing the rebellion of the Homes, Angus (the second husband of Margaret), and James Hamilton, earl of Arran; Alexander, third lord Home, being beheaded in Oct. 1516. Albany was declared on Nov. 12 heir to the throne, and on June 6, 1517, he returned to France. In August he concluded the treaty of Rouen, by which the alliance between France and Scotland was renewed, and a daughter of Francis I. was to marry James V. Meanwhile disorders had broken out owing to the rivalry between Angus and Arran. Francis I. had secretly engaged himself to Henry VIII. not to allow Albany's departure from France, but he returned at the close of 1521 and immediately became the object of Henry VIII.'s and Wolsey's attacks. He reconciled himself temporarily with Margaret, supported her divorce from Angus, and was now accused by the English Government of harbouring schemes of marrying her himself. This was denied by the Scots, and Henry's demand for the regent's dismissal refused. War broke out in 1522, and in Sept. Albany advanced to within four miles of Carlisle with a large army. The Scots, however, showed un willingness to fight outside their own frontiers, and Albany dis banded his troops and departed to France, leaving the borders ex posed to the enemy. On Sept. 25, 1523, he once more landed in Scotland, bringing with him supplies from France and a consid erable body of troops, and on Nov. 3, after an unsuccessful attack on Wark, retreated hastily, and quitted Scotland finally on May 20, 1524. On July 3o his regency was terminated by the declara tion of James V. as king. Between 153o and 1535 he acted as French ambassador in Rome, conducted Catherine de' Medici, his wife's niece, to Paris on her marriage to Henry (afterwards Henry II.) in 1534, and negotiated the marriage of James V.
The regent Albany was a singularly unfortunate commander in the field, but a successful ruler and administrator, and the Scottish court of session owed to him its institution. But he regarded himself more the subject of the king of France than of the king of Scotland, subordinated the interests of the latter state to the former, and disliked his official duties in Scotland.
IV. LEOPOLD GEORGE DUNCAN ALBERT (1853-1884), duke of Albany, youngest son of Queen Victoria, was born on April 7, 1853. He matriculated at Christ Church, Oxford, in Nov. 1872, and pursued his favourite studies of science, art, and the modern languages. In 1876 he left the university with the hon orary degree of D.C.L. On coming of age in 1874, he had been made a privy councillor and granted an annuity of L15,000. He travelled on the continent, and in 188o visited the United States and Canada. He was a trustee of the British Museum, a bencher of Lincoln's Inn, and continued to take an active part in the pro motion of education and knowledge generally. On May 24, 1881, he was created duke of Albany, earl of Clarence, and Baron Arklow. On April 27, 1882, he married Helene Frederica Augusta, princess of Waldeck-Pyrmont, and his income was raised by par liament to L25,000. His death at Cannes on March 28, 1884, was universally regretted. He left a daughter, born in Feb. 1883, and a posthumous son, Arthur Charles Edward, born on July 19, 1884, who succeeded to the dukedom of Albany, and who, on July 3o, 1900, became duke of Saxe-Coburg on the death of his uncle. He abdicated on Oct. 22, 1920.