James Stewart, 1st Lord Doune (1529-1590) was a Scottish landowner.
James Stewart was the son of Sir James Stewart of Beith (d. 1547), Constable of Doune Castle, who was the third son of Andrew Stewart, 1st Lord Avondale, and Margaret Lindsay daughter of John Lindsay, 3rd Lord Lindsay of the Byres, widow of Richard, Lord Innermeath.
His father was killed at Dunblane in 1547 by Edmondstone of Duntreath and his followers, in a quarrel over the office of Steward of Menteith. Mary of Guise wrote from Stirling Castle to his mother Lady Innermeath, counselling patience and offering support.
Stewart was Constable of Doune Castle, and Commendator of Inchcolm Abbey. He was often called "St Colme" in contemporary letters. When Lord Darnley was made Lord of Ardmanoch and Earl of Ross at Stirling Castle on 15 May 1565, Stewart was one of 15 men who were made knights. He was created Lord Doune on 24 November 1581.
In 1560 he was one of Lords of the Articles at the Scottish Reformation Parliament. In August 1561 he was in France, and wrote to Lord James, the queen's half brother, that Mary, Queen of Scots was determined to come back to Scotland. She told him to make it known she would not take offers from Scottish lords for their loyalty. He brought Mary's letters to Queen Elizabeth at Heveningham in Suffolk on 16 August, where he gave her excuses for not ratifying the Treaty of Edinburgh and confirmed that Mary was returning to Scotland. He returned to Scotland 4 days after Mary's arrival with her safe-conduct document from Elizabeth.
In November 1561 he was sent to France, and travelled down the Great North Road to London in six days. While he was in London he took ferry boats over the Thames several times, costing 6 shillings and 4 pence. He then went to Dover to get a boat for France.
He married Margaret Campbell (d. 1572), sister of Archibald Campbell, 5th Earl of Argyll at Castle Campbell on 10 January 1563. There was a masque involving courtiers and musicians dressed in white taffeta as shepherds. However, both Mary, Queen of Scots and her half brother James Stewart, 1st Earl of Moray became ill.
In January 1581 his eldest son James Stewart married Elizabeth Stewart, the elder daughter of Regent Moray. The wedding was celebrated on 31 January in Fife with a tournament of "running at the ring" and James VI of Scotland took part. Two day after the party came to Leith, where a water pageant culminated with a theatrical assault on a Papal Castel Sant'Angelo, built on boats on the water of Leith. Some of her relatives and father's friends thought the Lord Doune's son was not of sufficient status to marry her.
In April 1583 the English diplomat Robert Bowes thought James VI had employed Lord Doune to hasten his departure from Scotland. Lord Doune was trying to get the Jesuit William Holt released from Edinburgh Castle so he could go to France. In May 1583 Esmé Stewart, Duke of Lennox wrote to him from Paris, asking him to take care of his son Ludovic and help him recover his former possessions in Scotland for his benefit.
He died in 1590.
It was said that his widow, Margaret Campbell, Lady Doune, died in April 1592, from grief at not being allowed to bury her son, the murdered Earl of Moray, in Edinburgh. She left a note requesting the king take action against his murderers.
The children of James Stewart and Margaret Campbell included:
- James Stewart, 2nd Earl of Moray (d. 1592), he married Elizabeth Stuart, 2nd Countess of Moray, and became the subject of a popular ballad, The Bonnie Earl of Moray.
- Henry or Harry Stewart, later Lord St Colm, and Tutor of James Stewart, 3rd Earl of Moray.
- Archibald Stewart
- John Stewart, (d. Dec 1609)
- Alexander Stewart
- Mary Stewart, married Sir John Wemyss of Wemyss (d. 1622) in 1581. Their eldest son was John Wemyss, 1st Earl of Wemyss.
- Margaret Stewart, who was betrothed to John Stewart, Master of Orkney, but died c. 1599.
- Jean Stewart (d. 1 Jul 1622), a lady in waiting to Anne of Denmark who married in 1596 Simon Fraser, 6th Lord Lovat. He was the son of Hugh Fraser, 5th Lord Lovat and Elizabeth Stewart, later Countess of Arran.
- HMC 6th Report: Earl of Moray (London, 1877), p. 671.
- Julian Goodare, 'Queen Mary's Catholic Interlude', in Mary Stewart Queen in Three Kingdoms: Innes Review, vol. 37 (1987), p. 158: Calendar of State Papers Scotland, vol. 2 (Edinburgh, 1900), p. 161 no. 181.
- Calendar State Papers Scotland, vol. 1 (Edinburgh, 1898), p. 543.
- Joseph Bain, Calendar State Papers Scotland, vol. 1 (Edinburgh, 1898), pp. 545, 547.
- HMC 6th Report: Earl of Moray (London, 1877), p. 636.
- Joseph Bain, Calendar State Papers Scotland, vol. 1 (Edinburgh, 1898), pp. 678-9, 681: Joseph Robertson, Inventaires de la Royne Descosse (Edinburgh, 1863), pp. lxxxii, 136, 138.
- Agnes Strickland, Life of Mary Queen of Scots, vol. 2 (London, 1873), p. 468.
- Calendar State Papers Scotland: 1574-1581, vol. 5 (Edinburgh, 1907), p. 611.
- Gordon Donaldson, Register of the Privy Seal: 1581-1584, vol. 8 (Edinburgh, 1982), p. 53 no. 323.
- Calendar State Papers Scotland: 1581-1583, vol. 6 (Edinburgh, 1910), pp. 405-5.
- HMC 6th Report: Earl of Moray (London, 1877), p. 637, (Letter dated Paris NS, 4 June 1583).
- David Masson, Register of the Privy Council of Scotland: 1585-1592, vol. 4 (Edinburgh, 1881), p. 229.
- Calendar State Papers Scotland, vol. 10 (Edinburgh, 1936), p. 679 no. 687.
- William Fraser, Memorials of the family of Wemyss of Wemyss, vol. 1 (Edinburgh, 1888), p. 191.
- Michael Pearce, 'Anna of Denmark: Fashioning a Danish Court in Scotland', The Court Historian, 24:2 (2019), p. 148.