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The Stewarts Quiz

A quiz on one of the most important families in Scottish history from their arrival in the twelfth century, to the death of Mary Queen of Scots. 25 Questions.

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Question 1 Photo

The founder of the Stewart family, Walter Fitzalan, came north from England at the invitation of which Scottish King?

  • MacBeth
  • Robert the Bruce
  • David I
  • Malcolm III

Question 2 Photo

Walter was the son of Alan Fitz Flaald, who was also the direct ancestor of which powerful Marcher lords in England?

  • The de Clares
  • The de Bohuns
  • The Greys
  • The Fitzalans

Question 3 Photo

Walter's great grandson- Alexander, the fourth hereditary steward- had command at one of Scotland's more important battles in 1263. Which battle?

  • The Battle of Falkirk
  • The Battle of Largs
  • The Battle of the Standard
  • The Battle of Stirling Bridge


Alexander's son James was known for often switching his allegiance during the Wars of Independence, but one of his own vassals was one of Scotland's most famous nationalist leaders. Who?

Type in the correct answer


The next steward, James's son Walter, was not so quick to change allegiances. In 1319, he defended and held which town against an English army led by Edward II?

  • Stirling
  • Moffat
  • Berwick-upon-Tweed
  • Wigtown


Walter was also the father of King Robert II, by virtue of his marriage to which of Robert the Bruce's relatives?

  • His sister
  • His niece
  • His daughter
  • His grand-daughter

Question 7 Photo

Having followed King David II to the Battle of Neville's Cross in 1346, Robert, not yet King, made which decision when he saw the Scots were losing?

  • He led his troops out of the fight
  • He led a brave but failed attempt to rout the enemy
  • He sent his troops into battle and then escaped himself
  • He fought his way through the fray to rescue his uncle

Question 8 Photo

Robert III, originally known as John, once suggested that he should be buried in which unusual place?

  • In the roof of Dunfermline Abbey, to ward off evil spirits
  • Under the royal park, so that he could enjoy hunting in death
  • In Iona, near the ancient celtic Kings, who he tried to emulate
  • In the midden, as he believed himself to be a terrible king


As Robert III had been disabled by a kick from a horse, his younger brother, another Robert, gained much control over the kingdom. What was his title?

  • Duke of Rothesay
  • Earl of Carrick
  • Duke of Albany
  • Earl of Ross

Question 10 Photo

After the suspicious death of his older brother Prince David in 1402, Robert III's younger son James was sent away from Scotland to keep him safe from the Duke of Albany. What happened to him?

  • He raised an army in France and defeated his uncle in battle
  • He was captured by pirates, who ransomed him to King Henry IV of England
  • He took sanctuary at the court of Henry V and fought at the Battle of Agincourt
  • He went to petition the pope for the excommunication of his uncle

Question 11 Photo

When James returned as King, how did he treat his cousin Murdoch, Albany's son, who had been imprisoned with him for a time?

  • Rewarded him with the honour of the title Duke of Rothesay
  • Had him thrown from the battlements at Edinburgh castle
  • Had him beheaded in Stirling
  • Had him hung by the heels from the window of Doune castle


James also came to a sticky end himself, when he was stabbed to death by several of his nobles in a tunnel he had recently had blocked off. Why had he blocked it off?

  • He was disturbed in the night because birds were nesting in it
  • Because servants were using it to hide footballs, a game he had banned
  • Because sewage kept leaking out of it
  • Because he kept losing tennis balls down it

Question 13 Photo

Just as his father banned football, James II reputedly banned another sport popular in Scotland in an attempt to get men to practice archery more often. Which sport?

  • Golf
  • Tossing the caber
  • Tennis
  • Billiards

Question 14 Photo

In an attempt to make his kingship secure, James II also set about attempting to break the power of which prominent Scottish family?

  • The MacDonalds
  • The Black Douglases
  • The Murrays
  • The Campbells

Question 15 Photo

After the murder of his grandfather James I, and the death of his father James II following the explosion of a cannon, James III should have been wary of his fate. How did he meet his end?

  • He was deposed and starved to death in Blackness castle
  • He was put into a ship which was deliberately leaky and cast out to sea
  • He lived to the age of seventy, the only Stewart king to die peacefully
  • He was defeated in battle by an army of his own nobles


James IV is widely regarded as being very much a 'Renaissance man'. One of his courtiers, John Damian, was known for his many attempts to gain favour from the King. Which of these did he not attempt?

  • Alchemy
  • Flying
  • Healing
  • Walking on water

Question 17 Photo

James IV was also known for being a bit of a ladies man. Which one of these women was not one of his illicit mistresses?

  • Margaret Drummond
  • Janet Kennedy
  • Marion Boyd
  • Margaret Tudor

Question 18 Photo

James IV was the last King in the British Isles to fall in battle, along with 'the flower of Scottish nobility' at which disastrous military defeat in England?

  • The Battle of the Standard
  • The Battle of Homildon
  • The Battle of Flodden
  • The Battle of Solway Moss


Although many of the Stewart kings died young, leaving only child heirs, their formidable consorts succeeded in making their mark on history. Can you match the Queen with the deed?

Drag items from right column to match with left column


  • Joan Beaufort, wife of James I
  • Mary of Gueldres, wife of James II
  • Margaret Tudor, wife of James IV
  • Mary of Guise, wife of James V


  • Crowned the Earl of Atholl with a circlet of red hot iron
  • Gave shelter to Margaret of Anjou, Henry VI's wife during the Wars of the Roses
  • Waged a private war against her second husband, ordering cannons to fire on him
  • Fought to be made Regent, opposed by both Henry VIII and the Earl of Arran

Question 20 Photo

James V is reputed to have disguised himself so that he might go about the country unseen. What was he disguised as?

  • A farmer
  • A knight errant
  • A minstrel
  • A hermit


During his minority, James was also taken prisoner by which of his relatives until his escape in 1528?

  • His step-father, Archibald Douglas
  • His Uncle, Henry VIII
  • His mother, Margaret Tudor
  • His cousin, John Stewart, Duke of Albany

Question 22 Photo

What were the famous words that James is supposed to have uttered on his death-bed regarding his family's fortunes?

  • "Uneasy lies the head that wears the crown."
  • "It cam wi' a lass and it'll gang wi' a lass."
  • "Oh wad some Pow'r the giftie gie us, to see oursels as others see us."
  • "In my defens, God me defend."

Question 23 Photo

When James's daughter Mary was sent to France by her mother, she was accompanied by four other noblewomen known as the Queen's Maries. Which of these is not one of them?

  • Mary Seton
  • Mary Beaton
  • Mary Livingston
  • Mary Carmichael

Question 24 Photo

One of Queen Mary's favourites was her Italian secretary, David Rizzio, who met a rather nasty end. How did he die?

  • Hung by the Earl of Bothwell's men from a bridge
  • Stabbed to death by Mary's husband and his cronies in front of the Queen
  • Poisoned by jealous courtiers at dinner
  • Executed by the Queen when she grew bored of him

Question 25 Photo

In keeping with the custom of her ancestors, Mary's death was suitably dramatic, but where was she first buried?

  • France, as she had asked
  • Peterborough Cathedral, like Catherine of Aragon
  • Holyrood Abbey, like her father and dead brothers
  • Westminster Abbey, like many of England's monarchs