Esmé Stewart, 3rd Duke of Lennox

Arms of Esmé Stewart, 3rd Duke of Lennox: Quarterly of 4, 1&4: Arms awarded in 1427 by King Charles VII of France to Sir John Stewart of Darnley, 1st Seigneur d'Aubigny, 1st Seigneur de Concressault and 1st Comte d'Évreux, Constable of the Scottish Army in France:[1] Royal arms of France within a bordure of Bonkyll, for the arms of the de Bonkyll family of Bonkyll Castle in Scotland (whose canting arms were three buckles),[2] ancestors of Stewart of Darnley; 2&3: Stewart of Darnley: Arms of Stewart, Hereditary High Steward of Scotland, a bordure engrailed gules for difference; overall an inescutcheon of Lennox, Earl of Lennox, the heiress of whom was the wife of Sir John Stewart of Darnley

Esmé Stewart, 3rd Duke of Lennox (1579 – 30 July 1624), KG, lord of the Manor of Cobham, Kent, was a Scottish nobleman and through their paternal lines was a second cousin of King James VI of Scotland and I of England. He was a patron of the playwright Ben Jonson who lived in his household for five years.


He was the younger son of Esmé Stewart, 1st Duke of Lennox (1542-1583), a Frenchman of Scottish ancestry and a favourite of King James VI of Scotland (of whose father, Henry Stewart, Lord Darnley, he was a first cousin), by his wife Catherine de Balsac (, a daughter of Guillaume de Balsac, Sieur d'Entragues, by his wife Louise d'Humières.


At the death of his childless elder brother Ludovic Stewart, 2nd Duke of Lennox, 1st Duke of Richmond (1574-1624), he inherited their paternal title of Duke of Lennox, the Dukedom of Richmond having become extinct. He was by then already Earl of March and Baron Clifton of Leighton Bromswold (in the peerage of England) (1619) as well as 8th Seigneur d'Aubigny in France.[3]

On 9 February 1608 he performed in the masque The Hue and Cry After Cupid at Whitehall Palace as a sign of the zodiac, to celebrate the wedding of John Ramsay, Viscount Haddington to Elizabeth Radclyffe .[4]

Marriage and childrenEdit

In 1609 he married Katherine Clifton, 2nd Baroness Clifton, by whom he had eleven children, third cousins of King Charles I, for whom many of them fought and died in the Civil War:


Two of the younger sons of the 3rd Duke of Richmond, who together with their elder brother Lord George Stewart, died as young men during the Civil War supporting the Royalist cause, left: Lord John Stewart (1621-1644), died aged 23 and right: Lord Bernard Stewart (1623-1645), died aged 22. Lord John Stuart and his Brother, Lord Bernard Stuart, c. 1638, by Sir Anthony van Dyck, National Gallery, London


Death and burialEdit

He died in 1624 and was buried, on 6 August 1624, in Westminster Abbey,[6] in the Richmond Vault in the south east apsidal chapel of the Chapel of King Henry VII[7] (himself formerly Earl of Richmond).


  1. ^ Cust, Lady Elizabeth, Some Account of the Stuarts of Aubigny, in France, London, 1891, pp.12-14 [1]
  2. ^ Johnston, G. Harvey, The Heraldry of the Stewarts, Edinburgh, 1906, p.47 [2]
  3. ^ a b   One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Lennox". Encyclopædia Britannica. 16 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 420.
  4. ^ Edmund Lodge, Illustrations of British History, vol. 3 (London, 1838), p. 223.
  5. ^ Gaspard Thaumas de la Thaumassiere, Histoire de Berry, Paris, 1689, p.697 [3]
  6. ^
  7. ^
Political offices
Preceded by
The 3rd Lord St John of Bletso
Lord Lieutenant of Huntingdonshire
jointly with The 4th Lord St John of Bletso

Succeeded by
The 4th Lord St John of Bletso
The Viscount Mandeville
Peerage of Scotland
Preceded by
Ludovic Stewart
Duke of Lennox
Succeeded by
James Stewart
Peerage of England
New title Earl of March
Succeeded by
James Stewart