Shayna Devlin, PhD Final Oral Examination: '“Whatever the World Admires in a Prince”: Robert Stewart Duke of Albany, Power, Politics, and Family in Late Medieval Scotland"
Date and Time
Robert Stewart, first duke of Albany (c. 1340-1420), is best remembered for his role as regent for three kings, Robert II, Robert III, and James I, and his likely murder of his nephew, David, duke of Rothesay. Over his sixty year career Albany amassed a formidable land and power base in Scotland that allowed him to dominate Scottish politics in the place of three kings, and weather the grisly upsets and scandals of the early Stewart dynasty. This dissertation details the methods and strategies Albany used to obtain and maintain this prominent place in Scottish politics such as his use of marriage alliances, personal bonds, and patronage to court the Scottish nobility, his presentation of himself as a prince of Scotland, his fulfillment of the position of guardian, lieutenant, and governor in keeping with wider medieval European ideas of regency, and his complex relationship with religion and the Catholic church in Scotland. Albany exercised royal power in Scotland without being king; as such, he needed to form relationships with the elite of Scotland and present himself as the face of the royal dynasty in order to effectively rule Scotland in place of the kings.
Advisor: Dr. Elizabeth Ewan
Examining Committee Members:
Dr. Susannah Ferreira
Dr. Peter Goddard
External Examiner:Dr. Michael Brown
University of St. Andrews, Scotland
Chair: Dr. Norman Smith