Henry Stewart was born about the year 1495, the second son of Andrew, Lord Avandale and Margaret the daughter of John, the second Lord Kennedy of Blairquhan. His older brother was Andrew, Lord Ochiltree. Henry married first Lady Leslie and had a child, John Stewart, who was the Master of Methven, and had received a pardon for "holding heretical opinions". John was killed at the Battle of Pinkie on September 10, 1547. Whatever happened to his mother, Lady Leslie, whether divorced or death occurred is not known.
Henry was a known supporter of the Earl of Arran against Angus in 1524. Angus (Archibald Douglas, the 6th Earl of Angus), was the husband of his next wife, the Queen-Dowager Margaret Tudor. She was the sister of Henry VIII, the King of England, and the widow of King James IV, the King of Scotland, and the mother of King James V. The Queen was in the midst of troubles with the Earl of Angus, when she became attracted to Henry Stewart. Henry held the office of Master Carver to the King, when she promoted him as Treasurer, Lord Chancellor and Keeper of the Seal, and he became very influential over the Queen-Dowager. She worked for a time in getting a divorce from Angus, and finally in December 1527, she received word that the divorce had been finalized. Queen Margaret and Henry Stewart were then married on April 2, 1528, after which Angus placed Henry in temporary imprisonment. After Angus' fall from power, King James V released Henry, and made his mother and new step-father his main advisors. Then on July 17, he gave them the lands of Methven, Perthshire and Stewart, and created for him the title LORD METHVEN, and created a barony to be called the Lordship of Methven. He also received the grant for many other lands such as Cockburnspath and Berkwickshire (September 20, 1528), Ardety and Perthshire (January 5, 1530-1), and the lands of Galashiels, Mossilie and Selkirkshire (January 6, 1535-6). Lord Methven was also made the "Master of the Ordinaunce and Sherif of Linlitheu by inheritance".
Queen Dowager Margaret and Lord Methven, had a child (possibly named Dorothea Stewart), who died in infancy. Lord Methven soon grew into disfavor with his wife over her ideas that he had "spent her lands and profits on his own kin and brought her into debt of 8,000 marks." This she wrote to her brother Henry VIII of England along with "the King, my son, supports Meffen as my husband in possession of my lands." Just before her divorce was ready for public pronunciation, King James V commanded it to be stopped. Margaret died October 18, 1541 of palsy at Methven Castle and was buried in the Carthusain Church at Perth.
Lord Methven, prior to November 4, 1544, married his third wife, Lady Janet Stewart (the Countess of Sutherland), the eldest daughter of John Stewart the second Earl of Atholl and Janet, the daughter of Archibald Campbell the second Earl of Argyll. She was previously married to Alexander Gordon, Master of Sutherland and Sir Hugh Kennedy of Girvanmains. Lady Janet was "celebrated for her beauty and profligacy". By Lady Janet, Lord Methven had four or five children all born prior to their marriage, Henry (the second Lord Methven), Johanna, Dorothea, Jean (possible) and Margaret. A) Johanna, (Janet in some records), married Colin Campbell on October 14, 1551, the sixth Earl of Argyll and had no children. She had been granted the lands of Balquhidder by her father, just prior to his death. B) Dorothea married August 17, 1561 to William Ruthven, the fourth Lord Ruthven and Dirleton, the first Earl of Gowrie. Convicted of treason in trying to seize King James VI, he was executed at Sterling on May 28, 1584. He and Dorothea had 1) James Ruthven the second Earl of Gowrie, restored to his estate and honors in 1586 and died in 1588 age 14. 2) John the third Earl of Gowrie, killed August 5, 1600 with brother Alexander and 3) Alexander, who was killed at Perth on August 5, 1600 after an unsuccessful attempt on King James VI, 4) William Ruthven who was famous for his work in chemistry 5) Patrick, an eminent physician who was confined to the Tower of London until his releas in 1619, 6) Lady Margaret who was married to James the fourth Earl of Montrose and mother of the first Marquis, 7) Lady Mary, married 1st John fifth Earl of Atholl and the John Lord Innermeath, later Earl of Atholl, 8) Lady Sophia, who married Ludovick the second Duke of Lennox, 9) Lady Jean, who married James Lord Ogilvy of Airly 10) Lady Beatix married to Sir John Home of Coldingknows 11) Lady Isabel, married first Sir Robert Gordon of Lochinvar and second George first Lord Loudoun. and 12) Lady Dorothea who married James Wemyss of Pittencrieff. C) Jean, contracted to marry Patrick Wood of Bonnytown on August 17, 1560. D) Margaret, married first, prior to 1566, Andrew Stewart, Master of Ochiltree and second to Uchtred Macdowal of Garthland.
Charters were given to Lord Methven and Jonet Stewart his wife, lands of Gorthy, June 5th, 1545, to him and his wife, of the Lordship of Methven, February 18, 1547-48, and to him, Lady Janet Stewart and Henry his son, of the same lordship and the lands of Gorthy, October 10, 1551. Henry Stewart, the first Lord Methven died soon after this. His widow, Janet Stewart married for the fourth time, Patrick, Lord Ruthvin, April 9, 1557, who chartered of the lands of Strathbran, in Perthshire in March 10, 1557-8. It is believed that Janet married 5th James Gray, son of Gilbert Gray of Foulis.
Henry was the only surviving son of the first Lord Methven and was legitimized in 1551 succeeded his father by grants of the baronial fief of Methven, October 10, 1551. He succeeded to the peerage in 1555. It was rumored in March 1568 that he was to marry Mary Queen of Scots, however he married Jean Ruthven, daughter of Patrick, third Lord Ruthven, who was his step-father. His family was described as being of "noble blood, very religious and valiaunt." They had two children, Henry, the third Lord Methven and Dorothea, who married John Stewart, son of Alexander Stewart of Brighouse. He was killed on March 3, 1571/72 by a cannon shot from Edinburg Castle.
The last in the line of Lord Methven's, he married a daughter of Henry Stewart, son of James Stewart the Earl of Arran. He had no children and after his death the lordship of Methven and barony of Balquhidder was granted to Ludovick Stuart, Duke of Lennox and Richmond on March 24, 1585-86. The third Lord Methven died about 1595.
1) The Scots Peerage Founded on Wood's Edition of Sir Robert Douglas's Peerage of Scotland, David Douglas, Edinburgh, 1909.
2) Peerage of Scotland, John Philip Wood, Esq., Volume 2, Edinburg, 1813.
3) Directory of National Biography, Oxford University Press.