The surname STEWART was originally derived from the Old English Stiward, one who provided for his masters table. In Scotland, by the 11th century, the name came to mean, not only the chief of the Royal household, but his power extended to the collection and management of the crown revenues, to the administration of justice, and in time of war he took first place in the army next to the King. Early records of the name mention William le fiz Stywarde, of the County of Berewyk, rendered homage in 1296. John Stywarde was documented as being on an inquest at Roxburgh in 1357. Richard Stiward was in the King of Englands service in the year 1371. John, son of Robert and Edy Stewart, was baptised at St. James's, Clerkenwell, London in the year 1723. Jane, daughter of Robert Stewart was baptised at the same church in the year 1725. In the seventeenth century an East Anglia family named Styward, put forward a story that they were originally Stewarts. Oliver Cromwell's mother was one of them, and on the strength of this, it was claimed that Cromwell was descended from the Royal family. At first the coat of arms was a practical matter which served a function on the battlefield and in tournaments. With his helmet covering his face, and armour encasing the knight from head to foot, the only means of identification for his followers, was the insignia painted on his shield and embroidered on his surcoat, the flowing and draped garment worn over the armour. Alba, the country which became Scotland, was once shared by four races; the Picts who controlled most of the land north of the Central Belt; the Britons, who had their capital at Dumbarton and held sway over the south west, including modern Cumbria; the Angles, who were Germanic in origin and annexed much of the Eastern Borders in the seventh century, and the Scots. The latter came to Alba from the north of Ireland late in the 5th century to establish a colony in present day Argyll, which they named Dalriada, after their homeland. The Latin name SCOTTI simply means a Gaelic speaker.
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