History Podcasts

James Stewart

James Stewart

We are searching data for your request:

Forums and discussions:
Manuals and reference books:
Data from registers:
Wait the end of the search in all databases.
Upon completion, a link will appear to access the found materials.

James Stewart was born in Scotland in 1863. After leaving school at 14 he became a hairdresser. He also joined the Independent Labour Party and began working closely with other socialists in Glasgow including John Wheatley, Emanuel Shinwell, James Maxton, David Kirkwood, Campbell Stephen, William Gallacher, John Muir, Tom Johnston, Neil Maclean, George Hardie, George Buchanan and James Welsh.

Stewart became a member of Glasgow City Council in 1909 and served for the next thirteen years. In the 1922 General Election Stewart was elected to the House of Commons for St. Rollox. Also successful were several other militant socialists based in Glasgow including David Kirkwood, John Wheatley, Campbell Stephen, Emanuel Shinwell, James Maxton, John Muir, Tom Johnston, Neil Maclean, George Hardie, George Buchanan and James Welsh.

In January 1924 Ramsay MacDonald appointed Stewart as Under Secretary of Health for Scotland. However, he lost office when the Labour Party was defeated in the 1924 General Election. James Stewart died on 17th March 1931.

From the outside circumference of the city to its very heart, Glasgow was ringing with the message of Socialism. Within a week of the election day, it seemed likely that the whole team of eleven would win, that Bonar Law would be defeated, and that Socialism would be triumphant. Such energy, enthusiasm, and earnestness had not been known in Glasgow for generations. There we were, men who a few years before had been scorned, some of us in jail and many more of us very near it, now being the men to whom the people pinned their faith.

When, at last, the results were announced, every member of the team was elected - except our champion of the Central Division. What a troop we were! John Wheatley, cool and calculating and fearless ; James Maxton, whose wooing speaking and utter selflessness made people regard him as a saint and martyr ; wee Jimmie Stewart, so small, so sober, and yet so determined ; Neil MacLean, full of fire without fury; Thomas Johnston, with a head as full of facts as an egg's full o' meat ; George Hardie, engineer and chemist and brother of Keir Hardie; George Buchanan, patternmaker, who knew the human side of poverty better than any of us; James Welsh, miner and poet from Coatbridge, John W. Muir, an heroic and gallant gentleman; and old Bob Smillie, returned for an English constituency though he was born in Ireland and reared in Scotland.

We believed that this people, this British folk, could and were willing to make friends with all other peoples. We were ready to abandon all indemnities and all reparations, to remove all harassing restrictions imposed by the Peace Treaties. We were all Puritans. We were all abstainers. Most of us did not smoke. We were the stuff of which reform is made.

James Stewart

Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article.

James Stewart, in full James Maitland Stewart, byname Jimmy Stewart, (born May 20, 1908, Indiana, Pennsylvania, U.S.—died July 2, 1997, Beverly Hills, California), major American motion-picture star who was known for his portrayals of diffident but morally resolute characters.

Stewart graduated from Princeton University in 1932 with a degree in architecture. He then became part of the University Players, a summer stock company in Falmouth, Massachusetts. There he met Henry Fonda, and the two became lifelong friends. During the years 1932–33, Stewart appeared in several unsuccessful Broadway plays—starting with Carrie Nation—though he was usually singled out for praise by New York critics. These positive reviews led to a motion-picture contract with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer in 1934 after a couple of uncredited bit parts, he made his film debut in The Murder Man (1935) with Spencer Tracy.

At first, Stewart’s slow, halting line delivery (perhaps his most readily identifiable trademark) and angular features made him difficult to typecast. His unpretentious engaging manner, however, led to quick acceptance by the moviegoing public. Stewart was loaned to Columbia for two Frank Capra films that proved pivotal in his career: You Can’t Take It with You (1938) and Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939), the latter of which brought him his first Academy Award nomination for his portrayal of a shy idealistic young senator fighting corruption in Congress. He won an Oscar the following year for another film classic, The Philadelphia Story (1940).

Sensing America’s eventual involvement in the war in Europe, Stewart enlisted in the U.S. Army in March 1941. An avid pilot in civilian life, he was assigned to the Air Corps and logged more than 1,800 hours of flight time in some 20 bomber missions. Before he returned to civilian life in 1945, he had risen to the rank of colonel and had received the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Air Medal, and the Croix de Guerre. He remained in the reserves until 1968 and was promoted to brigadier general in 1959.

His first film after the war was Capra’s It’s a Wonderful Life (1946), and his performance as George Bailey, an honest banker beset by personal and financial woes, earned Stewart his third Oscar nomination. Though the film generated mediocre box office at the time of its release, it has since become one of the most beloved films of all time, largely because of its numerous television showings since the 1970s. In 1999 it ranked 11th on the American Film Institute’s list of the 100 greatest movies of all time.

As he approached age 40, it was clear that Stewart could no longer maintain the “naive young innocent” persona he had established in his prewar films. His collaborations with directors Alfred Hitchcock and Anthony Mann helped toughen his image and broaden his appeal. Of Stewart’s Hitchcock films, the experimental Rope (1948) and The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956) are well regarded, and Rear Window (1954) and Vertigo (1958) rank as masterpieces. For Hitchcock, Stewart embodied an American Everyman, albeit one whose private quirks and obsessions threatened a tragic outcome. The films Stewart made for Mann proved the actor capable of rugged western roles, especially in the classics Winchester ’73 (1950) and The Man from Laramie (1955). Stewart and Mann collaborated on eight films, including six westerns and the sentimental biopic The Glenn Miller Story (1954), which was one of Stewart’s most popular movies.

During the late 1940s Stewart was among several actors who enjoyed success on Broadway as the ingratiating inebriate Elwood P. Dowd—whose best friend is an invisible six-foot rabbit—in Mary Chase’s Harvey. It became one of the actor’s signature roles when the play was adapted for the screen in 1950, garnering another Oscar nomination for Stewart. He repeated the role in the show’s 1970 Broadway revival and in a 1972 television movie. Stewart’s other well-regarded films included The Stratton Story (1949), The Greatest Show on Earth (1952), The Spirit of St. Louis (1957), Anatomy of a Murder (1959 Academy Award nomination), The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962), and The Flight of the Phoenix (1965).

Stewart found good roles difficult to come by as he aged, but he remained one of America’s favourite actors thanks to his many appearances on talk shows, in commercials, and in two short-lived television series, The Jimmy Stewart Show (1971–72) and Hawkins (1973–74). He was also memorable in a supporting role in the John Wayne western The Shootist (1976). His final acting assignment was to provide the voice of the character Wylie Burp in the animated feature An American Tail: Fievel Goes West (1991). In 1985 Stewart was awarded both an honorary Academy Award and the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honour.

The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica This article was most recently revised and updated by Patricia Bauer, Assistant Editor.

Stewart History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Scotland's history is inextricably linked to that of the Royal Clan, the Clan Stewart. The surname Stewart was an occupational name for a steward, the official in charge of a noble household and its treasury. It derives from the Old English word "stigweard," a compound of "stig," or "household," and "weard," or "guardian." As every great house, Earl and Bishop in medieval England and Scotland had its stewards, this office has given rise to many lines of this hereditary surname.

Set of 4 Coffee Mugs and Keychains

$69.95 $48.95

Early Origins of the Stewart family

The surname Stewart was first found in Scotland, where records of Stewart as a surname, and not just an occupation began to be found from the 13th century. The ancestors of the famed Royal Stewart line of Scotland descend from a family Breton nobles named Flaald, the name is therefore of Anglo-Norman extraction. The name arrived in Britain with Alan, a knight who settled in Oswestry in Shropshire.

Coat of Arms and Surname History Package

$24.95 $21.20

Early History of the Stewart family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Stewart research. Another 397 words (28 lines of text) covering the years 1230, 1371, 1371, 1714, 1688, 1720, 1745, 1746, 1807, 1343, 1405, 1382, 1405, 1479, 1503, 1504, 1476, 1504, 1467, 1504, 1452, 1508, 1545, 1567, 1565, 1659, 1598, 1662, 1641, 1653, 1692, 1675, 1728, 1714 and 1890 are included under the topic Early Stewart History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Unisex Coat of Arms Hooded Sweatshirt

Stewart Spelling Variations

Spelling variations of this family name include: Stewart, Steward, Stillbhard (Gaelic) and others.

Early Notables of the Stewart family (pre 1700)

Notable among the family at this time was Alexander Stewart, Earl of Buchan (Wolf of Badenoch) (1343-1405), third surviving son of King Robert II of Scotland, first Earl of Buchan since John Comyn (1382-1405), Justiciar of Scotia for a time, but not an effective one, held large territories in the north of Scotland before eventually losing a large part of them, remembered for his destruction of the royal burgh of Elgin and its cathedral, nickname was earned due to his notorious cruelty and rapacity but there is no proof that it was used during his lifetime John Stewart, Earl of Mar.
Another 153 words (11 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Stewart Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Stewart family to Ireland

Some of the Stewart family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 151 words (11 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Stewart migration +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Stewart Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Austin Stewart, who settled in Boston Massachusetts in 1651
  • Austin Stewart in Boston in 1651
  • Charles Stewart, a Royalist soldier captured at Worcester, sent to Boston aboard the "John and Sara" in 1652
  • Austin Stewart, who landed in America in 1652 [1]
  • Cha Stewart, who landed in America in 1652 [1]
  • . (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Stewart Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Margaret Stewart, who landed in Virginia in 1705 [1]
  • Malcom Stewart, who arrived in Virginia in 1716 [1]
  • Alexander Stewart, a Jacobite captured at Preston, was among Thomase banished to the plantations, transported from Liverpool to South Carolina aboard the "Susannah" in 1716
  • Jamaica Stewart, who arrived in America in 1724 [1]
  • Don Stewart, who arrived in Georgia in 1738 [1]
  • . (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Stewart Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Griselda Stewart, who arrived in New York in 1801 [1]
  • Peter Stewart, who arrived in New York in 1802 [1]
  • Thomas Stewart, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1803 [1]
  • Agness Stewart, aged 20, who landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1803 [1]
  • Anne Stewart, aged 18, who landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1804 [1]
  • . (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Stewart Settlers in United States in the 20th Century

Stewart migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Stewart Settlers in Canada in the 17th Century
Stewart Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Andrew Stewart, a settler who came with Governor Cornwallis to Chebucto, Nova Scotia in June 1749
  • Andrew Stewart, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1749
  • Danl Stewart, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1749
  • Daniel Stewart, who arrived in Halifax, Nova Scotia in 1749-1752
  • Hugh Stewart, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1749
  • . (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Stewart Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Alex Stewart, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1801
  • Margaret Stewart, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1801
  • James Stewart, aged 37, who arrived in Pictou, Nova Scotia in 1803
  • Isabella Stewart, aged 9, who arrived in Pictou, Nova Scotia aboard the ship "Commerce" in 1803
  • Janet Stewart, aged 7, who arrived in Pictou, Nova Scotia aboard the ship "Commerce" in 1803
  • . (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Stewart migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Stewart Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Michael Stewart, (Seyman, Seymour, Robert), British convict who was convicted in Middlesex, England for life, transported aboard the "Calcutta" in February 1803, arriving in New South Wales, Australia[2]
  • Miss Jane Stewart, (b. 1786), aged 27, Irish convict who was convicted in Kilkenny, Ireland for 7 years, transported aboard the "Catherine" on 8th December 1813, arriving in New South Wales, Australia[3]
  • Mr. Robert Stewart, Scottish convict who was convicted in Edinburgh, Scotland for life, transported aboard the "Asiatic" on 5th June 1819, arriving in New South Wales, Australia[4]
  • Edmund Stewart, English convict from Surrey, who was transported aboard the "Asia" on April 1st, 1822, settling in New South Wales, Australia[5]
  • Mr. William Stewart, (b. 1803), aged 24, Irish carter who was convicted in Dublin, Ireland for 7 years for stealing, transported aboard the “Countess of Harcourt“ on 14th February 1827, arriving in New South Wales, Australia[6]
  • . (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Stewart migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Stewart Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • A Stewart, who landed in Auckland, New Zealand in 1840
  • Alexander Stewart, aged 19, a baker, who arrived in Port Nicholson aboard the ship "Lady Nugent" in 1841
  • Mr. John Stewart, (b. 1815), aged 25, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Slains Castle" arriving in Wellington, New Zealand on 25th January 1841 [7]
  • William Stewart, aged 26, a farmer, who arrived in New Plymouth aboard the ship "Phoebe Dunbar" between 1841 and 1850
  • J. Stewart, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Indemnity" arriving in Wellington, New Zealand on 19th July 1842 [8]
  • . (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Stewart (post 1700) +

  • James Maitland "Jimmy" Stewart (1908-1997), American five-time Academy Award nominated actor, recipient of one award and a Lifetime Achievement award and the Presidential Medal of Freedom. With the United States Air Force, he rose to the rank of Brigadier General
  • David Steel Stewart (1947-2018), Scottish footballer, who played as a goalkeeper for the Scottish National Team in 1977
  • Robert "Rab" Stewart (1962-2016), Scottish footballer
  • John Allan Stewart (1942-2016), Scottish Conservative politician, Member of Parliament for East Renfrewshire (1979�), Eastwood (1983�)
  • Robert Banks Stewart (1931-2016), Scottish screenwriter, known for his work on Danger Man, The Human Jungle, Top Secret and The Avengers
  • Andrew Michael "Andy" Stewart (1952-2015), Scottish singer and songwriter, frontman for Silly Wizard
  • William George Drummond Stewart (1831-1868), Scottish recipient of the Victoria Cross
  • John Young "Jackie" Stewart (b. 1939), Scottish automobile racer and winner of the Formula One Grand Prix championship in 1969, 1971, and 1973
  • Tremaine Stewart (1988-2021), Jamaican footballer forward/winger for the Jamaica National Team (2012-2013)
  • Martha Ruth Stewart Shelley (1922-2021), née Haworth, better known as Martha Stewart, an American singer and actress, best known for playing Mildred Atkinson in In a Lonely Place (1950) alongside Humphrey Bogart
  • . (Another 46 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Historic Events for the Stewart family +

Air New Zealand Flight 901
  • Mr. Donald Mathew Stewart (1944-1979), New Zealander passenger, from Birkenhead, Auckland, New Zealand aboard the Air New Zealand Flight 901 for an Antarctic sightseeing flight when it flew into Mount Erebus he died in the crash [9]
Arrow Air Flight 1285
  • Mr. Randy S Stewart (b. 1964), American Sergeant from Texarkana, Arkansas, USA who died in the crash [10]
Halifax Explosion
  • Miss Marguerite  Stewart (1908-1917), Canadian resident from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada who died in the explosion [11]
  • Mrs. Emma Stewart (1855-1917), Canadian resident from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada who died in the explosion [11]
  • Mrs. Alice May  Stewart (1883-1917), Canadian resident from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada who survived the explosion but later died due to injuries [11]
HMS Hood
  • Mr. Thomas Stewart (b. 1911), Irish Able Seaman serving for the Royal Navy from Belfast, County Antrim, Ireland, who sailed into battle and died in the sinking [12]
  • Mr. Robert J P Stewart (b. 1910), English Chaplain serving for the Royal Navy from Bayswater, London, England, who sailed into battle and died in the sinking [12]
  • Mr. Albert M Stewart (b. 1895), English Able Seaman serving for the Royal Navy from Pimlico, London, England, who sailed into battle and died in the sinking [12]
HMS Prince of Wales
  • Mr. Stewart, British Ordinary Seaman, who sailed into battle on the HMS Prince of Wales and survived the sinking [13]
  • Mr. Stewart, British Stoker 2nd Class, who sailed into battle on the HMS Prince of Wales and died in the sinking [13]
HMS Repulse
  • Mr. Charles David Stewart, British Able Bodied Seaman, who sailed into battle on the HMS Repulse and died in the sinking [14]
HMS Royal Oak
  • Edward S. Stewart, British Seaman with the Royal Navy Reserve aboard the HMS Royal Oak when she was torpedoed by U-47 and sunk he survived the sinking [15]
  • Hugh Stewart (1915-1939), British Lieutenant (Instructor) with the Royal Navy aboard the HMS Royal Oak when she was torpedoed by U-47 and sunk he died in the sinking [15]
  • Donald Cecil Clive Stewart (1920-1939), British Writer with the Royal Navy aboard the HMS Royal Oak when she was torpedoed by U-47 and sunk he died in the sinking [15]
Lady of the Lake
  • Mr. David Stewart (b. 1809), Irish chandler from Malin Head, Ireland who sailed aboard the "Lady of the Lake" from Greenock, Scotland on 8th April 1833 to Quebec, Canada when the ship hit ice and sunk of the coast of Newfoundland on the 11th May 1833 and he died in the sinking
  • Mr. John Stewart (b. 1811), Irish carpenter from Derry, Ireland who sailed aboard the "Lady of the Lake" from Greenock, Scotland on 8th April 1833 to Quebec, Canada when the ship hit ice and sunk of the coast of Newfoundland on the 11th May 1833 and he died in the sinking
  • Mr. Robert Stewart (b. 1809), Irish labourer from Limavady, Northern Ireland who sailed aboard the "Lady of the Lake" from Greenock, Scotland on 8th April 1833 to Quebec, Canada when the ship hit ice and sunk of the coast of Newfoundland on the 11th May 1833 and he died in the sinking
RMS Lusitania
  • Mr. Duncan Stewart, Canadian 1st Class Passenger from Montréal, Quebec, Canada, who sailed aboard the RMS Lusitania and died in the sinking [16]
  • Mr. Thomas Edgar Stewart, Scottish Assistant Steward from Glasgow, Scotland, who worked aboard the RMS Lusitania and died in the sinking and was recovered [16]
  • Mrs. Christina Stewart, Scottish 2nd Class passenger residing in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, who sailed aboard the RMS Lusitania and survived the sinking [17]
  • Master John Knox Stewart, Scottish 2nd Class passenger residing in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, who sailed aboard the RMS Lusitania and survived the sinking [17]
RMS Titanic
  • Mr. Albert A. Stewart (d. 1912), aged 54, American First Class passenger from Cincinnati, Ohio who sailed aboard the RMS Titanic and died in the sinking [18]
USS Arizona
  • Mr. Thomas Lester Stewart, American Ship's Cook Third Class from Arkansas, USA working aboard the ship "USS Arizona" when she sunk during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on 7th December 1941, he died in the sinking [19]

Related Stories +

The Stewart Motto +

The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Virescit vulnere virtus
Motto Translation: Courage grows stronger at the wound.

History of the Stewarts | Famous Stewarts

If you are a Stewart Society Member please login above to view all of the items in this section. If you want general information on how to research your ancestors and some helpful links - please look in background information.
If you have a specific question you can contact our archivist.

See Genealogical Note

James IV, born on 17 March 1473. By 1486, when James was 13, Prince James’ mother had died, and the unstable reign of James’ father was unraveling. For unknown reasons, James III began to disregard his elder son, and began favoring his younger son, James Stewart. In January of 1488, James III attempted to gain supporters among the Scottish Lairds by naming James Stewart the Duke of Ross, and elevating four other Lairds to full Lords of Parliament. It is not clear whether he was an active participant in the rebellion against his father or not but Prince James served as the figurehead. The opposition came to a head when Prince James and the Lairds met King James III and his forces at the Battle of Sauchieburn on June 11, 1488. Either in the course of the battle or afterwards, King James III was killed and Prince James became King at the age of sixteen. He was crowned at Scone on June 24th.
Although James was not personally responsible, he did feel very guilty about his father’s death. He would wear an iron chain around his waist for the rest of his life and would travel on pilgrimage to St. Ninian’s Shrine at Whithorn Cathedral Priory, Dumfries, Galloway and other holy places to do penance. James’ minority government lasted from 1488-1495. James learned from his father not to ignore his nobles and to gain their respect and cooperation. There were some initial rebellions, but these were dealt with and after some maneuvering, James’ government seemed to enjoy popular support. With this support, his government avoided alienating anyone. While he was old at twenty-two to take on the reins of his government, he had spent the intervening years furthering his already impressive education and gaining valuable lessons in how a royal government worked. For the first time in a century, Scotland had a king who was able to start ruling for himself at once for, as Erasmus once commented, ´He had wonderful powers of mind, an astonishing knowledge of everything, an unconquerable magnanimity and the most abundant generosity.´

He spoke Latin (at that time the international language), French, German, Flemish, Italian, Spanish and some Gaelic, and took an active interest in literature, science and the law, even trying his hand at dentistry and minor surgery.

With his patronage the printing press came to Scotland, and the Royal College of Surgeons in Edinburgh, St Leonard´s College, St Andrews and King´s College, Aberdeen were founded.

He commissioned building work at the royal residences of Linlithgow Palace, Edinburgh Castle and Stirling Castle, and developed a strong navy led by his flagship, the Great Michael, said to be the largest vessel of the time.

Under James´ rule, he extended royal administration to the west and north - by 1493, he had overcome the last independent lord of the Isles. In May 1493 John MacDonald, Lord of the Isles, was forfeited by the Parliament of Scotland. James himself sailed to Dunstaffnage Castle, where the western chiefs made their submissions to him. John surrendered, and was brought back as a pensioner to the royal court, then lived at Paisley Abbey. The Highlands and Islands now fell under direct royal control. John´s grandson Domhnall Dubh (Donald Owre), one of the possible claimants to the Lordship, was peaceable, but the other, his nephew Alexander MacDonald of Lochalsh invaded Ross and was later killed on the island of Oronsay in 1497.

In October 1496 the Royal Council ordered that the clan chiefs in the region would be held responsible by the king for crimes of the islanders. This act for the governance of the region was unworkable, and after the Act of Revocation of 1498 undermined the chiefs´ titles to their lands, resistance to Edinburgh rule was strengthened. James waited at Kilkerran Castle at Campbeltown Loch to regrant the chiefs´ charters in the summer of 1498. Few of the chiefs turned up. At first, Archibald Campbell, 2nd Earl of Argyll was set to fill the power vacuum, and enforce royal authority, but he met with limited success in a struggle with his brother-in-law, Torquil MacLeod of Lewis. Torquil was ordered to hand over Donald Dubh, heir to the lordship of the Isles, to James IV at Inverness in 1501. James waited, but Torquil never came.

After this defiance, Alexander Gordon, 3rd Earl of Huntly, was granted Torquil´s lands. He raised an army in Lochaber, and also cleared the tenants of that area, replacing them with his supporters. After the parliament of 1504, a royal fleet sailed north from Ayr to attack the Castle of Cairn-na-Burgh, west of Mull, where, it is thought, Maclean of Duart had Donald Dubh in his keeping. As progress at the siege was slow, James sent Hans the royal gunner in Robert Barton´s ship and then the Earl of Arran with provisions and more artillery. Cairn-na-Burgh was captured by June 1504 but Donald Dubh remained at liberty] In September 1507, Torquil MacLeod was besieged at Stornoway Castle on Lewis. Donald Dubh was captured and imprisoned for the rest of life, and Torquil MacLeod died in exile in 1511.

To begin with, relations with England were difficult: in 1495, James supported the pretender Perkin Warbeck in his claim to the English throne, and carried out a brief invasion of England on his behalf in September 1496. Then, in August 1497, James laid siege to Norham Castle, using his grandfather´s bombard Mons Meg. Even so, he was anxious to maintain peace with England and concluded a peace treaty in 1502.

After the death of his mistress Margaret Drummond, who was poisoned along with her sisters, presumably to prevent her from marrying the king, James accepted Henry VII´s offer of his daughter Princess Margaret Tudor as a bride. ´The Marriage of the Thistle and the Rose´ took place at Holyrood on 8 August 1503. Although this match had great significance in the long term (after the death of Elizabeth I of England and the end of the Tudor dynasty, the two thrones were inherited by James´ and Margaret´s great-grandson James I and VI), it did not at once improve Anglo-Scottish relations.

James recognised nonetheless that peace between Scotland and England was in the interest of both countries, and established good diplomatic relations with England, which was at that time emerging from a period of civil war. First he ratified the Treaty of Ayton in February 1498. Then, in 1502 James signed the Treaty of Perpetual Peace with Henry VII. He also maintained his relations with France. With rumours that James would renew the Auld alliance, in April 1508 Thomas Wolsey was sent to discuss Henry VII´s concerns over this.

James saw the importance of building a fleet that could provide Scotland with a strong maritime presence. James founded two new dockyards for this purpose and acquired a total of 38 ships for the Royal Scots Navy, including the Margaret, and the carrack Michael or Great Michael. The latter, built at great expense at Newhaven and launched in 1511, was 240 feet (73 m) in length, weighed 1,000 tons and was, at that time, the largest ship in the world.

When Henry VIII joined the Holy Alliance against France, and England invaded France in 1513, James felt that he must assist Scotland´s old ally under the ´Auld Alliance´. He led his army - one of the largest ever to cross the border - south. The English forces, led by Lord Surrey, inflicted a crushing defeat. James and many of his nobles died at the head of his men in the disastrous Battle of Flodden, three miles south-east of Coldstream, Northumberland on 9 September 1513.

A body, thought to be that of James, was recovered from the battlefield and taken to London for burial. James had been excommunicated, and although Henry VIII had obtained a breve from the Pope on 29 November 1513 to have the King buried in consecrated ground at St. Pauls, the embalmed body lay unburied for many years at Sheen Priory in Surrey. The body was lost after the Reformation, which led to the demolition of the priory. John Stow claimed to have seen it, and said the king´s head (with red hair) was removed by a glazier and eventually buried at St Michael Wood Street. The church was later demolished and the site redeveloped many times it is now occupied by a pub. James´s bloodstained coat was sent to Henry VIII (then on campaign in France) by his queen, Catherine of Aragon.

His early betrothal to Cecily of England came to nothing, but interest in an English marriage remained.

In a ceremony at the altar of Glasgow Cathedral on 10 December 1502, James confirmed the Treaty of Perpetual Peace with Henry VII of England. By this treaty James married Henry´s daughter Margaret Tudor. After a wedding by proxy in London, the marriage was confirmed in person on 8 August 1503 at Holyrood Abbey, Edinburgh. Their wedding was commemorated by the gift of a Book of Hours.

The union produced four children plus two stillbirths:
James, Duke of Rothesay (21 February 1507, Holyrood Palace – 27 February 1508, Stirling Castle)
A stillborn daughter at Holyrood Palace on 15 July 1508.
Arthur, Duke of Rothesay (20 October 1509, Holyrood Palace – Edinburgh Castle, 14 July 1510).
James V (Linlithgow Palace, 10 April 1512 – Falkland Palace, Fife, 14 December 1542), the only one to reach adulthood, and the successor of his father.
A second stillborn daughter at Holyrood Palace in November 1512.
Alexander, Duke of Ross (Stirling Castle, 30 April 1514 – Stirling Castle, 18 December 1515), born after James´s death.

James also had several illegitimate children with four different mistresses five of the children are known to have reached adulthood:
with Marion Boyd: Alexander (c. 1493 – Battle of Flodden, 9 September 1513), Archbishop of St Andrews.
Catherine Stewart(c. 1495 – 1554), who married James Douglas, 3rd Earl of Morton.
with Margaret Drummond: Margaret Stewart (born around 1497), married first John Gordon, Lord Gordon and second Sir John Drummond.
with Janet Kennedy: James (before 1499–1544), created Earl of Moray.
with Isabel Stewart, daughter of James Stewart, 1st Earl of Buchan: Lady Janet Stewart (17 July 1502 – 20 February 1562).

Mr. Stewart Goes to War

Officers of the 703rd Bomb Squadron, including Jimmy Stewart (highlighted in back row), stand before a Consolidated B-24 Liberator.

Jimmy Stewart looked back on his service as a WWII bomber pilot as one of the greatest experiences of his life.

His paternal grandfather had fought against the South, and his father against Spain and Germany, so it was reasonable to assume James Mai­tland Stewart would serve in his turn. By the late 1930s, his career was just taking off with such hits as You Can’t Take It With You, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington and Destry Rides Again. But with war looking inevitable, Stewart set his sights on a new role, this time in the U.S. Army Air Corps. He even bought his own plane, a Stinson 105, eventually gradu­ating to multi-engine aircraft and earning a commercial pilot’s license, all on his own.

Stewart’s draft number was 310, but though he was 6-foot-3, he weighed only 138 pounds. When the Army turned him down as too skinny, he started eating spaghetti twice a day, supplemented with steaks and milkshakes. At a second physical in March 1941, he still hadn’t gained quite enough weight to be eligible, but he talked the Army doctors into adding an ounce or two so he could qualify, then ran outside shouting to fellow actor Burgess Meredith: “I’m in! I’m in!”

The night before he left for training, MGM threw a farewell party for its departing star. Most of the actresses present that evening kissed him goodbye, and Rosalind Russell wiped off the lipstick with her handkerchief and wrote each girl’s name on it. Stewart kept the hanky for good luck.

On March 22, 1941, Stewart was inducted into the Army as a private, serial number 0433210. He was sent to Fort MacArthur, Calif., where cameramen hounded him, following him even when he was issued his underwear. Witnessing all that unwanted attention, one old soldier remarked sympathetically, “You poor bastard.” Stewart’s salary dropped from $12,000 per week to $21 per month, but he dutifully sent a 10 percent cut ($2.10) to his agent each month.

Stewart underwent basic training at Moffett Field, Calif., where a crowd of girls waited just outside the gates, eager to get a glimpse of their idol. It got so bad that his commanding officer put up a sign requesting civilians to leave Stewart alone until after he finished his training. He was commissioned on January 18, 1942. Appearing in uniform at the Academy Awards the following month, he presented the Best Actor Oscar to Gary Cooper for Sergeant York (Stewart had won the previous year for The Philadelphia Story).

Corporal James M. Stewart was commissioned a 2nd lieutenant at Moffett Field, Calif., on January 19, 1942. (National Archives)

Though Stewart subsequently narrated two training films, Fellow Americans and Winning Your Wings, and lent his star power to a few radio shows and war bond tours, in general he resisted efforts to capitalize on his career. Instead he requested more flying time—and he soon got his wish. First he became a flight instructor in Curtiss AT-9s at Mather Field, Calif. From there he went to Kirkland Field, N.M., for six months of bombardier school. In December 1942, he requested transfer to the four-engine school at Hobbs, N.M. Finally, he reported to the headquarters of the Second Air Force in Salt Lake City.

Still looking for more than desk duty, Stewart was sent to Gowen Field in Boise, Idaho, and the 29th Bombardment Group, where he became a flight instructor on B-17 Flying Fortresses. During that time, his roommate was killed in an accident, and three of his trainees were lost in another mishap. One student remembered, “Stewart was known for being one of the few officers who never left the airfield tower until every single plane had returned.”

On one night flight with a student pilot, Stewart left the copilot’s seat to check on equipment in the nose and let a new navigator sit in the right-hand seat. Suddenly the no. 1 engine exploded, sending pieces of shrap­nel into the cockpit and knocking the pilot senseless. With the engine on fire and wind tearing through the windows, the navigator froze at the controls. Stewart had to pull him out of the seat so he could take over, hit the fire extinguishers and land on three engines.

In March 1943, Stewart briefly became the operations officer of the 703rd Squadron, 445th Bomb Group, in Sioux City, Iowa. He was named the squadron’s commander three weeks later.

On November 11, Captain Stewart led two-dozen B-24H Liberators to England by way of Florida, Brazil, Senegal and Morocco. They became part of the 2nd Air Division, Eighth Air Force, stationed at Tibenham. Within hours of their arrival, Germany’s “Lord Haw-Haw” welcomed the squadron on the radio. Following a few shakedown flights, Stewart’s first mission was to bomb the naval yards at Kiel, flying a B-24 that had been named Nine Yanks and a Jerk by a previous crew.

The actor-turned-commander was a successful, popular officer. His roommate at the time recalled: “I always got the feeling that he would never ask you to do something he wouldn’t do himself. Everything that man did seemed to go like clockwork.”

Stewart was lucky, too. During his third mission, on Christmas Eve, his group was or­dered to hit V-1 launching sites at Bonnaires, France. Coming in low at 12,000 feet, 35 B­24s plastered the target near the coast, then returned to base without even being targeted by flak or fighters. If two of the Liberators hadn’t collided on takeoff, it would have been a perfect mission.

He also took care of his men. When Stewart found out the finance officer wouldn’t have enough money for his crew for a few days, he threatened to have him transferred to the infantry unless they were paid immediately. And when one of his crews hid a keg of stolen beer in their barracks, he ambled in, threw off the covers and drew himself a glass, then announced that there was a keg of beer around there somewhere, it was a very serious matter and it should be taken care of immediately…if they ever found it. He then finished his beer and walked out.

In January 1944, Stewart was promoted to major, a promotion he had refused until, as he said, “my junior officers get promoted from lieutenants.” By that time he commanded all four squadrons of the 445th Bomb Group.

On January 7, after bombing Ludwigshafen, Stewart noticed that the lead group, the 389th, was 30 degrees off course and slowly diverging from the protective fire of the rest of the formation on the way back to base. Knowing the bombers’ new direction would take them directly over Luftwaffe airfields in northern France, he radioed the lead plane and explained they were off course. The leader replied curtly that no, they weren’t, “and stay off the radio.”

Stewart faced a difficult decision. He could stay with the rest of the formation on the correct course, or he could follow his errant lead squadron. A two-squadron formation would be much more vulnerable, but a single squadron didn’t have much of a chance at all. He chose to stay with the 389th and add the defensive power of his own guns to theirs.

Sure enough, more than 60 Luftwaffe planes swarmed up from bases below. The commander of the 389th Bomb Group paid dearly for his mistake: his plane went down in flames. Seven other 389th B-24s were also shot down, but Stewart was lucky again all the bombers in his squadron made it home. As a fellow officer would later point out, “There were a lot of lives saved that day because he knew what he was doing and when he had to do it.”

"Nine Yanks and a Jerk's" crew chief peers through the hole left by an unexploded anti-aircraft shell that narrowly missed Stewart. (Mike Simpson/445BG.org.)

Stewart experienced what was probably his closest brush with death on February 25, during a nine-hour mission to Furth, unescorted most of the way. For the first time, waist gunners in the lead planes hurled bundles of chaff overboard to try to fool the German radar-directed anti-aircraft guns. It only succeeded in attracting them. Whenever they threw a bundle out, the flak became more accurate. The Germans hit the bombers with everything they had on that mission, including anti-aircraft rockets.

The 445th hit its target, but on the way home a flak shell burst in the belly of Stewart’s Liberator, directly behind the nose wheel. Somehow the B-24 kept on flying—all the way back to base. But when the shrapnel-perforated bomber landed, its fuselage buckled. Just in front of the wing at the flight deck, the airplane cracked open like an egg. The crew climbed out, unhurt, and looked over their crippled aircraft. In his characteristically understated fashion, Stewart mused to a bystander, “Sergeant, somebody sure could get hurt in one of those damned things.”

Aside from an occasional trip to actor David Niven’s house, a meeting with a dignitary or a quick sailing expedition, Stewart concentrated on the job at hand. “I prayed I wouldn’t make a mistake,” he recalled. “When you go up you’re responsible.” Once a flight engineer went AWOL just before a mission, forcing his plane to fly without him. It didn’t return. Stewart was required to discipline the man, but he wondered, “How do you punish someone for not getting killed?”

Lt. Gen. Martial Valin, chief of staff, French air force, awards the Croix de Guerre with Palm to Colonel Stewart for exceptional services in the liberation of France. (U.S. Air Force)

The war eventually got to everyone, even calm, mild-mannered Jimmy Stewart. “Fear is an insidious thing,” he said. “It can warp judgment, freeze reflexes, breed mistakes. And worse, it’s contagious. I felt my own fear and knew that if it wasn’t checked, it could infect my crew members.”

In early 1945, after 20 B-24 missions, Stewart was transferred to Old Buckenham, becoming the operations officer of the 453rd Bomb Group. When he arrived in a B-24, he reportedly buzzed the tower until the controllers fled.

The 453rd’s lead Liberator, Paper Doll, had no permanently assigned copilot. That position was usually filled by one of the senior staff officers, often Stewart himself. Waist gunner Dan Brody recalled, “He exhibited himself as an excellent pilot, even under adverse conditions.”

Like the men of the 445th, his new group found Stewart unfailingly friendly. On the way back up the runway, for example, when he saw a pedestrian he’d stop his jeep and drawl, “Hey fella, lak a ride?”

The senior staff normally rotated, flying every fifth mission, but Stewart went out of his way to lead 11 more sorties. While he liked the B-17, he still had a soft spot for the Lib­erator. He later said of the B-24, “In combat, the airplane was no match for the B-17 as a formation bomb­er above 25,000 feet, but from 12,000 to 18,000 it did a fine job.”

Most of the men were amused to find they were being briefed by the famous actor. Extras often dropped in—among them radioman Walter Matthau, who thought he “was marvelous to watch.”

In April 1945 Stewart was promoted to colonel and chief of staff of the 2nd Air Division. It was during this time, while he was sweating out the return of his planes from each mission, that his hair began to turn gray.

Stewart finally returned Stateside in September 1945 aboard the liner Queen Elizabeth. Pre­dictably, he waited at the gangplank until all of his men had disembarked before coming ashore. Asked about his service in Europe, he commented, “I had some close calls—the whole war was a close call.” When he returned to Hollywood, he refused a lavish welcome home party, saying, “Thousands of men in uniform did far more meaningful things.”

A standard clause in Stewart’s contracts thereafter stipulated that no mention of his war record could be used in conjunction with any of his films. He remained in the Air Force Reserve, and in 1955, persuaded by friends, made the film Strategic Air Command. Ironically, though he had thousands of hours in the air, because of studio insurance regulations Stewart wasn’t allowed to actually fly in any of his movies.

In 1966 Stewart made one more combat flight—this time as an observer in a B-52 Stratofortress over North Vietnam. His stepson Ronald McLean was killed in Vietnam one year later.

During an interview late in life, the actor explained that World War II was “something I think about almost every day—one of the greatest experiences of my life.” Asked whether it had been greater than being in films, he said simply, “Much greater.” James Stewart—recipient of the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Air Medal with Oak Cluster, the Croix de Guerre with Palm and seven Battle Stars—died on July 2, 1997, at age 89.

Freelancer Richard Hayes writes from Chicago. For further reading, try Jimmy Stewart: Bomber Pilot, by Starr Smith.

Mr. Stewart Goes to War originally appeared in the March 2011 issue of Aviation History Magazine. Subscribe today!

Third Generation (Grandparents)

  • James Maitland Stewart was born in Pennsylvania on 24 May 1839 and died on 16 Mar 1932.
  • Virginia Kelly was born in Pennsylvania about 1847 and died before 1888.

James Maitland Stewart married twice. First, he married Virginia Kelly and they had the following children:

  • Ralph Stewart was born in Pennsylvania on Oct 1869
  • Alexander M. Stewart
  • Ernest Taylor Stewart was born in Pennsylvania Sep 1874

Following the death of his first wife, Virginia, James Maitland STEWART married Martha A. about 1888.

  • Samuel McCartney Jackson was born in Sep 1833 in Pennsylvania
  • Mary E. Wilson was born in Nov 1844 in Pennsylvania

Samuel McCartney Jackson and Mary E. Wilson were married about 1868, and had the following children:

James R. Stewart

James Robert Stewart G.S.A. Ph. (October 1, 1903 – April 30, 1964) was a member of the Universal Negro Improvement Association. Stewart succeeded Marcus Garvey Garvey as President-General of the UNIA. He efficiently relocated its headquarters to Liberia.

President-General Stewart died in Liberia in 1964. He was survived by his spouse, Goldie Stewart, two sons, Victor and James Jr, and three daughters, Anita, Donna and Roberta.

Stewart maintained and expanded the UNIA-ACL program and property in Liberia, establishing a productive farm, restaurant, faculty, and hospital which proceed to working to at the present time. He maintained a detailed relationship with President William Tubman of Liberia who served because the UNIA-ACL Potentate and Supreme Commissioner by 1954.

By 1943, he obtained sixty 5 acres of farmland in Oregonia, Ohio and inside 6 years remodeled it into a contemporary neighborhood. Unhappy with this growth, a rehabilitating committee held a convention in Detroit, Michigan. In 1949, President-General Stewart efficiently repatriated his household and different supporters to Zanzu, Gbandela, Liberia, formally establishing the International Headquarters of the UNIA-ACL on African soil. The transfer led prime a break up within the motion. A committee of opponents was shaped which denounced Stewart. Thomas W. Harvey led the faction, which break up from Stewart’s group. Harvey was appointed as President-General of the brand new UNIA group, whose headquarters was established in Philadelphia in 1951. [1]

As President-General, Stewart transferred the International Headquarters of the UNIA from New York to Cleveland and instantly launched a nationwide talking tour to encourage present Divisions and create new ones. He held a sequence of Conferences and Conventions, launched the New Negro World Newspaper and resumed providing the Course of African Philosophy.

Stewart joined the UNIA as a juvenile in 1919. He grew to become the President of the Cleveland Division in 1933 and State Commissioner in 1937 after taking the course of African Philosophy from President-General Garvey and graduating with excessive honors. After Garvey’s demise in June 1940, the August 1940 Emergency Conference of the UNIA Commissioners in New York City elected James Stewart President-General to finish the ultimate two years of Garvey’s uncompleted time period.

Stewart was born in Moorhead, Mississippi, the son of a rich plantation proprietor his uncle Professor William Stewart taught in Centreville, Mississippi. He started faculty in Morehead and moved to Cleveland by 1915 the place he studied artwork and business enterprise. After finishing faculty he briefly served as a mail clerk on the put up workplace, grew to become a Spanish Instructor and served as an interpreter for the Pennsylvania Railroad. He grew to become an newbie boxing champion in Ohio weighing 138 kilos.

James Stewart - History

A leader in the Oklahoma City, state, and national Civil Rights movement, James Edward Stewart worked very closely with Roscoe Dunjee, editor and publisher of the Black Dispatch, a weekly Oklahoma City newspaper. The son of Zena Thomas Stewart and Mary Magdeline Fegalee Stewart, James Edward was born on September 6, 1912, in Plano, Texas. He had one half brother, Alfred, and two half sisters, Ella and Johnnie. The family moved to Oklahoma in 1916. Stewart's father died in 1920, leaving James to assist in supporting the family. Stewart attended Orchard Park Elementary School and later Douglass High School. There he and noted author Ralph Ellison both played in the band and became close friends.

In 1928 Jimmy Stewart and his mother moved to Wichita, Kansas. He enrolled in the tenth grade at Wichita High School East, and he transferred the next year to Wichita High School North. In September 1931 he entered the Oklahoma Colored Agricultural and Normal University (now Langston University). After attending only one year, he moved to Oklahoma City. Stewart married Mae Belle Hayes in 1932 and parented a son. The couple were divorced in 1934. Stewart later married Mae Lois Layne on May 12, 1942, and to this union were born two children.

In Oklahoma City Stewart found work at various hotels and clubs as waiter and custodian. After connecting with publisher Roscoe Dunjee, he began writing a weekly column, "Jimmy Says," for the Black Dispatch. Because he was acquainted with a top official at Oklahoma Natural Gas Company, Stewart gained employment as a janitor in June 1937 in September 1940 he was named manager of the company's eastside office Northeast Fourth Street. During World War II he volunteered for the U.S. Marines in 1943 and was assigned to the Fifty-first Defense Battalion. He achieved the rank of steward first class and was discharged honorably in December 1945. In 1976 he was appointed vice president of Oklahoma Natural Gas Company, and he served in that capacity until his retirement in September 1977.

Very active in the Civil Rights movement, Stewart served as president of the Oklahoma City branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), as well as of the state chapter. He served on the NAACP national board for eight three-year terms. Through his work with Dunjee and the Black Dispatch, his outreach extended across the state and nation. In July 1982 Stewart was elected chairman of the Oklahoma City Urban Renewal Authority. In 1984 Gov. George Nigh appointed him to the State Narcotics and Controlled Drug Commission. He was president of Oklahomans for Progress, which was dedicated to the elimination of inequities based on race.

Jimmy Stewart's record of public service brought him many awards. In 1975 he received the Service to Mankind award from the Sertoma Club of Oklahoma City and in 1976 accepted the Golden Plate award from the NAACP. In 1980 a section of Northeast Fourth Street was named James E. Stewart Industrial Park. He was inducted into the Afro-American Hall of Fame by the Ntu Art Association (located at the Kirkpatrick Center in Oklahoma City) and in 1986 into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame. In 1994 Stewart was given the Pathmaker Award by the Oklahoma County Historical Society. The Oklahoma Parks and Recreation Department named a golf course for him at Northeast Tenth Street and Martin Luther King, Jr., Avenue. In 1997 he was inducted into the Oklahoma Journalism Hall of Fame.

A loyal and active member of the Episcopal Church of the Redeemer, James E. Stewart died on April 13, 1997,and was buried in Arlington National Cemetery.


George L. Cross, Blacks in White Colleges: Oklahoma's Landmark Cases (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1975).

Ada Lois Sipuel Fisher, with Danney Goble, A Matter of Black and White: The Autobiography of Ada Lois Sipuel Fisher (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1996).

Jimmie Lewis Franklin, The Blacks in Oklahoma (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1980).

Vicki Miles-LaGrange and Bob Burke, A Passion for Equality: The Life of Jimmy Stewart (Oklahoma City: Oklahoma Heritage Association, 1999).

No part of this site may be construed as in the public domain.

Copyright to all articles and other content in the online and print versions of The Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History is held by the Oklahoma Historical Society (OHS). This includes individual articles (copyright to OHS by author assignment) and corporately (as a complete body of work), including web design, graphics, searching functions, and listing/browsing methods. Copyright to all of these materials is protected under United States and International law.

Users agree not to download, copy, modify, sell, lease, rent, reprint, or otherwise distribute these materials, or to link to these materials on another web site, without authorization of the Oklahoma Historical Society. Individual users must determine if their use of the Materials falls under United States copyright law's "Fair Use" guidelines and does not infringe on the proprietary rights of the Oklahoma Historical Society as the legal copyright holder of The Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and part or in whole.

Photo credits: All photographs presented in the published and online versions of The Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture are the property of the Oklahoma Historical Society (unless otherwise stated).


The following (as per The Chicago Manual of Style, 17th edition) is the preferred citation for articles:
Hannah D. Atkins, &ldquoStewart, James Edward,&rdquo The Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture, https://www.okhistory.org/publications/enc/entry.php?entry=ST032.

© Oklahoma Historical Society.

Oklahoma Historical Society | 800 Nazih Zuhdi Drive, Oklahoma City, OK 73105 | 405-521-2491
Site Index | Contact Us | Privacy | Press Room | Website Inquiries

Tag: James Stewart

Jimmy Stewart and Beulah Bondi, courtesy of the Porter County Museum.

Beulah Bondi’s is not a recognizable name today, but her face certainly is. You’ve likely seen it in classics such as It’s a Wonderful Life and Mr. Smith Goes to Washington. The Valparaiso, Indiana native portrayed Jimmy Stewart’s mother four times on film, including Vivacious Lady and Of Human Hearts, in addition to Wonderful Life and Mr. Smith. According to the Chicago Daily Tribune, Stewart affectionately called Bondi “Mom.” By the ripe old age of 39, Bondi was cast to play characters well beyond her age and she became the equivalent of “Hollywood’s mother,” despite herself never marrying or having children.

Depiction of Bondi’s character in “Track of the Cat” (1954), courtesy of Oscars.org.

“America’s greatest character actress,” according to United Artists, MGM, and Paramount, was born Beulah Bondy in 1888. She got her start at the age of seven as “Little Lord Fauntleroy” at Valparaiso’s Memorial Opera House. After the lead actress fell ill, she had one week to memorize 47 pages worth of lines and became hooked on acting after delivering them on the stage. The young actress was drawn to “dramatics” and the stage throughout her public education, including her time at the Convent of the Holy Name and Valparaiso University.

After graduation from university, she traveled the Midwest with a theatrical touring company. The Valparaiso Vidette Messenger reported that she changed her last name to “Bondi” at the suggestion of an Indianapolis journalist. Bondi noted, laughing, that “‘He said all of the letters in my name should be above the [credit] line.”

“The Shepherd of the Hills” promotional material, 1941, accessed IMDb.com.

Following her work with an Indianapolis stock theater company, Bondi began her professional acting career in 1919. She was promptly informed by her first director that she “‘had no more talent than on the head of a pin.'” This criticism equipped her to endure even the most difficult directors of stage and film. In 1925, Bondi made her Broadway debut, beginning a prolific Broadway career that would eventually deliver her to Hollywood acclaim. According to the Valparaiso Vidette Messenger, film producer Samuel Goldwyn viewed her Broadway performance as a bigoted neighbor in the three-year run of Elmer Rice’s “Street Scene” and brought her to Hollywood.

From “dowagers to harridans,” Bondi deliberately chose character work, embodying each of the characters she played. In 1929, the Valparaiso Vidette Messenger printed excerpts of colorful New York reviews of Bondi’s portrayals:

“As a catty and scandal mongering neighbor Miss Beulah Bondi never overplays a role that would tease a lesser actress to do so.”

“Beulah Bondi who was so good in ‘Saturday’s Children’ and so amusing in ‘Cock Robin,’ turns out a gossipy busy body with remarkable detail and rare effect.”

In “Street Scene:” “the comedy relief is intrusted [sic] to the greatest character actress in America, Beulah Bondi. Hers was a magnificent performance.”

Bondi reflected in 1976 that “With each part, I ‘meet the woman’ for the first time when I read the script . . . And then I imagine her past life-what made her into the character she is.” She appeared in over 50 major films, appearing with Hollywood greats such as Clark Gable, Greta Garbo, Joan Crawford, Fred MacMurray, Barbara Stanwyk, and of course her “son” Jimmy.

Beulah Bondi, James Stewart, Guy Kibbee, and Ruth Donnelly in “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington,” courtesy of Getty Images, accessed IMDb.com.

The Vidette Messenger noted that Bondi came to be greatly respected by directors because she:

“was never given ‘The Grand Build-up’ by inspired press agents. She is just one of the ‘old timers’ on the various lots, highly capable and highly dependable. Neither temperamental nor demanding, she is an actress to delight both producers and directors. She choses [sic] her parts with great discrimination, asking always the best, and always giving her best.”

Montage: The Journal of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Vol. 1 No. 1, (May 1939), p.22, accessed Margaret Herrick Library, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Bondi received recognition and accolades for her supporting roles, receiving commendation by the New York Times for her role in the 1939 film On Borrowed Time, in which she played opposite Lionel Barrymore. She was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress in 1936 for The Gorgeous Hussy and 1938 for Of Human Hearts. At the sunset of her career, Bondi received an Emmy award in 1977 for Outstanding Lead Actress for a Single Appearance in a Drama or Comedy Series for her portrayal as Aunt Martha on an episode of The Waltons.

The Vidette Messenger aptly concluded in 1976 that Bondi “deserves a place in the series of local celebrities-and unlike some who have gone off to conspicuous success in the entertainment world-she never belittled the town that was the scene of her childhood. She is a product of Valparaiso-and proud of it.” In her 80s, Bondi quipped to the newspaper that same year “‘I never played an actress my own age . . . I now play girls of 16.'” The acclaimed Hoosier passed away on January 12, 1981 in Hollywood, leaving behind a legacy of compelling silver screen characters.

Jo Mannies, “Beulah’s Debut 47 Pages Long,” Valparaiso Vidette Messenger, April 13, 1976, 1.

Last Royal Stewart

In 1807 the Cardinal Duke of York, Prince Henry, (brother of Prince Charles Edward) died, ending the male line of the Royal Stewarts. George III, King of England, was bequeathed the Scottish Coronation Ring, chivalric orders, and other royal and personal heirlooms by Prince Henry. As these orders always report to the King of Scotland, George became heir to the Stewarts' rights to the throne, and was named "Tanist" of the old Royal line.

With her succession to the throne of the United Kingdom, Queen Victoria could claim the right "as Representative of the Family of Bonnie Prince Charlie" and that "no one could be a greater Jacobite than herself".

Though there is no direct male descent of the Stewart family to the current throne of Scotland and England, James VI's daughter Elizabeth was the ancestress of the House of Hanover, and of their successors on the British throne. The heir apparent still bears the ancient title "Prince and Steward of Scotland". So today, Prince Charles is Great Steward of Scotland because he is the female-line descent of Walter FitzAlan, the first Stewart. In the thirteenth century, the 4th Stewart of Scotland (a crusader) married the heiress of the Lord of Bute of the royal House of Isles - another of Prince Charles's dignities is that of Lord of the Isles.

Watch the video: Winchester 73. English 1950. Full Movie. James Stewart. Top hit movies (May 2022).