The house of Stuart was a royal family of Scotland and England. It traced its descent from a Norman baron who went to England with William the Conqueror
and whose second son Walter, in the service of David I of Scotland, became stewart, hence the name. Variant spellings have been used by various branches of the family, including Stewart and Steuart.
The first Stuart king of England was James I, who was already king of Scotland. His son Charles I was beheaded in 1649. Charles II restored the Stuarts to power, but his son James II alienated his countrymen in an attempt at restoring the Roman Catholic faith to England. James was overthrown. His oldest son was known as the Old Pretender and claimed the throne after the death of his father. The Old Pretender's son was known as the Young Pretender. He attempted to regain the throne for father, but failed.