Robert Stedall was educated at Marlborough College and McGill University, Montreal. He is a retired Chartered Accountant having fulfilled most of his career in the City of London. He was Master of the Ironmongers’ Company in 1989, being the sixth generation of his family to hold that position. He lives near Petworth in West Sussex.
With access to the voluminous records of the London Livery Companies, Stedall has been well placed to provide 'Men of Substance - The London Livery Companies' Reluctant Part in the Plantation of Ulster'. This is a meticulous and copiously illustrated record of the Companies’ part in the Ulster plantation from 1609 to about 1900 set within the context of Irish history. This is not well known. It was a difficult period for the Companies, for British settlers and for Ulster's local Gaelic inhabitants. The Companies have provided a legacy of fine market towns, churches of all denominations and the walled City of Londonderry, with its historic Cathedral. Londonderry was always the last recourse for the settlers against hostile attack.
Having written a family history Hunting from Hampstead (Book Guild – 2002), he embarked on a two volume history of Mary Queen of Scots and her son James VI while in Scotland, The Challenge to the Crown (Book Guild 2012) and The Survival of the Crown (Book Guild 2104). These books have been well received and are coupled with an acknowledged website www.maryqueenofscots.net which has a strong following. This groundbreaking two-volume history charts the decline of the Scottish monarchy under Mary, and its recovery under her son James, culminating in him ascending to the English throne after Elizabeth's death:
"The Challenge to the Crown" - Volume I: The Struggle for Influence in the Reign of Mary Queen of Scots 1542-1567
This covers the period until Mary's enforced abdication at Lochleven in 1567. It was published by the Book Guild on 25 July 2012.
"The Survival of the Crown" - Volume II: The Return to Authority of the Scottish Crown following Mary Queen of Scots' Deposition from the Throne 1567-1603
This deals with Mary's imprisonment and execution in England, and James's reign in Scotland, until he also became King of England in 1603. It is was published by the Book Guild on 27 February 2014.
More information can be viewed on his website: http://www.maryqueenofscots.net
Robert's first book 'Hunting from Hampstead' (Book Guild, 2002), came about after he chanced upon a bundle of perfectly preserved water colour sketch books from his father's estate. Each page was filled with beautiful, illustrated drawing of hunting and country life drawn by Cecil Stedall, his great Uncle. 'Hunting from Hampstead' tells the story of Cecil Stedall and his brothers, who hunted from the family home in Hampstead. They travelled to Palestine with their horses to fight in the First World War. It was illustrated throughout with Cecil's drawings and photographs taken both by Cecil and his mother. The book was warmly received and offers a fascinating window into a family's life at the turn of the 20th century.
Robert is currently writing Henry Lord Darnley The Life and Murder of a Queen’s Consort, to be published by Pen and Sword in the spring of 2017. He is a keen gardener and occasional poet. He lives in Petworth.