David Stewart, Duke of Rothesay, was the unfortunate victim of a royal family feud. His father was Robert III, the King of Scots. Unfortunately, when Robert took the throne in 1390, he lacked the backing he needed to rule effectively. Support among the nobility was for Robert’s younger brother, Robert Stewart, Duke of Albany. (That’s not a mistake—both brothers were called Robert at that point. Robert III had been born John Stewart, but he changed his name to Robert when he became king.) In 1399, David was appointed by his father to lieutenant of the kingdom, but his uncle wasn’t too pleased about the young lad gaining so much power. In order to maintain his stranglehold on Scotland, the younger Robert had his nephew arrested in 1401.
No one knows exactly what happened to David Stewart after that. It’s believed that he may have been starved to death in the dungeons. One story claims that he ate his own hands in a desperate bid to survive. The Duke of Albany claimed that David had simply died of dysentery. Either way, it’s believed that he was buried in an unmarked grave in Lindores Abbey, and the current owners of the land are using underground imaging in an attempt to locate the body. If they find it, they plan to use DNA to confirm it is the prince and set the record straight about how he died.