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Help and advice for Kings of Scotland

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Kings of Scotland

Alexander I.,

King of Scots, son of Malcolm III., and Margaret, sister of Edgar Atheling, ascended the throne in 1107; and merited by the vigour and impetuosity of his character the appellation of The Fierce. He vigorously suppressed several insurrections which broke out in his kingdom, and successfully withstood the attempts of the English Archbishops to exercise jurisdiction in Scotland. He married one of the illegitimate daughters of Henry I. of England. Died, 1124.

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Alexander II.,

King of Scots, son and successor of William the Lion, was raised to the throne in 1214, being then in his 16th year. He aided the English barons against King John, but made peace with Henry III., whose sister Joan he married in 1221. He had the reputation of a singularly just and wise ruler. Died, 1249.

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Alexander III.,

King of Scots; was son of the preceding, and succeeded him 1249, when only eight years of age. He married Margaret, daughter of Henry III. of England, and lived upon terms of close friendship with his father-in-law, whom, in his wars with the barons, he assisted with 5000 men. In his reign Scotland was invaded by Haco, king of Norway, but the invaders were defeated, peace was made, and Alexander gave his daughter in marriage to Eric, the successor of Haco. The rest of his reign was peaceful, and he carried on the plans of his father for the good administration of the laws. Alexander was accidentally killed in 1285.

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David I.,

King of Scots, (second son of Malcolm III.), succeeded his brother, Alexander the Fierce, in 1124. He was the uncle of Empress Maude and also of her cousin Queen Matilda. He married Maud, grand-niece of William the Conqueror; and was Earl of Northumberland and Huntingdon when called to the Scottish throne. On the death of Henry I., king of England, he maintained the claim of his daughter Maud against King Stephen, and seized Carlisle, but was defeated at the battle of Northallerton in 1138. A negotiation was entered into the following year, by which Carlisle was suffered to remain in the possession of David. He died there in 1153.

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David II.,

(Bruce), King of Scots, was the son and successor of Robert Bruce, at whose death, in 1328, he was only five years old. On the invasion of Scotland by Baliol, David was sent to France; but his party prevailed, after a bloody contest, and he returned home in 1342. He made several inroads on England, but was taken prisoner at the battle of Nevil's Cross, 1346, conveyed to the Tower, and did not recover his liberty till 1357, on paying a heavy ransom. Died, 1371.

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James I.,

King of Scots, of the house of Stuart, born in 1394, was the son of Robert III. In 1405 he was taken by the English on his passage to France, and kept in confinement eighteen years. In 1424 he obtained his liberty, and severely punished those who had governed in his absence; for which, and some treacherous measures which he took to curb a lawless nobility, he fell a victim to assassins, who gained admission to his apartment at Perth, and murdered him in his bed, Feb.20, 1437.

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James V.,

of Scotland, succeeded, in 1513, on the death of his father, James IV., though only eighteen months old. At the age of 17 he assumed the government, and assisted Francis I of France against Charles V., for which the former gave him his daughter Margaret in marriage. On her decease he married, in 1539, Mary of Lorraine, daughter of Claude, Duke of Guise. James died in 1542, leaving his crown to Mary Stuart, his infant daughter, then only eight days old. A splendid portrait group of James V. and his second queen was lent by the Duke of Devonshire to the National Portrait Exhibition (1866).

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John de Baliol,

son of Sir John de Baliol , laid claim to the crown of Scotland on the death of queen Margaret in 1290. His claim was disputed by several competitors, one of whom was the famous Robert Bruce . But Edward I., to whom the matter was referred, decided in favour of Baliol, who immediately did homage for his kingdom to Edward. Baliol, however, irritated by the proofs of mastery assumed over him, made an alliance with the French king, and renounced homage to Edward. War followed, and the Scots being defeated in a battle near Dunbar, Baliol was sent, with his son, to the Tower of London. The intercession of the pope having procured his release, he retired to France, where he died in 1314.

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Malcolm III.,

called Canmore (Ceanmohr, or Great-head), King of Scots, was eldest son of Duncan, who was murdered by Macbeth in 1039. After Duncan's death Malcolm fled for safety to his kinsman, Siward, Danish Earl of Northumberland, and continued to live for many years in England. In 1054 Siward, with the sanction of Edward the Confessor, led an army into Scotland, encountered Macbeth near Dunsinane, defeated him, and left Malcolm in possession. Macbeth retired into the North, and the contest was only ended in 1056, by his defeat and death at Lumphanan. Malcolm remained at peace with England during the reign of Edward the Confessor, but on the accession of Harold he favoured the attempt of Tostig. After the battle of Hastings he welcomed to his court Edgar the Atheling, with his mother and two sisters, and soon married one of them, the Princess Margaret. In 1070 he invaded England, ravaged Durham, and carried off so many prisoners that for years after English slaves were found in every hamlet of Scotland. This raid was avenged by a more savage and destructive devastation of Northumbria by William the Conqueror. Malcolm agreed to do homage, and Edgar left his court, but he continued to give his protection to the English exiles. Disputes arose with William Rufus, and in 1091 Malcolm again invaded England, but retired without fighting. William invaded Scotland the next year, but peace was made by the mediation of Duke Robert and Edgar. In 1093 Malcolm once more made an incursion into England and besieged Alnwick Castle. He was attacked by Roger de Mowbray and killed in the battle, November 13th of that year. His queen, Margaret, heard the tidings, and died three days later.

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Robert (the) Bruce,

King of Scots, was born about 1274. He submitted for a time to Edward I, but joined the patriots after the victory at Stirling. In 1299 a regency was appointed, Bruce and his rival Comyn being at the head of it. For several years Bruce kept up the appearance of loyalty to Edward; but in 1306 he murdered Comyn, and soon after was crowned king at Scone. He was defeated by an English army and fled to the isles, his queen and family being captured and imprisoned. The war was renewed in the following year, but Edward's death delayed the decision of the struggle. Bruce twice invaded England, took almost all the fortresses in Scotland, except Stirling, and in 1314 totally defeated Edward II. at Bannock-burn. Peace was made with England in 1328, and a few months later Bruce died.

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Robert II.,

King of Scots, first of the Stuart line, was only son of Walter Stuart and Marjory, daughter of Robert Bruce, and was born in 1316. He took part in the battle of Halidon Hill, and acted a prominent part in the affairs of government during the minority of David II. He held the office of regent of Scotland during the captivity in England of his uncle David, 1346-1357, and succeeded to the throne on his death, in 1371. He was engaged for several years in war with England, in which he was aided by the French; lived chiefly in retirement during his latter years, the Earl of Fife being named regent in 1389; and died at Dundonald Castle, in 1390.

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Robert III.,

King of Scots, eldest son of Robert II., succeeded his father in 1390. He was probably about fifty years of age, and being of feeble character and indolent, left the chief power in the hands of his brother, the Duke of Albany (previously Earl of Fife). In the tenth year of his reign war broke out with England; Henry IV. invaded the kingdom, and the Percies made an inroad the next year, 1401. The defeat of Douglas by the Percies at Homildon Hill took place in 1402. Robert, to guard against the ambitious designs of the Duke of Albany, sent his son, James, to France; but the young prince was taken prisoner by the English on his way, and his father died, broken-hearted, in 1406.

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surnamed the Lion, King of Scots, was the second son of Prince Henry, only son of David I., and succeeded his brother Malcolm IV. December 9,1165. He took part with Henry II of England in the expedition to Brittany but subsequently supported the sons of Henry in their rebellion. He invaded England in 1173, but in the following year, July 12, he was surprised and captured, with sixty of his nobles, by Ranulph de Glanville, at Alnwick. Henry sent him to Normandy, and confined him in the castle of Falaise, where he remained till the following December. On doing homage to Henry for the kingdom of Scotland, and promising to give up to him five of his principal fortresses, he was released. William made a bold stand for the independence of the church in Scotland, by his resistance to the appointment, confirmed by Pope Alexander III., of John the Scot to the see of St. Andrew's. In 1181 the Pope excommunicated him, and laid the kingdom under an interdict. A new pope, Lucius III., reversed the decree and removed the interdict. After the accession of Richard I. he paid a sum of money, and was excused from homage and received back his castles. In 1200 William the Lion did homage to King John at Lincoln, but only for the lands which he held in England. Died at Stirling, December 4, 1214, and was buried in the Abbey of Arbroath, which he had founded in 1178, in honour of Thomas a' Becket. His remains were found in good preservation in 1816.

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The above information was gleaned from various sources and then put together by Colin Hinson ©1996.

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