James IV Stuart, King of Scotland, son of James III Stuart, King of Scotland and Margaret Oldenburg, Princess of Denmark.
Born Mar 18, 1471/72 at Edinburgh, West Lothian, Scotland, died Sep 9, 1513 at Battle of Flodden, Northumberland, England, approximately 42 years
James IV (b. March 17, 1473--d. Sept. 9, 1513, near Branxton, Northumberland, Eng.), king of Scotland from 1488 to 1513. An energetic and popular ruler, he unified Scotland under royal control, strengthened royal finances, and improved Scotland's position in European politics.
James succeeded to the throne after his father, James III, was killed in a battle against rebels on June 11, 1488. The 15-year-old monarch immediately began to take an active part in government. He extended his authority to the sparsely populated areas of western and northern Scotland and by 1493 had humbled the last lord of the Isles.
Although his reign was internally peaceful, it was disturbed by wars with England. Breaking a truce with England in 1495, James prepared an invasion in support of Perkin Warbeck, a pretender to the English throne. The war was confined to a few border forays, and a seven-year peace was negotiated in December 1497, though border raids continued. Relations between England and Scotland were further stabilized in 1503, when James married Margaret Tudor, the eldest daughter of the English king Henry VII; this match resulted, a century later, in the accession of James's great-grandson, the Stuart monarch James VI of Scotland, to the English throne as King James I.
James IV's growing prestige enabled him to negotiate as an equal with the rulers of conti nental Europe, but his position was weakened as he came into conflict with King Henry VIII of England (ruled 1509-47). In 1512 James allied with France against England and the major continental powers. When Henry invaded France in 1513, James decided, against the counsel of his advisers, to aid his ally by advancin g into England. He captured four castles in northern England in August 1513, bu t his army was disastrously defeated at the Battle of Flodden, near Branxton, o n Sept. 9, 1513. The King was killed while fighting on foot, and most of his no bles perished. James left one legitimate child, his successor, James V (ruled 1 513-42); in addition, he had many illegitimate children, several of whom became prominent figures in Scotland.
True to the ideal of the Renaissance prince, James strove to make his court a centre of refinement and learning. He patronized literature, licensed Scotland's first printers, and improved education. His career is recounted in R.L. Mackie's King James IV of Scotland (1958). [Britan nica CD '97]
James IV (1488-1513) James IV, born on 17 March 1473, was 15 when his father's enemies forced him to ride with them to the Battle of Sauchieburn, and for the rest of his life he wore an iron belt as a penance. 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.
Under James' vigorous rule, he extended royal administration to the west and north - by 1493, he had overcome the last independent lord of the Isles.
With his patronage the printing press came to Scotland, and the Royal College of Surgeons in Edinburgh, St Leonard's College, St Andrews an d King's College, Aberdeen were founded. He commissioned building work at the r oyal 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.
To begin with, relations with England were difficult: in 1495, James supported the pretender Perkin Warbeck in his claim to the English throne. Even so, he was anxious to maintain peace with England and concluded a peace treaty in 1502.
Married Aug 8, 1503 at Holyrood Abbey, Edinburgh, Scotland (10 years married) to:
Margaret Tudor, daughter of Henry VII King of England and Elizabeth Plantagenet.
Born Nov 29, 1489 at Westminster Palace, Westminster, Middlesex, England, died Oct 18, 1541 at Methven Castle, Perthshire, Scotland, 51 years, 1st marriage to: James IV Stuart, King of Scotland, 2nd marriage to: Archibald Douglas, 6th Earl of Angus, 3rd marriage to: Henry Stewart
1. Margaret Stuart
Born Jul 15, 1508
2. Arthur Stuart
Born Oct 20, 1509
3. James V Stuart, King of Scotland
Born Apr 10, 1512 at Edinburgh, West Lothian, Scotland
James V (1513-42) When James IV was kil led at Flodden, yet another royal minority ensued, for his son James V was only one year old. The Scots were reluctant to accept his English mother Margaret Tudor as Regent, and after her remarriage in 1514 they replaced her with James I V's half-French cousin, the Duke of Albany. Queen Margaret's tempestuous private life complicated her son's childhood, and after she divorced her second husband, Archibald Douglas 6th Earl of Angus, the Earl kidnapped young James. For two years he held him captive, showering him with gifts and introducing him to a round of unsuitable pleasures. James loathed his former stepfather, and finally managed to escape in 1528, to rule by himself.
James' personal rule began by savagely pursuing his opponents and he hounded the Earl of Angus out of Scot land. James combined suspicion of nobles with a popular touch, travelling anony mously among Scottish people as the 'Gudeman o'Ballengeich'. John Knox describe d him thus: 'he was called of some, a good poor man's king; of others he was termed a murderer of the nobility, and one that had decreed their whole destruction'.
In 1536 he decided to marry. A highly strung, intelligent man who alte rnated between black depression and bouts of feverish energy, he had already fa thered at least nine illegitimate children by a series of mistresses. He now chose as his wife Princess Madeleine of France, for he was eager to strengthen 'the Auld Alliance' against England. The Princess was tubercular, and she died in his arms on 7 July 1537, seven weeks after her arrival in Edinburgh. In 1538 he married another French lady, the widowed Mary of Guise, tall, well-built and already the mother of two sons. She had two more sons by James but they both died in infancy within hours of each other in 1541.
James V's uncle, Henry VIII, who had by now broken with the Roman Catholic Church and dissolved the monasteries, was urging him to do the same. He refused to listen to his uncle's persuasions and in 1542 failed to go to an arranged meeting with Henry at York. Furious, Henry launched an invasion of Scotland. Already ill, James marched south with his army, to defeat at the Battle of Solway Moss on the Scottish/English Border, on 24 November 1542.
Although he himself had not been present at the battle, James suffered a complete nervous collapse. Retiring to Falkland Palace in Fife he took to his bed with a high fever and, when a messenger came to tell him that his pregnant queen had given birth to a daughter instead of the hoped-for son, he believed that the Stewart dynasty was at an end. 'It cam wi' a lass and it will gang wi' a lass', he said, remembering how the crown had come to his family through Marjorie Bruce and fearing that no woman could ever rule his troubled nation. Six days later, he was dead.
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4. Alexander Stuart, Duke of Ross
Born Apr 30, 1514