A wee Intro into Scottish History

Early in Alba











1st books

religious event
or person

King or Queen



treaty, law, publ.

Early Alba

Scottish nature between early Middle Stone Age (10.000 b.c.) and late Iron Age (a.d.)


What happened?

> 8000 b.c.

- end of last ice age
- glacier vanishes
- sea level rises
- return of life: juniper bushes and willow trees supported species like mammoth, woolly rhino (European) bison, reindeer, (European) elk

8000 - 7500 b.c.

- birch, humans and other species arrive

7600 b.c.

- evidence of peat

7500 b.c.

- sea level falling
- arrival of hazelnut

7350 b.c.

- last evidence of reindeer

6840 b.c.

- rising sea level




6500 b.c.


- elm and oak trees arrive
- early big mammals become extinct
- numbers of smaller ones increase: wolf, red deer, wild boar, bear, shrew-mouse, but also flocks of small birds and several larger ones (buzzard, owl), large shoals of fish, shellfish and various sea mammals

5500 b.c. - first pine trees in the Highlands

5450 b.c.

- sea level reaches (lowers) roughly today's height

4500 b.c.

- first evidence of agriculture
- weather warm and dry

3300 b.c.

- beginning decline of the elm trees

3000 b.c.

- maximum stock of trees reached
- already declining stocks in the far North and the isles





2800 b.c.

- pines advance into northern Scotland
- further general decline of trees elsewhere

2400 b.c.

- temp. regeneration of tree stocks in some areas

2000 b.c.

- rapid decline of pine stocks
- deforestation in the South

1500 b.c.

- increasing permanent agricultural use of the land

1200 b.c.

- increasing erosion and resulting deterioration of arable land

800 b.c.

- worsening of climate

500 b.c.

- further reduction of trees, esp. in the South

First settlers in Scotland


Who ...

... did what?

500.000 b.c.

c 6000 b.c. = mid. stone age
2600 b.c.

c 1500 b.c.
c 500 b.c.

very first settlers

first settlers
tribes: Brigantes, Coritani, Ordorvices, Catuvellauni, Trinovantes, Dumnonii, Atrebates, Cantriaci, Iceni (all South of Hadrian's Wall)

(Viking) settlements
iron working celts

likely to have reached Scotland between ice ages,
reach Scotland
- tribal Kings in Britain,
- first proof of Iron Age Kings around 600 b.c.
- English Channel evolved 5000-6000 b.c.
Skara Brae on Orkney founded
arrive in Scotland

Origins of the Kingdom
- Prehistoric Scotland north of the Forth was predominantly Pictish, i.e inhabited by the Brythonic Celts from central Europe
- ad 83 Julius Agricola defeated the Celts under Calgacus at the battle of Mons Graupius (victory over Caledonia = area north of Britannia) > not consolidated
- emperor Hadrian had to construct a defensive wall to contain the Picts





- the Romans withdrew in 407, Caledonia = Alba was divided between 4 tribes:

1) PICTS, of Celtic origin, Orkney to Forth (east) + Northern Argyll incl. Skye and Western Isles => Alba

2) SCOTS, of Celtic origin, Argyllshire, Dalriada = Dal Riata
> shaped the nation they gave their name to,

3) BRITONS, of Celtic origin, Strathclyde (Whithorn - Dumbarton, South of Antonine Wall, Northwest of Hadrian's Wall, North of Solway Firth)

4) ANGLES, NOT of Celtic origin, Lothian

- the Scots came from Dalriada = Antrim in Ireland in c. 500 ad and established a dalriadic dynasty with Fergus Mor mac Erc as King and Dunadd as capital
- Irish Scot Columba brought Christianity thus - by the conversion of the Druidic Picts - preparing the absorption of Pictland
- in 834 at a battle between Alpin (Dalriadic Scots) and Eoghann (Picts) both Kings died when overwhelmed by a Norse army thus settling the dispute
- Kenneth MacAlpin asserted his claim to the unified kingdom through a Scottish father and a Pictish kinswoman








- in contrast to the matrilineal Pictish succession, the Scots followed the system of tanistry, i.e. the during the lifetime of the previous monarch his successor was chosen from the Royal family and called tanaiste ríg = second to the king,
- this system of succession was abandoned by Malcolm II in favour of direct descent

- exclusive right of inheritance belonging to the first born (son) of the same parents [primus{1st} + genitura {birth}]


c. 500




The STONE of Destiny =








Stone of Scone = coronation chair for Scottisch Kings

- brought to Scotland by Fergus Mor mac Erc when establishing the Dalriadic dynasty


- Kenneth MacAlpin moved the Stone to the Pictish Centre of Scone for his own coronation in 834, successive kings were crowned on it


- Edward I captured the Stone and took it to London's Westminster Abbey where it has remained (left)

Scottish Monarchy from Kenneth MacAlpin (834+) to
James VI of Scotland = James I of England (1603)


Who ...

... did what?

80 Romans - under Agricola reach the Tay
c 123 Romans - Hadrians Wall built
140 Romans - Antonine Wall built
c 400 St Ninian - arrives in Scotland
c 500 Irish settlers - founded Dalriada
c 550 Angles - settle in south-east Scotland
563 St Columba - founds Monastery on Iona
794 Vikings - first raids
617 St Donan - a missionary, was killed together with 52 of his followers on the Isle of Eigg



Ecgfrith of Northumbria

- defeats Pictish army

- tries to invade Pictland, but was defeated by king Bridei (relatedto kingdom Strathclyde) at the Battle of Nechtan Pass (or Nechtansmere) near Forfar > possibly the event depicted on the nearby found Stone of Aberlemno (100 years later)
Bridei deals with the Anglosaxons and restores royal authority in Pictland


Civil war in Dal Riata, 1st sea battle in Brit. history

-761 Angus mac Fergus (Pict)

- safeguards independence
- seizes Dunadd and becomes sovereign over Dalriada (and Pictland)
- had he been successful with his ambitions regarding the kingdom of Strathclyde, Scotland could have been called Pictland today

  789 Cenel nGabhrain

- of one of the leading 3 families of Dalriada
- unites Pictland and Scotland after 20 years of independence

    House of Alpin



Vikings - first Viking attack on Iona
- arrive on Iona, destroy the monastery and kill the monks
- few manage to escape to Ireland (Kell)
834 Alpin - died
Kenneth I MacAlpin
- son of Alpin
- 843 Union of Picts and Scots to form ALBA, or Scotia
- according to the 10th century Scottish Chronicle he invaded Lothian 6 times unsuccessfully
- in symbolic acts he moved the kingdom's center from Dalriada to the east:
1) the Stone of Destiny was taken to Scone where he was crowned King of Scotia
2) St Columba's relicts were transferred from Iona to Dunkeld (Constantine II had taken them to St Andrews in 943)
860-863 Donald I - son of Alpin
- crowned at Scone
863-877 Constantine I

- son of Kenneth MacAlpin
- crowned at Scone

877-878 Aed - son of Kenneth MacAlpin
- crowned at Scone
Eochaid (& Giric)

- son of the daughter of Kenneth MacAlpin
- crowned at Scone

890 Vikings

- founded earldom of Orkney

589-900 Donald II - son of Constantine I
- crowned at Scone
900-942  Constantine II - son of Aed
- crowned at Scone
942-954 Malcolm I - son of Donald II
- crowned at Scone
954-962 Indulf - son of Constantine II
- crowned at Scone
- 960 Inulf takes Edinburgh
962-967 Dubh

- 1st son of Malcolm I
- crowned at Scone

967-971 Cuilean - son of Indulf
- crowned at Scone
971-995 Kenneth II - 2nd son of Malcolm I
- crowned at Scone
Constantine III
- son of Cuilean
- crowned at Scone
997-1005 Kenneth III - son of Dubh
- crowned at Scone
Malcolm II - son of Kenneth II,
- crowned at Scone
- 15th and last MacAlpin king
- 1018 battle of Carham; Lothian annexed
- failed to produce a son and therefore cleared the way for his grandson Duncan by murdering the grandson of Kenneth III > this decision to coose a direct descendant was a first step in the substitution of primogeniture for tanistry
  House of Atholl/
House of Dunkeld

Duncan I

- grand son of Malcolm II via Malcolm II's eldest daughter Bethoc + Crinan, Mormaer of Atholl and lay abbot of Dunkeld,

- married Sybil, daughter or sister of Siward, Earl of Northumberland
- 2 sons: Malcolm III & Donald III Ban
- hereditary right to the throne threatened by Macbeth who claimed the throne on the grounds of tanistry
- 1040 Macbeth defeated and killed Duncan I in battle
- 1043 Strathclyde annexed by Scottish Kingdom
- first king to rule a fully united Scotland


- son of Malcolm II's daughter Donada, who married Finlaech (or Thane) of Moray
- 2nd husband to Gruoch (mit 1st husband=Gillacomgan > son: Lulach)
- Macbeth defeated and killed Duncan's father Crinan 1045 at Dunkeld
- 1054 defeated by Malcolm Canmore at Scone
- 1057 killed by Malcolm Canmore at Lumphanan

- 1107 Alexander I created the Bishopric of Dunkeld,
- todays Dunkeld Cathedral was rebuilt in the 14th/15th century

1057-1058 Lulach the Fool - son of 1st husband Gillacomgan + Gruoch (2ndly married to Macbeth)
- 1058 killed by Malcolm Canmore at Strathbogie
  House of Canmore  

Malcolm III Canmore










Alnwick Castle

- son of Duncan I + Sybil
- Canmore = Ceann Mor = bighead or great chief
- 1st married Ingibiorg = daughter of Finn Arnasson, widow of Thorfinn, Jarl orf Orkney > son: Duncan II (1094)
- 2nd married St Margaret in 1069 (d. 1093), daughter of Edward Atheling of England (Anglo-Saxon heir to the english throne, fleeing from Norman William the Conqueror) > 3 sons: Edgar, Alex I, David
- Margaret - according to the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle - transformed Scotland: 'she was destined to increase the glory of god in that land' and led her illiterate husband 'to abolish the vices in which the nation had indulged in in the past', by doing so she actually persuaded Malcolm to undermine the Celtic tradition, romanise the Celtic church, substitute Saxon for Gaelic as the court language and he replaced the clan system with a form of feudalism
- his dream of extending his kingdom into Engalnd turned into a nightmare when William advanced into England:
- 1072 in Abernethy Malcolm III was forced to submit to William the Conqueror and deliver his son Duncan to the English court as hostage
- he made 5 invasions into England,
- 1093 ambushed and killed at Alnwick Castle, Northumberland

- St Margaret's Chapel (Edinburgh Castle), begun by Malcolm III 's Margaret where she spent most of her time and died 11/1093 after hearing of the death of her husband and eldest son Alnwick

1093-May 1094
Donald III Ban

- son of Duncan I + Sybil
- sought refuge in the Wstern Isles after the death of his father Duncan in 1040
- gained wide popularity by opposing to his brother's anti-Celtic innovations
- claimed the crown on grounds of tanistry

- 1093 Queen Margaret's body was secretly taken to Dunfermline Abbey for burial when Donald Ban attacked Edinburgh Castle on the Death of Malcolm Canmore

- 1094 Malcolm Canmore's son Duncan (backed by English William Rufus) deposed Donald

May-Nov 1094 Duncan II - eldest son of Malcolm III 1st mar. with Ingibiorg of Orkney
- sent to the English court as hostage after his father submitted to William the Conqueror at Abernethy
- close friendship with Rufus, whose army enabled Duncan to depose Donald Ban in May 1094
- claimed the throne by primogeniture, but was unpopular in Scotland because of being an English vassal
- defeated and killed by the combined effort of his stepbrother Edmund and Donald Ban at Mondynes
Nov 1094-1097 Donald III Ban again and his cousin Edmund

- see above
- after being deposed by Duncan Donald joint forces with cousin Edmund (one of Malcolm and Margaret's 6 sons) to defeat and kill Duncan II.
- together they ruled Scotland, Donald the Celtic Scotia and Edmund in Lothian and Strathclyde
- they were opposed by Edmund's brother Edgar who, declaring himself an English vassal of William Rufus, enlisted an English army to overthrow the royal pair
- Edmund was pardoned and became a monk
- Donald was blinded and sentenced to life imprisonment
- as a reprisal Donald strangled his nephew David's eldest son
- burried at Dunkeld and reinterred at Iona

1098-1107 Edgar,
The Peacable

(hier spez. & zu gut dts.: das WeichEi)
- 4th son of Malcolm III 2nd mar.
- owed his victory over Donald and Edmund to his superior William Rufus
- his submissive attitude, passive gift of the Western Isles to king Magnus Barelegs of Norway, his encouragement of Anglo-Norman immigrants into Scotland earned him the derisory nickname 'the Peacable'



Magnus Barelegs







- takes the Western Isles
- St Magnus Cathedral in Kirkwall, Orkney






earls place

bishops place

1107-1124 Alexander I, The Fierce - 5th son of Malcolm III 2nd mar.
- married Sibylla (illegitime daughter of Henry I (who in turn married Alexander's sister Maud) produced no offspring)
- ferociously dealt with an uprising on behalf of a descendant of Lulach the Fool in Moray
- though technically a vassal of the English King hestood for a distinctively Scottish identity especially in ecclesiastical matters
- though Scotland had no archbishop he dissuaded Scottish bishops from accepting the authority of York and appointed his mother's biogrpher Turgot to the see of St Andrew's
- succeeded by his fraternal lieutenant David I
David I, The Saint

- 6th (last) son of Malcolm III 2nd mar.
- married Matilda of Huntingdon, grand-daughter of earl Siward of Northumbria
- had a legitimate claim to a large part of northern England
- one of the greatest Kings, was brought up at the court of Henry I
- played politics by switching his support between Henry I's daughter Matilda and her cousin Stephen
- on Henry I's death he marched into England taking Carlisle and Newcastle before
- in 1138 he was defeated at the battle of Standard
- King Stephen was in no position to alienate David, and by the Treaty of Durhamn, 1139, DAvid gained control over Northumbria
- his impact on Scottland was immense and he systematically transformed the Celtic society into a feudal one by encouraging Anglo-Norman tenants
- he founded royal burghs (Stirling, Dunfermline, Edinburgh)
- issued the first Scottisch coinage, thereby facilitating foreign trade
- he honoured his mother's legendary piety by remodelling St Margararet's Chapel
- and establishes monastic centres (Melrose, Holyrood)
- as well as imposing the rule of law on his kingdom he influenced linguistic developments so that while the Scottish folk spoke Gaelic, 'Inglis' - a variant of English - was adoopted as the speech of southern Scotland
- his only son, earl Henry, died a year before him, so he appointed his grandson Malcolm as his successor
- after David I's death the Cistercian historian Ailred of Rievaulx wrote an apposite eulogy:

'O desolate Scotia, who shall console thee now?
He is no more, who made an untilled and barren land a land that is pleasant and plenteous'

1153-1165 Malcolm IV,
The Maiden
- 1st son of Henry, Earl of Huntingdon (son of David I + Matilda) + Ada, daughter of William de Warenne, Earl of Surrey
- 1 year after David I's grandson succeeded to the throne of Scotland, Henry II became King of England and in 1157 Malcolm IV was forced to renounce his rights to Northumbria
- in Scotland he was more successful, using his own brain and the brawn of his Anglo-Nprman tenants to keep peace in the Highlands
- his nickname refers to his vow of Chastity

William I,
The Lion


- born 1143, succeeded his unmarried elder brother
- 2nd son of Henry + Ada (see above)
- 1170 sacrilegious murder of Thomas Becket on Henry II's impetuous order
- 1174 invasion of England, defeated and captured at Alnwick
- imprisonment in Normandy
- 1175 Treaty of Falaise: William I recognises Henry II as overlord of Scotland
- 1189 bought back the sovereignity of Scotland by donating 10,000 merks to Richard I's 3rd crusade > Quit-claim of Canterbury reverses Treaty of Falaise: Scotland recovers her independence
- married Ermengarde (d. 1234), daughter of Richard, Viscount de Beaumont > son: Alexander II
- foolishly paid a joint dowry of 15,000 merks to secure the marriage of his two daughters to King John's sons, a bargain broken by the English king





Alexander II


- born 1198, son of William I the Lion + Ermengarde
- 1st mar. Joan (d. 1238), daughter of John, King of England
- 2nd mar. Marie, daughter of Enguerand III, Baron de Coucy
- on hius accession to te throne English King John declared he would: 'hunt the red fox cub from his den'; Alexander reciprocated by backing the Barons who made John seal the Magna Charta in 1215
- as brother-in-law he demanded from John the return of William the Lions joint dowry as well as Northumbria
- a diplomatic treaty of York settled the dispute by fixing the Border on the Tweed-Solway line
- the English felt offended by his 2nd marriage because they feared a Franco-Scottish alliance






Alexander III

- son of Alexander II + Marie de Coucy
- aged 8 when he succeeded to the throne
- aged 10 when he married the daughter Margaret, daughter of Henry III of England
- cleverly avoided the issue of England's feudal superiority with Henry III, established good relations with Edward I
- the Scottish population of around 400,000 enjoyed a Golden Age of prosperity: towns like Berwick grew rich of foreign trade, wool, fur, fish were exported, churches and castles proliferated
- Alex also delt with the Norse threat and regained the Western Isles from old King Hakon of Norway at the
- Battle of Largs,
- Treaty of Perth cedes Western Isles to Scotland
- glitter faded when Queen Margaret, and soon afterwards their three sons, died, leaving the King's grnaddaughter Margaret, Maid of Norway as the heir apparent, in the hope of producing yet another male heir he ...
- married 2nd wife: beautiful Yolande (daughter of Robert IV, Count of Dreux)
- 5 month later Alexander chose a tempestuous night to ride to Kinghorn (and his wife Yolande) during which his horse stumbled and threw him right over the cliffs to his death
- lamento of a Scottish poet:

When Alexander aur king was dede
That Scotland held in love and le
Away was sonse of ale and breid
Of wine and wax, of game and glee


Maid of Norway

- daughter of Margaret (daughter of Alexander III, died in childbed) + Eric II, Magnusson, King of Norway 1280-1299
- aged three when she became queen of Scotland
- by the treaties of Salisbury 1289 and Birgham 1290 Edward I took advantage of the situation by arranging a marriage between the maid and his son and heir Edward (II) but theh marital union of Scotland and England was not to be - Margaret died in Orkney from sea sickness on the voyage from Norway
(in 1300 a woman claiming to be the maid was burned as "The False Maid" at Bergen)


David (no king!),
earl of Huntingdon

- 3rd son of Henry + Ada see above, brother of Malcolm IV and William I, d.1219
- married Matilda, d. 1233, daughter of Hugh Keveliock, Earl of Chester

- had a 1st daughter Margaret who married Alan, Lord of Galloway, they had a daughter Devorghuilla, d.1290, who married John Balliol

- had a 2nd daughter Isbel (d. 1251) who married Robert Bruce (1), Lord Annandale > son Robert Bruce (2) who married Isobel (d.1254) daughter of Gelbert de Clare, 4th earl of Gloucester> son Robert Bruce (3, d.1304) who married Margaret, Countess of Carrick, widow of Adam de Kilconcath > son Robert I Bruce who reigned 1306-29



- Interregnum:

- House of Canmore died with the Maid of Norway
- 13 competitors laid claim to the vacant Scottish throne
- 2 of them were descended from David I's son earl Henry:
1) John Balliol (great-grandson of David I)
2) Robert Bruce, 5t Lord of Annandale (grandson of David I)
- Edward I of England was asked to decide The Great Cause
- Edward summoned a court of 104 auditors to Norham
- Edward persuaded both of them to acknowledge him as overlord of Scotland and, at Nov. 17th 1292, declared in favour of Balliol


House of Balliol






John Balliol
'Toom Tabard' or 'Tyne Tabard'
(= Empty Coat)

- born c. 1250
- crowned at Scone, where for the last time a Scottish King sat on the Stone of Destiny, on St Andrew's Day 1292
- went to Newcastle to re-affirm the overlordship of Edward I
- subsequently Edward took every opportunity to humiliate John
- when Edward insisted that John help him with military service against France ...
- John, in 1295, signed a treaty with France initiating the Auld Alliance (King Philip IV of France)
- Edward responded the following year by invading Scotland and crushing the Balliol's revolt
- 1296 Scots defeated at Battle of Dunbar, April 27th
- July 11th John surrendered when Edinburgh Castle fell
- John deprived of his throne
- Scotland's Independence seriously threatened
- at Brechin John was forced to pledge Scotland to Edward and - before being sent to the Tower - Edward had the royal arms stripped from John's tunic (earning him the nickname 'Toom Tabard' = empty coat)

- liberated/released in 1299 he died 1315 (or 1313?) in retirement in Castle Galliard in Normandy
- married Isobel de Alianora, daughter of John de Warenne, earl of Surrey > son: Edward Balliol 8-12 1332 and for periods between 1333-1346, d.1363

- Edward (Hammer of the Scots) took the Stone to Westminster and proceeded to hammer the Scots into submission but endless pressure rebounded with the emergence of William Wallace of Ederslie in 1297

>> Interregnum >> wars of independence >>









- the rising
- murdered the English sheriff of Lanark
- harrassed the English court at Scone
- brilliantly defeated the English at the
Battle of Stirling Bridge
- took the title 'Guardian of Scotland'

- 1298 defeated by Edward I at the Battle of Falkirk and went underground for 7 years
- captured near Glasgow, tried at Westminster for treason to an English king he had never acknowledged
- executed at Smithfield August 24th 1305,
hanged, drawn, quartered, his piked head displayed at London Bridge, the 4 bits of his body were sent to Newcastle, Berwick, Stirling and Perth


House of Bruce






June 24th 1314




Robert Bruce =

Robert I, 2nd Earl of Carrick
(1253-1304 1st earl of C.)

- 1st married Isobel (= Isabella of Mar), daughter of Donald, 6th earl of Mar > daughter Marjorie (d.1316) who married Walter, High Stewart of Scotland > son Robert II
- 2nd married Elizabeth (d.1327), daughter of Richard de Burgh, 3rd earl of Ulster > son David II
- English defeated at Battle of Bannockburn (near Stirling)
- Declaration of Abroath sets out Scottish Independence
- Treaty of Edinburgh-Northampton confirms independence

- older brother (Robert Bruce 1210-95 desc. of a younger brother of William the Lion) des 1st Earl of Carrick transferred to him the claim of the throne (1292, when John de Balliol became King of Scots)
- supported Edward I against Balliol in 1296
- in 1298 Wallace and John 'Red' Comyn replaced him as joint Guardians
- 1302 after a fierce quarrel with Comyn Bruce returned to the English fold and obtained a pardon from Edward I
- on 10th Feb. 1306 Bruce stabbed his rival Comyn in GreyFriar's Church, Dumfries and was therefore outlawed by Edward I and excommunicated by Clement V.
- Not accepting his life as a fugitive he claimed the throne as great-great-grandson (?) David I and was crowned at Scone on 25 March 1306
- restoring independence to Scotland was made easier when Edward II (whose affair with Piers Gaveston consumed much of his time) replaced Edward I in 1307
- at his 1st Parliament Bruce was fortified by declarations of loyalty and
- started clearing the English out of Scottish castles
- 1314 only Stirling held out
- wins Battle of Bannockburn against Edward II's 20,000
- 1320 Declaration of Arbroath (Scottish declaration of independence) sent to Pope John XXII who waited 4 years before recognising the rightful King of Scotland
- 1327 Bruce harrassed the English until Edward III acknowledged his sovereignty and accepted his heirs as Scottish kings
- Treaty of (Edinburgh-) Northampton 4th May 1328
- Bruce died in 1329
- Bruce burried in Dunfermline Abbey
- his heart was taken to the Holy Land by Sir James Dougles (killed at Granada, Spain in 1330) returned to Scotland and burried in Melrose Abbey

- he changed sides 5 times,
- didn't give much indication of future greatness in his first years ... but his death at the age of 55 caused doughty warriers to weep


David II

- son of Robert I Bruce + Elizabeth de Burgh
- 1st married Joan (d.1362) daughter of Edward II, King of England
- 2nd married Margaret (div. 1370, d.1375), daughter of Sir Malcolm Drummond and widow of Sir John Logie > no heir > attempted divorce ...

- 1332 Forces of David II defeated by Edward Balliol (son of John Balliol) at Dupplin Moor, Perth
- Edward Balliol crowned at Scone but quickly ejected from Scotland by forces loyal to David II
- 1333 Balliol back to defeat the Scots at Halidon Hill, Berwick
- David II fled to France for Safety, and the Scots, under Robert the Bruce's grandson Robert Stewart, rallied a 2nd time
- Edward III invades Scotland
- 1341 David II returns to claim the throne and invaded England on behalf of his French friends
- 1346 David II captured at Battle of Neville's Cross (near Durham) and held in the Tower of London, in captivity became friendly with Edward III
- decision to produce an alternative heir to Robert Stewart, Guardian of Scotland in his absence
- 1348 Scotland afflicted by the Black Death
- 1357 Treaty of Berwick releases David II (100,000 merks)
- 1363 David II offers the Scottish throne to Edward III ()


House of Stewart


- widening gap between the Lowlands (increasingly prosperous and cultured > feudalism and bonds of kinship held society together) and the Highlands (supposedly uncivilised barbarity of the Gaelic speakers > clan system) during the reign of Robert II + III
- all that resulting in glorified bandits such as the king's (R III) brother Alexander = "Wolf of Badenoch" and his Caterans (= lightly-armed highland warrior)


Robert II

- the name Stewart derives from an ancestor Walter who was appointed High Stewart of Scotland by David I and henceforth the title became hereditary
- son of Marjorie (died giving birth to the founder of the House of Stewart) + Walter (see above)

- 1st married Elizabeth (d. 1355), daughter of Sir Adam Mure of Rowallan a) son: Robert III
b) daughter Lady Jean, who married 1st Sir John Keith, 2nd Sir John Lyon of Glamis (ancestors of HM Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother) and 3rd Sir James Sandilands
- 2nd married Euphemia (d.1387), daughter of Hugh, Earl of Ross
- produced 21 children (13 legitimate + 8 illegitimate)

- became King at the age of 54, experienced
- he had served as Guardian of Scotland during forced absence of David II

- 1373 Act of Succession > eldest son by his first marriage to Elizabeth Mure should succeed him
- his heir reigned already on his behalf during his weiry old years


Robert III
(= John,
Earl of Carrick,
nicknamed John Faranyeir =

- son of Robert II + Elizabeth,
- married Annabella (d.1401), daughter of Sir John Drummond
> son1: David, (1st Scottish!) Duke of Rothesay: died 1402 in Albany's imprisonment
> son2: James I
- depressive and invalid, when he succeeded to the throne
- declared unfit to govern before crowned
- after the coronation his brother Robert, Earl of Fife, Duke of Albany, was made Governor of the realm, probably responsible for the death of David (son of Robert III)
- increasing bastard feudalism, decreasing royal income
- Prince James was captured by English Pirates off Flamborough Head and sent to the English King, Henry IV, while on his way to France;
- Robert III (on hearing the bas news) died 1406 soon afterwards, succeeded by his son James

- Albany did not get to the throne, died 1420, succeeded by his incompetent son Murdoch as










James I



- son of Robert III + Annabella
- married Joan (d. 1445), daughter of John Beaufort, Earl of Sommerset, grandson of Edward III > sons: James II +3 more
- remained with Henry IV for 18 years, received education
- James returned to Scotland after the death of his father, Robert III, and after a ransom (60.000 merks) had been paid and hostages handed over
- after the Treaty of London (1423) he was freed and crowned at Scone

- Robert Duke of Albany acts as governor for James
- dies 1420, succeeded by his son Murdoch
- 1424 return of James I
- on his return he had the second Duke of Albany and his son Murdoch executed as traitors

- vigorous reforms, improvement of revenue, fight against lawlessness of the nobles (headed by the Earl of Atholl)
- restored respect for the monarchy
- foundation of the court known later as the 'SESSION'
- exasperated by the decline of power the nobles plotted against James and assassinated him in Perth in 1437, hoping to win the throne for Walter, earl of Atholl, younger son of Robert II's second marriage to Euphemia of Ross
- James was burried in the church of th Charterhouse in Perth
- The Kingis Quiar (The King's Book) entitles James to high ranks among the followers of Chaucer
- Joan married, secondly, Sir James Stewart, the Black Knight of Lorn


- University of St Andrews founded


James II
of Scotland
'the Fiery Face'

(not to be confused with James II of Great Britain + Ireland)

- son of James I + Joan
- married Marie (d. 1463), daughter of Arnold, Duke of Gueldres > 4 sons: James III + 3
- aged 6, crowned in Holyrood Abbey (ending the tradition that had endured at Scone since Kenneth MacAlpin)
- Scotland was ruled by two rivals:
1) Chancellor Sir William Crichton, keeper of Edinburgh Castle
2) Governor Sir Alexander Livingston, keeper of Stirling Castle
- their fear of a Douglas coup was removed when they invited William, 6th earl of Douglas (Great-grandson of Robert III), and his brother to Edinburgh Castle where they were murdered 'Black Dinner of 1440'
- 12 years later James II stabbed William, 8th earl of Douglas, and defeated the Douglases at Arkinholm
- nobles were widely under control, consolidation of the kingdom followed, even the Lords of the Isles were involved in his attempt to take back Roxburgh from the English
- 1460 (while supporting Henry VI in the Wars of the Roses) James was killed at the siege of Roxburgh, when a canon he was supervising exploded



- 'Black Dinner' murder of the Douglases
- Douglases defeated at the Balttle of Arkinholm


- University of Glasgow founded



James III





- born 1451, son of James II + Marie
- coronation at Kelso AbbeyAugust 10th 1460, aged 9
- married Mararet (d. 1486), daughter of Christian I, King of Denmark> son: James IV
- Marie of Gueldress ruled as Regent until her death 1463
- the kingom was governed in turn by Bishop Kennedy and the Boyd family
- external threats soved by signing a truce with Edward IV
- 1472 Scotland gains Orkney and Shetland as marriage dowry from the bride's father (King of Denmark)
- challenged by king's brother Alexander, Duke of Albany and John, earl of Mar > both arrested in 1479
- Mar died suspiciously, Albany escaped from Edinburgh and after reaching England was recognised by Edward IV as vassal King Alexander IV 1482
- Albany invaded Scotland, the Scottish lords hanged the King's boyfriend Robert Cochrane and imprisoned the King for 3 month in Edinburgh
- James tried to settle the differences with his brother Alexander, but Alex wanted the kongdom and ended as exile in France
- the lords rallied behind 15 years old Prince James (when James III wanted an earldom for his new boyfriend John Ramsay of Balmain) and the King lost the resulting battle and life at Sauchieburn, Stirling, and was burried beside his queen Margaret in Cambuskenneth Abbey
- assassinated, succeeded by his son James IV
- 1482 Baronial revolt of Lauder Bridge




James IV,
'... of the iron belt '





- born 1473, son of James III + Margaret
- crowned at Scone
- distressed at his unwilling participation in the death of his father, he wore an iron chain round his waist as a lifelong penance
- traditional qualities of a king, presided over a glittering court, asserted his powers as soon as he was crowned
- Poet William Dunbar: 'sae gracious .. and meek'
- Henry VII found him less mild
- James IV recognised Perkin Warbeck as Richard IV and made a token invasion of England on behalf of the Yorkist pretender
- in 1503 he married Magaret Tudor (d. 1541), daughter of Henry VII, King of England > son: James V
- political marriage
- under James IV Scotland was shaping up as a progressive country, printing press came to Scotland, architecture flourished, an organised navy was established
- the promissing reign ended tragically:
- bound by the auld alliance James supported France by an invasion in to England following the invasion of France led by Henry VIII > at the Battle of Flodden, September 9th 1513, the Scottish army was wiped out and the King's body was kept in England

- Margaret married 2ndly Archibald Douglas, 6th earl of Angus, 3rdly Henry Stewart, Lord Methven

- 1493 LORDSHIP of the ISLES to the crown
- 1495 University of Aberdeen founded
- 1496 Education Act provides legal trainig vor sons of nobility
- 1505/06 foundation (royal charter) of the Royal College of Surgeons


James V

- son of James IV + Margaret
- little over a year old when crowned at the Chapel Royal , Stirling, September 21st 1513,
- leading nobles offered Governorship to John Stuart, duke of Albany, who was opposed by King's mother, Margaret Tudor, and her second husband Archibald Douglas, 6th earl of Angus
- Albany left Scotlannd in 1524
- Angus took control over king and country in 1525
- 1528 King James V escaped and hounded Angus out of Scotland
- as a ruler James combine a suspicion of the nobility with sympathy for his poorer subjects,
- often travelled amongst them incognito as 'the Gudeman o' Ballengeich'
- stamped his authority on his kingdom by travelling throughout the land
- proved a generous patron of the Catolic church at a time of reformation
- encouraged satirical writers like Georg Buchanan and Sir David Lindsay
- married 1st Madeleine (d. 1537), daughter of Francis I, King of France
- married 2nd Mary of Guise (Lorraine?), (d. 1560), daughter of Claude, Duke of Guise> daughter Mary Queen of Scots,
- Protestand England and Catholic Scotland settled their differences in favour of Henry VIII at the Battle of Solway Moss, Nov. 24th 1542, Scots defeated
- ailing James V heared of the defeat and died soon afterwards, a week before his death at Falkland Palace on 14th Dec. his daughter Mary had been born
- the king prophesied: 'It came wit ha lass, it will pass with a lass'

- 1528 1st Scottish Protestant Martyr
- 1532 College of Justice established
- 1544/45 'Rough Wooing' of Henry VIII's troops
- 1547 Scots victory at Pinkie


Queen of Scots

- daughter of James V + Mary of Guise
- 1 week old when she became Queen of Scotland
- 9 month old when she was crowned at Stirling Castle on 9 September 1543
- apart from beeing the scottish queen, she is - as Margaret Tudor's grand daughter - also next in line to the English throne after the Children of Henry VIII ('Bloody Mary' and Elizabeth, Edward, ...?)
- by the treaties of Greenwich (1 July 1543) Regent Arran arranged for Mary to marry Henry VIII's son Edward, but Catholic interests led by Mary of Guise and Cardinal David Beaton opposed the plan by taking the royal infant to Stirling Castle
- Henry VIII began his 'rough wooing' of Mary by invading Scotland in 1544 and 1545, resulting in many deaths, Cardinal Beaton murdered 1546, Francis I of France and Henry VIII died 1547
- 1554 Mary of Guise proclaimed Regent
- Henri II proposed marriage between th Scottish queen and the dauphin Francis
- Mary went to France and married 24 April 1558 1st Francis II, King of France (1559-1560)
- a few months later 'Bloody Mary' Tudor died childless and the throne passed to her unmarried half-sister Elizabeth
- from a Catholic point of view Mary had the better claim >
- Henri II of France declared his daughter-in-law rightful queen of England (Henri died 1559, Mary's parents in 1560)
- 1560 Protestant rebellion (led by John Knox Scotland turns away from Catholicism while Mary was in in France)
- 19 August 1561 Queen Mary returns to Scotland, falls foul of Protestant Knox (and the weather)
- isolated in Scotland
- married 2nd cousin Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley, King Consort, created Duke of Albany 1565 > son: James VI of Scotland = James I of England
- married 3rd James Hepburn, 4th earl of Bothwell, created Duke of Orkney 1567, d.1578
- Darnley's immediate demonstrated his qualities by having her secretary David Riccio dragged from her presence and
- 1566 Murder of Rizzo, Child James born June 19th 1566
- Febr. 10th 1567 Murder of Darnley, (probably by the earl Bothwell, whom she married tragically three months later)
- Queen Mary was seized by the Protestnat army at Carberry Hill and taken to Lochleven Castle (where she miscarried bothwell's twins and was forced to abdicate)
- dramatically escaped to England where her cousin Elizabeth I put her under house arrest for the remaining 19 years
- from there Mary encouraged attempts to release her
- for her involvement in the Babington Plot to assassinate Elizabeth she was beheaded at Fortheringay Castle on February 8th 1587


James I of England =
James VI of Scotland

- son of Mary Queen of Scots and Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley, Duke of Albany (Stewart > Stuart!)
- married Anne (d. 1619), daughter of Frederick II, King of Denmark
- 1568 Mary flees into England
- 1578 Second Book of Discipline issued
- 1582 King James seized in the 'Raid of Ruthven'
- 1583 University of Edinburgh founded
- 1586 formal accord between James and Elizabeth I of England
- 1587 Mary Queen of Scots executed
- 1592 Authorisation of Presbyterian church government
- 1607 James succeeds to the English throne
- 1607 Union between Scotand and England rejected by the English
- 1610 Episcopal authority restored
- 1616 Education Act

primary sources:
- Parker, Michael, St John: Britain's Kings and Queens
- Bold, Alan: Scotland's Kings and Queens
- Ross, Stewart: Monarchs od Scotland
- Lewis, Brenda Ralph: Kings and Queens I & II
- Watson, Fiona: Scotland - a journey through history
- Wood, Tim: The Romans
- Wood, Tim: The Saxons and the Normans
- Wood, Tim: The Middle Ages
- Wood, Tim: The Tudors
- Wood, Tim: The Stuarts

secondary sources:
- lecture scripts from the 1990s, University of Leipzig, University of St. Andrews, Bradford and Ilkley Community College

- The Brockhampton Dictionary of British Kings and Queens
- Kenyon, J.P.: The Wordsworth Dictionary of British History
- PM History

further reding
- http://www.ibiblio.org/gaelic/Alba/alba.html
- http://www.ibiblio.org/gaelic/gaelic.html