||Alexander II (Dunkeld) King of Scots was a member of Scottish Nobility.|
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|King of Scots
4 December 1214 - 8 July 1249
Alexander was born 24 August 1198 at Haddington, Scotland, the only son of William I "The Lion," King of Scotland, and his queen, Ermengarde Beaumont. He was the first surviving legitimate son born to a reigning king of Scots for at least seventy years, and his birth was the cause for great celebration throughout Scotland. On 12 October 1201, when he was three years old, Alexander was recognized as heir to the throne of Scotland by the Scottish nobility gathered at Musselburgh. On 4 March 1212, at the age of thirteen, Alexander was knighted by King John of England at St Bridget's hospital at Clerkenwell, Middlesex. 
From that point on his father began seriously preparing Alexander for kingship, appointing him in the summer of 1212 to command an army against Guthred MacWilliam in Moray and Ross, and increasingly involving him in the business of the government. During the final days of his illness, King William gathered his court together and required them to pledge their support for Alexander's succession. Accordingly, within twenty-four hours of the king's death, on 6 December 1214 the sixteen year old boy was raised at Scone to the throne of Scotland in the presence of William Malvoisin, bishop of St Andrews, and the earls of Fife, Stratherne, Athol, Angus, Menteith, Buchan, and Dunbar.
Later historians have given Alexander II the nickname of "The Peaceful," but this is primarily because he codified a number of key principles into Scottish law. Among these were a legal remedy for landowners who were unjustly dispossessed of their property; royal courts (as opposed to religious courts) which decided disputes by jury rather than having disputes decided by ordeal and combat; and regularly holding these impartial courts in every province. He nevertheless ruled Scotland with an iron hand, successfully putting down any uprisings with ruthless force and unifying the country to an even greater extent than his father had managed to do.
For the most part he was able to maintain a stable relationship with England, accepting the authority of King John but not greatly respecting him. Alexander was one of the signers of the Magna Carta in 1215. He had a slightly better relationship with his brother-in-law, Henry III, although he refused to recognize English sovereignty over Scotland and neither completely trusted the other.
Alexander II married (first) Joan, daughter of John, King of England, and his queen consort Isabelle (Angoulême) de Lusignan. After her father's death, Joan's older brother Henry III of England, betrothed her to Alexander. They were married 19 June 1221 at York Minster.  Joan was ten years old, and Alexander was twenty-two. There were no children from this marriage.
In 1237, following a visit to Canterbury with her sister-in-law, the Queen of England, Joan became ill and was taken to London, where she died on 4 March 1237. She was only twenty-seven years of age. Her brothers, King Henry III and Richard, Duke of Cornwall, buried her in state at the church of the convent of Tarent in Dorset, which had been her wish.
Alexander II married (second) on 15 May 1239 at Roxburgh Marie, a daughter of Enguerrand de Coucy, Baron de Coucy (and great-grandson of King Louis VI of France), and his third wife, Marie de Montmirail. There were two children from this marriage:
Marie, Queen of Scots, divided her time after the king's death in 1249 between Scotland and France, and in 1257 married (secondly) Jean de Brienne, Grand Butler of France. This marriage is thought to have been an attempt to appease King Louis, who had imprisoned one of Marie's brothers. Marie and de Brienne separated in 1268 and she returned to Scotland, part of the condition of their separation being that de Brienne would receive a yearly pension of 500 merks from her dower. The exact date of her death is unknown, but thought to have been sometime in 1284 during another visit to France.
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