Alexander (Dunkeld) Dunkeld King Alexander II of Scots
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Alexander (Dunkeld) Dunkeld King Alexander II of Scots (1198 - 1249)

Born in Haddington, Scotlandmap
Ancestors ancestors
Husband of — married about 19 Jun 1221 in York Minster, Yorkshiremap
Husband of — married 15 May 1239 [location unknown]
Descendants descendants
Died in Kerrera, Scotlandmap
Profile last modified | Created 12 Sep 2010
This page has been accessed 10,504 times.
Scottish Nobility
Alexander (Dunkeld) Dunkeld King Alexander II of Scots was a member of Scottish Nobility.
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Discuss: Scotland

Preceded by
William I
King of Scots
4 December 1214 - 8 July 1249
Succeeded by
Alexander III

Contents

Biography

Family and Early Years

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.[1][2][3] 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.[4] 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.[5] 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.[6] [7]

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,[5] 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.[5] 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.[8][9]

King of Scotland

Later historians have given Alexander II the nickname of "The Peaceful,"[3] 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;[5] royal courts (as opposed to religious courts) which decided disputes by jury rather than having disputes decided by ordeal and combat;[5] and regularly holding these impartial courts in every province.[10] He nevertheless ruled Scotland with an iron hand, successfully putting down any uprisings with ruthless force[3] and unifying the country to an even greater extent than his father had managed to do.[11][12]

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.[3][12] He had a slightly better relationship with his brother-in-law, Henry III, although he refused to recognize English sovereignty over Scotland[3] and neither completely trusted the other.[13]

Marriages and Children

Joan Plantagenet

Alexander II married (first) Joan, daughter of John, King of England, and his queen consort Isabelle (Angoulême) de Lusignan.[1][2] 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. [14][15] Joan was ten years old, and Alexander was twenty-two. There were no children from this marriage.[1][2]

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.[13][16] 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.[16][17][18]

Marie de Coucy

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),[19] and his third wife, Marie de Montmirail.[1][20] 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.[1] This marriage is thought to have been an attempt to appease King Louis, who had imprisoned one of Marie's brothers.[19] 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.[19] The exact date of her death is unknown, but thought to have been sometime in 1284 during another visit to France.[2][19]

Children from Unknown Mistress(es)
  • Rohart of Scotland,[2] lay brother at Bucilly Abbey, d. 17 May (year unknown)[23]

Death

Alexander II, King of Scots, died from a fever 8 July 1249 on the Isle of Kerrera in the bay of Oban.[1][2] At his own request, he was buried at Melrose Abbey.[2][5][2]

Sources

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 1.9 Paul, Sir James Balfour. The Scotts Peerage. Edinburgh: D. Douglas (1904), vol. 1, p. 6.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 2.8 2.9 Richardson, Douglas. Royal Ancestry: A Study in Colonial and Medieval Families, 5 vols, ed. Kimball G. Everingham (Salt Lake City: the author, 2013), vol. 4, pp. 590-593 SCOTLAND 5. Alexander II.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 Ashley, Mike. British Kings & Queens. New York: Carroll and Graf Publishers (1998), p. 407.
  4. Scott, W.W. Ermengarde (Ermengarde de Beaumont). Oxford Dictionary of National Biography Online, 23 Sep 2004, available here by subscription.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 Stringer, Keith. Alexander II. Oxford Dictionary of National Biography Online, 23 Sep 2004, available here by subscription.
  6. Bain, Joseph. Calendar of Documents Relating to Scotland. London: H.M Public Recrd Office (1881), vol 1, p 90, #518.
  7. Dunbar, Sir Archibald H. Scottish Kings: A Revised Chronology of Scottish History 1005-1625. Edinburgh: D. Douglas (1899), p. 87.
  8. Dunbar, Sir Archibald H. Scottish Kings: A Revised Chronology of Scottish History 1005-1625. Edinburgh: D. Douglas (1899), p. 88.
  9. Skene, William F. John of Fordun's Chronicle of the Scottish Nation. Edinburgh: Edmonston and Douglas (1872), Annals pp. 275-276.
  10. Robertson, Eben William. Scotland Under Her Early Kings. Edinburgh: Edmonston and Douglas (1862), vol. 2, p. 49.
  11. Robertson, Eben William. Scotland Under Her Early Kings. Edinburgh: Edmonston and Douglas (1862), vol. 2, p. 46.
  12. 12.0 12.1 Duncan, A.A.M. Scotland: The Making of the Kingdom. The Edinburgh History of Scotland, vol. 1. Edinburgh: Oliver & Boyd (1975), p. 520.
  13. 13.0 13.1 Duncan, A.A.M. Scotland: The Making of the Kingdom. The Edinburgh History of Scotland, vol. 1. Edinburgh: Oliver & Boyd (1975), p. 534.
  14. Skene, William F. John of Fordun's Chronicle of the Scottish Nation. Edinburgh: Edmonston and Douglas (1872), Annals p. 284.
  15. Chronicle of Melrose, folio 13, p. 53, cited in Anderson, Alan Orr. Early Sources of Scottish History. Edinburgh: Oliver and Boyd (1922), vol. 2, p. 403.
  16. 16.0 16.1 Skene, William F. John of Fordun's Chronicle of the Scottish Nation. Edinburgh: Edmonston and Douglas (1872), Annals p. 287.
  17. Dugdale, Sir William. Monasticon Anglicanum. London (1846), vol. 5, p. 621.
  18. Hallen, Rev. A.W. Cornelius (ed). Scottish Antiquary. Edinburgh: T & A Constable, vol. 9 (1895), pp. 47-48, available here.
  19. 19.0 19.1 19.2 19.3 Stringer, Keith. Marie (née Marie de Coucy). Oxford Dictionary of National Biography Online, 23 Sep 200,available here by subscription.
  20. Dunbar, Sir Archibald H. Scottish Kings: A Revised Chronology of Scottish History 1005-1625. Edinburgh: D. Douglas (1899), p. 90.
  21. 21.0 21.1 21.2 21.3 Richardson, Douglas. Royal Ancestry: A Study in Colonial and Medieval Families, 5 vols, ed. Kimball G. Everingham (Salt Lake City: the author, 2013), vol. 4, pp. 593-595 SCOTLAND 6. Alexander III.
  22. PoMS doc 3/549/5 (Arbroath Lib. No. 309), 1233xNov 1258, Charter: "Alexander of Stirling, for the soul of the late Ermengarde, daughter of his lord king Alexander, has given, granted and by this charter established to Arbroath Abbey, in pure and perpetual alms....."
  23. Guyotjeanin. Chartrier de l'Abbaye Prémontrée de Saint-Yved de Braine (1134-1250), Mémoires et Docs. de l'Ecole des Chartes 49 (2000): 373 ("`7 May: [Obit] Roardi filii regis Scotie et cnversi Buciliensis.") cited in Richardson, Douglas. Royal Ancestry: A Study in Colonial and Medieval Families, 5 vols, ed. Kimball G. Everingham (Salt Lake City: the author, 2013), vol. 4, pp. 590-593 SCOTLAND 5. Alexander II.
See Also:
  • Birch, Walter de Gray. Catalogue of Seals in the Department of Manuscripts in the British Museum. London: by the trustees of the museum (1887), pp. 4-6.
  • Oram, Richard. Alexander II, King of Scots. Edinburgh: John Donald (2012).
  • Stringer, Keith. Joan. Oxford Dictionary of National Biography Online, 23 Sep 2004. available here by subscription.
  • Weir, Alison. Britain's Royal Families. London: The Bodley Head (1989), pp. 199-200.


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Comments: 11

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I have finished the work I am doing on this profile. If anyone spots a typo please correct or message me. Additional text that is supported by reliable sources is always welcome. Thanks,

Jen, for the Scotland Project

posted by Jen (Stevens) Hutton
I will be doing an update of this profile on behalf of the Scotland Project, because it is driving me crazy seeing it like this. If anyone has information or sources they believe should be included, please message me or post here. Thanks,

Jen

posted by Jen (Stevens) Hutton
Go for it, Jen. We don't want it to affect your mental health! ;)
posted by Bobbie (Madison) Hall
The linked sources have August 24 as his birthdate, not August 14. I do not have permission to edit. Please verify and change.
posted by Christopher Kenney
Thanks Christopher. I have corrected the birthdate and added a source. This profile is something of a mess; it needs better sourcing, a bio, and inline citations. I am putting it on the Scotland Project's to-do list and we will try to bump it close to the top. If one of the PMs would like to do some work on it in the meantime, that would be great.

Jen, for the Scotland Project

posted by Jen (Stevens) Hutton
558 Wikidata - Different death date
555 Wikidata - Different birth date
I have been looking for proof of Isabel of Athol being a mistress or wife of Alexander Dunkeld.

It appears, to me, that she has been connected to him in an attempt at linking to a royal family.

posted by Larry Herbstritt

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