James III (Stewart) King of Scots
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James (Stewart) King of Scots (1451 - 1488)

James (James III) King of Scots formerly Stewart
Born in Stirling Castle, Scotlandmap
Ancestors ancestors
Husband of — married 13 Jul 1469 in Holyrood, Edinburgh, Scotlandmap
Descendants descendants
Died at age 36 in Scotlandmap
Profile last modified | Created 24 May 2011 | Last significant change: 28 Aug 2022
15:23: Jen (Stevens) Hutton edited the Current Last Name and Preferred Name for James (Stewart) King of Scots (1451-1488). (conforming to Scotland Project naming protocols) [Thank Jen for this | 1 thank-you received]
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Scottish Nobility
James III (Stewart) King of Scots was a member of Scottish Nobility.
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Preceded by
James II Stewart
King of Scotland
3 August 1460 - 11 June 1488
Succeeded by
James IV

Contents

Biography

James III (Stewart) King of Scots is a member of Clan Stewart.
Roll of Honor
James III (Stewart) King of Scots was Killed in Action during Battle of Sauchieburn.

Family and Early Life

James was born on the 10th of July 1451 at Stirling Castle and baptised several months later at St Andrews,[1] the eldest son of James II, King of Scots, and his queen consort, Mary of Guelders.[2][3] At the age of nine he succeeded his father, and was crowned at Kelso Abbey on 10 August 1460.[4][5][3] He was immediately placed under the guardianship of the Queen Mother, Mary of Guelders, who also served for the next three years, if not officially as Regent of Scotland, certainly as a strong leader of the regency council who had the full support of the council.[6][7] Following the queen's death in December 1463, the young king's guardianship was assumed by her old rival, James Kennedy, archbishop of St Andrews.[8] At his death less than two years later (24 May 1465), the archbishop left to his own brother, Gilbert, Lord Kennedy, the responsibility of caring for James.[8] That guardianship came to an abrupt end 9 July 1466 when the Boyd family (led by Robert Lord Boyd and his brother Sir Alexander Boyd, keeper of Edinburgh castle) kidnapped the young king and, in a bloodless coup, assumed control of the government.[8][9]

Marriage and Children

James III, King of Scots, was married 13 July 1469 at Holyrood to Margaret of Denmark, daughter of Christian I, King of Denmark, Norway, and Sweden; Duke of Schleswig-Holstein; Count of Oldenburg and Delmenhorst; and Dorothea, Margravine of Brandenburg.[2][10] The groom had turned eighteen three days before his marriage, and his bride was thirteen years of age. Under the terms of the marriage contract 1) Scotland's debt owing on the Western Isles was completely written off; 2) King Christian agreed to pay 60,000 florin (£20,000) for Margaret's dowry, of which 50,000 was to be written off in return for Norway pledging its rights in Orkney to Scotland (as the king was unable to raise the remaining 10,000 florin, that amount was also written off in exchange for Norway pledging its rights in the Shetlands to Scotland); 3) James was to provide the Palace of Linlithgow and the Castle of Doune for Margaret's jointure; and 4) a third of the royal revenue was to be settled on Margaret if she survived her husband.[11]

There were three children from this marriage:

  1. James IV, King of Scots; b. 17 Mar 1472/3;[2][12] m. 8 Aug 1503 Margaret Tudor;[2][12] d. 9 Sep 1513[2][12]
  2. James Stewart, Archbishop of St Andrews; Duke of Ross; Marquess of Ormond; b. Mar 1475/6;[2][13] d. 12-17 Jan 1503/4[13][14]
  3. John Stewart, earl of Mar; b. Dec 1479;[15][2] d. 11 Mar 1502/3[16][2]

Queen Margaret predeceased her husband on 14 July 1486 at Stirling, and was buried there at Cambuskenneth Abbey.[10][17][18]

Significant Events During His Reign

James's marriage signaled the end of the regency government. As a married man he was now considered an adult, and fully assumed his position as king of Scots.[19] Determined to settle a long-held grievance, within a matter of months following his marriage the young king managed to have the Boyds convicted of treason for kidnapping himself three years earlier, and saw them sentenced to death with their lands forfeited to the crown.[19][20]

King James ruled for almost nineteen years during a period of time when Scotland's borders (having acquired Orkney and Shetland by his marriage, and still possessing Berwick) were at their most expansive, and during most of that time he was able to maintain peace with England by negotiating both treaties and marriage alliances with the English monarch.[8] This time of relative peace with England, possibly one of the greatest accomplishments of his reign, was also one of the reasons he had so many enemies in Scotland. His critics accused him of being an anglophile and questioned his loyalty to Scottish interests.[8]

Unlike his predecessors, James preferred to conduct all royal business at Edinburgh rather than travel throughout the country to ensure that local courts were administering justice impartially.[8] The effect of isolating himself at Edinburgh, however, was twofold: local feuds were allowed to escalate unchecked; and for many people the king became a remote figure whom most of them never saw and knew little about. [8]This eventually contributed to his loss of support among the common people. At the same time, his support among the nobility was also eroding. James relied heavily on the earls of Argyll, Huntly, and Crawford to maintain peace in the northern regions of Scotland but he was notoriously stingy in rewarding them for their services.[8]

James III was a scholar rather than an athlete, and was interested primarily in mathematics, astrology, and music.[21] He was more comfortable among middle class artists than among the nobles and politicians usually found at court, and often promoted obscure indviduals to positions of high authority much to the dismay of prominent nobles, clergy and officers of state. [22] Cochrane, a young architect who had overseen the construction of the chapel at Stirling Castle and whom James greatly admired, became one of his most important political advisors;[22][23] and William Schevez, the king's personal astrologer, was elevated (amid great controversy) to the archbishopric of St Andrews.[24][25] Feelings finally came to a head in 1482, when a group of earls seized a group of the king's favorites (including Cochrane and William Roger, the king's musician) and hanged them at the bridge into the town of Lauder.[26] The king himself was temporarily imprisoned at Edinburgh Castle.[26]

In terms of popularity, James remained overshadowed by his two younger brothers: Alexander, duke of Albany, who became known as the greatest knight in Europe; and John, earl of Mar, also an excellent athlete, who ran a stud farm and was very well liked.[27][28] His reign was eventually marked by the rebellions of both his brothers, a good number of his nobility, and, at the end, by his own eldest son and heir. [10]

Death

James III, King of Scots, was killed 11 June 1488 during a skirmish with rebel forces at Sauchieburn in Stirlingshire.[8][29] He was buried alongside his queen at Cambuskenneth Abbey at Stirlingshire.[8][2][30]

Research Notes

Sources

  1. Burnett, George (ed). Rotuli Scaccarii Regum Scotorum (Exchequer Rolls of Scotland). Edinburgh: General Register House (1882), vol. 5 (1437-1454), preface, p. lxxxviii.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 2.8 Paul, Sir James Balfour. The Scots Peerage. Edinburgh: D. Douglas (1904), vol. 1, pp. 20-21.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Dunbar, Sir Archibald H. Scottish Kings: A Revised Chronology of Scottish History 1005-1625. Edinburgh: D. Douglas (1899), p. 205.
  4. Burnett, George. Rotuli Scaccarii Regum Scotorum. Edinburgh: General Register House (1884), vol. 7, preface p. xxxiv
  5. Thomson, Thomas. The Auchinleek Chronicle. Edinburgh: Library at Auchinleek, Ayrshire (1819), pp. 57-58.
  6. Downie, Fiona. She Is But A Woman. Great Britain: John Donald (2006), p. 136
  7. Mackenzie, Agnes Mure. The Rise of the Stewarts. Edinburgh: Oliver & Boyd, Ltd. (1957), p. 244.
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 8.5 8.6 8.7 8.8 8.9 Macdougall, Norman. James III. Oxford Dictionary of National Biography Online (23 Sep 2004), rv. 3 Jan 2008, available here by subscription.
  9. Dunbar, Sir Archibald H. Scottish Kings: A Revised Chronology of Scottish History 1005-1625. Edinburgh: D. Douglas (1899), p. 206.
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 Richardson, Douglas. Royal Ancestry: A Study in Colonial and Medieval Families, 5 vols, ed. Kimball G. Everingham. Salt Lake City: the author, 2013), vol. 1, pp. 667-668. BRUS. 14. James III of Scotland.
  11. Reg.Mag.Sig.I, vii, No. 154; Acts of the Parliaments of Scotland, ii, p. 187, cited in Burnett, George. Rotuli Scaccarii Regum Scotorum. Edinburgh: General Register House (1885), vol. 8, preface pp. xxxix - xli and fn 3.
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 Richardson, Douglas. Royal Ancestry: A Study in Colonial and Medieval Families, 5 vols, ed. Kimball G. Everingham. Salt Lake City: the author, 2013), vol. 1, pp. 668-674. BRUS. 15. James IV of Scotland.
  13. 13.0 13.1 Richardson, Douglas. Royal Ancestry: A Study in Colonial and Medieval Families, 5 vols, ed. Kimball G. Everingham. Salt Lake City: the author, 2013), vol. 1, pp. 667-668. BRUS. 14. ii. James Stewart.
  14. Burnett, George. Rotuli Scaccarii Regum Scotorum. Edinburgh: General Register House (1889), vol. 12, preface xxxii.
  15. Dickson, Thomas. Accounts of the Lord High Treasurer of Scotland. Edinburgh: H.M. General Register House (1877), vol. 1, preface pp. lxiv-lxv.
  16. Dunbar, Sir Archibald H. Scottish Kings: A Revised Chronology of Scottish History 1005-1625. Edinburgh: D. Douglas (1899), p. 210.
  17. Burnett, George. Rotuli Scaccarii Regum Scotorum. Edinburgh: General Register House (1886), vol. 9, preface p. lx.
  18. Theiner, Augustin. Vetera Monumenta Hibernorum et Scotorum.... Rome: the Vatican (1864), pp. 499-500.
  19. 19.0 19.1 Ashley, Mike. The Mammoth Book of British Kings & Queens. New York: Carroll & Graf Publishers, Inc. (1998), p. 562.
  20. Macdougall, Norman. James III. Edinburgh: John Donald (2009), repr. 2017, p. 83.
  21. Mackenzie, Agnes Mure. The Rise of the Stewarts. Edinburgh: Oliver & Boyd, Ltd. (1957), p. 258.
  22. 22.0 22.1 Macdougall, Norman. James III. Edinburgh: John Donald (2009), repr. 2017, p. 362.
  23. Mackenzie, Agnes Mure. The Rise of the Stewarts. Edinburgh: Oliver & Boyd, Ltd. (1957), p. 273.
  24. Mackay, A.J.G. James III. Oxford Dictionary of National Biography Archive Edition (1891), available here.
  25. Henderson, Thomas F. The Royal Stewarts. Edinburgh: William Blackwood and Sons (1914), p 47.
  26. 26.0 26.1 Ashley, Mike. The Mammoth Book of British Kings & Queens. New York: Carroll & Graf Publishers, Inc. (1998), pp. 563-564.
  27. Ashley, Mike. The Mammoth Book of British Kings & Queens. New York: Carroll & Graf Publishers, Inc. (1998), p. 563.
  28. Mackenzie, Agnes Mure. The Rise of the Stewarts. Edinburgh: Oliver & Boyd, Ltd. (1957), p. 273.
  29. Burnett, George. Rotuli Scaccarii Regum Scotorum. Edinburgh: General Register House (1887), vol. 10, preface pp. xxxviii-xxxix.
  30. Dunbar, Sir Archibald H. Scottish Kings: A Revised Chronology of Scottish History 1005-1625. Edinburgh: D. Douglas (1899), p. 210.
See Also:
  • Birch, W. de G. Catalogue of Seals in the.....British Museum. London: the Trustees (1895), vol. 4, p. 17, James III.
  • Cawley, Charles. Medieval Lands, Scotland, Kings. Foundation for Medieval Genealogy: Medieval Lands database, James (III) of Scotland.
  • Chalmers, Trevor. James IV. Oxford Dictionary of National Biography Online (23 Sep 2004), rv 4 Oct 2012, available here by subscription.
  • Chalmers, Trevor. Stewart, James, duke of Ross. Oxford Dictionary of National Biography Online (23 Sep 2004), rv 4 Oct 2012, available here by subscription.
  • Dickson, Thomas. Accounts of the Lord High Treasurer of Scotland. Edinburgh: H.M. General Register House (1877), vol. 1, preface p. lxiv. (children)
  • Johnston, G. Harvey. The Heraldry of the Stewarts. Edinburgh: W. & A.K. Johnston (1908), p. 10 (ped.); p. 16 (arms), available online.
  • Kennedy, Matthew. A Chronological Genealogical and Historical Dissertation of the Royal Family of the Stuarts. Paris: Lewis Coignard Printer (1705), reproduced by Nabu Public Domain Reprints, pp. 210-211.
  • Macdougall, Norman. Margaret (Margaret of Denmark). Oxford Dictionary of National Biography Online (23 Sep 2004), rv. 19 May 1011, available here by subscription.
  • Pryde, E.B. (ed). Handbook of British Chronology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press (2003), 3rd ed, p. 60.
  • Weir, Alison. Britain's Royal Family: A Complete Genealogy. London: The Bodley Head (1999), pp. 237-238.


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Comments: 10

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I am finished for now with the work I intended doing on this profile. The profiles for his siblings all need to be updated and will go on the to-do list, but if anyone has time to start working on them before the project is able to get back to them....that would be great.

Jen

posted by Jen (Stevens) Hutton
I am planning to update this profile on behalf of the Scotland Project. Since much of the material in the bio has been cut and pasted from other websites, it will probably need a complete rewrite. If anyone knows of additional sources and information they would like to have included please message me or post here. Thanking everyone in advance for your patience during this update.

Jen, for the Scotland Project

posted by Jen (Stevens) Hutton
Would someone please add the category for James mtDNA? James III (1451-1488) => U5b* (mtDNA) Royalty mtDNA results category [[ ]] Category: MtDNA Haplogroup U5b
posted by Elsie Gorman
edited by Elsie Gorman
If you can provide a verifiable source for accuracy, we would add it but as it is, the site referenced has no sources. Eupedia doesn't list him and I haven't found any published studies that cover his mtDNA. While it is possible, or even likely, that this is correct information, the Scotland Project wants verifiable data on profiles.
posted by Doug McCallum UE
edited by Doug McCallum UE
This profile could really use a full rewrite. There appears to be a lot of material lifted from other websites. Would one of the PMs or another interested party be willing to take a look at it?

Many thanks!

posted by Bobbie (Madison) Hall
James the III King of Scots, and his wife Princess Margaret of Denmark are buried together, the inscription on their tomb (which is shown inside an Iron fense and locked w/chain and lock shows James death as 2 June 1438 - Pause the linked video at 8:11 to read the inscription, just before this spot, the person touring the Bell tower and the Cemetery talks just a bit about them both being buried here, then zooms in on the enscription quickly. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X49vu7V3tG8 - pause a 8:11
posted by Arora (G) Anonymous
'half Germain, half Scottish. this is where the Germain heritage comes from. His Mother. Bet she goes to the vikings. Or would it be King Eric?
posted by David Martin
Birth date seems to differ from Richardson (Royal Ancestry says born May 1452; see under BRUS).
posted by Andrew Lancaster
The Biography section is largely copied from Wikipedia. It should be reworked as in against Wikitree standards. See http://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Copying_from_Wikipedia
posted by Marty (Lenover) Acks