James IV (Stewart) King of Scots
Privacy Level: Open (White)

James (Stewart) King of Scots (1473 - 1513)

James (James IV) King of Scots formerly Stewart
Born in Edinburgh, Edinburghshire, Scotlandmap
Ancestors ancestors
Husband of — married 8 Aug 1503 in Edinburgh, Scotlandmap
Descendants descendants
Died at age 40 in Flodden Field, Branxton, Northumberland, Englandmap
Problems/Questions Profile manager: Scotland Project WikiTree private message [send private message]
Profile last modified | Created 20 Oct 2010
This page has been accessed 70,440 times.
Scottish Nobility
James IV (Stewart) King of Scots was a member of Scottish Nobility.
Join: Scotland Project
Discuss: Scotland
Preceded by
James III Stewart
King of Scotland
11 June 1488 - 9 September 1513
Succeeded by
James V



Roll of Honor
James IV (Stewart) King of Scots was killed in Action during the War of the League of Cambrai at the Battle of Flodden Field.
James IV (Stewart) King of Scots is a member of Clan Stewart.
Notables Project
James IV (Stewart) King of Scots is Notable.

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 IV (1488-1513) born on 17 March 1472/3,[1][2] 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.
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.


True to the ideal of the Renaissance prince, James strove to make his court a center 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).[3]
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 royal 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.

Events leading to Flodden Field

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.
James IV's growing prestige enabled him to negotiate as an equal with the rulers of continental 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 advancing into England. He captured four castles in northern England in August 1513, but his army was disastrously defeated at the Battle of Flodden, near Branxton, on Sept. 9, 1513. The King was killed while fighting on foot, and most of his nobles perished. James left one legitimate child, his successor, James V.

James IV (1473-1513), king of Scotland (1488-1513), who unified the country under his rule and, in spirit of the Renaissance, patronized arts and learning. He was the son of King James III. Within a few months after his accession he ended the revolt by Scottish nobles that had cost his father his life. James expanded the Scottish navy, encouraged commerce, and reformed the administration of criminal justice. His romantic disposition induced him to support Perkin Warbeck, a claimant to the English throne, and to invade England in behalf of Warbeck in 1495. Two years later, however, a 7-year truce was concluded between Scotland and England. In 1503 James married Margaret Tudor, the eldest daughter of King Henry VII of England. This marriage eventually led to the union of the crowns of England and Scotland. After 1509, when Henry VIII became king of England, relations between the two countries became strained. Scotland was a traditional ally of France, and during Anglo-French hostilities in 1513 James invaded England in aid of his ally. Despite initial successes, he was plagued by desertions from his army, which was defeated at the Battle of Flodden on September 9, 1513. James himself was killed. He was succeeded by his son, James V. [4]

James Stewart and Mary Oldenburg


  • Earl of Carrick on 17 March 1473
  • Lord of Cunningham on 17 March 1473
  • Duke of Rothesay on 17 March 1473
  • King James IV of Scotland on 11 June 1488
  • Crowned King of Scotland on 26 June 1488 in Scone Abbey, Scone, Perthshire, Scotland.


He married to Margaret Tudor, daughter of King Henry VII of England on 8 Aug 1503. [1][2] They had five sons and a stilborn daughter. Four of the sons died young.

  1. James, b. 21 Feb 1506/7, d. 27 Feb 1507/8[1][5]
  2. daughter, b. 15 Jul 1508. d. young[1][5]
  3. Arthur, b. 20 Oct 1509, d. 14/15 Jul 1510[1][5]
  4. James, heir, [1][5]
  5. son, b. Nov 1512. d. young[6][1]
  6. Alexander, d. aft. 9 Sep 1513, d. age two[1]

He also several illegitimate children.[7] At least eight with four different mistresses, Margaret Boyd (also listed as Marion), Margaret Drummond, Janet Kennedy, and Isabel Stewart, daughter of James Stewart, 1st Earl of Buchan.

By Margaret Boyd:
  1. Alexander, b. abt. . 1493 , d. 9 Sep 1513 [7]
  2. Catherine, m. James Douglas, third Earl of Morton[7]
By Janet Kennedy:
  1. James, b. abt.1499, created Earl of Moray in 1501, m. Elizabeth Campbell, daughter of Colin, Earl of Argyle, d. 12 Jun 1544[7]
By Margaret Drummond:
  1. Margaret, b. 1497, m. 1st John, Lord Gordon, m. 2nd Sir John Drummond of Innerpeffray[7]
By Isabella Stewart
  1. Janet. m. Malcolm, third Lord Fleming. mistress to Henry II of France.[7]

James IV fought in the Battle of Flodden 9 Sep 1513 at Flodden Field, Braxton, Northumberland. As a result of injuries sustained, he died.[8]

Burial: 1513 Richmond, Surrey, England

Research Notes


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 Paul, James Balfour. "The Scots Peerage : founded on Wood's ed. of Sir Robert Douglas's Peerage of Scotland; containing an historical and genealogical account of the nobility of that kingdom", Edinburgh: David Douglas, 1904, Vol. I, Archive.org, p. 21
  2. 2.0 2.1 Richardson, Douglas, "Royal Ancestry: A Study in Colonial and Medieval Families", Salt Lake City: the author, 2013 Vol. I, p. 668
  3. Britannica CD '97
  4. Microsoft Encarta 1994 ed.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 Richardson, Douglas, "Royal Ancestry: A Study in Colonial and Medieval Families", Salt Lake City: the author, 2013 Vol. I, p. 671
  6. Scots Peerage says it was a daughter but Royal Ancestry shows that it was a premature son
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 7.5 Paul, James Balfour. "The Scots Peerage : founded on Wood's ed. of Sir Robert Douglas's Peerage of Scotland; containing an historical and genealogical account of the nobility of that kingdom", Edinburgh: David Douglas, 1904, Vol. I, Archive.org, p. 22
  8. Sons of Scotland Battle of Flodden Field

See also:

  • Royal Ancestry by Douglas Richardson Vol. V page 208
  • Pedigrees of Some of the Emperor Charlemagne's Descendants. Vol II

Sponsored Search by Ancestry.com

DNA Connections
It may be possible to confirm family relationships. Paternal line Y-chromosome DNA test-takers: Have you taken a test? If so, login to add it. If not, see our friends at Ancestry DNA.

Comments: 23

Leave a message for others who see this profile.
There are no comments yet.
Login to post a comment.
Was James IV really born in Edinburgh or more likely, Stirling Castle? Most articles on James IV that I've seen say that he was born at Stirling Castle on March 17, 1473.
posted by R W
James is supposedly an illegit son by Margaret Boyd but there is no source Should be detached?
posted by [Living Anderson]
Yes, definitely.....thanks, Thom. Please also add a research note to this profile and the presumed son's profile (with a link) explaining that you are detaching until any sources can be provided. This profile could absolutely use an update, with additional sources and more inline citations, if you have any time to take it on. Thanks again for all your work! I will lift project protection until you have finished, please let me know when you are done.
posted by Jen (Stevens) Hutton
edited by Jen (Stevens) Hutton

I went ahead and added a research note, but as James IV is PPP and only the Scotland Project is listed as PM, I cannot detach him unless you or one of the project leaders as me as a PM or simply do the detaching directly.


posted by [Living Anderson]
Done. Thanks Thom. I am going to add some maintenance categories to this profile so it will be on the nobility team's to-do list for updating.
posted by Jen (Stevens) Hutton
Please add to categories Forsyth de Fronsac Fraud and Charles Henry Browning Fraud
posted by Sunny (Trimbee) Clark
Is this the King James the Bible was written for, Blackstone-170, Thank's
posted by Donnie Blackstone
No, that was James VI of Scotland, who became James 1 of England.
I have removed all of James IV's mistresses from his list of spouses. I will add them as the mother of the proper children. James IV is my 11th ggf. If you have different information, please let me know.
posted by Linda Plummer
I cleaned up our King James's biography. I would appreciate it if someone would take a look at it to make sure the information is accurate and remove what is not.

One example is DOB. If he had titles conferred upon him at this birth (which it appears he did) and the date associated with it is March 17 1473 would not this be his correct DOB? I will leave it to you all to review and make a determination in that respect.  :)

posted by [Living Lockhart]

Featured German connections: James IV is 14 degrees from Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, 21 degrees from Dietrich Bonhoeffer, 18 degrees from Lucas Cranach, 18 degrees from Stefanie Graf, 17 degrees from Wilhelm Grimm, 18 degrees from Fanny Hensel, 25 degrees from Theodor Heuss, 17 degrees from Alexander Mack, 34 degrees from Carl Miele, 13 degrees from Nathan Rothschild, 18 degrees from Hermann Friedrich Albert von Ihering and 15 degrees from Ferdinand von Zeppelin on our single family tree. Login to see how you relate to 33 million family members.