Mary de Coucy
1st Margaret, Daughter of Henry III.
2nd Yolanda or Joletta, Daughter of Robert IV., Count of Dreux
07/1249 to 1286
When Alexander, also known as ‘The Glorious One’, was crowned King after the Death of his Father Alexander II., he was just eight years old. Until his Majority, his Lawyer Alan Durward ruled for him, while fighting against the power claims of the Earl of Menteith.
When Alexander was married in December 1251 with the english Princess Margaret Henry III. demanded the Oath of Allegiance.
Alexander refused, however, and agreed instead to proceed in 1255 with Henry together against the insurrection of Comyn. In 1262 Alexander reached the Age of Majority, could take over the Affairs of State himself and show that he is a capable King.
He planned to continue his Father’s attempts to reclaim Kintyre and the Hebrides from the norwegian King Haakon IV. and made his claim. Haakon rejected Alexander and responded in 1263 with an Invasion. His Fleet circled the Coast and set up Camp on the Isle of Arran, where the negotiations were to take place. However, Alexander wanted to play for time and wait for the autumn storms to cut off the Norwegians from Supplies.
When Haakon lost patience, he wanted to launch an attack, but the Fleet got into a heavy Storm and was largely destroyed. The remaining Ships landed on the coast and began an attack on the scottish Army. The Norwegians were defeated in the ‘Battle of Largs’, where also finds the origin of the Thistle as the National Flower.
In the Conflict no decision could be made and the ailing Haakon returned to Norway as he could not continue the Invasion. Haakon died in December 1263 on the Orkneys and his Successor Magnus VI. signed the ‘Peace of Perth’ in 1266. In it, Norway surrendered the Hebrides, the Isle of Man and the County of Caithness for a Payment of 4,000 Marks and an annual levy of 100 Marks, while Scotland recognized the rule of Norway over the Orkney and Shetland Islands.
Alexander’s Wife Margarete died in 1275 and since all of his Children died within a few years, in 1284 he convinced the scottish Parliament to accept his Granddaughter Margaret ‘The Maid of Norway’ as heir to the Throne. However, since it was necessary to have a Male offspring, Alexander decided in November 1285, despite his advanced Age, to marry Yolanda de Dreux in order to maintain the direct Bloodline on the scottish Throne. Alexander’s comparable long and peaceful Reign gave the Scots economic Prosperity and a strong Sense of Identity.
This “Heyday” ended with his accidental Death predicted by the Prophet Thomas the Rhymer.
When he was on his Way to his second Wife and a Meeting at Kingshorn in March 1286, he got into a Storm and fell off his horse over a Cliff. The next morning, his Corpse was found with a broken Neck and Scotland was paralyzed with shock and grief.