James III.

Basic Data

*05/1452
†06/1488
Father
James II.
Mother
Mary of Gueldes
Marriage
Margaret, Daughter of Christian I. of. Denmark
Children
3 Son´s
Coronation
08/1460, Kelso Abbey
Regency
1460 to 1488

Like his Father James II., James III. was also underage when he was crowned a week after his Death in August 1460.
In the first years (1460-63), his Mother Mary of Gueldres took over the Affairs of State. Thereafter (1463-66) James Kennedy, Bishop of St. Andrews along with Gilbert, Lord Kennedy and finally (1466-69) Robert, Lord Boyd.
When he reached the Age of Majority in 1469 he married Margaret, Daughter of Christian I. of Denmark and Norway. Because he could not pay the dowry, he pledged the Orkney and Shetland Islands to Scotland.

In 1453 England lost the Hundred Years War. The temporary end of the ‘Auld Alliance’ between Scotland and France and in the Border Region returned to Peace through the Civil War there. In the rest of Scotland, the situation was different.

After James’s Marriage, a conflict ensued between the King and the Boyd Family.
His Brother-in-Law and former Regent Thomas Boyd were out of the Country when their Lands were confiscated and the rest of the Family was executed. From 1471 to 1473, James had plans to expand to mainland Europe and proposed the conquest of Brittany, Saintonge and the Duchy of Geldern. In Parliament, this was triggered by fierce criticism, as the King was more interested in Art and the Occult, rather than politics. In 1474 James made an Alliance with England. To preserve the Peace, the future King James IV. was to be married to the english Princess Cäcilie of York. Through this Alliance and the taxes raised to finance the Wedding, James made himself unpopular with the Nobility. In addition, he disintegrated with his Brothers John, Earl of Mar and Alexander, Duke of Albany.
Accused of High Treason, Alexander fled to France in 1479 and John died in 1480 under mysterious circumstances.

With England War again, since the year before the 1474 closed Alliance fell apart.
In 1482, Edward IV. launched an Invasion of Scotland. He was assisted by James’ Brother Alexander, who was promised by Edward under english Rule the scottish royal Dignity.
James could not resist that. Dissatisfied Nobles captured, murdered some of his minions and Alexander took over the Regency. After the english Army withdrew for lack of Money James could regain his power by bribery. After the Death of his Patron Edward and an intervention by the Earl of Huntly, Alexander fled to England, from where he in 1484 unsuccessfully undertook a new Invasion attempt.
The wider domestic problems -he refused, for example to travel to the Country for the exercise of judicial power- reached its peak in 1488. The Earls of Angus and Argyll conspired again against James and set up an Army to overthrow their hated King. His Son, the future King James IV. rose against his Father, as this always preferred his younger Brother.

James died on June 11, 1488 at the Battle of Sauchieburn.