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King James III


1452 - 1488

Scottish monarch. Born in Stirling, James was crowned at the age of only nine years at Kelso, following the sudden death of his father. This gave rise to a weak monarchy dominated by the power-play between James' regents. He married the daughter of King Christian I of Norway and Denmark in 1469, which resulted in the Orkney and Shetland becoming part of Scotland.

Even when he tried to enforce his authority, James failed to gain the respect of his nobles. He surrounded himself with 'favourites' and there were several challenges to his rule. His final challenge came with a battle at Sauchieburn (near Stirling) where he was defeated by a force mustered by the Border lairds and commanded reluctantly by James' fifteen-year-old son. James left the field injured, only to be murdered by a stranger who had claimed to be a priest, and his son became James IV. He is buried at Cambuskenneth Abbey (Stirling).


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