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Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 29.djvu/140

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James I
of Scotland
134

church on all who recognised the sentence. The conflict between church and state had never been so acute since Robert the Bruce refused to receive a papal bull.

The highlands again claimed the king's attention in 1429, for Alexander of the Isles had raised the clans and burnt Inverness. James surprised him in Lochaber and put him to flight, aided by the dissensions of the clans. The Lord of the Isles, forced to seek the royal clemency, appeared before James at Holyrood on Palm Sunday without arms, except a bare sword, which he offered the king, who spared his life on the intercession of the queen and barons, but sent him to Tantallon. The repair of the castles of Urquhart and Inverness, and acts for providing arms, men, and, in the west highlands, ships for the royal service, were passed in the parliament of March 1430, and were calculated to maintain peace in the highlands.

The same year was marked by the importation into Scotland of the first great cannon, the Lion, from Flanders. Artillery began from this time to be the special care of the Scottish kings, and gave them an advantage over the barons. In 1431 Donald Balloch, a kinsman of the Lord of the Isles, having defeated the Earls of Mar and Caithness at Inverlochy, James had again to take up arms in person, and Balloch was forced to fly to Ireland. The statement of Boece that an Irish chief sent Balloch's head to the king at Dunstaffnage is not corroborated. The arrest of the Earl of Douglas and John, lord Kennedy, both nephews of the king, shows that his policy had roused opposition beyond the highlands; but Douglas was released at the parliament of October 1431. This parliament granted an aid to repress the northern rebels, and imposed penalties on those who had not joined the king's army in the highlands. In 1432 what Bower calls the flying pestilence of lollardism reappeared in Scotland, and next year Paul Crawar, a missionary of the Hussites, was burnt at St. Andrews. James rewarded the diligence of Fogo, the inquisitor, with the abbacy of Melrose.

Throughout his reign James pursued his policy of destroying the power of the great nobles. One chapter of his legislation, by which he protected the tillers of the soil in the possession of their holdings, had the best results, and this innovation on the oppressive rules of the feudal law became an integral part of the law of Scotland. But his wholesale forfeiture of the nobles' estates led to his own ruin. Immediately after his return to Scotland, the attainder of Albany and his sons placed the earldoms of Fife, Monteith, and Ross in his hands, and that of Lennox the earldom of that name, and by 1436 he had gained possession of the earldom of March in the south, of Fife in the east, of Lennox, Strathearn, and Monteith in the central highlands, of Mar in the north-east, and Ross in the north. The only great earls left were Atholl (his uncle), Douglas (his nephew), Crawford, and Moray, and, with the exception of Atholl, a secret and fatal foe, none were strong enough to be formidable to the king.

In the last years of his life the relations of James with the pope became less, those with England more, strained. In 1433 he sent eight representatives to the council of Basle. In the winter of 1435 ├ćneas Silvius Piccolomini, afterwards Pope Pius II, was sent to James by the Cardinal of Santa Croce, and in the summer of 1436 the Bishop of Urbino followed, as a nuncio from the pope, ostensibly to reconcile the Scottish court with the papal see, and procure the repeal of the sentence against Croyser, the archdeacon; but both envoys probably had instructions to procure the adhesion of James to the treaty of Arras. ├ćneas Silvius was received graciously. James granted his requests and presented him with two palfreys and a pearl. A fanciful picture of his reception was painted by Pinturicchio on the walls of the library of Siena for Cardinal Piccolomini, where it may still be seen.

In 1430 Lord Scrope came from England to negotiate a peace on the basis of restoring to Scotland Berwick and Roxburgh, and James referred the matter to the parliament of Perth in October 1431. The debate in presence of James, which Bower reports, was chiefly conducted by the clergy, the Abbots of Scone and Inchcolm contending that peace could not be made without the consent of France; while Fogo, abbot of Melrose, took the opposite side. No terms could be agreed on, and the alliance with France continued. In 1436 the Princess Margaret was sent with a great retinue, under the conduct of the Earl of Orkney, to fulfil her engagement to the dauphin. On 10 Sept. 1436 William Douglas, second earl of Angus, defeated at Piperden Robert Ogle, who made a raid on the Scottish borders in breach of the truce. An attempt was also made to kidnap the king's daughter on her way to France. Thereupon James summoned the whole forces of his kingdom to the siege of Roxburgh in October 1436, but returned after an inglorious siege of fifteen days. There can be little doubt that the war with England had led to a mutiny of the Scottish barons, and that James had received information of it. After a short stay in Edinburgh, where he held his last parliament, James went to Perth to keep