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Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 29.djvu/143

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James II
of Scotland

an opportunity and a pretext to Livingstone to seize the persons of the queen and her new husband, who were placed in strict ward in Stirling Castle on 3 Aug. They were released on 4 Sept. only by making a formal agreement to resign the custody of James to the Livingstones, by giving up her dowry for his maintenance, and confessing that Livingstone had acted through zeal for the king's safety. The barons soon fell out. Crichton kidnapped the king in Stirling Park, and brought him back to Edinburgh Castle. His next act was to kidnap and execute William, sixth earl of Douglas [q. v.] Four days after, Fleming, the old baron of Cumbernauld, brother-in-law of Murdoch, the regent in the reign of James I, an ally of the house of Douglas, was executed. The great rivals to the Stewarts, the Douglases, whose estates were partly forfeited to the crown, partly divided between the male and female heirs, were rendered for a time powerless. But in 1443 William Douglas (1425?–1452) [q. v.] became eighth earl, and soon after the chief companion of the king. On 20 Aug. 1443 Douglas, in the king's name, besieged and razed to the ground Barnton, near Edinburgh, the seat of Sir George Crichton, the admiral, brother of the chancellor. A council-general at Stirling on 4 Nov., at which James for the first time presided in person, outlawed both Sir William, the chancellor, and Sir George, and deprived them of their offices. Douglas was allowed, by marrying his cousin, the Fair Maid of Galloway, to reunite the female to the male fiefs of his house. Three years of civil war followed, in which the rivals harried each other's lands. The king, or Douglas in his name, held, with the aid of Livingstone, Linlithgow and Stirling, where James continued to live, while Crichton maintained himself in the castle of Edinburgh. The marriage of the king's sister Mary to the Lord of Camp-Vere, the betrothal at Stirling of his sister Annabella to Philip, a son of the Duke of Savoy, and the death of his mother at Dunbar on 15 July 1445, appear to have had no immediate influence on his life. His two other sisters were sent about the same time to the court of France, where they arrived shortly after the death of their eldest sister, Margaret [q. v.], the wife of the dauphin. On 14 June a parliament met at Perth, but adjourned apparently to the town tolbooth at Holyrood while Douglas besieged Edinburgh Castle for nine weeks. Crichton capitulated on good terms, his offences being condoned; and then, or shortly after, on the death of Bruce, bishop of Glasgow, in 1447, he again became chancellor. A sentence of forfeiture pronounced in the castle of Edinburgh against James, earl of Angus, on 1 July 1445 proves that the king must have been by that date in possession of the castle. Before Christmas he had retired to Stirling, where he kept the festival. During 1446 and 1447 the compromise between the factions of Crichton, Livingstone, and Douglas continued, and the chief offices of state remained in their hands, or in those of members of their families.

In 1447 Mary of Gueldres was recommended by Philip the Good as a suitable bride for James. The negotiations began in July 1447, when a Burgundian envoy came to Scotland, and were concluded by an embassy under Crichton the chancellor in September 1448. Philip settled sixty thousand crowns on his kinswoman, and her dower of ten thousand was secured on lands in Strathearn, Athole, Methven, and Linlithgow. A tournament took place before James at Stirling, on 25 Feb. 1449, between James, master of Douglas, another James, brother to the Laird of Lochleven, and two knights of Burgundy, one of whom, Jacques de Lalain, was the most celebrated knight-errant of the time. The marriage was celebrated at Holyrood on 3 July 1449. A French chronicler, Mathieu d'Escouchy, gives a graphic account of the ceremony and the feasts which followed. Many Flemings in Mary's suite remained in Scotland, and the relations between Scotland and Flanders, already friendly under James I, consequently became closer.

In Scotland the king's marriage led to his emancipation from tutelage, and to the downfall of the Livingstones. In the autumn Sir Alexander and other members of the family were arrested. At a parliament in Edinburgh on 19 Jan. 1450, Alexander Livingstone, a son of Sir Alexander, and Robert Livingstone of Linlithgow were tried and executed on the Castle Hill. Sir Alexander and his kinsmen were confined in different and distant castles. A single member of the family escaped the general proscription—James, the eldest son of Sir Alexander, who, after arrest and escape to the highlands, was restored in 1454 to the office of chamberlain to which he had been appointed in the summer of 1449. The parliament sat from 19 Jan. 1450 to the end of the month. Its acts show that the influence of the Douglas party, with whom Crichton the chancellor was now reconciled, was dominant; but also that the estate of the church, headed by Kennedy, bishop of St. Andrews, the king's cousin, and Turnbull, the new bishop of Glasgow, was rising into power, and that the king himself could no longer be treated as a cipher. Several statutes of his father's reign were re-