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Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 29.djvu/147

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James III
of Scotland
141

degree his father's restless energy. A blemish, a red mark on one side of his face, gained him the name of the ‘Fiery Face,’ and appears to have been deemed by contemporaries an outward sign of a fiery temper. The manner of the death of Douglas leaves a stain on his memory; but it was an age of violence and treachery, against which violence and treachery were regarded as lawful weapons.

A portrait of James II in the castle of Kielberg, near Tübingen, was engraved for George von Ehingen's ‘Itinerarium,’ 1660, and in Pinkerton's ‘Iconographia,’ where it is erroneously described as a picture of James I.

[There is no contemporary historian except the brief Chronicle printed by Mr. Thomas Thomson from the Asloan MS. in the Auchinleck Library. John Major and Hector Boece were born shortly after his death, and their histories, and the later history of Lindsay of Pitscottie, supplement the imperfect contemporary records. The Records of Parliament and the Accounts of Exchequer are, however, more than usually valuable in estimating the character of the reign, and as a check on the frequently untrustworthy statements of Boece.]

Æ. M.

JAMES III (1451–1488), king of Scotland, son of James II [q. v.] and Mary of Gueldres, was born 10 July 1451, and became king when nine years old. He was crowned on Sunday, 10 Aug. 1460, in the abbey of Kelso. The queen-mother retained the chief power, whether or not she was formally regent. Her chief counsellors were Kennedy, archbishop of St. Andrews, and James Lindsay, provost of Lincluden, keeper of the privy seal, and the usual changes of a new reign were made in the custody of the principal royal castles. Parliaments were held, but their records have not been preserved. The continuance of the English war, as well as large building operations at the palace of Falkland, the new castle of Ravenscraig, near Dysart, and the Trinity College Church in Edinburgh, show the queen-mother to have been a vigorous ruler. She was supported by the ‘young lords,’ but opposed by the older nobles. When after the defeat of Towton, on 29 March 1461, Henry VI, his wife, and son, with several of the Lancastrian nobles, came to Scotland as refugees, she received them hospitably, and the surrender of Berwick to Scotland was arranged. Edward IV retaliated by stirring up the rebellion of the Earl of Ross, who exercised almost royal authority in his highland domains, and, though frequently summoned, did not appear in parliament. In July 1462 the households of the queen-mother and the young king were separated, and parliament declared that James should ‘aye remain with the queen,’ but that she was not to meddle with the profits of his estates. In December 1463 Edward IV ratified the truce with Scotland, and extended it, on 3 June 1464, for fifteen years. In spite of the truce, the king's brother, the Duke of Albany, was seized when on his voyage to Guelderland, but was released on the intercession of Bishop Kennedy. On 20 June 1465 a marriage was proposed between James and an English subject, and although this was not carried out, the truce was prolonged for fifty-four years on 1 June 1466.

Mary of Gueldres died on 16 Nov. 1463, and Bishop Kennedy on 10 May 1466. The nobles tried as usual to take advantage of a royal minority. Three of them usurped the chief power: Lord Kennedy, brother of the bishop and uncle of the king, became keeper of Stirling Castle; Robert, son of Malcolm Fleming of Cumbernauld, who had been steward of the household of James II; and Sir Alexander Boyd, governor of Edinburgh Castle, to whom the young king's military training was entrusted. On 10 Feb. 1456 these nobles entered into an agreement, by which Fleming undertook to maintain Boyd and Kennedy as custodians of James. On 9 July of the same year the king was seized, while attending an audit of the exchequer at Linlithgow, by a party of nobles headed by Boyd, with the connivance of Kennedy, and taken to Edinburgh Castle, where a parliament was held in his name on 9 Oct. On the fifth day of its session a mock trial was acted. Boyd came, begged, and received the pardon of the boy-king, who, with the concurrence of the estates, made his captor governor of the persons of himself and of his brothers, Albany and Mar, and gave him the custody of the royal castles. This was confirmed by a writ under the great seal, and on 26 April 1467 the eldest son of Boyd, Thomas, was created earl of Arran and married to the king's sister. The Boyds monopolised offices and power, but do not appear to have been oppressive rulers.

In the parliament of Stirling, in January 1468, the project for the marriage of James with Margaret, daughter of Christian of Denmark, which had been suggested by Charles VII of France before James II's death, was resumed, and an embassy, for whose cost 3,000l. was raised, was despatched to Copenhagen. The marriage treaty was signed on 8 Sept., and Arran, who took a principal part in the negotiation, went home to procure its ratification. Denmark agreed to abrogate her claim to an annual payment demanded from the kings of Scotland since 1263 on account of the Danish cession to Alexander III of the Hebrides, and promised the payment