Castle Fraser. The portrait contained in the fine altarpiece, perhaps by Van der Goes, now at Holyrood, was apparently painted for Trinity College Church, the foundation of Mary of Gueldres, and represents him kneeling at the altar with his son, James IV, behind him. The features betray a weak and effeminate character. He may be in some points compared to Louis XI, and in others to Henry VI, but he had not the wicked ability of the French nor the genuine piety of the English monarch. Nor had he, as they both had, the excuse of an insane taint.
[Boece's History becomes more nearly contemporary, and is of more value than in earlier portions. Major's History is tantalisingly brief. Lindsay of Pitscottie is, as always, too good a story-teller to be quite trustworthy as a historian. The full publications both of the Exchequer and Treasurer's Accounts in the Lord Clerk Register Series by Mr. Burnett and Mr. Dickson are of the greatest value, and enable this reign to be told in a manner impossible either to Tytler or Burton. Some of the English records are also important, especially the letters of Richard III and Henry VII in the Rolls Series, edited by Mr. Gairdner.]
JAMES IV (1473–1513), king of Scotland, eldest son of James III [q. v.] and Margaret, daughter of Christian I of Denmark, was born on 17 March 1473. His betrothal at Edinburgh on 18 Oct. 1474 to the Princess Cecilia [q. v.], third daughter of Edward IV, and a proposal in 1487 for his marriage to a sister-in-law of Henry VII, both came to nothing. The prince was placed at the head of the rebels at Sauchieburn, where his father was killed (11 June 1488). He was crowned at Scone in the last week of June. A chaplain at Cambuskenneth was paid to say masses for his father's soul. James performed the somewhat ostentatious penance of wearing an iron belt, if we may credit his portraits, outside his doublet, and never forgave himself for his father's death. The leaders of what could no longer be called a rebellion succeeded to the great offices of state. The Earl of Argyll became again chancellor; Alexander, master of Home [q. v.], replaced David, earl of Crawford [q. v.], as chamberlain; Knollis, preceptor of Torphichen, succeeded the abbot of Arbroath as treasurer; Lords Lyle [q. v.] and Glamis were appointed justiciars south and north of the Forth. The Earl of Angus [q. v.] as guardian of the king, Home, who soon became warden of the east marches, and Patrick Hepburn, lord Hailes [q. v.], warden of the middle and west marches, created earl of Bothwell and high admiral, were the nobles in whose hands the chief power rested. Before parliament met two staunch adherents of the late king, the Earl of Crawford and Sir Andrew Wood, were conciliated by a pardon and regrant of their estates.
After his coronation James came on 26 June from Perth to Stirling, attended his father's obsequies at Cambuskenneth, and after presiding over the audit of exchequer on 7 July, went to Edinburgh. On 3 Aug. he was at Leith to see the Danish ships which had brought his uncle, Junker Gerhard, count of Oldenburg, who was hospitably entertained till the end of the year. On 5 Aug. he went to Linlithgow, where the players acted before him, and next week to Stirling, on his way to a hunt in Glenfinlas, from which he returned to the justice ayre at Lanark on 21 Aug. On the 14th he went to Perth, from which he returned next day to Edinburgh to prepare for the meeting of parliament. In this parliament, which met on 6 Oct., all grants by James III prior to 2 Feb. 1488 were rescinded, and several of the late king's supporters were forfeited; but the Earl of Buchan was pardoned, and a declaration made that the sons of those who fell on the side of James III at Sauchie should succeed to their estates as if their ancestors had died in the king's peace.
A singular debate, the first distinctly recorded in a Scottish parliament, is entered in the minutes as ‘The Debate and Cause of the Field of Stirling,’ ending with a declaration of the three estates, which laid the whole blame for the slaughter at the battle upon James III and his ‘perverse council.’ Embassies were to be sent to the pope, and to the kings of France, Spain, and Denmark, with a copy of the Act of Indemnity under the great seal, and were at the same time to search for a wife for the new king. James, although only fifteen, began at once to attend audits of exchequer and circuits of justiciary, as well as to preside in parliament. Pitscottie gives a graphic account of the trial of Lord Lindsay of the Byres before the king in person. James kept Yule at Linlithgow, returning to Edinburgh before 14 Jan. 1489, when an adjourned session of parliament met. During the next two months he went on circuit, both in the south and north, returning on 1 April to Edinburgh, where he kept Palm Sunday, but came to Linlithgow for Easter. He took part from May to July, and again in October, in the suppression of a rebellion headed by the Earl of Lennox and Lord Lyle in the west, and by Lord Forbes [q. v.] in the north, who carried the bloody shirt of James III as his standard. The insurrection was not crushed till December. But on 28 July James had returned to Edinburgh to meet the Spanish ambassadors. He received them at Linlith-