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James IV
of Scotland

Ross. Ramsay was also present at the reception of Monipenny, Sieur de Concressault, with letters from France, and of Roderic de Lalain from Flanders, with two small ships and six score men. The French king is said by Ramsay to have offered a hundred thousand crowns for the surrender of Perkin, and Lalain to have refused to speak to the adventurer, saying his embassy was only to the king. But a spy wishing to please his employer is a bad authority. Meanwhile James was eager to set out, and after summoning his troops to meet him at Ellem Kirk on the borders on 15 Sept., and reviewing his artillery at Restalrig on the 12th and 14th, when he made offerings at Holyrood and ordered masses to be sung at Restalrig Church, he marched, with Perkin, to Haddington on the 14th, and from that across the Lammermuir to Ellem Kirk, which he reached on the 19th. A proclamation issued in the name of Richard IV, king of England, met, to James's disappointment, with no response from the English borderers, and Perkin, pretending that he disliked to shed the blood of his own subjects, recrossed the Tweed to Coldstream. After a raid on the Northumbrian border and a fruitless siege of the house of Heiton, James himself tired of the expedition and returned to Edinburgh by 8 Oct. After spending some time in sport, he again came south to Home Castle on the east marches, where he conferred on 21 Nov. with Hans, his master-gunner, probably the Fleming much employed by the monarchs of that age in casting guns. Henry VII had, in a council at Westminster, received a subsidy for war with the Scots, and James was preparing for defence and retaliation. In the middle of December he was at Dunglas, another castle of Lord Home's, on the confines of Haddington and the Merse. His Yule was kept at Melrose. In preparation for the renewal of war with England, wapenschaws were held in January and February 1497, the artillery repaired, Dunbar fortified, and Sir Andrew Wood appointed its captain. On 14 Feb. James sent letters to the sheriffs ordaining a muster of the lieges for forty days from 6 April. Before Easter he had returned to Stirling, where he received the Spanish ambassadors, who tried in vain to induce him to give up Perkin and desist from the English war. On 23 May he visited Dunbar to inspect the fortifications. His visit was marked as usual by gifts to churches. The English, encouraged by the delay, commenced hostilities, but were defeated by the Master of Home at Duns early in June. On 12 June James was at Melrose, where his artillery and feudal levy met him, apparently not in sufficient number, for another summons was issued for Lauder on the 26th. But neither monarch was ready for a campaign. The defence of the English border was left to the energetic Bishop of Durham, who was able to ward off an assault by James on his castle of Norham, and summoning Thomas Howard, second duke of Norfolk [q. v.], then Earl of Surrey, a retaliatory raid was made on Ayton Castle, which was taken. James, according to the English historians, though in sight of the smoke of the English guns, declined a general engagement or a single combat with Surrey, who retreated across the border before the end of August. Foxe had indeed received on 12 July from his sovereign instructions which show through their diplomatic verbiage how anxious Henry was for peace. Foxe was in the first place to demand Perkin's surrender, and to represent that the terms offered by the Earl of Angus and Lord Home at Jenninghaugh, a short time before, could not be entertained; but if this was declined he was to propose a meeting between the two kings at Newcastle. A duplicate, and no doubt secret, copy of the instructions provided that, if the meeting was refused, Foxe was to be content with the offers made at Jenninghaugh, as the English army was not sufficiently prepared to march north (Gairdner, Letters of Richard III and Henry VII, i. 110). Meantime Perkin with his wife had gone by way of Ireland to Cornwall, and he was captured at Exeter on 5 Oct. The return to Scotland of the Spanish ambassador, Ayala, seems to have converted James to the side of peace, and he consented to close the enmity between the two nations by marrying Henry VII's daughter Margaret. Henry persuaded his council to consent to the alliance by the argument that, if a union followed, the lesser would be subordinate to the greater kingdom, citing the precedent of Normandy and England. Foxe, a good diplomatist, arranged the treaty of Ayton, which provided for a truce of seven years, from 30 Sept. 1497. The truce was threatened almost as soon as made by a quarrel over a game between some Scottish and English youths at Norham, but on 5 Dec. Ayala, who had gone to London, negotiated with William Warham its conversion into a peace for the joint lives of the two monarchs; it was ratified by James at St. Andrews on 10 Feb. 1498.

On 21 Feb. 1498 he started from Stirling on an expedition to the still unsettled Western Isles. He passed through Glasgow to Duchal, where his mistress, Marion Boyd, and her son, the future archbishop, resided, and thence to Ayr, whence he sailed to Campbelton, a new castle on the shores of Loch Kilkerran, now