[MR] Wikipedia: Death of James II, King of Scots
Garth Groff and Sally Sanford
mallardlodge1000 at gmail.com
Tue Aug 3 03:23:00 PDT 2021
Noble Friends, especially fellow Scots,
On this date in 1460, King of Scots James II died while besieging Roxburgh
Castle. This King James should not be confused with his descendant, the
17th century King James II of England, who was also James VII of Scotland.
King of Scots James II succeeded his father, James I, who was assassinated
in 1437. James II was just six years-old when he ascended the throne, but
of course was under a regency for many years. Regencies were the bane of
Stewart Scotland, and kept the country off balance across two centuries.
James II had a large birthmark on his face, which was said to be an
indicator of his violent temper. He was sometimes known (probably after his
death) as James of the "Firey Face".
James proved to be a successful, but ruthless ruler who consolidated his
power by eliminating many Scottish earls and seizing their lands. He was
particularly hard on the Black Douglas family. The Douglases had initially
helped the king rise to power over the Livingstons who had been his keepers
during the regency. William, 8th Earl of Douglas, had grown too powerful
and was suspected of making a secret alliance with the dangerous
semi-independent Lord of the Isles (he probably did). During a dinner in
Stirling Castle, the King himself dirked Douglas 26 times, with the King's
other supporters joining the fray. Ah, those Scottish daggers! Douglas'
thoroughly perforated body was then defenestrated. The building where the
murder took place was later demolished, but the garden where the
unfortunate Earl landed is still there, known as "The Douglas Garden".
A great lover of things that went "boom", James built up a sizable
collection of cannons. He was personally directing the artillery park
during the Siege of Roxburgh Castle, the last Scottish castle held by the
English. One of his much-loved Flemish guns, "The Lion", proved to be his
undoing. The gun blew up on firing, and a large chunk severed the King's
leg. He died within minutes.
You can learn more about James II at
His son, yet another James, ascended the throne at the age of eight. Once
again Scotland was plagued by a regency with the usual vicious fighting and
power grabbing. It certainly would not be the last time. But that's another
story for another day.
Lord Mungo Napier, Laird of Mallard Lodge 🦆
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