[MR] Wikipedia: Death of Alexander III, King of Scots

Garth Groff and Sally Sanford mallardlodge1000 at gmail.com
Tue Mar 19 04:47:53 PDT 2024

Noble Friends, especially fellow Scots,

On this date in 1286, King of Scots Alexander III died in a riding
accident. His death was one of the most important events in Scottish

Alexander, who was noted for his . . . uh . . . urges, departed Edinburgh
in a storm to spend time with his new queen Yolande de Dreux at Kinghorn in
Fife. After crossing the Firth of Forth, Alexander rode ahead of his escort
through the storm in the dark. He never arrived at Kinghorn. Searchers
found his body the next day, the King's neck broken by a fall from his

Alexander had three children by his first queen, Margaret, daughter of
Henry III of England. Two sons had died without issue, and his daughter
(another Margaret) married King Edward II of Norway. She also died, but
left a daughter, (yet another) Margaret, the Maid of Norway, who was now
heir presumptive to the Scottish throne.

In late August 1290 the four-year-old Margaret was brought from Norway to
Scotland to begin her reign (under the watchful eyes of various, and no
doubt power-hungry, regents). Unfortunately, the child became ill on the
voyage. The ship reached the Orkney Islands on 23 September, but Margaret
died in the arms of Narve, Bishop of Bergen, sometime between 26 and 29

Margaret's death brought about Scotland's "Great Cause", the search for a
new ruler. Some 13 claimants stepped forward, and several were ready to
back up their claims by force. Civil war seemed imminent. The Guardian's of
Scotland then rather foolishly asked Edward I of England to arbitrate.

Edward, an arch conquer-monkey, had just finished gobbling up Wales and was
already planning his conquest of Scotland. The opportunity to control
Scotland through a puppet was too good to pass. He chose John Balliol, Lord
of Galloway, who was generally seen as weak and indecisive. Edward then
undermined Balliol's reign at every turn. When the Scottish Council of
Twelve made a mutual defence pact with France against England known as the
"Auld Alliance" in 1295, it was too much for Edward.

John Balliol was arrested and brought before the English king, who publicly
stripped him of his royal raiment. Edward then declared himself King of
Scotland. Balliol was packed off to the Tower of London. In 1299 he was
allowed to "retire" to family estates in France under what was essentially
house arrest, where in 1314 ex-King John Balliol died in disgrace.

Edward I's usurpation of the Scottish throne was the cause of the First War
of Scottish Independence, which finally ended with Robert the Bruce's
stunning defeat of Edward II at Bannockburn in 1314.

Alexander's death and his succession is discussed at
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexander_III_of_Scotland .

More about the Maid of Norway is here:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Margaret,_Maid_of_Norway .

A bit on the confusing side, but the "Great Cause" is explained here:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Competitors_for_the_Crown_of_Scotland .

Yours Aye,

Mungo Napier, Laird of Mallard Lodge  🦆
Continuing a crusade to keep Merry Rose relevant and in business.

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