James 2

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James II / Kings and Queens

  • Name  : James II
  • Born  : 1430
  • Died  : 1460
  • Category  : Kings and Queens
  • Finest Moment : The subjugation of the Douglas family, in 1455.

The son of James I, he became known as 'James of the fiery face' due to a birth mark. His temper was also fiery. He was six when his father was murdered, and was then put under the protection of Sir Alexander Livingston in Edinburgh Castle. It was there that his young cousins were murdered, the young Earl of Douglas and his brother, on the orders of Sir William Crichton, the governor.

In 1449 James married Mary of Gueldres. Through fate, this would lead to his accidental death 11 years later, as her dowry included some cannon, cast abroad with better technology. James then began to eliminate the troublesome nobles, in particular the Livingstons and the Douglas family. At Stirling Castle, where James had summoned the 8th Earl of Douglas, the king lost his temper when Douglas refused to stop liasing with the Earl of Ross and the Lord of the Isles. James stabbed Douglas, and his bodyguard finished him off.

The Douglas family was effectively a spent force by 1455, when their estates were forfeited, and Mary's cannon helped reduce various other rebel strongholds. James then began a feckless involvement in English politics, and in 1460 led an army to lay siege to Roxburgh Castle, which the English had held for over a century. It was here that while inspecting the forces, James was killed outright by a bursting cannon.

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