King Alexander 2

Born 24 August 1198 at Haddington, East Lothian, he was the only son of William I (The Lion) and Ermengarde de Beaumont. He succeeded his father in 1214, aged 16. He must have had the smarts, making the peace fairly quickly with the English in 1217, thereby renouncing his earlier claims to Northumberland, Cumberland and Westmoreland. This deed he sealed by marrying Henry's sister, Princess Joan.

On his thorny Scottish side, he was a strong defender of the independence of the Scottish Church, founding several abbeys. In suppressing the assorted scrum of rebellious Scottish lords he could err on the firm side, such as when, about 1222, he had the hands and feet of 80 men cut off, as they had been present at the murder of one of his bishops.

After 21 years' of marriage, his wife Joan died childless. The next year he married Marie de Coucy, the daughter of a French nobleman. They had one son, who would later take the throne as Alexander III.

While out on an expedition to chase the Norwegians off the Hebrides, he fell ill. He died on the island of Kerrera, close to Oban, on 8 July 1249. He was buried at Melrose Abbey.