James STEWART, II, King of Scots

Male 1430 - 1460  (29 years)


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  • Name James STEWART 
    Suffix II, King of Scots 
    Born 16 Oct 1430  Holyrood Palace, Edinburgh, Midlothian, Scotland, United Kingdom Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    Gender Male 
    Coronation 1437  Palace of Holyroodhouse, Edinburgh, Lothian, Scotland Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    King of Scots 
    Fact Killed by a bursting piece of ordnance at the seige of Roxburgh castle Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    Note "Fiery Face" refers to the fact that he had a large and unightly red birth-mark that cove Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    _FSFTID MK6G-G9X 
    Died 3 Aug 1460  Roxburgh Castle, Roxburgh, Roxburghshire, Scotland, United Kingdom Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    Buried 7 Aug 1460  Holyrood, Edinburgh, Midlothian, Scotland, United Kingdom Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    Person ID I3749  YOUNG, Richard Perry
    Last Modified 7 May 2017 

    Father James STEWART, I, King of Scotland,   b. 25 Jul 1394, Dunfermline Palace, Dunfermline, Fife, Scotland, United Kingdom Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 21 Feb 1437, Blackfriars, Perthshire, Scotland, United Kingdom Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 42 years) 
    Mother Joan BEAUFORT, Queen of Scotland,   b. 27 Dec 1402, Westminster, Middlesex, England, United Kingdom Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 15 Jul 1445, Dunbar Castle, Dunbar, Haddingtonshire, Scotland, United Kingdom Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 42 years) 
    Married 12 Feb 1424  Southwark, London, England, United Kingdom Find all individuals with events at this location  [2
    Family ID F1806  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Maria VAN EDMOND,   b. 17 Jan 1433, Noord, Sint Anthonis, Noord-Brabant, Netherlands Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 16 Nov 1463, Roxburgh Castle, Kelso, Roxburghshire, Scotland, United Kingdom Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 30 years) 
    Children 
     1. STEWART,   b. 19 May 1450, Edinburgh, Midlothian, Scotland, United Kingdom Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 19 May 1450, Edinburgh, Midlothian, Scotland, United Kingdom Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 0 years)
    +2. James STEWART, III, King of Scotland,   b. 19 Jul 1451, St. Andrews, Fife, Scotland, United Kingdom Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 20 Jun 1488, Sauchieburn, Stirling, Scotland; Killed After the Battle, Assassinated Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 36 years)
     3. Sir Alexander STEWART, 3rd of Garlies,   b. Abt 1452, Wigtown, Scotland, United Kingdom Find all individuals with events at this location,   bur. Abt 1485, Elgin, Morayshire, Scotland, United Kingdom Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 33 years)
     4. Mary STEWART, Princess of Scotland,   b. 13 May 1453, Stirling, Stirlingshire, Scotland, United Kingdom Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 16 May 1488, Hamilton, Lanarkshire, Scotland, United Kingdom Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 35 years)
     5. Margaret Cecilia STEWART, Princess of Scotland,   b. Abt 1455, Stirling, Stirlingshire, Scotland, United Kingdom Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Abt 1512, Edinburgh, Midlothian, Scotland, United Kingdom Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 57 years)
    Last Modified 2 May 2017 14:02:00 
    Family ID F1798  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Notes 
    • «u»«b»Life Sketch«/u»«/b»

      James II (Middle Scots: Iames Stewart; 16 October 1430 \endash  3 August 1460), who reigned as king of Scots from 1437 on, was the son of James I and Joan Beaufort. Nothing is known of his early life, but by his first birthday his twin and only brother, Alexander, who was also the older twin, had died, thus making James the heir apparent and Duke of Rothesay. Curiously enough, James held no other titles while Duke of Rothesay. On 21 February 1437, James I was assassinated and the six-year-old Duke of Rothesay immediately succeeded him as James II.

      In 1449, nineteen-year-old James married fifteen-year-old Mary of Guelders, daughter of the Duke of Gelderland. She bore him seven children, six of whom survived into adulthood. Subsequently, the relations between Flanders and Scotland improved. James's nickname, Fiery Face, referred to a conspicuous vermilion birthmark on his face which appears to have been deemed by contemporaries an outward sign of a fiery temper.[1]

      James was a politic, and singularly successful king. He was popular with the commoners, with whom, like most of the Stewarts, he socialised often, in times of peace and war. His legislation has a markedly popular character. He does not appear to have inherited his father's taste for literature, which was "inherited" by at least two of his sisters; but the foundation of the university of Glasgow during his reign, by Bishop Turnbull, shows that he encouraged learning; and there are also traces of his endowments to St. Salvator's, the new college of Archbishop Kennedy at St Andrews. He possessed much of his father's restless energy. However, his murder of the Earl of Douglas leaves a stain on his reign.

      James I was assassinated on 21 February 1437. The Queen, although hurt, managed to get to her six-year-old son, who was now king. On 25 March 1437, the six-year-old was formally crowned King of Scots at Holyrood Abbey. The Parliament of Scotland revoked alienations of crown property and prohibited them, without the consent of the Estates, that is, until James II's eighteenth birthday.[1] He lived along with his mother and five of his six sisters (Margaret had left for France, where she had married the future Louis XI of France) at Dunbar Castle until 1439.[1]

      From 1437 to 1439 the King's first cousin Archibald Douglas, 5th Earl of Douglas, headed the government as lieutenant-general of the realm. After his death, and with a general lack of high-status earls in Scotland due to deaths, forfeiture or youth, political power became shared uneasily among William Crichton, 1st Lord Crichton, Lord Chancellor of Scotland (sometimes in co-operation with the Earl of Avondale), and Sir Alexander Livingston of Callendar, who had possession of the young king as the warden of the stronghold of Stirling Castle. Taking advantage of these events, Livingston placed Queen Joan and her new husband, Sir John Stewart, under "house arrest" at Stirling Castle on 3 August 1439. They were released on 4 September only by making a formal agreement to put James in the custody of the Livingstons, by giving up her dowry for his maintenance, and confessing that Livingston had acted through zeal for the king's safety.[1]

      In 1440, in the King's name, an invitation is said to have been sent to the young 6th Earl of Douglas and his brother, eleven-year-old David, to visit the king at Edinburgh Castle in November 1440. They came, and were entertained at the royal table, from which they were treacherously hurried to their doom, which took place by beheading in the castle yard of Edinburgh on 24 November. Three days later Malcolm Fleming of Cumbernauld, their chief adherent, shared the same fate. This infamous incident took the name of "the Black Dinner".

      In 1449, Mary of Guelders was recommended by Philip the Good as a suitable bride for James. The negotiations began in July 1447, when a Burgundian envoy came to Scotland, and were concluded by an embassy under Crichton the chancellor in September 1448. Philip settled sixty thousand crowns on his kinswoman, and her dower of ten thousand was secured on lands in Strathearn, Athole, Methven, and Linlithgow. A tournament took place before James at Stirling, on 25 February 1449, between James, master of Douglas, another James, brother to the Laird of Lochleven, and two knights of Burgundy, one of whom, Jacques de Lalain, was the most celebrated knight-errant of the time. The marriage was celebrated at Holyrood on 3 July 1449. A French chronicler, Mathieu d'Escouchy, gives a graphic account of the ceremony and the feasts which followed. Many Flemings in Mary's suite remained in Scotland, and the relations between Scotland and Flanders, already friendly under James I, consequently became closer.[1]

      In Scotland the king's marriage led to his emancipation from tutelage, and to the downfall of the Livingstons. In the autumn Sir Alexander and other members of the family were arrested. At a parliament in Edinburgh on 19 January 1450, Alexander Livingston, a son of Sir Alexander, and Robert Livingston of Linlithgow were tried and executed on the Castle Hill. Sir Alexander and his kinsmen were confined in different and distant castles. A single member of the family escaped the general proscription\emdash James, the eldest son of Sir Alexander, who, after arrest and escape to the highlands, was restored in 1454 to the office of chamberlain to which he had been appointed in the summer of 1449.

      James II enthusiastically promoted modern artillery, which he used with some success against the Black Douglases. His ambitions to increase Scotland's standing saw him besiege Roxburgh Castle in 1460, one of the last Scottish castles still held by the English after the Wars of Independence.

      For this siege, James took a large number of cannons imported from Flanders. On 3 August, he was attempting to fire one of these cannons, known as "the Lion", when it exploded and killed him. Robert Lindsay of Pitscottie stated in his history of James's reign that "as the King stood near a piece of artillery, his thigh bone was dug in two with a piece of misframed gun that brake in shooting, by which he was stricken to the ground and died hastily." [5]

      The Scots carried on with the siege, led by George Douglas, 4th Earl of Angus, and the castle fell a few days later. Once the castle was captured James' widow, Mary of Guelders, ordered its destruction.[6] James's son became king as James III and Mary acted as regent until her own death three years later.

      Issue

      James married Mary of Guelders at Holyrood Abbey, Edinburgh, on 3 July 1449. They had seven children:

      An unnamed son. (Born and died on 19 May 1450)
      James III of Scotland (10 July 1451 \endash  11 June 1488)
      Mary Stewart, Countess of Arran (13 May 1453 \endash  May 1488)
      Alexander Stewart, 1st Duke of Albany (c. 1454 \endash  1485)
      David Stewart, Earl of Moray (c. 1455 \endash  July 1457)
      John Stewart, 1st Earl of Mar and Garioch (July 1457 \endash  1479)
      Princess Margaret Stewart of Scotland

      By his unknown mistress, James also left one illegitimate son:

      John Stewart, Lord of Sticks (d. 21 September 1523)

      Born at Holyrood on 16 October 1430, James II was only six years old when his father was murdered at Perth.

      James II was crowned in Holyrood Abbey, Edinburgh in 1437, the first king not to be enthroned at Scone since Kenneth MacAlpin (843-58). James' minority was dominated by the struggles of rival families for power in the realm and control of the king.

      Known as 'James of the Fiery Face' because of a birthmark, he began to rule for himself when he was 18, soon after his marriage in July 1449 to Mary of Gueldres, a devout and cultivated Burgundian lady.

      Throughout most of his reign, the powerful Douglas family posed a threat to his throne. When he was ten, his advisers had the young 6th Earl of Douglas and his brother murdered at 'The Black Dinner' in 1440 at Edinburgh Castle.

      In 1452 James himself stabbed the 8th Earl to death during a violent quarrel in Stirling Castle, and later defeated the Douglases at Arkinholm. Three years later, the 9th Earl and his relatives were forfeited for treason and in 1458 his Parliament congratulated James on suppressing dangerous law-breakers.

      The threat from his overmighty subjects finally removed, in August 1460 James felt secure enough to take advantage of English divisions caused by the Wars of Roses and besiege Roxburgh Castle (held by the English for more than a century).

      Disaster followed, for as he stood next to one of his cannon it exploded, killing him instantly at the age of 29. He was buried in the Abbey of Holyrood, Edinburgh.

      Biography

      James II is the son of James I and Joan Beaufort. He succeeded to the throne in 1437, at the age of six, when his father was murdered. Prior to becoming king he held the title Duke of Rothesay.

      In 1449, he married Mary of Guelders, daughter of the Duke of Gelderland and together they had seven children. James had another child, John Stewart, Lord of Sticks, by an unknown mistress.

      James was killed at a siege of Roxburgh Castle, August 1460, when a cannon he lit exploded. He was succeeded by his son, also named James, who was only eight at the time.
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           ---  on FamilySearch  2 May 2017

  • Sources 
    1. [S22] FamilySearch (http://new.familysearch.org), The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, ((http://new.familysearch.org)), accessed 2 May 2017), entry for James Stewart, person ID MK6G-G9X. (Reliability: 3).

    2. [S22] FamilySearch (http://new.familysearch.org), The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, ((http://new.familysearch.org)), accessed 3 May 2017), entry for James Stewart, person ID LZGF-24S. (Reliability: 3).