James V


James V

James V began his minority in 1513 after the Battle of Flodden, by this time the house of Stewart had held the throne since 1371. He was crowned in the Chapel Royal at Stirling Castle on the 21st September, 1513. Since James was an infant the country was ruled in his name by various regents, first by his mother, Margaret Tudor (sister of Henry VIII) until she remarried in the following year, and thereafter by John, Duke of Albany, who was himself next in line for the throne after James. In 1525 Archibald Douglas, the 6th earl of Angus and the young king's stepfather, took custody of James and held him as a virtual prisoner for three years, exercising power on his behalf. James finally escaped in 1528 and assumed the reins of government himself.

James V held many of the same interests as his father and carried on much of his building work as well as patronising a lively court. Though probably not as extravagant as James IV the court of James V would still have been impressive as he shared his fathers desire to compete with the great kingdoms of Europe such as England and France. He stabilised control of the country subduing the Borders and the Western Isles and extending royal control of church funds. He also renewed the "auld alliance" with France, even marrying Madeleine de Valois, the daughter of King Francis I.

When Margaret Tudor died in 1541 war broke out once again with England and after a defeat for James at the Battle of Solway Moss in 1542 he fell ill. He died leaving his daughter as the only living heir and is thought to have said of the Stewart dynasty "It began with a lass and it will end with a lass". He was buried at Holyrood Abbey as Scotland once again plunged into crisis and the infant Mary, Queen of Scots was crowned.