Magazine article History Today

James II of Scots Killed at Roxburgh: August 3rd, 1460

Magazine article History Today

James II of Scots Killed at Roxburgh: August 3rd, 1460

Article excerpt

Known as 'James of the fiery face' for the bright red birthmark that covered a whole side of his countenance, James II was one of the most forceful of the Stewart rulers. Just six when his father James I was murdered in 1437, all through his childhood and adolescence the Douglases vied with other nobles for control of him. He was 18 when he married a niece of the Duke of Burgundy, Mary of Gueldres, in 1449 and took charge of matters for himself.

With a temperament as fiery as his face, James loved hunting, tournaments and war. He was fascinated by artillery and the Duke of Burgundy gave him the Mons Meg siege gun, which is still at Edinburgh Castle. Short of money until he killed the Earl of Douglas with his own hands in 1452 and then confiscated the Douglas estates, he used the income to support his own effective government. He also had to deal with the English, whose fingers were in Scotland's pie. …

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