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superior in discipline to any other Scottish troops.

In this ex

tremity, the King passed over to St Andrew's. By the advice of Kennedy, bishop of that see, he issued a proclamat on summoning the array of the North, and offering an amnesty to all who should join his army.

Attended by the ba

A considerable force speedily assembled. rons of Fife, Stratherne, and Angus, the King marched to Stirling; where, being joined by the troops from the more Northern shires, his army amounted to forty thousand. The royal army then advanced to give the rebels battle. Bishop Kennedy, desirous to prevent the effusion of blood, succeeded in persuading some of Douglas's adherents to desert and join the King. Their example was contagious: In one night, the whole forces of the Eart deserted him, except about a hundred of his servants and personal attendants. He fled to Annandale, and afterwards to


The castles of Abercorn, Douglas, Strathaven, and Creif in Galloway, were razed to their foundations; and, in a Parliament which met at Edinburgh, the family estates were confiscated. Every interval of peace was judiciously employed in legislative deliberations for tranquillizing the kingdom and giving authority and effect to the laws. Of these statutes, one deserves to be recorded, for its superior utility. A council of eight or twelve persons, according to the population, was appointed to sit periodically in each borough, to decide petty lawsuits. This was in fact establishing trial by jury, the most equitable mode of administering justice.

A truce for nine years was concluded with England; but the civil dissentions in that kingdom rendered the continuance of peace very precarious. From some uncertain cause, James advanced with an army to Roxburgh castle, which had remained in the hands of the English since the battle of Durham,— -a source of mortification and resentment to the Scots. In this siege, the Scots used artillery made of iron bars and girded with hoops of the same metal. While the King was observing the effects of his rude cannon, one of them suddenly burst. A fragment struck him, and wounded him so severely that he died almost instantaneously. The Earl of Angus, who stood near him, was wounded. Both the army and nation had cause to lament the premature death of a sovereign in the flower of his age, of a beneficent and

A.D. virtuous character, and the friend of the poor. He was kil 1460. led in the twenty-ninth year of his age and the twentyfourth of his reign.* He left three sons and two daughters. Whether James devised or deliberately acted upon a plan to depress the aristocracy, is rather uncertain. The house of Douglas was indeed humbled; but the family possessions were given chiefly to the Earl of Angus,—an injudicious distribution, which tended to create as potent an opposition to the royal authority as it had previously experienced from the family of Douglas. Yet, a statute passed in 1458, which permitted lands to be let in feu, free from military service, was a step towards the overthrow of the feudal system.


James the Third. Domestic affairs. Faction of the Boyds. Acquisition of the Orkney and Shetland Islands. Innovations in the municipal laws. Transactions with England. Submission of the Lord of the Isles. Despotical proceedings. Preparations for war. Rebellion. James killed.

JAMES the THIRD.-James the Third, a youth of eight A.D. 1460. S years of age, succeeded his father. His mother brought him to the camp upon hearing of the King's death, and exhorted the army to destroy the fortress; which was speedily levelled with the ground. The Prince was crowned at Scone. His mother, -assisted by Bishop Kennedy, directed his education. It is uncertain whether she attained the office of Regent by the will of the late King or by the election of the Parliament. Although the civil dissentions that convulsed England prevented any serious -operations against the Scots, the English, aware of their danger from a valiant and watchful enemy, had engaged in secret negotiations with some of the Scottish nobility, and attached them to their interest by conferring on them titles and possessions in England.

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Henry the Sixth of England having been defeated at Touton -by Edward the Fourth, fled to Scotland, and engaged the symA.D.pathy of the Queen Regent. Berwick was conceded to 1461. the Scots; who, in return, sent an army into England; but they were compelled to make a disgraceful and disastrous retreat. George Earl of Angus was engaged to assist the unfortu

A large holly, enclosed by a wall, marks the spot where he was killed.

nate Henry by the promise of a ducal dignity, with an estate in England of the annual value of two thousand merks Sterling. To A.D. balance the influence of Henry in Scotland, his successful 1462. rival Edward the Fourth entered into a negotiation with the Lord of the Isles; who became the liege subject of Edward, for a pension, and by the promise of ample territories when his country should be subdued.



The death of the Queen and of Bishop Kennedy was an 1463. irreparable loss to the Scots. Mary died, as is supposed, of a broken heart, by a disappointment from Edward of England. The death of Kennedy excited public regret. He was a grandson of Robert the Third; but his virtues and abilities conferred upon him a greater glory than his royal descent. His character was munificent and public-spirited; he was skilful in the laws of his country, an accomplished scholar, and an eminent statesman.

James had entered his fourteenth year when his venerable preceptor died. He was thus left a prey to flattering courtiers,-of whom, Robert Lord Boyd, and his sons Thomas and Robert, were the chief. Sir Alexander, Lord Boyd's brother, a mirror of chivalry, was appointed to superintend the military education of the youthful sovereign. Honours and emoluments were conferred upon the Boyds with an unsparing hand. Lord Boyd was appointed guardian of the King and his family, as well as governor of the royal castles. His eldest son Sir Thomas was married to the Princess of Scotland: He received as her dowery the Isle of ArA.D. ran, with other lands, and he was created constable of 1467. Scotland.

An embassy was sent to Denmark, to adjust a protracted dispute relative to the accumulated arrears due as annual tribute for the Western Islands. At the suggestion of the King of France, a marriage was concluded between the King of Scots and the Princess of Denmark. In lieu of dowery, her father consented to cancel the arrears, and to make a permanent cession to the Crown of Scotland of the Orkney and Shetland Islands. The proximity of these islands to Scotland, their intrinsic value, and the universal belief that they had anciently belonged to the monarchy, rendered their acquisition a matter of importance and glory.*

The Orkney and Shetland Islands, originally subject to the Picts, were seized by their victorious rivals the Scots, who transferred them to Norway. They remained in possession of the Norwegians until the mid


Margaret of Denmark arrived at Leith, and was married 1469. and crowned, though only in her thirteenth year. She is represented as virtuous and accomplished,

The King's marriage was an inauspicious event to his former favourities. He assumed the government, though but eighteen. The fall of the Boyds succeeded. Sir Alexander was beheaded; Lord Boyd and his sons escaped to England, and then to the Continent, where they died in obscurity.

The traits of James's character, upon his assuming the chief authority, began to be distinctly delineated,-in his attachment to favourites, his love of retirement and the arts, and his consequent inattention and aversion to public business. The municipal laws, so loudly complained of in the present day, seem to have originated in this reign. The election of magistrates was, by a legislative enactment, wrested from the burgesses. The old council was to choose the new, and both united were to appoint a provost, bailies, and other officers. Another measure equally objectionable was adopted. The Parliament was put upon the mean and dependant footing of a mere court of justice, existing by the royal pleasure, and assimilated, in terms of contempt, with the inferior courts.

These measures indicate the despotical character of the Scottish government. In the fall of the houses of Douglas and Boyd, the aristocracy received a severe blow. The commons were also depressed. James aimed to rule with absolute authority; but his genius was inadequate to the arduous attempt; and he at last fell a sacrifice to the resentment of the incensed nobility. He was insensible of the weakness of an unsupported throne; and his despotism hence assailed all orders and ranks in the nation.


This period is marked by an ecclesiastical dispute. Pa1471. Į trick Graham, who had succeeded Kennedy in the see of St Andrew's, procured a Papal bull for erecting that see into an archbishopric. Besides the dignity of archbishop, Graham was invested with the title and authority of Papal nuncio; but the

dle of the thirteenth century, when the Scots again took possession of them. During the two following centuries, the Norwegians made several bold attempts to recover them. Though these islands were ceded to James the Third, the Danes made subsequent pretensions to them, until, by the marriage of James the Sixth with Anne of Denmark, the rights of the Scots were finally recognized,

inferior clergy, dissatisfied with the appointment, made an offer of eleven thousand merks to James, to oppose and insult the Archbishop; who was imprisoned in Lochleven castle during the remainder of his life.

A very important treaty was entered into by the English and Scottish Monarchs, and which, had it been fulfilled, would have promoted the interests of both kingdoms, and might have prevented the disaster and disgrace which terminated the succeeding reign. The King of England offered his daughter Cecilia, only four years of age, in marriage to the Prince of Scotland, a child of two years; and with her a portion of twenty thousand merks, to be paid in ten years, by annual instalments. The poverty of the Scots inclined them to grasp with eagerness at the advantageous A.D. proposal; and the Kings mutually engaged to accomplish 1474. S the marriage in due time. It has been pertinently remarked, that a poor state is in greater danger of being subjugated by the gold than by the arms of a potent neighbour. The annual payment of the Princess's portion might be equivalent to one third of the royal revenue of Scotland; and it is probable that the English, in this transaction, began that system of policy towards Scotland, which in the succeeding century rendered that kingdom so dependant upon England.

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Having thus secured the friendship of England, James enjoyed full leisure to improve the domestic policy of his own kingdom. The acquisition of the Orkney and Shetland Islands naturally suggested the importance and necessity of reducing more completely the Western Islands; especially as the Lord of those islands, by his alliances with England, was of doubtful fidelity, and he had on many occasions excited serious alarm by his sudden devastations. He was summoned to appear at court; but, disobeying the royal mandate, sentence of forfeiture was pronounced against him. Naval and military preparations were made to execute the sentence; which induced the refractory chief to appear in Parliament, and supplicate the royal clemency. In consequence of his engaging to maintain the laws of the kingdom, he was confirmed in his jurisA.D. 1476.

diction and title as Lord of the Isles, but he was deprived of the earldom of Ross, and of Knapdale and Kintyre. The lamentable state of industry and agriculture at this period, rendered the Scots dependant on foreign countries for supplying even the means of sustenance. A parliamentary statute was made,

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