On 10th August 1460, King James III of Scotland was coronated at Kelso Abbey.
James inherited the throne from his father, James II, following his death during the siege of Roxburgh Castle just four days prior.
He was just a child at the time, and during much of his early reign Scotland was governed by a succession of influential regents. This period was marked by intense political intrigue and jostling among Scotland’s powerful factions.
Raised and taught by prominent figures in Scottish politics, one might assume that James III would become a capable ruler when his rule officially began in 1469. However, he is widely regarded as an unpopular monarch.
His reign was blighted by two sizeable rebellions, hairbrained expansionist scheming, financial corruption and, perhaps most notably, the loss of Berwick-upon-Tweed to England following an attempt by his brother, the Duke of Albany, to usurp the throne.
This costly conflict led to a coup which saw James imprisoned for several months during 1482.
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Despite his shortcomings, it was during James III’s reign that Scotland reached its greatest territorial extent.
His marriage to Margaret of Denmark saw Scotland acquire Orkney and Shetland as part of her dowry.
On 11th June 1488, James III was killed in action at the Battle of Sauchieburn outside Stirling.
The battle was fought between supporters of the incumbent monarch and rebellious nobles led by his 15-year old son, James, Duke of Rothesay.
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