Coronation of King Alexander on Moot Hill, Scone. He is being greeted by the ollamh rígh, the royal poet, who is addressing him with the proclamation "Benach De Re Albanne" (= Beannachd Dé Rígh Alban, "God Bless the King of Scotland"); the poet goes on to recite Alexander's genealogy. By Alexander's side is Maol Choluim II, Earl of Fife holding the sword.
|King of Scots|
|Reign||6 July 1249 – 19 March 1286|
|Coronation||13 July 1249|
|Born||4 September 1241|
Roxburgh Castle, Roxburghshire
|Died||19 March 1286 44) (aged|
Kinghorn Ness, Fife
|Burial||29 March 1286|
Margaret of England
(m. 1251;died 1275)
Yolande de Dreux (m. 1285)
| Margaret, Queen of Norway |
Alexander, Prince of Scotland
|Mother||Marie de Coucy|
Alexander III (Medieval Gaelic: Alaxandair mac Alaxandair; Modern Gaelic: Alasdair mac Alasdair) (4 September 1241 – 19 March 1286) was King of Scots from 1249 until his death. He concluded the Treaty of Perth, by which Scotland acquired sovereignty over the Western Isles and the Isle of Man. His heir, Margaret, Maid of Norway, died before she could be crowned.
Alexander was born at Roxburgh, the only son of Alexander II by his second wife Marie de Coucy. Alexander III was also the grandson of William the Lion. Alexander's father died on 8 July 1249 and he became king at the age of seven, inaugurated at Scone on 13 July 1249.[ citation needed ]
The years of his minority featured an embittered struggle for the control of affairs between two rival parties, the one led by Walter Comyn, Earl of Menteith, the other by Alan Durward, Justiciar of Scotia. The former dominated the early years of Alexander's reign. At the marriage of Alexander to Margaret of England in 1251, Henry III of England seized the opportunity to demand from his son-in-law homage for the Scottish kingdom, but Alexander did not comply. In 1255 an interview between the English and Scottish kings at Kelso led to Menteith and his party losing to Durward's party. But though disgraced, they still retained great influence, and two years later, seizing the person of the king, they compelled their rivals to consent to the erection of a regency representative of both parties.
On attaining his majority at the age of 21 in 1262, Alexander declared his intention of resuming the projects on the Western Isles which the death of his father thirteen years before had cut short.He laid a formal claim before the Norwegian king Haakon. Haakon rejected the claim, and in the following year responded with a formidable invasion. Sailing around the west coast of Scotland he halted off the Isle of Arran, and negotiations commenced. Alexander artfully prolonged the talks until the autumn storms should begin. At length Haakon, weary of delay, attacked, only to encounter a terrific storm which greatly damaged his ships. The Battle of Largs (October 1263) proved indecisive, but even so, Haakon's position was hopeless. Baffled, he turned homewards, but died in Orkney on 15 December 1263. The Isles now lay at Alexander's feet, and in 1266 Haakon's successor concluded the Treaty of Perth by which he ceded the Isle of Man and the Western Isles to Scotland in return for a monetary payment. Norway retained Orkney and Shetland until 1469 when they became a dowry for James III's bride, Margaret of Denmark.
Alexander had married Margaret, daughter of King Henry III of England and Eleanor of Provence, on 25 December 1251, when he was ten years old and she was eleven.She died in 1275, after they had had three children.
According to the Lanercost Chronicle, Alexander did not spend his decade as a widower alone: "he used never to forbear on account of season nor storm, nor for perils of flood or rocky cliffs, but would visit none too creditably nuns or matrons, virgins or widows as the fancy seized him, sometimes in disguise."
Towards the end of Alexander's reign, the death of all three of his children within a few years made the question of the succession one of pressing importance. In 1284 he induced the Estates to recognize as his heir-presumptive his granddaughter Margaret, the "Maid of Norway". The need for a male heir led him to contract a second marriage to Yolande de Dreuxon 1 November 1285.
Alexander died in a fall from his horse while riding in the dark to visit the queen at Kinghorn in Fife on 18 March 1286 because it was her birthday the next day.He had spent the evening at Edinburgh Castle celebrating his second marriage and overseeing a meeting with royal advisors. He was advised by them not to make the journey to Fife because of weather conditions, but he travelled anyway. Alexander became separated from his guides and it is assumed that in the dark his horse lost its footing. The 44-year-old king was found dead on the shore the following morning with a broken neck. Some texts have said that he fell off a cliff. Although there is no cliff at the site where his body was found, there is a very steep rocky embankment, which "would have been fatal in the dark." After Alexander's death, his strong realm was plunged into a period of darkness that would eventually lead to war with England. He was buried in Dunfermline Abbey.
As Alexander left no surviving children, the heir to the throne was his unborn child by Queen Yolande. When Yolande's pregnancy ended, probably with a miscarriage, Alexander's seven-year-old granddaughter Margaret, Maid of Norway, became the heir. Margaret died, still uncrowned, on her way to Scotland in 1290. The inauguration of John Balliol as king on 30 November 1292 ended the six years of the Guardians of Scotland governing the land.
The death of Alexander and the subsequent period of instability in Scotland was lamented in an early Scots poem recorded by Andrew of Wyntoun in his Orygynale Cronykil of Scotland.
Quhen Alexander our kynge was dede,
That Scotlande lede in lauche and le,
Away was sons of alle and brede,
Off wyne and wax, of gamyn and gle.
Our golde was changit into lede.
Crist, borne in virgynyte,
Succoure Scotlande, and ramede,
That is stade in perplexite.
In 1886, a monument to Alexander III was erected at the approximate location of his death in Kinghorn.
Alexander III has been depicted in historical novels. They include:
|Ancestors of Alexander III of Scotland|
Alexander III of ScotlandBorn: 4 September 1241 Died: 19 March 1286
| King of Scots |
Title next held byMargaret
Alexander II was King of Scotland from 1214 until his death. He concluded the Treaty of York (1237) which defined the boundary between England and Scotland, virtually unchanged today.
Margaret, known as the Maid of Norway, was the queen-designate of Scotland from 1286 until her death. As she was never inaugurated, her status as monarch has been debated by historians.
Year 1286 (MCCLXXXVI) was a common year starting on Tuesday of the Julian calendar.
Eric Magnusson was the King of Norway from 1280 until 1299.
The House of Dunkeld is a historiographical and genealogical construct to illustrate the clear succession of Scottish kings from 1034 to 1040 and from 1058 to 1286. The line is also variously referred to by historians as "The Canmores" and "MacMalcolm".
The Battle of Largs was a decisive engagement between the kingdoms of Norway and Scotland, on the Firth of Clyde near Largs, Scotland. The conflict formed part of the Norwegian expedition against Scotland in 1263, in which Haakon Haakonsson, King of Norway attempted to reassert Norwegian sovereignty over the western seaboard of Scotland. Since the beginning of the 12th century this region had lain within the Norwegian realm, ruled by magnates who recognised the overlordship of the Kings of Norway. In the mid-13th century, two Scottish kings, Alexander II and his son Alexander III, attempted to incorporate the region into their own realm. Following failed attempts to purchase the islands from the Norwegian king, the Scots launched military operations. Haakon responded to the Scottish aggression by leading a massive fleet from Norway, which reached the Hebrides in the summer of 1263. By the end of September, Haakon's fleet occupied the Firth of Clyde, and when negotiations between the kingdoms broke down, he brought the bulk of his fleet to anchor off the Cumbraes.
When the crown of Scotland became vacant in September 1290 on the death of the child monarch Margaret, the Maid of Norway, a total of thirteen claimants to the throne came forward. Those with the most credible claims were John Balliol, Robert Bruce, John Hastings and Floris V, Count of Holland.
Alexander Stewart, also known as Alexander of Dundonald, was 4th hereditary High Steward of Scotland from his father's death in 1246.
Robert V de Brus, 5th Lord of Annandale, was a feudal lord, justice and constable of Scotland and England, a regent of Scotland, and a competitor for the Scottish throne in 1290/92 in the Great Cause. His grandson Robert the Bruce eventually became King of Scots.
The Battle of Ronaldsway took place in 1275 at Ronaldsway in the southern part of the Isle of Man between a Scottish army and the Manx. The battle crushed the final attempt by the Manx to re-establish the Norse Sudreyar dynasty. As the battle resulted in the death of the last Norse King of Mann, Guðrøðr Magnússon, and the emigration to Norway of the remaining members of the Manx royal family, it also led to the firm establishment of Scottish rule on the Isle of Man.
Marie de Coucy was a Queen consort of the Kingdom of Scotland by marriage to Alexander II of Scotland, King of Scots. She was a member of the royal council during the two last years of the minority of her son, Alexander III, in 1260-1262.
Yolande of Dreux was a sovereign Countess of Montfort from 1311 until 1322. Through her first marriage to Alexander III of Scotland, Yolande became Queen consort of the Kingdom of Scotland. Through her second marriage to Arthur II, Duke of Brittany, she became Duchess Consort of Brittany.
Harald Maddadsson was Earl of Orkney and Mormaer of Caithness from 1139 until 1206. He was the son of Matad, Mormaer of Atholl, and Margaret, daughter of Earl Haakon Paulsson of Orkney. Of mixed Norse and Gaelic blood, and a descendant of Scots kings, he was a significant figure in northern Scotland, and played a prominent part in Scottish politics of the twelfth century. The Orkneyinga Saga names him one of the three most powerful Earls of Orkney along with Sigurd Eysteinsson and Thorfinn Sigurdsson.
Alexander Comyn, 2nd Earl of Buchan was a Scoto-Norman magnate who was one of the most important figures in the 13th century Kingdom of Scotland. He was the son of William Comyn, jure uxoris Earl of Buchan, and Marjory, Countess of Buchan, the heiress of the last native Scottish Mormaer of Buchan, Fergus. He was the chief counsellor of Alexander III, King of Scots for the entire period of the king's majority and, as Scotland's leading magnate, played a key role in safeguarding the independence of the Scottish monarchy. During his long career, Alexander Comyn was Justiciar of Scotia (1258–89), Constable of Scotland (1275–89), Sheriff of Wigtown (1263–66), Sheriff of Dingwall (1264–66), Ballie of Inverie and finally, Guardian of Scotland (1286–89) during the first interregnum following the death of Alexander III. In 1284 he joined with other Scottish noblemen who acknowledged Margaret of Norway as the heiress to King Alexander. He died sometime after 10 July 1289.
Isabel Bruce was Queen of Norway as the wife of King Eric II.
Walter Bailloch, also known as Walter Bailloch Stewart, was distinguished by the sobriquet Bailloch or Balloch, a Gaelic nickname roughly translated as "the freckled". He was the Earl of Menteith jure uxoris.
Alexander was an heir apparent to the throne of the Kingdom of Scotland who never ascended due to his early death.
Alexander of Scotland may refer to: