List of Scottish monarchs

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Monarchy of Scotland
Royal Coat of Arms of the Kingdom of Scotland.svg
MK18545 Bannockburn Robert the Bruce.jpg
Idealised statue of Robert the Bruce
First monarch Kenneth I MacAlpin
Last monarch Anne
Abolition 1 May 1707

Family tree of Scottish monarchs and pretenders.
Pretenders are italicized. Family tree of Scottish monarchs 843-1807.svg
Family tree of Scottish monarchs and pretenders.
Pretenders are italicized.

The monarch of Scotland was the head of state of the Kingdom of Scotland. According to tradition, the first King of Scots (Middle Scots: King of Scottis, Modern Scots: King o Scots, Scottish Gaelic: Rìgh na h-Alba) was Kenneth I MacAlpin (Cináed mac Ailpín), who founded the state in 843. The distinction between the Kingdom of Scotland and the Kingdom of the Picts is rather the product of later medieval myth and confusion from a change in nomenclature i.e. Rex Pictorum (King of the Picts) becomes Rí Alban (King of Alba) under Donald II when annals switched from Latin to vernacular around the end of the 9th century, by which time the word Alba in Gaelic had come to refer to the Kingdom of the Picts rather than Great Britain (its older meaning). [1]

A head of state is the public persona who officially represents the national unity and legitimacy of a sovereign state. Depending on the country's form of government and separation of powers, the head of state may be a ceremonial figurehead or concurrently the head of government. In a parliamentary system, such as India, the head of state usually has mostly ceremonial powers, with a separate head of government. However in some parliamentary systems, like South Africa, there is an executive president that is both head of state and head of government. Likewise, in some parliamentary systems the head of state is not the head of government, but still has significant powers, for example Morocco. In contrast, a semi-presidential system, such as France, has both heads of state and government as the de facto leaders of the nation. Meanwhile, in presidential systems such as the United States, the head of state is also the head of government.

Kingdom of Scotland Historic sovereign kingdom in the British Isles from the 9th century to 1707

The Kingdom of Scotland was a sovereign state in northwest Europe traditionally said to have been founded in 843. Its territories expanded and shrank, but it came to occupy the northern third of the island of Great Britain, sharing a land border to the south with the Kingdom of England. It suffered many invasions by the English, but under Robert I it fought a successful War of Independence and remained an independent state throughout the late Middle Ages. In 1603, James VI of Scotland became King of England, joining Scotland with England in a personal union. In 1707, the two kingdoms were united to form the Kingdom of Great Britain under the terms of the Acts of Union. Following the annexation of the Northern Isles from the Kingdom of Norway in 1472 and final capture of the Royal Burgh of Berwick by the Kingdom of England in 1482, the territory of the Kingdom of Scotland corresponded to that of modern-day Scotland, bounded by the North Sea to the east, the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, and the North Channel and Irish Sea to the southwest.

Middle Scots was the Anglic language of Lowland Scotland in the period from 1450 to 1700. By the end of the 15th century, its phonology, orthography, accidence, syntax and vocabulary had diverged markedly from Early Scots, which was virtually indistinguishable from early Northumbrian Middle English. Subsequently, the orthography of Middle Scots differed from that of the emerging Early Modern English standard. Middle Scots was fairly uniform throughout its many texts, albeit with some variation due to the use of Romance forms in translations from Latin or French, turns of phrases and grammar in recensions of southern texts influenced by southern forms, misunderstandings and mistakes made by foreign printers.


The Kingdom of the Picts just became known as Kingdom of Alba in Gaelic, which later became known in Scots and English as Scotland; the terms are retained in both languages to this day. By the late 11th century at the very latest, Scottish kings were using the term rex Scottorum, or King of Scots, to refer to themselves in Latin. The Kingdom of Scotland was merged with the Kingdom of England to form a single Kingdom of Great Britain in 1707. Thus Queen Anne became the last monarch of the ancient kingdoms of Scotland and England and the first of Great Britain, although the kingdoms had shared a monarch since 1603 (see Union of the Crowns). Her uncle Charles II was the last monarch to be crowned in Scotland, at Scone in 1651. He had a second coronation in England ten years later.

The Kingdom of Alba refers to the Kingdom of Scotland between the deaths of Donald II in 900 and of Alexander III in 1286, which then led indirectly to the Scottish Wars of Independence. The name is one of convenience, as throughout this period the elite and populace of the Kingdom were predominantly Pictish-Gaels or later Pictish-Gaels and Scoto-Norman, and differs markedly from the period of the Stuarts, in which the elite of the kingdom were speakers of Middle English, which later evolved and came to be called Lowland Scots. There is no precise Gaelic equivalent for the English terminology "Kingdom of Alba", as the Gaelic term Rìoghachd na h-Alba means 'Kingdom of Scotland'. English-speaking scholars adapted the Gaelic name for Scotland to apply to a particular political period in Scottish history during the High Middle Ages.

Scots language Germanic language

Scots is the Germanic language variety spoken in Lowland Scotland and parts of Ulster in Ireland. It is sometimes called Lowland Scots to distinguish it from Scottish Gaelic, the Celtic language which was historically restricted to most of the Highlands, the Hebrides and Galloway after the 16th century. The Scots language developed during the Middle English period as a distinct entity.

Kingdom of England Historic sovereign kingdom on the British Isles (927–1649; 1660–1707)

The Kingdom of England was a sovereign state on the island of Great Britain from 927, when it emerged from various Anglo-Saxon kingdoms until 1707, when it united with Scotland to form the Kingdom of Great Britain.


List of monarchs of Scotland

House of Alpin (848–1034)

The reign of Kenneth MacAlpin begins what is often called the House of Alpin, an entirely modern concept. The descendants of Kenneth MacAlpin were divided into two branches; the crown would alternate between the two, the death of a king from one branch often hastened by war or assassination by a pretender from the other. Malcolm II was the last king of the House of Alpin; in his reign, he successfully crushed all opposition to him and, having no sons, was able to pass the crown to his daughter's son, Duncan I, who inaugurated the House of Dunkeld.

The House of Alpin, also known as the Alpínid dynasty, Clann Chináeda, and Clann Chinaeda meic Ailpín, was the kin-group which ruled in Pictland and then the kingdom of Alba from the advent of Kenneth MacAlpin in the 840s until the death of Malcolm II in 1034.

Pretender someone who claims a relation to a throne

A pretender is one who maintains or is able to maintain a claim that they are entitled to a position of honour or rank, which may be occupied by an incumbent, or whose powers may currently be exercised by another person or authority. Most often, it refers to a former monarch, or descendant thereof, whose throne is occupied or claimed by a rival or has been abolished.

PortraitTraditional modern English regnal name
(with modern Gaelic equivalent)
Medieval Gaelic nameDynastic StatusReignTitleEpithet
Kenneth MacAlpin.jpg Kenneth I MacAlpin [2]
(Coinneach mac Ailpein) [3]
Cináed mac Ailpín
Ciniod m. Ailpin
son of Alpin king of Dál Riata843/848 – 13 February 858Rex Pictorum
("King of the Picts")
An Ferbasach,
"The Conqueror" [4]
Donald MacAlpin.jpg Donald I [5]
(Dòmhnall mac Ailpein)
Domnall mac Ailpínson of Alpin king of Dál Riata, and brother of Kenneth I858 – 13 April 862
Constantine I of Scotland (Holyrood).jpg Constantine I [6]
(Còiseam mac Choinnich)
Causantín mac CináedaSon of Kenneth I862–877An Finn-Shoichleach,
"The Wine-Bountiful" [7]
Aed, king of Scots.jpg Áed [8]
(Aodh mac Choinnich)
Áed mac Cináeda877–878
Gregorius the Great or Giric of Scotland.jpg Giric [9]
(Griogair mac Dhunghail)
Giric mac DúngailSon of Donald I?878–889Mac Rath,
"Son of Fortune" [10]
Eochaid Eochaid mac Rungrandson of Kenneth I*878–889?*
Donald II of Scotland (Holyrood).jpg Donald II [11]
(Dòmhnall mac Chòiseim)
Domnall mac CausantínSon of Constantine I889–900Rí Alban
("King of Scotland")

Rì nan Albannaich
("King of Scots")
"the Madman" [12]
Constantine II of Scotland (Holyrood).jpg Constantine II [13]
(Còiseam mac Aoidh)
Causantín mac ÁedaSon of Áed900–943An Midhaise,
"the Middle Aged" [14]
Malcolm I of Scotland (Holyrood).jpg Malcolm I [15]
(Maol Chaluim mac Dhòmhnaill)
Máel Coluim mac DomnallSon of Donald II943–954An Bodhbhdercc,
"the Dangerous Red" [16]
An Ionsaighthigh.jpg Indulf [17] [18] Ildulb mac CausantínSon of Constantine II954–962An Ionsaighthigh,
"the Aggressor" [19]
Dub, King of Scotland d. 967, r. 962-967.jpg Dub [20]
(Dubh or Duff)
(Dubh mac Mhaoil Chaluim)
Dub mac Maíl CholuimSon of Malcolm I962–967Dén,
"the Vehement" [21]
Culenus, King of Scotland, 966 (crop).jpg Cuilén [22]
Cuilén mac IlduilbSon of Indulf967–971An Fionn,
"the White" [23]
Amlaib mac Illuilb (Oxford Bodleian Library MS Rawlinson B 488, folio 15r).jpg Amlaíb
Amlaíb mac IlduilbSon of Indulf973–977‡
Kenneth II of Scotland (Holyrood).jpg Kenneth II [24]
(Coinneach mac Mhaoil Chaluim)
Cináed mac Maíl CholuimSon of Malcolm I971–995An Fionnghalach,
"the Fratricide" [25]
Constantine III (Alba).jpg Constantine III [26]
(Còiseam mac Chailein)
Causantín mac CuiléinSon of Cuilén995–997
Kenneth III of Scotland.jpg Kenneth III [27]
(Coinneach mac Dhuibh)
Cináed mac DuibSon of Dub997 – 25 March 1005An Donn,
"the Chief"/ "the Brown" [28]
Malcolm II of Scotland (Holyrood).jpg Malcolm II [29]
(Maol Chaluim mac Choinnich)
Máel Coluim mac CináedaSon of Kenneth II1005–1034Forranach,
"the Destroyer" [30]

*Eochiad was a son of Run, King of Strathclyde, but his mother was a daughter of Kenneth I. Evidence of his reign is unclear. He may have never actually been king and if he was, he was co-king with Giric.

Amlaíb is known only by a reference to his death in 977, which reports him as King of Alba; since Kenneth II is known to have still been King in 972–973, Amlaíb must have taken power between 973 and 977.

House of Dunkeld (1034–1286)

Duncan succeeded to the throne as the maternal grandson of Malcolm II. He was also the heir-general of Malcolm I, as his paternal grandfather, Duncan of Atholl was the third son of Malcolm I. The House of Dunkeld was therefore closely related to the House of Alpin. Duncan was killed in battle by Macbeth, who had a long and relatively successful reign. In a series of battles between 1057 and 1058, Duncan's son Malcolm III defeated and killed Macbeth and Macbeth's stepson and heir Lulach, claiming the throne. The dynastic feuds did not end there: on Malcolm III's death in battle, his brother Donald III, known as "Bán", claimed the throne, expelling Malcolm III's sons from Scotland. A civil war in the family ensued, with Donald III and Malcolm III's son Edmund opposed by Malcolm III's English-backed sons, led first by Duncan II and then by Edgar. Edgar triumphed, sending his uncle and brother to monasteries. After the reign of David I, the Scottish throne was passed according to rules of primogeniture, moving from father to son, or where not possible, brother to brother.

Primogeniture is the right, by law or custom, of the firstborn legitimate son to inherit his parent's entire or main estate, in preference to shared inheritance among all or some children, a child other than the eldest male, a daughter, illegitimate child or a collateral relative. In some cases the estate may instead be the inheritance of the firstborn child or occasionally the firstborn daughter. The descendant of a deceased elder sibling inherits before a living younger sibling by right of substitution for the deceased heir. In the absence of any children, brothers succeed, individually, to the inheritance by seniority of age. Among siblings, sons usually inherit before daughters. In the absence of male descendants in the male-line, there are variations of primogeniture which allocate the inheritance to a daughter or a brother or, in the absence of either, to another collateral relative, in a specified order.

Modern English & Regnal Name
(Modern Gaelic Name)
(Medieval Gaelic Name)

PortraitMedieval TitleEpithet
Dynastic Status
(Father's Family)
Maternal Status
(Mother's Family)
Duncan I [31]
(Donnchadh mac Crìonain)
(Donnchad mac Crínáin)

Donnchad I.jpg Rí AlbanAn t-Ilgarach
"the Diseased"
or "the Sick"
Grandson of Malcolm II Son of Bethóc, Eldest Daughter of Malcolm II
(House of Alpin)
Macbeth [33]
(MacBheatha mac Fhionnlaigh)
(Mac Bethad mac Findláich)

Macbeth of Scotland (Holyrood).jpg Rí AlbanRí Deircc
"the Red King" [34]
1) Son of Mormaer Findláech
2) Grandson of Malcolm II
3) Husband to Gruoch, granddaughter of Kenneth III
?,Unknown Daughter or Granddaughter of Malcolm II
(House of Alpin)
Lulach [35]
(Lughlagh mac Gille Chomghain)
(Lulach mac Gille Comgaín)

Rí AlbanTairbith
"the Unfortunate" [34]
"the Foolish" [36]
1) Son of Gille Coemgáin, Mormaer of Moray
2) Grandson of Kenneth III
(House of Alpin)
Son of Gruoch, Granddaughter of Kenneth III
Malcolm III [37]
(Maol Chaluim mac Dhonnchaidh)
(Máel Coluim mac Donnchada)

Malcolm III Engraving.jpg Rí Alban / Scottorum basileus? Cenn Mór ("Canmore")
"Great Chief"
Son of Duncan I Son of Suthen
Donald III [39]
(Dòmhnall mac Dhonnchaidh)
(Domnall mac Donnchada)

Donald III of Scotland - 16th-17th Century.jpg
Rí AlbanBán,
"the Fair"
Duncan II [40]
(Donnchadh mac Mhaoil Chaluim)
(Donnchad mac Maíl Choluim)

Duncan II of Scotland (Holyrood).jpg Rí Alban / Rex ScottorumSon of Malcolm III
Edgar [41]
(Eagar mac Mhaoil Chaluim)
(Étgar mac Maíl Choluim)

Edgar of Scotland (Holyrood).jpg Rí Alban / Rex ScottorumProbus,
"the Valiant" [42]
Alexander I [43]
(Alasdair mac Mhaoil Chaluim)
(Alaxandair mac Maíl Choluim)

Alexander I of Scotland (Holyrood).jpg Rí Alban / Rex Scottorum"the Fierce" [44]
David I [45]
(Dàibhidh mac Mhaoil Chaluim)
(Dabíd mac Maíl Choluim)

David I of Scotland (Holyrood).jpg Rí Alban / Rex Scottorum"the Saint" [46]
Malcolm IV [47]
(Maol Chaluim mac Eanraig)
(Máel Coluim mac Eanric)

Malcolm IV of Scotland (Holyrood).jpg Rí Alban / Rex ScottorumVirgo
"the Maiden"
Cenn Mór,
"Great Chief" [38]
Grandson of David I
William I
(Uilleam mac Eanraig)
(Uilliam mac Eanric)

William I of Scotland (Holyrood).jpg Rí Alban / Rex Scottorum"the Lion"
"the Rough" [48]
Alexander II [49]
(Alasdair mac Uilleim)
(Alaxandair mac Uilliam)

Alexander II (Alba) ii (transparent).png Rí Alban / Rex ScottorumSon of William I
Alexander III [50]
(Alasdair mac Alasdair)
(Alaxandair mac Alaxandair)

Alexand3.jpg Rí Alban / Rex ScottorumSon of Alexander II

House of Sverre (1286–1290)

The last King of the House of Dunkeld was Alexander III. His wife had borne him two sons and a daughter but by 1286 his sons were dead and his daughter, Margaret, had borne only a single daughter, also named Margaret, to her husband Eric II of Norway before herself dying. Alexander had himself remarried, but in early 1286 he died in an accident while riding home. His wife, Yolande of Dreux, was pregnant but by November 1286 all hope of her bearing a living child had passed. Accordingly, in the Treaty of Salisbury, the Guardians of Scotland recognised Alexander's three-year-old granddaughter, Margaret of Norway, as Queen of Scots. Margaret remained in her father's Kingdom of Norway until Autumn 1290, when she was dispatched to Scotland. However, she died on the journey in Orkney, having never set foot on Scottish soil, and without being crowned at Scone. She is thus sometimes not considered Queen.

Eric II of Norway Norwegian king

Eric Magnusson was the King of Norway from 1280 until 1299.

NamePortraitBirthMarriage(s)DeathDynastic status
Margaret [51]
the Maid of Norway
Margaret, Maid of Norway imaginary.jpg c. April 1283
Tønsberg, Norway
daughter of Eric II of Norway and Margaret of Scotland
NoneSeptember/October 1290
St Margaret's Hope, Orkney
aged 7
granddaughter of Alexander III

First Interregnum (1290–1292)

Monarchy of Scotland restored

House of Balliol (1292–1296)

The death of Margaret of Norway began a two-year interregnum in Scotland caused by a succession crisis. With her death, the descent of William I became extinct and there was no obvious heir by primogeniture. Thirteen candidates presented themselves; the most prominent were John de Balliol, great-grandson of William I's younger brother David of Huntingdon, and Robert de Brus, 5th Lord of Annandale, David of Huntingdon's grandson. The Scottish Magnates invited Edward I of England to arbitrate the claims. He did so but forced the Scots to swear allegiance to him as overlord. Eventually, it was decided that John de Balliol should become King. He proved weak and incapable and, in 1296, was forced to abdicate by Edward I who then attempted to annex Scotland into the Kingdom of England.

NamePortraitBirthMarriage(s)DeathDynastic status
John Balliol [52]
Toom Tabard ("Empty Cloak")
(Iain Balliol)
SetonArmorialJohnBalliolAndWife.jpg c. 1249 Isabella de Warenne
9 February 1281
at least one child

c. 25 November 1314
Picardy, France

great-grandson of David of Huntingdon (brother of William I)

Second Interregnum (1296–1306)

Monarchy of Scotland restored (second time)

House of Bruce (1306–1371)

For ten years, Scotland had no King of its own. The Scots, however, refused to tolerate English rule. First William Wallace and then, after his execution, Robert the Bruce (the grandson of the 1292 competitor, Robert de Brus, 5th Lord of Annandale) fought against the English. Bruce and his supporters killed a rival for the throne, John III Comyn, Lord of Badenoch on 10 February 1306 at Greyfriars Church in Dumfries. Shortly after in 1306, Robert was crowned King of Scots at Scone. His energy, and the corresponding replacement of the vigorous Edward I with his weaker son Edward II, allowed Scotland to free itself from English rule. At the Battle of Bannockburn in 1314, the Scots routed the English, and by 1328 the English had agreed by treaty to accept Scottish independence. Robert's son, David, acceded to the throne as a child. The English renewed their war with Scotland, and David was forced to flee the Kingdom by Edward Balliol, son of King John, who managed to get himself crowned King of Scots (1332–1356) and to give away Scotland's southern counties to England before being driven out again. David spent much of his life in exile, first in freedom with his ally, France, and then in prison in England. He was only able to return to Scotland in 1357. Upon his death, childless, in 1371, the House of Bruce came to an end.

NamePortraitBirthMarriage(s)DeathDynastic status
Robert I [53]
the Bruce
(Raibeart a Briuis)
Robert I and Isabella of Mar, Seton Armorial.jpg 11 July 1274
Turnberry Castle, Ayrshire
son of Robert de Brus, 6th Lord of Annandale and Marjorie, Countess of Carrick [54]
Isabella of Mar
one daughter

Elizabeth de Burgh
Writtle, Essex, England
four children
7 June 1329
Manor of Cardross, Dunbartonshire
aged 54
great-great-grandson of David of Huntingdon (brother of William I)
David II [55]
(Dàibhidh Bruis)
David II, King of Scotland and Edward III, King of England (British Library MS Cotton Nero D VI, folio 66v).jpg 5 March 1324
Dunfermline Palace, Fife
son of Robert I and Elizabeth de Burgh
Joan of England
17 July 1328
no children

Margaret Drummond
Inchmurdach, Fife
20 February 1364
no children
22 February 1371
Edinburgh Castle
aged 46
son of Robert I (primogeniture)

Disputed claimant

House of Balliol (1332–1356)

Edward Balliol was the son of King John Balliol, who had himself ruled for four years following his election in the Great Cause. Following his abdication, John Balliol lived out his life in obscurity in Picardy, France. During the minority of David II, Edward Balliol seized the opportunity to assert his claim to the throne, and backed by the English, he defeated the forces of David's regency and was himself crowned king at Scone in 1332. He was quickly defeated by loyalist forces, and sent back to England. With English support, he would mount two more attempts to seize the throne again, in 1333 and 1335, each time his actual control of the throne was brief before being sent back to England, for the last time in 1336. When David returned from exile in 1341 to rule in his own right, Edward lost most of his support. When David II was captured in battle in 1346, Edward made one last attempt to seize the throne for himself, but had little support and the campaign fizzled before it gained much traction. In 1356 he renounced all claims to the throne.

Edward Balliol [56]
In opposition to David II
Edward Balliol.jpg 1283
Son of John Balliol and Isabella de Warenne
Doncaster, Yorkshire, England
Son of a former king, candidate of the English to replace the exiled David II

House of Stewart/Stuart (1371–1651)

Robert the Stewart was a grandson of Robert I by the latter's daughter, Marjorie. Having been born in 1316, he was older than his uncle, David II. Consequently, he was at his accession a middle aged man, already 55, and unable to reign vigorously, a problem also faced by his son Robert III, who also ascended in middle age at 53 in 1390, and suffered lasting damage in a horse-riding accident. These two were followed by a series of regencies, caused by the youth of the succeeding five boy kings. Consequently, the Stewart era saw periods of royal inertia, during which the nobles usurped power from the crown, followed by periods of personal rule by the monarch, during which he or she would attempt to address the issues created by their own minority and the long-term effects of previous reigns. Governing Scotland became increasingly difficult, as the powerful nobility became increasingly intractable. James I's attempts to curb the disorder of the realm ended in his assassination. James III was killed in a civil war between himself and the nobility, led by his own son. When James IV, who had governed sternly and suppressed the aristocrats, died in the Battle of Flodden, his wife Margaret Tudor, who had been nominated regent for their young son James V, was unseated by noble feuding, and James V's own wife, Mary of Guise, succeeded in ruling Scotland during the regency for her young daughter Mary I only by dividing and conquering the noble factions, distributing French bribes with a liberal hand. Finally, Mary I, the daughter of James V, found herself unable to govern Scotland faced with the surliness of the aristocracy and the intransigence of the population, who favoured Calvinism and disapproved of her Catholicism. She was forced to abdicate, and fled to England, where she was imprisoned in various castles and manor houses for eighteen years and finally executed for treason against the English queen Elizabeth I. Upon her abdication, her son, fathered by Henry, Lord Darnley, a junior member of the Stewart family, became King as James VI.

James VI became King of England and Ireland as James I in 1603, when his cousin Elizabeth I died. Thereafter, although the two crowns of England and Scotland remained separate, the monarchy was based chiefly in England. Charles I, James's son, found himself faced with Civil War. The resultant conflict lasted eight years, and ended in his execution. The English Parliament then decreed their monarchy to be at an end. The Scots Parliament, after some deliberation, broke their links with England, and declared that Charles II, son and heir of Charles I, would become King. He ruled until 1651 when the armies of Oliver Cromwell occupied Scotland and drove him into exile.

NamePortraitBirthMarriage(s)DeathDynastic status
Robert II [57]
the Stewart
(Raibeart II Stiùbhairt)
Robert and Euphemia.jpg 2 March 1316
Paisley, Renfrewshire
son of Walter Stewart, 6th High Steward of Scotland and Marjorie Bruce
Elizabeth Mure
1336 (uncertain canonicity )
1349 (with Papal dispensation )
ten children

Euphemia de Ross
2 May 1355
four children
19 April 1390
Dundonald Castle, Ayrshire
aged 74
grandson of Robert I (primogeniture)
Robert III [58] (born John Stewart)
the Lame King
(Raibeart III Stiùbhairt, An Righ Bhacaigh)
Robert III and Annabella Drummond.jpg c. 1337
Scone Palace, Perth
son of Robert II and Elizabeth Mure
Anabella Drummond
seven children
4 April 1406
Rothesay Castle
aged about 69
son of Robert II (primogeniture)
James I [59]
(Seumas I Stiùbhairt)
King James I of Scotland.jpg late July 1394
Dunfermline Palace, Fife
son of Robert III and Anabella Drummond
Joan Beaufort
Southwark Cathedral
2 February 1424
eight children
21 February 1437
Blackfriars, Perth
aged about 42
son of Robert III (primogeniture)
James II [60]
Fiery Face
(Seumas II Stiùbhairt)
James II of Scotland 17th century.jpg 16 October 1430
Holyrood Abbey, Edinburgh
son of James I and Joan Beaufort
Mary of Guelders
Holyrood Abbey
3 July 1449
seven children
3 August 1460
Roxburgh Castle
aged 29
son of James I (primogeniture)
James III [61]
(Seumas III Stiùbhairt)
James III of Scotland.jpg 10 July 1451
Stirling Castle or St Andrews Castle
son of James II and Mary of Guelders
Margaret of Denmark
Holyrood Abbey
13 July 1469
three children
11 June 1488
Sauchie Burn
aged 36
son of James II (primogeniture)
James IV [62]
(Seumas IV Stiùbhairt)
James IV of Scotland.jpg 17 March 1473
Stirling Castle
son of James III and Margaret of Denmark
Margaret Tudor
Holyrood Abbey
8 August 1503
six children
9 September 1513
Flodden Field, Northumberland, England
aged 40
son of James III (primogeniture)
James V [63]
(Seumas V Stiùbhairt)
James V of Scotland2.jpg 15 April 1512
Linlithgow Palace, West Lothian
son of James IV and Margaret Tudor
Madeleine of Valois
Notre Dame Cathedral, Paris, France
1 January 1537
no children

Mary of Guise
Notre Dame Cathedral, Paris, France
18 May 1538
three children
14 December 1542
Falkland Palace, Fife
aged 30
son of James IV (primogeniture)
Mary I [64]
(Màiri Stiùbhairt)
Mary Queen of Scots Blairs Museum.jpg 8 December 1542
Linlithgow Palace
daughter of James V and Mary of Guise
François II, King of France
24 April 1558
no children

Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley
Holyrood Palace, Edinburgh
9 July 1565
one child

James Hepburn, 4th Earl of Bothwell
Holyrood Palace
15 May 1567
no children
8 February 1587
Fotheringhay Castle, Northamptonshire, England
aged 44 (executed)
daughter of James V (cognatic primogeniture)
James VI [65]
(Seumas VI Stiùbhairt)
JamesIEngland.jpg 19 June 1566
Edinburgh Castle
son of Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley and Mary I
Anne of Denmark
Old Bishop's Palace, Oslo, Norway
23 November 1589
seven children
27 March 1625
Theobalds House, Hertfordshire, England
aged 58
son of Mary I (primogeniture)
Charles I [66]
(Teàrlach I Stiùbhairt)
King Charles I after original by van Dyck.jpg 19 November 1600
Dunfermline Palace, Dunfermline
son of James VI and Anne of Denmark
Henrietta Maria of France
St Augustine's Church, Canterbury, England
13 June 1625
nine children
30 January 1649
Palace of Whitehall, Westminster, England
aged 48 (executed)
son of James VI (primogeniture)
Charles II [67]
(Teàrlach II Stiùbhairt)
Charles II of England.jpeg 29 May 1630
St James's Palace, Westminster, England
son of Charles I and Henrietta Maria of France
Catherine of Braganza
Portsmouth, England
14 May 1662
no children
6 February 1685
Palace of Whitehall, Westminster, England
aged 54
son of Charles I (primogeniture)

Third Interregnum (1651–1660)

Monarchy of Scotland restored (third time)

House of Stuart restored (1660–1707)

With the Scottish Restoration, the Stuarts became Kings of Scotland once more but Scotland's rights were not respected. During the reign of Charles II the Scottish Parliament was dissolved and James was appointed Governor of Scotland. James II himself became James VII in 1685. His Catholicism was not tolerated, and he was driven out of England after three years. In his place came his daughter Mary and her husband William of Orange, the ruler of the Dutch Republic. The two were accepted as monarchs of Scotland after a period of deliberation by the Scottish Parliament, and ruled together as William II and Mary II.

An attempt to establish a Scottish colonial empire through the Darien Scheme, in rivalry to that of England, failed, leaving the Scottish nobles who financed the venture for their own profit bankrupt. This coincided with the accession of Queen Anne, daughter of James VII. Anne had multiple children but none of these survived her, leaving as her heir her half-brother, James, then living in exile in France. The English favoured the Protestant Sophia of Hanover (a granddaughter of James VI) as heir. Many Scots preferred Prince James, who as a Stuart was a Scot by ancestry, and threatened to break the Union of Crowns between England and Scotland by choosing him for themselves. To preserve the union, the English elaborated a plan whereby the two Kingdoms of Scotland and England would merge into a single Kingdom, the Kingdom of Great Britain, ruled by a common monarch, and with a single Parliament. Both national parliaments agreed to this (the Scots albeit reluctantly, motivated primarily by the national finances), and some subterfuge as a total majority of signatories was needed to ratify the Scottish parliament's assent, bribes and payments. Thereafter, although monarchs continued to rule over the nation of Scotland, they did so first as monarchs of Great Britain, and from 1801 of the United Kingdom.

NamePortraitBirthMarriage(s)DeathDynastic status
Charles II [67]
(Teàrlach II Stiùbhairt)
Charles II of England.jpeg 29 May 1630
St James's Palace, Westminster, England
son of Charles I and Henrietta Maria of France
Catherine of Braganza
Portsmouth, England
14 May 1662
no children
6 February 1685
Palace of Whitehall, Westminster, England
aged 54
son of Charles I (primogeniture)
James VII [68]
(Seumas VII Stiùbhairt)
James II (Gennari Benedetto).jpg 14 October 1633
St James's Palace, Westminster, England
son of Charles I and Henrietta Maria of France
Anne Hyde
The Strand, London, England
3 September 1660
eight children

Mary of Modena
Dover, England
21 November 1673
seven children
16 September 1701
Château de Saint-Germain-en-Laye, France
aged 67
Mary II [69]
(Màiri II Stiùbhairt)
Mary II - Kneller 1690.jpg 30 April 1662
St James's Palace, England
daughter of James VII (II of England) and Anne Hyde
St James's Palace
4 November 1677
three children (none survived infancy)
28 December 1694
Kensington Palace, England
aged 32
grandchildren of Charles I (offered the crown by the Parliament)
William II [69]
(Uilleam Orains, "William of Orange")
Portrait of William III, (1650-1702).jpg 4 November 1650
The Hague, Dutch Republic
son of William II, Prince of Orange and Mary, Princess Royal
8 March 1702
Kensington Palace
aged 51
Anne [70]
(Anna Stiùbhairt)
Queen of Great Britain and Ireland
1707 1714
Anne1705.jpg 6 February 1665
St James's Palace
daughter of James VII and Anne Hyde
George of Denmark
St James's Palace
28 July 1683
17 children
1 August 1714
Kensington Palace
aged 49
daughter of James VII (primogeniture; Bill of Rights 1689)

For the British monarchs see List of British monarchs.

Jacobite claimants

James VII continued to claim the thrones of England, Scotland, and Ireland. When he died in 1701, his son James inherited his father's claims, and called himself James VIII of Scotland and III of England and Ireland. He would continue to do so all his life, even after the Kingdoms of England and Scotland were ended by their merging as the Kingdom of Great Britain. In 1715, a year after the death of his sister, Queen Anne, and the accession of their cousin George of Hanover, James landed in Scotland and attempted to claim the throne. He failed, and was forced to flee back to the Continent. A second attempt by his son, Charles on behalf of his father, in 1745, also failed. Both James's children died without legitimate issue, bringing the Stuart family to an end.

After 1807, the Jacobite claims passed first to the House of Savoy (1807–1840), then to the Modenese branch of the House of Habsburg-Lorraine (1840–1919), and finally to the House of Wittelsbach (since 1919). The current heir is Franz, Duke of Bavaria. Neither he nor any of his predecessors since 1807 have pursued their claim.

Timeline of Scottish Monarchs

Anne, Queen of Great BritainMary II of EnglandWilliam III of EnglandJames II of EnglandCharles II of EnglandRichard CromwellOliver CromwellCharles II of EnglandCharles I of EnglandJames VI and IMary, Queen of ScotsJames V of ScotlandJames IV of ScotlandJames III of ScotlandJames II of ScotlandJames I of ScotlandRobert III of ScotlandRobert II of ScotlandDavid II of ScotlandRobert I of ScotlandJohn BalliolMargaret, Maid of NorwayAlexander III of ScotlandAlexander II of ScotlandWilliam I of ScotlandMalcolm IV of ScotlandDavid I of ScotlandAlexander I of ScotlandEdgar of ScotlandDuncan II of ScotlandDonald III of ScotlandMalcolm III of ScotlandLulach of ScotlandMacbeth of ScotlandDuncan I of ScotlandMalcolm II of ScotlandKenneth III of ScotlandConstantine III of ScotlandKenneth II of ScotlandAmlaíb of ScotlandCuilén of ScotlandDub of ScotlandIndulf of ScotlandMalcolm I of ScotlandConstantine II of ScotlandDonald II of ScotlandEochaid of ScotlandGiric of ScotlandÁed of ScotlandConstantine I of ScotlandDonald I of ScotlandKenneth I of ScotlandHouse of StuartOliver CromwellHouse of StuartHouse of StewartHouse of BruceGuardian of ScotlandJohn de BalliolGuardian of ScotlandHouse of FairhairHouse of DunkeldHouse of AlpinList of Scottish monarchs

Acts of Union

The Acts of Union were twin Parliamentary Acts passed during 1706 and 1707 by the Parliament of England and the Parliament of Scotland, putting into effect the terms of the Treaty of Union, agreed on 22 July 1706, following prolonged negotiation between Queen Anne's Commissioners representing both parliaments. The Acts joined the Kingdom of England and the Kingdom of Scotland to form a united Kingdom of Great Britain. [71]

Scotland and England had shared a common monarch since the Union of the Crowns in 1603, when the Scottish king James VI succeeded to the English throne. Although described as a Union of Crowns, prior to the Acts of Union of 1707, the crowns of the two separate kingdoms had rested on the same head. Three unsuccessful attempts (in 1606, 1667, and 1689) were made to unite the two kingdoms by Acts of Parliament, but it was not until the early 18th century that the idea had the will of both political establishments to succeed, thereby bringing the two separate states together under a single parliament as well as a single monarch.

Coronation oath

The coronation oath was sworn by every Scottish monarch from James VI to Charles II and approved by the Estates of Parliament in 1567:

I, N.N., promise faithfully, in the presence of the eternal, my God, that I, enduring the whole Course of my Life, shall serve the same Eternal, my God, to the utmost of my Power, accordingly as he required in his most Holy Word, revealed and contained in the New and Old Testament; and according to the same Word shall maintain the true Religion of Jesus Christ, the preaching of his Holy Word, and due and right administration of his Sacraments, now received and practised within this Realm; and shall abolish and oppose all false Religion contrary to the same; and shall rule the People committed to my Charge, according to the Will and Command of God, revealed in his foresaid Word, and according to the lovable Laws and Constitutions received in this Realm, in no way repugnant to the said Word of the Eternal, my God; and shall procure to my utmost to the Kirk of God and whole Christian people true and perfect Peace in all times coming; the Rights and Rents, with all just privileges of the Crown of Scotland, I shall preserve and keep inviolate, neither shall I transfer nor alienate the same; I shall forbid and repress in all Estates and all Degrees theft, Oppression and all kind of Wrong; in all Judgements, I shall command and procure that Justice and Equity be kept to all creatures without exception, as he be merciful to me and you that is the Lord and Father of all Mercies; and out of all my lands and empire I shall be careful to root out all Heresy and Enemies to the true Worship of God, that shall be convicted by the true Kirk of God of the foresaid Crimes; and these Things above-written I faithfully affirm by my solemn Oath.

The coronation oath sworn by William II, Mary II and Anne was approved by the Parliament of Scotland on 18 April 1689. [72] The oath was as follows:

WE William and Mary, King and Queen of Scotland, faithfully promise and swear, by this our solemn Oath, in presence of the Eternal God, that during the whole Course of our Life we will serve the same Eternal God, to the uttermost of our Power, according as he has required in his most Holy Word, revealed and contained in the New and Old Testament; and according to the same Word shall maintain the true Religion of Christ Jesus, the preaching of his Holy Word, and the due and right Ministration of the Sacraments, now received and preached within the Realm of Scotland; and shall abolish and gainstand all false Religion contrary to the same, and shall rule the People committed to our Charge, according to the Will and Command of God, revealed in his aforesaid Word, and according to the laudable Laws and Constitutions received in this Realm, no ways repugnant to the said Word of the Eternal God; and shall procure, to the utmost of our power, to the Kirk of God, and whole Christian People, true and perfect Peace in all time coming. That we shall preserve and keep inviolated the Rights and Rents, with all just Privileges of the Crown of Scotland, neither shall we transfer nor alienate the same; that we shall forbid and repress in all Estates and Degrees, Reif, Oppression and all kind of Wrong. And we shall command and procure, that Justice and Equity in all Judgments be kept to all Persons without exception, us the Lord and Father of all Mercies shall be merciful to us. And we shall be careful to root out all Heretics and Enemies to the true Worship of God, that shall be convicted by the true Kirk of God, of the aforesaid Crimes, out of our Lands and Empire of Scotland. And we faithfully affirm the Things above-written by our solemn Oath.

Part of a series on the
History of Scotland
Royal Arms of the Kingdom of Scotland.svg
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See also


  1. Broun, Scottish Independence. pp. 71–97.
  2. "Kenneth I (r. 834–858)". Retrieved 1 July 2018.
  3. Properly speaking, Coinneach should actually be Cionaodh, since Coinneach is historically a separate name. However, in the modern language, both names have converged.
  4. Skene, Chronicles, p. 83.
  5. "Donald I (r. 859–863)". Retrieved 1 July 2018.
  6. "Constantine I (r. 863–877)". Retrieved 1 July 2018.
  7. Skene, Chronicles, p. 85.
  8. "Aed (r. 877–878)". Retrieved 1 July 2018.
  9. "Giric (r. 878–889)". Retrieved 1 July 2018.
  10. Skene, Chronicles, p. 87.
  11. "Donald II (r. 889–900)". Retrieved 1 July 2018.
  12. Hudson, Celtic Kings, p. 58.
  13. "Constantine II (r. 900–943)". Retrieved 1 July 2018.
  14. Skene, Chronicles, p. 91; Hudson, Celtic Kings, p. 65.
  15. "Malcolm I (r. 943–954)". Retrieved 1 July 2018.
  16. Skene, Chronicles, p. 93.
  17. "Indulf (r. 954–962)". Retrieved 1 July 2018.
  18. His name is a Gaelicisation of the Norse name Hildufr (or perhaps English Eadulf); it occurs in various contemporary Gaelic forms, such as Iondolbh, found in the Duan Albanach ; Ildulb is used by some historians because it correctly represents the name Hildulfr in Gaelic orthography; Eadwulf would perhaps be Idulb, hence that form is also used sometimes. The name never came into wider use in the Scottish world, or the Gaelic world more generally, and has no modern form. The name "Indulf" is a spelling produced by later medieval French influence; Hudson, Celtic Kings, p, 89.
  19. Skene, Chronicles, p. 94.
  20. "Dubh or Duff (r. 962–967)". Retrieved 1 July 2018.
  21. Duan Albanach , 23 here; as Dub means "Black", "Dub the Black" is tautologous.
  22. "Culen or Colin (r. 967–971)". Retrieved 1 July 2018.
  23. Skene, Chronicles, p. 95.
  24. "Kenneth II (r. 971–995)". Retrieved 1 July 2018.
  25. Skene, Chronicles, p. 96.
  26. "Constantine III (r. 995–997)". Retrieved 1 July 2018.
  27. "Kenneth III (r. 997–1005)". Retrieved 1 July 2018.
  28. Former probable because later English (speaking) sources called him "Grim"; Old Irish donn has similar meaning to Old Irish greimm, which means "power" or "authority"; see Skene, Chronicles, p. 98; Hudson, Celtic Kings, p. 105.
  29. "Malcolm II (r. 1005–1034)". Retrieved 1 July 2018.
  30. Skene, Chronicles, pp. 99–100.
  31. "Duncan I (r. 1034–1040)". Retrieved 1 July 2018.
  32. Skene, Chronicles, p. 101.
  33. "Macbeth (r. 1040–1057)". Retrieved 1 July 2018.
  34. 1 2 Skene, Chronicles, p. 102.
  35. "Lulach (r. 1057–1058)". Retrieved 1 July 2018.
  36. Anderson, Early Sources, vol. i, p. 603.
  37. "Malcolm III (r. 1058–1093)". Retrieved 1 July 2018.
  38. 1 2 This name was probably only originally applied to Mael Coluim IV, Mael Coluim III's grandson, and then later confused; see Duncan, Kingship of the Scots, pp. 51–52, 74–75; Oram, David I, p. 17, note 1. Cenn Mór certainly means "great chief" rather than "big head", as sometimes thought.
  39. "Donald III (r. 1093–1094, 1094-1097)". Retrieved 1 July 2018.
  40. "Duncan II (r. 1094)". Retrieved 1 July 2018.
  41. "Edgar (r. 1097-1107)". Retrieved 1 July 2018.
  42. Anderson, Early Sources, vol. ii, p. 141.
  43. "Alexander I (r. 1107-1124)". Retrieved 1 July 2018.
  44. This nickname however is not attested for another three centuries, in the work of Andrew of Wyntoun.
  45. "David I (r. 1124-1153)". Retrieved 1 July 2018.
  46. Later nickname. Latin Sanctus also means simply "Holy". David was never canonised.
  47. "Malcolm IV (r. 1153-1165)". Retrieved 1 July 2018.
  48. Annals of Ulster, s.a. 1214.6; Annals of Loch Cé, s.a. 1213.10.
  49. "Alexander II (r. 1214-1249)". Retrieved 1 July 2018.
  50. "Alexander III (r. 1249-1286)". Retrieved 1 July 2018.
  51. "Margaret (r. 1286-1290)". Retrieved 1 July 2018.
  52. "John Balliol (r. 1292-1296)". Retrieved 1 July 2018.
  53. "Robert I (r. 1306-1329)". Retrieved 1 July 2018.
  54. Robert The Bruce. Publisher: Heinemann. ISBN   0-431-05883-0.
  55. "Robert I (r. 1329-1371)". Retrieved 1 July 2018.
  56. "Edward Balliol (r. for periods 1332-1356)". Retrieved 1 July 2018.
  57. "Robert II (r. 1371-1390)". Retrieved 1 July 2018.
  58. "Robert III (r. 1390-1406)". Retrieved 1 July 2018.
  59. "James I (r. 1406-1437)". Retrieved 1 July 2018.
  60. "James II (r. 1437-1460)". Retrieved 1 July 2018.
  61. "James III (r. 1460-1488)". Retrieved 1 July 2018.
  62. "James IV (r. 1488-1513)". Retrieved 1 July 2018.
  63. "James V (r. 1513-1542)". Retrieved 1 July 2018.
  64. "Mary, Queen of Scots (r. 1542-1567)". Retrieved 1 July 2018.
  65. "James VI and I (r. 1567-1625)". Retrieved 1 July 2018.
  66. "Charles I (r. 1625-1649)". Retrieved 1 July 2018.
  67. 1 2 "Charles II (r. 1660-1685)". Retrieved 1 July 2018.
  68. "James II (r. 1685-1688)". Retrieved 1 July 2018.
  69. 1 2 "William II and III (r. 1689-1672) and Mary II (r. 1689-1694)". Retrieved 1 July 2018.
  70. "Anne (r. 1702-1714)". Retrieved 1 July 2018.
  71. Welcome Archived 15 October 2008 at the Wayback Machine, accessed 7 October 2008
  72. Scottish Parliament Project.

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