James V, King of Scotts
Assembled by D. A. Sharpe
James V was King of Scotts. He was born April 10, 1512, and lived until December 12, 1542, only living to the age of 30. His ancestry is quite extensive. Out information associated with James V goes back 50 generations to Godwulf, a Norwegian Viking born an estimated 80 AD. The Ancestor report is 200 pages.
James is the fourth cousin, four times removed of Danette Abney, the step father of Ellen Newton, my great grandniece.
James' death followed the Scottish defeat at the Battle of Solway Moss. His only surviving legitimate child, Mary, succeeded him when she was just six days old. She became known as Mary Queen of Scotts.
James was son of King James IV of Scotland and his wife Margaret Tudor, a daughter of Henry VII of England and sister of Henry VIII, and was the only legitimate child of James IV to survive infancy. He was born on 10 April 1512 at Linlithgow Palace, Linlithgowshire and baptized the following day, receiving the titles Duke of Rothesay and Prince and Great Steward of Scotland. He became king at just seventeen months old when his father was killed at the Battle of Flodden Field on 9 September 1513. The coronation of James V was September 12, 1513.
James was crowned in the Chapel Royal at Stirling Castle on 21 September 1513. During his childhood the country was ruled by regents, first by his mother, until she remarried the following year, and then by John Stewart, 2nd Duke of Albany, next in line to the Crown after James and his younger brother, the posthumously-born Alexander Stewart, Duke of Ross, who died in infancy. Other regents included Robert Maxwell, 5th Lord Maxwell, a member of the Council of Regency who was also bestowed as Regent of Arran, the largest island in the Firth of Clyde. In February 1517 James came from Stirling to Holyroodhouse, Edinburgh, but during an outbreak of plague in the city he was moved to the care of Antoine d'Arces at nearby rural Craigmillar Castle. At Stirling, the 10-year-old James had a guard of 20 footmen dressed in his colors, red and yellow. When he went to the park below the Castle, "by secret and in right fair and soft wedder (weather)," six horsemen would scour the countryside two miles roundabout for intruders. Poets wrote their own nursery rhymes for James and advised him on royal behavior. As a youth, his education was in the care of University of St Andrews poets such as Sir David Lyndsay. William Stewart, in his poem Princelie Majestie, counselled James against ice-skating:
To princes als it is ane vyce,
To ryd or run over rakleslie,
Or aventure to go on yce,
Accordis nacho to thy majesty.
In the autumn of 1524 James dismissed his regents and was proclaimed an adult ruler by his mother. Several new court servants were appointed including a trumpeter, Henry Rudeman. Thomas Magnus, the English diplomat, gave an impression of the new Scottish court at Holyroodhouse on All Saints' Day 1524: "trumpets and shamulles did sounde and blewe up mooste pleasauntely." Magnus saw the young king singing, playing with a spear at Leith, and with his horses, and he was given the impression that the king preferred English manners over French fashions.
In 1525 Archibald Douglas, 6th Earl of Angus, the young king's stepfather, took custody of James and held him as a virtual prisoner for three years, exercising power on his behalf. There were several attempts made to free the young King Ð one by Walter Scott of Branxholme and Buccleuch, who ambushed the King's forces on 25 July 1526 at the battle of Melrose, and was routed off the field. Another attempt later that year, on 4 September at the battle of Linlithgow Bridge, failed again to relieve the King from the clutches of Angus. When James and his mother came to Edinburgh on 20 November 1526, she stayed in the chambers at Holyroodhouse, which Albany had used, James using the rooms above. In February 1527 Henry Fitzroy, Duke of Richmond, gave James twenty hunting hounds and a huntsman. Magnus thought the Scottish servant sent to Sheriff Hutton Castle for the dogs was intended to note the form and fashion of the Duke's household, for emulation in Scotland. James finally escaped from Angus's care in 1528 and assumed the reins of government himself.
According to legend James was nicknamed "King of the Commons" as he would sometimes travel around Scotland disguised as a common man, describing himself as the "Gudeman of Ballengeich" ('Gudeman' means 'landlord' or 'farmer', and 'Ballengeich' was the nickname of a road next to Stirling Castle Ð meaning 'windy pass' in Gaelic). James was also a keen lute player. In 1562 Sir Thomas Wood reported that James had "a singular good ear and could sing that he had never seen before" (sight-read), but his voice was "rawky" and "harske." At court, James maintained a band of Italian musicians who adopted the name Drummond. These were joined for the winter of 1529/30 by a musician and diplomat sent by the Duke of Milan, Thomas de Averencia de Brescia, probably a lutenist. The historian Andrea Thomas makes a useful distinction between the loud music provided at ceremonies and processionals and instruments employed for more private occasions or worship; the music fyne described by Helena Mennie Shire. This quieter music included a consort of viols played by four Frenchmen led by Jacques Columbell. It seems certain that David Peebles wrote music for James V and probable that the Scottish composer Robert Carver was in royal employ, though evidence is lacking.
As a patron of poets and authors James supported William Stewart and John Bellenden, the son of his nurse, who translated the Latin History of Scotland compiled in 1527 by Hector Boece into verse and prose. Sir David Lindsay of the Mount, the Lord Lyon, head of the Lyon Court and diplomat, was a prolific poet. He produced an interlude at Linlithgow Palace thought to be a version of his play The Thrie Estaitis in 1540. James also attracted the attention of international authors.
The death of James's mother in 1541 removed any incentive for peace with England, and war broke out. Initially the Scots won a victory at the Battle of Haddon Rig in August 1542. The Imperial ambassador in London, Eustace Chapuys, wrote on 2 October that the Scottish ambassadors ruled out a conciliatory meeting between James and Henry VIII in England until the pregnant Mary of Guise delivered her child. Henry would not accept this condition and mobilised his army against Scotland.
James was with his army at Lauder on 31 October 1542. Although he hoped to invade England, his nobles were reluctant. He returned to Edinburgh, on the way writing a letter in French to his wife from Falahill mentioning he had three days of illness. The next month his army suffered a serious defeat at the Battle of Solway Moss. He took ill shortly after this, on 6 December; by some accounts this was a nervous collapse caused by the defeat, and he may have died from the grief, although some historians consider that it may just have been an ordinary fever. John Knox later described his final movements in Fife.
Whatever the cause of his illness, James was on his deathbed at Falkland Palace when his only surviving legitimate child, a girl, was born. Sir George Douglas of Pittendreich brought the news of the king's death to Berwick. He said James died at midnight on Thursday 15 December; the king was talking but delirious and spoke no "wise words." According to George Douglas in his delirium James lamented the capture of his banner and Oliver Sinclair at Solway Moss more than his other losses. An English chronicler suggested another cause of the king's grief was his discomfort on hearing of the murder of the English Somerset Herald, Thomas Trahern, at Dunbar. James was buried at Holyrood Abbey in Edinburgh.
Before he died he is reported to have said "it came wi a lass, it'll gang wi a lass" (meaning "It began with a girl and it will end with a girl"). This was either a reference to the Stewart dynasty's accession to the throne through Marjorie Bruce, daughter of Robert the Bruce or to the medieval origin myth of the Scots nation, recorded in the Scotichronicon in which the Scots people are descended from the Princess Scota.
James was succeeded by his infant daughter Mary. He was buried at Holyrood Abbey alongside his first wife Madeleine and his two sons in January 1543. David Lindsay supervised the construction of his tomb. One of his French artists, Andrew Mansioun, carved a lion and an inscription in Roman letters measuring eighteen feet. The tomb was destroyed in the sixteenth century, according to William Drummond of Hawthornden as early as 1544, by the English during the burning of Edinburgh. Scotland was ruled by Regent Arran and was soon drawn into the war of the Rough Wooing.
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