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King Alexander II of Scotland (1214 - 1249)

Name: King Alexander II of Scotland
Father: William the Lion
Mother: Ermengarde de Beaumont
House of: Canmore
Born: August 24, 1198 at Haddington, East Lothian
Ascended to the throne: December 2, 1214 aged 16 years
Crowned: December 6, 1214 at Scone Abbey, Perthshire
Married:(1) Joan, daughter of King John of England, June, 1221
Married:(2) Mary de Coucy, May 15, 1239
Children: son Alexander
Died: July 6, 1249, on the Isle of Kerrara in bay of Oban, aged 50 years, 10 months, and 12 days
Buried at: Melrose Abbey, Roxburghshire
Succeeded by: his son Alexander III

Alexander (Alaxandair mac Uilliam) was the son of William The Lion. He sought to win back Scottish independence and laid claim to Cumbria and Northumberland in Northern England. He enraged King John of England who tried to smoke out ‘the little fox cub from his den’ (referring to his red hair) by burning Berwick.

Alexander encouraged Prince Louis of France claimant to the English throne to land in England. However when John died in 1216, Louis returned home and Alexander was forced to make peace with Henry III signing a peace treaty in 1217. Alexander’s expansion into England was abandoned and he cemented his ties with England by marrying Joan daughter of King John in return for some of the dowry that had been paid by his father.

He suppressed insurrection in Moray, Galloway gradually extending the power of the crown by expanding trade and wealth. The Western Isles were still under Norse control, but leading an expedition there in 1249 Alexander died of a fever on the island of Kerrera in Oban bay.

Timeline for King Alexander II of Scotland

Year Event
1214Accession of Alexander II, son of William the Lion
1216Alexander joins the barons of England against King John. A Scottish army marches to Dover and joins Prince Louis of France who captures the Tower of London before being driven back in 1217
1217Peace treaty with England guarantees peace for almost 20 years
1221Alexander marries Joan daughter of King John of England
1233Building of Glasgow cathedral starts
1234Galloway's independent existence ends with the death of Alan Lord of Galloway.
1235First Scottish Parliament known as the Three Estates meets at Kirkliston
1237Southern border of Scotland established in the Treaty of York.
1249Alexander launches an expedition to gain the Western Isles but dies on Isle of Kerrara, Oban Bay, before the expedition sets sail. He is succeeded by his son, Alexander III