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King James I of Scotland (1406 - 1437)

Name: King James I of Scotland
Father: Robert III, King of Scotland
Mother: Annabella Drummond
Relation to Charles III: 16th great-grandfather
House of: Stewart
Born: July 25, 1394 at Dunfermline, Fife
Ascended to the throne: April 4, 1406 aged 11 years
Crowned: May 2 or 21, 1424 at Scone Abbey, Perthshire
Married: Joan Beaufort, February 13, 1424
Children: 2 sons and 6 daughters
Died: February 21, 1437, assassinated in the Monastery of Friars Preachers, Perth, aged 42 years, 6 months, and 27 days
Buried at: Perth
Succeeded by: his son James II

James was prisoner in England for nearly 20 years in the Tower of London. He succeeded to the crown on the death of his father in 1406, but it was not until 1423 that he was released for a ransom of 60,000 merks and crowned at Scone. In his absence his uncle Robert of Albany ruled Scotland and had done little to secure James’ release hoping that he or his son Murdoch would assume the throne.

James was 30 when he took over as king. He set about restoring the prestige of the monarchy and forfeited the lands of the rebellious nobles including the Dukes of Albany. He was a strong leader and introduced social and economic legislation and founded the Scottish Court of Session.

In 1427 he defaulted on payments of his ransom and began spending large sums on Linlithgow palace and luxuries for the court which cause discontent among the nobles. In 1437 supporters of Walter Lord of Atholl and son of Robert III’s second marriage, attacked and killed James in the Dominican Monastery in Perth.

Timeline for King James I of Scotland

Year Event
1406James I succeeds to the throne but remains imprisoned in England
1413Foundation of the University of St Andrews.
1423Treaty of London, releasing James I from his years captivity in England
1437Assassination of James I. He is succeeded by his son, James II