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King James V of Scotland (1513 - 1542)

Name: King James V of Scotland
Father: James IV, King of Scotland
Mother: Margaret Tudor
Relation to Charles III: 12th great-grandfather
House of: Stewart
Born: April 10, 1512 at Linlithgow Palace
Ascended to the throne: September 9, 1513 aged 1 years
Crowned: September 21, 1513 at Stirling Castle
Married:(1) Madeleine de Valois, January 1, 1537
Married:(2) Mary of Guise, June 12, 1538
Children: 2 sons (died as infants), daughter Mary and several illegitimate
Died: December 14, 1542, at Falkland Palace, Fife, aged 30 years, 8 months, and 4 days
Buried at: Holyrood Abbey, Edinburgh
Succeeded by: his daughter Mary

James V was just over 1 year old when his father was killed at Flodden field and he inherited the throne. Once again the Scottish nobles fought for power during the King’s period of infancy. Albany returned from exile and was offered power but was vigorously opposed by James’ mother Margaret and her second husband Douglas Earl of Angus who took control and held James a virtual prisoner.

When he escaped from his step father’s authority, James ruled with authority but was sympathetic to the needs of the poor of Scotland. He is said to have like travelling incognito in his kingdom disguised as the ‘Gudeman (farmer) o’Ballengeich’. He brought the Borders under control and the Highlands and islands. It was a time of the rise of Protestantism in Europe and England, but James did not tolerate ‘heresy’ and strongly supported the Catholic Church. Patrick Hamilton a leading Protestant reformer was burned at the stake in St Andrews in 1528.

James twice married French women - Madeleine de Valois daughter of King Francis of France who brought a large dowry but she was of frail health and died a few months later, and secondarily Mary of Guise mother of Mary who was to become Queen of Scots.

The death of his mother Margaret Tudor removed his allegiance to England, and he failed when invited to meet Henry VIII at York in 1541. James mobilised his army and prepared to invade England but was defeated at Solway Moss on the Scottish borders in 1542. The news of the defeat is said to have devastated him and he died just 6 days after his daughter was born.

Timeline for King James V of Scotland

Year Event
1513The infant James V becomes king
1528Patrick Hamilton Protestant reformer is burned at the stake for heresy
1532Creation of the College of Justice and the Court of Session.
1542James invades England but is defeated at the Battle of Solway Moss and dies a few weeks later. His daughter, the one-week-old Mary, succeeds