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King William I (The Lion) of Scotland (1165 - 1214)

Name: King William I (The Lion) of Scotland
Father: Henry, Earl of Northumberland
Mother: Ada de Warenne
House of: Canmore
Born: c. 1142/43
Ascended to the throne: December 9, 1165
Crowned: December 24, 1165 at Scone Abbey, Perthshire
Married: Ermengarde, daughter of Constance illegitimate daughter of Henry I of England, September 5, 1186
Children: one son Alexander, 3 daughters and several illegitimate children
Died: December 14, 1214, at Stirling
Buried at: Arbroath Abbey
Succeeded by: his son Alexander II

William (Uilliam mac Eanric) succeeded his brother Malcolm and was named ‘The Lion’. He had a long reign but for much of it was subjugated by the English kings.

William tried to win back the lands in Northumbria which had been taken back by King Henry II of England and in 1174 invaded England, but was captured at Alnwick. He was led to Northampton with his feet tied beneath his horse and imprisoned at Falaise in Normandy. He was released, but under the Treaty of York in 1175 he was forced to accept Henry as overlord of Scotland. English troops were stationed in Scotland at Roxburgh, Berwick and Edinburgh castles, and the Church of Scotland was made subject to the Church of England.

In 1189 on the death of Henry, William bought back the sovereignty of Scotland for 10,000 merks from King Richard I who needed to finance his crusade to the Holy Land. While Richard was away William also paid a dowry to secure the marriage of his two daughters to sons of King John but the bargain was broken by the English King.

Despite his dependence on the English William governed his kingdom well, extending the foundation of burghs and establishing the Scottish system of criminal justice. Arbroath Abbey was founded. William died at Stirling in 1214.

Timeline for King William I (The Lion) of Scotland

Year Event
1165William the Lion become king
1173William the Lion invades England but is captured by Henry II at Alnwick and forced to surrender Scottish independence
1174William I signs the Treaty of Falaise in which he swears allegiance to Henry II of England.
1185William pays Richard I of England money to finance his crusades to the Holy Land.
1189Scotland is recognized as independent by Richard I of England
1192The Pope decress that the Scottish Church is answerable directly to him and not through the English Archbishop of York.