King James V of Scotland



James V was born in Linlithgow Palace on April 10th 1512.

He was crowned King of Scotland when he was only a baby of eighteen months. Of course, he was much too young to rule and so a Regent ruled for him - John Stewart, Duke of Albany. Very soon, however, people were fighting to get control over the young James.

On the one side were those who supported England. They thought that James and Scotland should join with England. James' own step-father, Archibald Douglas, the Earl of Angus like this idea.

On the other side were those who supported joining with France. James' mother, Margaret Tudor, and the Regent preferred this idea and thought Scotland should be linked with France. James was caught in the middle. No-one much cared what he wanted. In those days, royal children didn't marry because they were in love - they married because they were told to, so that they could unite different countries.

When he was about 14, young James was kept prisoner by his step-father for two years. Then he escaped and started to build up his own army of supporters in Scotland. By the time he was 18, he had a good army and was very strong.

Four years later (1534), he signed a treaty with England which was ruled by his uncle, Henry VIII. This made both of them happy for a time and there was peace between the two countries.

However, the good relations between Scotland and England only lasted four years, until 1538, when James switched sides and married the French noblewoman, Marie de Guise.

Henry was so angry that James had deserted England that he attacked Scotland and beat James and his army at the battle of Solway Moss on November 24th 1542.

James was so upset by the defeat that he became ill and died a few weeks later on December 14th 1542. He was only 30 years of age when he died and never got to know Mary, his only child and baby daughter who was just 6 days old.

The struggle for Scotland was to continue into Mary's time…


Back to the Time Line