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Rating the Monarchs of Britain: Now Disc. George III

Discussion in 'Archive: The Senate Floor' started by Zaz, May 27, 2009.

  1. Zaz

    Zaz Jedi Knight star 9

    Oct 11, 1998
    Sidebar: The House of Stewart

    "The ancestral origins of the Stewart family are quite obscure ? what is known for certain is that they can trace their ancestry back to Alan FitzFlaad, who came over to the island of Great Britain not long after the Norman conquest.[3] Alan had been the hereditary steward of the Bishop of Dol in the Duchy of Brittany;[4] though scholars are divided as to whether he himself was Norman or Breton.[3] Alan had a good relationship with the ruling House of Normandy monarch Henry I of England who awarded him with lands in Shropshire.[4] The FitzAlan family quickly established themselves as a prominent Anglo-Norman noble house, with some of its members serving as High Sheriff of Shropshire.[4][5] It was the great-grandson of Alan named Walter FitzAlan who became the first hereditary High Steward of Scotland, while his brother William's family would go on to become Earls of Arundel.

    When the civil war in the Kingdom of England broke out known as The Anarchy, between legitimist claimant Matilda, Lady of the English and her cousin who had usurped her; king Stephen, Walter had sided with Matilda.[6] Another supporter of Matilda was her uncle David I of Scotland from the House of Dunkeld.[6] After Matilda was pushed out of England into the County of Anjou, essentially failing in her legitimist attempt for the throne, many of her supporters in England fled also. It was then that Walter had followed David up to the Kingdom of Scotland, where he was granted lands at Renfrewshire and the title life peerage of the Lord High Steward.[6] The next monarch of Scotland, Malcolm IV made the High Steward title a hereditary arrangement. While High Stewards the family were based at Dundonald, Ayrshire between the 12th and 13th centuries.
    [edit] History

    The sixth High Steward of Scotland, Walter Stewart (1293-1326), married Marjorie, daughter of Robert the Bruce, and also played an important part in the Battle of Bannockburn gaining further favour. Their son Robert was heir to the House of Bruce, the Lordship of Cunningham and the Brucean lands of Bourtreehill; he eventually inherited the Scottish throne when his uncle David II died childless in 1371."

    Irony: The Stewarts weren't originally Scottish.
  2. Gonk

    Gonk Jedi Knight star 6

    Jul 8, 1998
    Wow Zaz, you are going all out on this thread, I have to hand it to you for that.

    Althoguh I think there's a number of claimants, I remember years back a news item of a fellow over in Nova Scotia claiming to be the lead hier presumptive of the House of Stewart which he supposedly had the geneology to prove.

    Now if only he's been born just a few hundred years ago when such a lineage would actually have been USEFUL for something...
  3. Jabbadabbado

    Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus star 7 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Mar 19, 1999
    I know I've learned a lot. Zaz has got me reading old verse and actual entries from the Domesday Book. I reread the text of the Magna Carta for the first time in decades for crying out loud. All because of one thread.
  4. Zaz

    Zaz Jedi Knight star 9

    Oct 11, 1998
    Next: Robert II


    Reign 22 February 1371 ? 19 April 1390

    Coronation March 1371

    Titles Earl of Strathearn (1357-1390)

    Born Early 1316

    Died 19 April 1390 (aged 74)

    Place of death Dundonald

    Buried Scone Abbey

    Predecessor David II

    Successor Robert III

    Consort(s): (1)Elizabeth Mure and (2) Euphemia de Ross


    Robert III
    Walter Stewart
    Robert, 1st Duke of Albany
    Alexander, 1st earl of Buchan
    Jean (the Queen Mother was directly descended from her)

    (all by Elizabeth Mure)

    David, 1st Earl of Caithness
    Walter, 1st Earl of Atholl
    Thomas Stewart

    (all by Euphemia de Ross)

    Illegitimate Children: estimated approximately 10, possibly more

    Royal House Stewart

    Father Walter Stewart

    Mother Marjorie Bruce

    Descent: Only son of Robert the Bruce's eldest daughter, Marjorie

    The Situation: 55 years old when he succeeded his childless half-uncle, David II, Robert was rated a pleasant and genial man, but scarcely a dynast. Usually the first ruler in any dynasty is a the strongest in that dynasty--they have to be to establish and hold it. Contrast Robert with his undoubtedly dynast grandfather, and you see the difference. The Stewarts were the Hapsburgs of the British Isles: they married their kingdoms. As a result, they weren't the strongest man in the room, just the luckiest, which meant that over the next three hundred years, Scotland had one of the most rapacious and out-of-control noble class around, and internecine conflict was the norm rather than the exception.

    Reputation: Not big enough for the job. He had to buy people off instead of knocking them off, in best medieval monarch tradition.

    His Family: Was very large, very contentious, and very greedy. In fact, the actions of his fourth son, Alexander, probably caused Robert to be basically dethroned by his eldest son, John, Earl of Carrick in 1384. Alexander's nickname says it all: he was known as 'the Wolf of Badenoch'. He ran riot in the north, and Robert's inability to control him was the last straw. As it happened, John had no better luck, and the torch passed to Robert, Earl of Fife, Robert's second son, in 1388. He did put Alexander in his place, but it was never easy to restrain him. By this time, Robert was senile, and his second son ruled the kingdom until his death in 1390.

    Rating: 3/10

  5. Zaz

    Zaz Jedi Knight star 9

    Oct 11, 1998
    Next: Robert III of Scotland


    Reign 1390 - 4 April 1406

    Born c. 1340

    Died 4 April 1406

    Place of death Rothesay Castle

    Buried Paisley Abbey

    Predecessor Robert II

    Successor James I

    Consort Anabella Drummond


    David Stewart, Duke of Rothesay
    Robert (died young)
    James I

    Royal House House of Stewart

    Father Robert II

    Mother Elizabeth Mure

    His name: "At [his succession] he changed his baptismal name of John - unpopular owing to its connection with John de Baliol; he also wished to avoid being called John II, as recognition of Balliol's kingship would weaken the Bruce title to the throne - for that of Robert, and became crowned at Scone in August 1390 as King Robert III."

    The Situation: "He took some part in the government of the kingdom until about 1387, when a kick from a horse disabled him. Probably in consequence of this accident his brother Robert, Earl of Fife, and not the crown prince himself, became guardian of the kingdom in 1389; but the latter succeeded to the throne on his father's death in May 1390.
    Although he probably attended several parliaments, the new king was seen only nominally as the ruler of Scotland, the real power remaining in the hands of his brother, the Earl of Fife.

    In 1399, however, owing to the king's "sickness of the body", his elder son, David, Duke of Rothesay, gained appointment as lieutenant of the kingdom; but there followed an English invasion of Scotland, serious differences between Rothesay and his uncle, Robert, now Duke of Albany, and finally in March 1402 Rothesay's mysterious death at Falkland Palace.

    Robert III began to fear for the fate of his only surviving son, young James. In February 1406 he had James taken in secrecy to Dirleton Castle to wait for a ship to transport him to France. Robert of Fife sent a large force after Crown Prince James and when a battle was fought nearby, James was put in a rowing boat and ferried to the Bass Rock in the Firth of Forth. The 11-year-old heir to the throne and his guardians were left for a month on the tiny, windswept, rocky island among the boiling seas, before a ship arrived trying to bring James to France. Robert of Fife informed the English King, who arranged the ship's interception. Thus James became a prisoner of the King of England for 18 years. When Robert III heard of his son's capture, he became even more depressed and allegedly died from grief over the capture of James. Robert asked to be buried under a dunghill with the epitaph: Here lies the worst of Kings and the most miserable of men. He was interred at Paisley instead of Scone, the traditional burial ground of the Scottish kings, as he did not consider himself worthy of the honour."

    Achievements: None, unless you consider royal self-knowledge desirable. Robert III was probably the nadir of the Stewarts, and the Stewarts are the nadir of British dynasties. The historians call Scotland at this point "a den of thieves". Both of Robert III's younger brothers, Albany and Badenoch, were in full cry after loot and power throughout his reign, and he did nothing to stop them. The 'kick from a horse' may be a euphemism for a stroke or some other medical problem, but Robert III's weakness condemned his country to a reign of terror.

    Rating: 0/10

  6. Radical_Edward

    Radical_Edward Jedi Youngling star 3

    May 2, 2002
    Fantastic thread. I've had it open in my browser for probably two months now, gradually reading it all from the beginning. I've finally caught up, and I can't wait to see more. Much better reading here than surfing the lines of succession in Wikipedia (which I've done a couple times)

    Keep up the good work!
  7. Zaz

    Zaz Jedi Knight star 9

    Oct 11, 1998
    Next: James I of Scotland


    Reign 4 April 1406 ? 21 February 1437

    Coronation 2/21 May 1424

    Predecessor Robert III

    Successor James II

    Spouse Joan Beaufort (granddaughter of John of Gaunt)

    Margaret, Dauphine of France
    Isabella, Duchess of Brittany
    Eleanor, Archduchess of Austria
    Mary, Countess of Buchan
    Joan, Countess of Morton
    Alexander, Duke of Rothesay (died in infancy)
    James II
    Annabella, Countess of Huntly

    Father Robert III

    Mother Annabella Drummond

    Born 10 December 1394(1394-12-10)

    Dunfermline Palace, Fife

    Died 21 February 1437 (aged 42) at Perth

    Burial Perth Charterhouse

    The Situation: Just after his father sent him (for safekeeping) to France, he was captured by the English (who had been tipped off by his uncle). He stayed in England 18 years. They actually treated him very well and educated him expensively (he was only 12 when captured). His uncle died in 1420, and the country was being ruled by Murdoch, his cousin, when he returned in 1424 with an English wife.


    "James was formally crowned King of Scotland at Scone Abbey, Perthshire, on 2 or 21 May 1424. He immediately took strong actions to regain authority and control. In one such action he had the Albany family, who had opposed his actions, executed. The execution of Murdoch, Duke of Albany, and two of Murdoch's sons took place on 24 May 1425 at Castle Hill, Stirling.

    James ruled Scotland with a firm hand, and achieved numerous financial and legal reforms. For the purpose of trading with other nations, he made Scots coinage exchangeable for foreign currency only within Scottish borders. He also tried to remodel the Parliament of Scotland along English lines. In foreign policy he renewed the Auld Alliance, an alliance with the French, in 1428.

    His actions throughout his reign, though effective, upset many people. During the later years of his reign, they helped to lead to his claim to the throne coming under question.

    His death: "James I's grandfather, Robert II, had married twice and the awkward circumstances of the first marriage (the one with James's grandmother Elizabeth Mure) led some to dispute its validity. Conflict broke out between the descendants of the first marriage and the unquestionably legitimate descendants of the second marriage over who had the better right to the Scottish throne. Matters came to a head on 21 February 1437, when a group of Scots led by Sir Robert Graham assassinated James at the Friars Preachers Monastery in Perth. He attempted to escape his assailants through a sewer after tearing up the floorboards of the room. However, three days previously, he had had the other end of the drain blocked up because of its connection to the tennis court outside, balls habitually got lost in it.[1] (See also: Catherine Douglas.)

    A wave of executions followed, of those who had participated in the plot, in March 1437. The authorities executed (among others) James's uncle, Walter Stewart, 1st Earl of Atholl, and Atholl's grandson, Robert Stewart, Master of Atholl ? both of them descended from Robert II's second marriage)."

    Historical View of James: A good king. I think this verdict is only true if you're speaking comparatively. He's better than his father, yeah. He could hardly be worse. But he shows some of the worst habits of his descendants, such as (a) Wanting to live in places other than Scotland (he was thirty when he returned from Scotland, and don't tell me he couldn't have returned earlier); (b) a tendency towards violence before diplomacy;(c) a tendency toward autocracy; (d) an interest in other things than his job (he was a poet) and (e) a stupidly unnecessary and early death.

    Rating: 6/10
  8. Jabbadabbado

    Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus star 7 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Mar 19, 1999
    At this point I would like to give a shoutout to the rising Habsburgs, who by the time of James I of Scotland had a well established, nearly 200 year old dynasty ruling territories of Austria, Germany and beyond.

    James I's daughter Eleanor married Sigismund, Archduke of Vorderösterreich ("further" Austria, not Austria proper as the post above states). He was the Habsburg head of Tyrol. In their long rule over Austria ending at long last with German defeat in world war one, the Habsburgs were famous, above all, for creating advantageous alliances and extending their territory through marriage...
    [blockquote]Bella gerant alii, tu felix Austria nube.
    Let others wage war. Oh fortunate Austria, you shall marry.[/blockquote]
    ...but as a consequence creating far flung realms of ill-matched ethnicities that caused much strife and impeded, ultimately prevented, the solidification of a distinct national Austrian identity. Anschluss in World War 2 was when the bill really came due.

    Oh unhappy Austria, you never enjoyed the strong transcendent sense of national identity that held the English together.

    But let's also be clear, the Habsburgs made plenty of love AND war.
  9. Radical_Edward

    Radical_Edward Jedi Youngling star 3

    May 2, 2002
    Aye, and the Hapsburgs also came closer to creating a real true single-state Europe than any other contender in history. If it hadn't been for that pesky Reformation, Charles V would have had at least the starts of such an empire in his hands. If the dealings between Philip and Mary had worked out better, there might have even been a real chance of such a state emerging post-reformation. At their height, the family's umbrella stretched over Spain, Portugal, Naples, Sicily, the Netherlands, Burgundy, England, Wales, Ireland, Austria, Hungary, Bohemia and the Holy Roman Empire, plus plenty of other Italian and Eastern European holdings, and many, many other titles and lands. It's almost sad to think of what could have been.

    If they'd found a way to flip France to their side, then today we might be talking about Philip in the same breath and awe as Alexander, Caesar, and Charlemagne.
  10. Zaz

    Zaz Jedi Knight star 9

    Oct 11, 1998
    Next: James II of Scotland aka 'Fiery Face' because of a large facial birthmark



    Reign 21 February 1437 ? 3 August 1460

    Coronation 1437

    Predecessor James I

    Successor James III

    Spouse Mary of Gueldres


    Son, d. at birth
    James III
    David, d. young

    Illegitimate issue: one son

    Father James I

    Mother Joan Beaufort

    Born 16 October 1430(1430-10-16)

    Died 3 August 1460 (aged 29) at Roxburgh Castle

    The Situation: Only six years old when his father died, James' minority was a nightmare of internecine in-fighting among the nobles, most particularly the Douglases, who had intermarried with the Stewarts to a dangerous degree (a situation permitted by Robert II and Robert III). After he came of age, James eventually overcame the Douglases, murdering one of them in person.

    Achievements: "Between 1455 and 1460 James II proved to be an active and interventionist king. Ambitious plans to take Orkney, Shetland and the Isle of Man did not succeed. The king travelled the country, and has been argued to have originated the practice of raising money by giving remissions for serious crimes, and that some of the unpopular policies of James III originated in the late 1450s.[2] In 1458 an Act of Parliament commanded the king to modify his behaviour, but one cannot say how his reign would have developed had he lived longer.[3]"

    His death: "James enthusiastically promoted modern artillery, which he used with some success against the Black Douglases. His ambitions to increase Scotland's standing saw him besiege Roxburgh Castle in 1460, one of the last Scottish castles still held by the English after the Wars of Independence. On 3 August, one of his cannon, The Tyger, exploded, killing the King. The Scots carried on with the siege and took the castle. It Sister Mons Meg still sits in Edinburgh Castle to this day.

    Robert Lindsay of Pitscottie wrote in his Historie concerning the accident that befell King James II, that as he stood near a piece of artillery "his thigh-bone was dug into two with a piece of misframed gun that broke in shooting, by which he was stricken to the ground and died hastily". It should be noted, however, that Pitscottie was writing a century after the events he was describing."

    James was 29.

    Rating: A typical Stewart; he was far too reckless. 6/10

  11. Zaz

    Zaz Jedi Knight star 9

    Oct 11, 1998
    Next: James III


    Reign 3 August 1460 ? 11 June 1488

    Coronation 10 August 1460[1]

    Predecessor James II

    Successor James IV

    Regent Queen Mary (1460?63)

    James Kennedy (1463?66)

    Robert, Lord Boyd (1466?69)

    Spouse Margaret of Denmark

    James IV
    James, Duke of Ross
    John, Earl of Mar

    Father James II

    Mother Mary of Guelders

    Born 10 July 1451

    Stirling or St Andrews Castles

    Died 11 June 1488 (aged 36) at Sauchie Burn, Scotland

    Burial Cambuskenneth Abbey, Stirling

    Situation: "James III (10 July 1451 ? 11 June 1488) was King of Scots from 1460 to 1488. James was an unpopular and ineffective monarch owing to an unwillingness to administer justice fairly, a policy of pursuing alliance with the Kingdom of England, and a disastrous relationship with nearly all his extended family.

    Reputation: "His reputation as the first renaissance monarch in Scotland has sometimes been exaggerated, based on late chronicle attacks on him for being more interested in such unmanly pursuits as music than hunting, riding and leading his kingdom into war. In fact the artistic legacy of his reign is slight, especially when compared to that of his son, James IV and grandson, James V. Such evidence as there is consists of portrait coins produced during his reign, displaying the king in three-quarter profile, and wearing an imperial crown, the Trinity Altarpiece by Hugo van der Goes, which was probably not commissioned by the king, and an unusual hexagonal chapel at Restalrig near Edinburgh, perhaps inspired by the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem."

    Achievements: "The king's marriage to Margaret of Denmark, daughter of Christian I of Denmark in 1469, in the process ending the 'Norwegian annual' fee owed to Denmark for the Western Isles, and receiving Orkney and Shetland (theoretically only as a temporary measure to cover Margaret's dowry). Thus Scotland in 1470 reached its greatest ever territorial extent, when James permanently annexed the islands to the crown."

    His policies: "James's policies during the 1470s revolved primarily around ambitious continental schemes for territorial expansion, and alliance with England. Between 1471 and 1473 he suggested annexations or invasions of Brittany, Saintonge and Guelders. These unrealistic aims resulted in parliamentary criticism, especially since the king was reluctant to deal with the more humdrum business of administering justice at home.

    In 1474 a marriage alliance was agreed with Edward IV of England, by which the future James IV of Scotland was to marry Princess Cecily of York, daughter of Edward IV and Elizabeth Woodville. It might have been a sensible move for Scotland, but it went against the traditional enmity of the two countries dating back to the reign of Robert I and the Wars of Independence, not to mention the vested interests of the border nobility. The alliance, therefore (and the taxes raised to pay for the marriage) was at least one of the reasons why the king was unpopular by 1479.

    Also during the 1470s conflict developed between the king and his two brothers, Alexander, Duke of Albany and John, Earl of Mar. Mar died suspiciously in Edinburgh in 1480 and his estates were forfeited and possibly given to a royal favourite, Robert Cochrane. Albany fled to France in 1479, accused of treason and breaking the alliance with England.

    But by 1479 the alliance was collapsing, and war with England existed on an intermittent level in 1480-1482. In 1482 Edward launched a full-scale invasion, led by the Duke of Gloucester, the future Richard III, and including the Duke of Albany, styled "Alexander IV", as part of the invasion party. James, in attempting to lead his subjects against the invasion, was arrested by a group of disaffected nobles, at Lauder Bridge in July 1482. It has been suggested that the nobles were already in league with Albany. The king was imprisoned in Edinburgh Castle, and a new regime, led by 'lieutenant-general' Albany, became established during the autumn of 1482.
  12. Gonk

    Gonk Jedi Knight star 6

    Jul 8, 1998
    Was this the king whose head was supposedly (probably not, but rumored) kept as an heirloom by several people
  13. Zaz

    Zaz Jedi Knight star 9

    Oct 11, 1998
    Don't know about that; I doubt it, since his son regretted dethroning him.
  14. Gonk

    Gonk Jedi Knight star 6

    Jul 8, 1998
    Ah, you're right essentially. The rumor was over his son (it's a bit early but I'll post the link anyhow (
  15. Zaz

    Zaz Jedi Knight star 9

    Oct 11, 1998
    Next: James IV



    Reign 11 June 1488?9 September 1513

    Coronation 24 June 1488

    Predecessor James III

    Successor James V

    Spouse Margaret Tudor


    James, Duke of Rothesay (d. as infant)
    Arthur, Duke of Rothesay (d. as infant)
    James V
    Alexander, Duke of Ross (d. as infant)
    Two stillborn daughters

    Seven illegitimate children

    Father James III

    Mother Margaret of Denmark

    Born 17 March 1473(1473-03-17) Stirling Castle, Scotland

    Died 9 September 1513 (aged 40) at the Battle of Flodden Field, Northumberland

    The Situation: "James IV was the son of James III and Margaret of Denmark, probably born in Stirling Castle. As heir apparent to the Scottish crown, he became Duke of Rothesay. His father was not a popular king and faced two major rebellions during his reign. During the second rebellion, the rebels set up the 15-year-old James as their nominal leader. His father was killed fighting the rebels at the Battle of Sauchieburn on 11 June 1488, and James took the throne and was crowned at Scone on 24 June. When he realised the indirect role which he had played in the death of his father, he decided to do penance for his sin. From that date on, he wore a heavy iron chain cilice around his waist, next to the skin, each Lent as penance."

    Description: "It was reported to the King of Spain that James "is exceptionally clever, and can speak Latin, French, German, Flemish, Italian and the barbarian Gaelic, the native tongue of nearly all his subjects. He knows the Bible well and is conversant with most subjects. He is a good historian and reads Latin and French history, committing much to memory. He does not cut his hair or his beard. He is devout and says all his prayers. He maintains that the oath of a king should be his royal word, as was the case in bygone times. He is active and works hard, when he is not at war he hunts in the mountains. He is courageous. I have seen him undertake most dangerous things in the last wars. On such occasions he does not take the least care of himself."

    This portrait of the King by the Spaniard may have been exaggerated and he may not have spoken the number of languages that Ayala says."

    Achievements: "James IV quickly proved to be an effective ruler. He defeated another rebellion in 1489, took a direct interest in the administration of justice and finally brought the Lord of the Isles under control in 1493. For a time, he supported Perkin Warbeck, the pretender to the English throne, and carried out a brief invasion of England on his behalf in 1496. However, he recognized that peace between Scotland and England was in the interest of both countries, and established good diplomatic relations with England, at that time emerging from a period of Civil War, and in 1502 signed the Treaty of Perpetual Peace with Henry VII. He also saw the importance in building a fleet that could provide Scotland with a strong maritime presence. James founded two new dockyards for the purpose and acquired a total of 38 ships for the Royal Scottish Navy, including the Margaret, and the carrack Michael or Great Michael. The latter, built at great expense at Newhaven and launched in 1511, was 240 feet (73 m) in length, weighed 1,000 tons and was, at that time, the largest ship in Europe.
    Arms of James IV

    James was a true Renaissance prince with an interest in practical and scientific matters. He granted the Edinburgh College of Surgeons a royal charter in 1506, turned Edinburgh Castle into one of Britain's foremost gun foundries, and welcomed the establishment of Scotland's first printing press in 1505. He was a patron of the arts, including many literary figures, most notably the Scots makars whose diverse and socially observant works convey a vibrant and memorable picture of cultural life and intellectual concerns in the period. Figures associated with his court include William Dunbar, Walter Kenn
  16. farraday

    farraday Jedi Knight star 7

    Jan 27, 2000
    Any information on why he was excommunicated?
  17. Zaz

    Zaz Jedi Knight star 9

    Oct 11, 1998
    I wondered about that, too.

    According to the 'net, it was political: "Peace with England meant war with France. James IV sided with France against the Holy League (the Holy Roman Empire, Spain and England). The Pope threatened excommunication."

    Easily the best of the Stewarts, but apparently the death-wish was the result of depression.
  18. farraday

    farraday Jedi Knight star 7

    Jan 27, 2000

    Oh god, the Holy League. Unite with France against Venice to stop their dominance, which brings the french into Italy, then unite with Venice against France to drive them back out again. Not being content with that mess, then cut out the Venetians and piss them off so now they unite with france and the whole thing ends in a bloody mess.
    Pretty good description of the politics at the time.

    Nothing being answered the Italian wars reignite a decade later.

    So, to answer the question. James IV was left on a slab because the Pope thought Venice was getting uppity.

    It makes 16th century sense.
  19. Zaz

    Zaz Jedi Knight star 9

    Oct 11, 1998
    That about sums it up.

    The Papacy supported the Norman Invasion of England, too, despite the fact the English Church had been loyal to it.

    Go figure.
  20. farraday

    farraday Jedi Knight star 7

    Jan 27, 2000
    Any modern foreign policy realist would have been taken to shreds. What do we do now? Fund coups? Invade semi helpless countries? Hell take something huge the like Molotov Ribbentrop pact. Secret alliance between supposedly bitter enemies? Shocking! That was happening four times a day in the 16th century and if you ended a war on the same side you started it it was only because you'd switched sides an even number of times.

    Hell if a war started with the same combatants it ended with it wasn't even worth naming and everyone called them pikers in front of their back.

    Ahh for the good old days.
  21. Zaz

    Zaz Jedi Knight star 9

    Oct 11, 1998
    Scotland, because of its history and its geographical location, generally adhered to France in what was called "The Auld Alliance". We've seen that the Scots populace did not like James III's attempts to ally himself with England instead, and that lead to his ouster. They preferred the French, who, because they did not live next door, had limited opportunities to alienate their allies.

    But the French actually despised the Scots, and used them against as weapon against the English; their role was to invade whenever England involved itself on the continent. James IV did as he was told, and died for it; he would have been far better to more duplicitous than he was. (He could have done some border raiding to the same effect; what a full-scale invasion of England did for Scotland, I don't know).

    This situation essentially did not change very much for centuries, but Scotland and England found more common cause when they both went Protestant in the Reformation. France stayed Catholic, as did Spain.
  22. Zaz

    Zaz Jedi Knight star 9

    Oct 11, 1998
    Sidebar: Margaret Tudor and the English Succession

    Almost from the day of Margaret Tudor's wedding to James IV in 1502, a new element entered Scottish and English history: for more than a century Scottish Queens and Scottish Kings were often the heirs to the English throne. Margaret herself was the heir to the English throne from 1509 to 1516 (when Mary Tudor was born). One of her sons was named Arthur in recognition of this. Her father Henry VII in fact considered the possibility when he arranged the marriage; after thinking about it, he decided that if it happened, England would prevail, which is precisely what did occur.

    This didn't actually help the Stewarts become better rulers; in fact, the opposite, though it varied. James V was not particularly interested--during most of his reign his uncle had three children--but Mary, Queen of Scots and James VI spent an inordinate amount of time dreaming about gaining two more kingdoms (England and Ireland) to Scotland without fighting for them or expending any effort. As we shall see, the promised lands were full of scorpions, but we'll get to that.

    Margaret herself has been described as 'a Tudor without brains' which is cruel but accurate. She also unfortunately had Henry VIII's penchant for marrying commoners, and choosing badly when she did so. She was 24 when James IV got himself cut to ribbons in a stupid cause, and she was pregnant. She had a son who did not survive, and almost immediately married the Earl of Angus, a worthless, ruthless, ambitious creep, who spent her money, nearly ruined her son, and gave her a daughter, Lady Margaret Douglas. The marriage was a misery, and Margaret eventually divorced him and married a third husband, a Scottish noble who had all Angus' bad points and more. She was trying to divorce him as well, when she died in 1541 of a stroke. Most of the Scots--including possibly her surviving son--were highly relieved.

    Margaret brought the English Succession with her, and she brought something else: she was a carrier of porphyria. This may be the disease that afflicted Henry VI, and his French grandfather; his mother, Katherine de Valois passed it to her son Edmund Tudor as well, as it showed up late in Henry VII's life, and James V definitely had it as well. We don't know about Lady Margaret Douglas, but remember: Margaret Tudor was grandmother of both Mary, Queen of Scots and Henry, Lord Darnley (Lady Margaret Douglas' son), the parents of James VI of Scotland and I of England. James VI had a bad case of it, and his daughter, Elizabeth, the Winter Queen of Bohemia, is the ancestress of nearly every royal family in Europe. So several famous rulers, including Frederick the Great of Prussia, also suffered from it.
  23. Gonk

    Gonk Jedi Knight star 6

    Jul 8, 1998
    Any modern foreign policy realist would have been taken to shreds. What do we do now? Fund coups? Invade semi helpless countries? Hell take something huge the like Molotov Ribbentrop pact. Secret alliance between supposedly bitter enemies? Shocking! That was happening four times a day in the 16th century and if you ended a war on the same side you started it it was only because you'd switched sides an even number of times.

    I think -- and this is guesswork on my part -- Democracy and media actually prevents that sort of thing today.

    I think it would be a mistake, all told, to necessarily say that the executive powers of today are any more or less likely to change sides will-nilly in war as they did in the past. It's probably less, but I wouldn't want to take it for granted that it is.

    But in most nations now those executives sort of have to sell conflict to the people, and have to remain consistent around the matter. That, of course, can be done... but frankly I think you'd need a completely unquestioned fascist/authoritatian government to do the constant 16th century Eurasia/Eastsia flip today. People would just get too confused and cry foul that the plot of the political narrative didn't make sense anymore.
  24. Zaz

    Zaz Jedi Knight star 9

    Oct 11, 1998
    Next: James V


    Reign 9 September 1513 ? 14 December 1542

    Coronation 21 September 1513

    Predecessor James IV

    Successor Mary I

    Regent Margaret Tudor (1513?14)

    John, Duke of Albany (1515?24)

    Archibald, Earl of Angus (1525?28)


    (1) Madeleine of Valois (1537)
    (2) Mary of Guise (1538?42)


    James Stewart, Duke of Rothesay d. aged one year
    Robert d. aged 8 days
    Mary I of Scotland

    Illegitimate Issue: 7 sons (including the Earl of Moray) and 2 daughters

    House House of Stewart

    Father James IV of Scotland

    Mother Margaret Tudor

    Born 10 April 1512(1512-04-10)

    Linlithgow Palace, West Lothian

    Died 14 December 1542 (aged 30)

    Falkland Palace, Fife

    Burial Holyrood Abbey, Edinburgh

    The Situation: "The son of King James IV of Scotland, and princess Margaret Tudor of England, he was born on 10 April 1512, at Linlithgow Palace, West Lothian, and was just seventeen months old when his father was killed at the Battle of Flodden Field on 9 September 1513.

    He was crowned in the Chapel Royal at Stirling Castle on 21 September 1513. During his childhood, the country was ruled by regents, first by his mother, Margaret Tudor (sister of King Henry VIII of England), until she remarried the following year, and thereafter by John Stewart, 2nd Duke of Albany, who was himself next in line for the throne after James and his younger brother, the posthumously-born Alexander Stewart, Duke of Ross. In 1525, Archibald Douglas, 6th Earl of Angus, the young king's stepfather, took custody of James and held him as a virtual prisoner for three years, exercising power on his behalf. James finally escaped in 1528 and assumed the reins of government himself."

    His Reign: "His first action as king was to remove Angus from the scene, and he then subdued the Border rebels and the chiefs of the Western Isles. James increased his income by tightening control over royal estates and from the profits of justice, customs and feudal rights. He also gave his illegitimate sons lucrative benefices, diverting substantial church wealth into his coffers. James spent a large amount of his wealth on building work at Stirling, Falkland, Linlithgow and Holyrood.

    James V did not tolerate heresy and during his reign, a number of outspoken supporters of church reform were executed. The most famous of these was Patrick Hamilton who was burned at the stake as a heretic at St Andrews in 1528."

    His Marriages: "James renewed the Auld Alliance with France, and on 1 January 1537, he married Madeleine of Valois, daughter of Francis I of France." She lasted only six months in the Scottish climate.

    "Following her death in July 1537, he proceeded to marry, on 12 June 1538, Mary of Guise, daughter of Claude, Duke of Guise and widow of Louis of Orleans, Duke of Longueville. Mary already had two sons from her first marriage, and the union produced two sons, James Stewart, Duke of Rothesay (b. 22 May 1540), and Robert Stewart, Duke of Albany (b. 1541). However, both died in April 1541, just eight days after baby Robert was baptised. In 1542, their daughter Mary, later Queen of Scots, was born."

    His Death:

    "The death of his mother in 1541 removed any incentive for peace with England, and war broke out. Initially the Scots won a victory at the Battle of Haddon Rig in 1542, but later that year, they suffered a defeat at the Battle of Solway Moss. Although this is now disputed by some historians, by some accounts he experienced a nervous collapse after the defeat, and was on his deathbed at Falkland Palace on 8 December when his only living heir, a girl, was born.

    Before he died, he is reported to have said, "it came wi a lass, it'll gang wi a lass" ("It began with a girl and it will end with a girl"). This was a reference to the Stewart dynasty, and how it came to the throne through Marjorie, daughter of Robert the Bruce. As it happened, his words came true, although not with his daughter Mary I but with the last monar
  25. Zaz

    Zaz Jedi Knight star 9

    Oct 11, 1998
    [link=]England's Rough Wooing[/link]

    Or: How not to conduct foreign policy.

    However, the Scottish solution, which was to sell their Queen to France instead, could be described as cutting off one's nose to spite one's face, especially when you consider that Mary signed some highly illegal (and secret) treaties with France saying that if she died during her marriage, Scotland would be the property of her husband, Francois. Note that the French did not reciprocate (when Francois died, Mary did not inherit France).

    Which brings us to the Guise family.

    Mary, Queen of Scots' mother was a Guise. It was a cadet (or younger) branch of the House of Lorraine, and its members were extremely bright, capable and ambitious. They hoped to usurp the throne of France by using religion as their tool.

    To explain, otherwise some of the Scottish and English politics of the time are not always explicable: the reigning French dynasty was the Valois. Henri II had four surviving sons, Francois, Charles, Henri and Hercule (he rechristened himself Francois after his eldest brother's death). Francois, Charles and Henri all reigned in turn, as Francois II, Charles IX, and Henri III. Francois was childless, Charles had one daughter, and Henri was also childless. Hercule predeceased Henri, unmarried. The French throne then passed directly to a cousin, Henri de Navarre, who was of another Capet cadet house, the Bourbons. Henri de Bourbon was married to Marguerite de Valois, sister of Francois II et al. (They were childless). He was also a Huguenot, or French Protestant.

    In other words, trouble. The Guises conspired with Spain to themselves replace Henri de Navarre in the French succession. (The Duc de Guise's mother was Antoinette de Bourbon.) The result was a series of extremely unpleasant religious wars.

    There were nine in all, intermittently, over a period of 36 years (1562-98), including "The War of the Three Henris" (that is, Henri III, Henri de Guise, and Henri de Navarre.) Elizabeth I supported Navarre, and Philip of Spain, the Guises. France exploded in various acts of violence, including the notorious St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre and the assassinations of Henry III (1589) and Henry de Guise (1588). Navarre ended the madness by converting to Catholicism in 1593 (he is alleged to have said: "Paris is worth a mass") though he protected his co-religionists with the Edict of Nantes, which allowed them free worship in France. He remained King until 1610, when he, too, was assassinated.

    The French were wont to decry the barbarity of the Scots. This is known as irony.

    Navarre never held a grudge against Catherine de' Medici, who was his mother-in-law:

    "Henry IV was later reported to have said of Catherine:

    I ask you, what could a woman do, left by the death of her husband with five little children on her arms, and two families of France who were thinking of grasping the crown?our own [the Bourbons] and the Guises? Was she not compelled to play strange parts to deceive first one and then the other, in order to guard, as she did, her sons, who successively reigned through the wise conduct of that shrewd woman? I am surprised that she never did worse.[138]"

    Back to Marie de Guise, who in the chaos after the death of her husband, conspired to become regent. She managed it, too, in 1554, and ruled Scotland in her absent daughter's name until 1560, when she died.

    For those who say Mary, Queen of Scots could not have successfully ruled Scotland because she did not know the country--having been raised abroad, her mother managed quite well. She was a Catholic and pro-French, but she was intelligent and had a strong sense of duty. And she held her own with the Scottish nobles, a nasty, violent lot.