The Stuarts’ nightmare





Well,  one of the most scandalous and infamous European royal houses during the middle ages without doubt , is the Stuarts. But the thing behind that famous vision is hidden behind a series of unfortunate events, one after another or in some cases even in the same time. Some of them are held in custody, another are too young for rule, third are beheaded and so on. In this article, we will explore the most unpleasant of the pleasantries they had the luck to encounter during their rule. Ready? Buckle up for a very dramatic series of infortunes!

The founder : Robert II (1316-1390) –he was the first king of Scotland from the Stuart dynasty. The first and not the last ,indeed, but the way to the throne was not a smooth one. His mother was Marjorie Bruce (daughter of Robert Bruce, who had become Robert I of Scotland in 1306). We couldn’t deny his claims to the crown, but in 1324 Robert Bruce’s son was born (named David II).Hence, Robert took the king’s regent role, but not for too long! Under mysterious circumstances, Robert fled the battle of Neville’s Cross in 1343 with English,on which the king was taken prisoner. Finally, in 11 long years Robert was king regent again! Unfortunately for him, the english announced a ransom for the scotish king , but Robert was decisive and quickly organized riots against the people who supported him (unsuccessfully). Suddenly, the tides were changing swiftly, and David proposed to lower the ransom by settling the Scottish crown on the English royal family (thus effectively disinheriting Robert) sealed the enmity between the two. The Parliament refused and ta-da – Robert II was the new king (but too old to rule!).

Rober III –the son of Rober II , who was 50 years of age when he was crowned as a king (I’m starting to assume that that was on a verge of being a custom –old king = wise king). Not only was he old,but he was a limp , when he was young a horse had thrown him out of the saddle,due to that unexpected misfortune his popularity as a kind didn’t grow much! But, there is so much more, his real name was John , being overwhelmed by a superstitious and beliefs for bad omen ( tell me about it!) , he changed his name into Robert. Everything was running smoothly in Scotland, except from the fact that the Stuart dynasty had to gain authority over the lords and to thwart their ambitions of ascending to the throne. The younger brother of the king, Alexander was playing his own game, by ransacking the towns,  setting a fire churches and making himself notoriously temperamental in any possible way. To cap it all , the heir to the throne , prince David proved to be a fine lover and he left his future wife (the daughter of the  Earl of March) only to marry another woman! However, later in year 1402, according to the chronicles ,the prince was captured and died of starvation in Falkland Palace (some claim that the plot was initiated by the brother of the king ,Robert, but we could only make gambles).  The old king paralyzed by fear for his second’s son’s life decided to take him in France, where he could in less  dangerous position. Unluckily, during the journey to France, the ship was captured (by pirates) and the prince was taken in captivity in England.  Two weeks later the old king of Scotland died ,but the curse was handed down to the next Stuart.

James I spent 18 years in England, where he was educated and thrived, de facto he was half- English, by birth Scotish, but by nurture English. Nothing disappointing could be said about that energetic, charismatic young king who wanted to adopt the english justice and to put it in practice in his kingdom. He made the parliament’s assembly in Scone mandatory , the elections of the new laws were stringent. Some people say that if you do not have enemies , you don’t do anything worthy, well the king gained his popularity by being just and by put into death his enemies (Albany and their friends). In February 1437, the king made another parliament assembly, to reach Perth he had to cross Fort, in the dying seconds when the king was taking in the ship , old woman told him that if he went there, he would never come back. On 20th of February, the king was assassinated. (You should have listened to the old woman, James!).

James II of Scotland: 16 October 1437 – 3 August 1460. Not letting the grievance of the death of the last king to make its pass, the rival families the Crichtons, the Livingstons, and the Douglases fought against each other to take control over the king. A bloody party they threw (literally!). If anything, James II inherited nothing,but a kingdom torn apart by rebellions and desire for blood. The quarrel between the king and the Douglases even reached catastrophic immensity, when in 1452 the Earl was stabbed to dead by the former.

In his war with the English, James made an attempt to fire one of the cannons (which was named Lion) but the cannon exploded and the king died ( probably torn into pieces). So much for the  good luck, if there was any!

Next time :Mary Queen of Scots and Charles I, the best is yet to come!


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