James IV of Scotland

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James IV of Scotland (born 1473, died 1513) was King of Scots from 11 June 1488 to his death. He is generally regarded as the most successful of the Stewart monarchs of Scotland. His parents were James III and Anne of Denmark. As heir to the throne, he was made 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 realized 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.

His Queen was Eupheme Drummond (1470-1531), whom he wed in 1490. Only one of their sons survived childhood, the future King of both England and Scotland.

James IV 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 Richard III, which included provisions for the heirs of the two monarchs to wed. This did indeed happen, and Scottish King lived long enough to see his son crowned King of England.

Keenly interested in chivalry as well as the (then) most modern forms of military technology, James IV died in the wreck of Eupheme, a warship of the Scottish Royal Navy he had named for his wife. Rumors for years persisted that he had somehow survived the disaster but no credible evidence of such has ever been discovered.

Preceded by:
James III
King of the Scots
Succeeded by:
James I and V
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