James IV of Scotland (b.1473 r.1488-1513)
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James IV of Scotland (b.1473 r.1488-1513)

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In 1503 James IV of Scotland was married to Princess Margaret, the eldest daughter of Henry VII. It was through this union that the Stuart line ultimately succeeded the Tudors as sovereigns of England, after the death of Elizabeth I. James was a wise legislator and a good diplomat. He also encouraged education, and dabbled in surgery and astrology. James died at Flodden Field in 1513.

Described as 'courageous, more than a king should be' and 'of noble stature, and handsome', James IV was a popular king under whom Scotland reached its apogee as an independent nation.
Plantagenet Somerset Fry, Kings and Queens of England and Scotland.

(2) James IV of Scotland (b.1473 r.1488-1513)

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James IV of Scotland (b.1473 r.1488-1513)

James IV succeeded suddenly to the throne after his father was killed fighting some rebels in 1488. Although James was only 15, he gradually pacified the whole of his kingdom, including the Western Isles, five years later. James broke a truce with England when he supported the pretender Perkin Warbeck and invaded northern England. But the pretender, who claimed to be Richard, Duke of York (one of the young Princes who had already been murdered in the Tower), was a weak leader and the invasion soon fizzled out resulting in a seven-year treaty (1497).

James and Henry VII made up their differences when James married Margaret Tudor, Henry's eldest daughter, in 1503. From this match the succession of James's great-grandson, James VI to the English throne as James I of England was legitimised. James and Margaret had one son James, who succeeded his father as James V.

James IV's reign ended disastrously with the Battle of Flodden in 1513 after he had invaded England in co-ordination with the French, whom Henry VIII had attacked in that year. He was killed in the battle along with most of the Scottish nobility, who had previously advised against the enterprise.

Apart from the excursions, Scotland enjoyed peace and prosperity during his reign and he encouraged the arts and literature, improved the standard of education and licensed Scotland's first printer. He thus established a tradition in Scotland from which it was to benefit greatly in centuries to come.

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