JAMES III. (1451-1488), king of Scotland, eldest son of James II., was born on the 10th of July 1451. Becoming king in 1460 he was crowned at Kelso. After the death of his mother in 1463, and of her principal supporter, James Kennedy, bishop of St Andrews, two years later, the person of the young king, and with it the chief authority in the kingdom, were seized by Sir Alexander Boyd and his brother Lord Boyd, while the latter's son, Thomas, was created earl of Arran and married to the king's sister, Mary. In July 1469 James himself was married to Margaret (d. 1486), daughter of Christian I., king of Denmark and Norway, but before the wedding the Boyds had lost their power. Having undertaken the government in person, the king received the submission of the powerful earl of Ross, and strengthened his authority in other ways. But his preference for a sedentary and not for an active life and his increasing attachment to favourites of humble birth diminished his popularity, and he had some differences with his parliament. About 1479, probably with reason both suspicious and jealous, James arrested his brothers, Alexander, duke of Albany, and John, earl of Mar; Mar met his death in a mysterious fashion at Craigmillar, but Albany escaped to France and then visited England, where in 1482 Edward IV. recognized him as king of Scotland by the gift of the king of England. War broke out with England, but James, made a prisoner by his nobles, was unable to prevent Albany and his ally, Richard, duke of Gloucester (afterwards Richard III.), from taking Berwick and marching to Edinburgh. Peace with Albany followed, but soon afterwards the duke was again in communication with Edward, and was condemned by the parliament after the death of the English king in April 1483. Albany's death in France in 1485 did not end the king's troubles. His policy of living at peace with England and of arranging marriages between the members of the royal families of the two countries did not commend itself to the turbulent section of his nobles; his artistic tastes and lavish expenditure added to the discontent, and a rebellion broke out. Fleeing into the north of his kingdom James collected an army and came to terms with his foes; but the rebels, having seized the person of the king's eldest son, afterwards James IV., renewed the struggle. The rival armies met at the Sauchieburn near Bannockburn, and James soon fled. Reaching Beaton's Mill he revealed his identity, and, according to the popular story, was killed on the 11 th of June 1488 by a soldier in the guise of a priest who had been called in to shrive him. He left three sons - his successor, James IV.; James Stewart, duke of Ross, afterwards archbishop of St Andrews, and John Stewart, earl of Mar. James was a cultured prince with a taste for music and architecture, but was a weak and incapable king. His character is thus described by a chronicler: "He was ane man that loved solitude, and desired nevir to hear of warre, bot delighted more in musick and policie and building nor he did in the government of the realme."
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