James IV

James IV, 1473–1513, king of Scotland (1488–1513), son and successor of James III. He was an able and popular king, and his reign was one of stability and progress for Scotland. After suppressing an insurrection of discontented nobles early in his reign, he set about restoring order, improving administrative and judicial procedure in the kingdom, and encouraging manufacturing and shipbuilding. A conflict with Henry VII of England over James's support of Perkin Warbeck, pretender to the English throne, ended with the conclusion of a seven-year truce in 1497. In 1503, James married Henry's daughter, Margaret Tudor. This marriage was to bring the Stuart line to the English throne in 1603. When Henry VIII ascended (1509) the English throne, relations between Scotland and England deteriorated. In 1512, Louis XII of France, already at war with England, urged and secured a renewal of his alliance with the Scottish king. In 1513, James, against the counsel of his advisers, invaded England, where at the battle of Flodden he was killed and the Scottish aristocracy was almost annihilated.

See biography by R. L. Mackie (1958, repr. 1964).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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