James III of Scotland

Monarch

1451 – 1488

Who was James III of Scotland?

James III was King of Scots from 1460 to 1488. James was an unpopular and ineffective monarch owing to an unwillingness to administer justice fairly, a policy of pursuing alliance with the Kingdom of England, and a disastrous relationship with nearly all his extended family. However, it was through his marriage to Margaret of Denmark that the Orkney and Shetland islands became Scottish.

His reputation as the first Renaissance monarch in Scotland has sometimes been exaggerated, based on attacks on him in later chronicles for being more interested in such unmanly pursuits as music than hunting, riding and leading his kingdom into war. In fact, the artistic legacy of his reign is slight, especially when compared to that of his successors, James IV and James V. Such evidence as there is consists of portrait coins produced during his reign that display the king in three-quarter profile wearing an imperial crown, the Trinity Altarpiece by Hugo van der Goes, which was probably not commissioned by the king, and an unusual hexagonal chapel at Restalrig near Edinburgh, perhaps inspired by the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem.

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Born
Jul 10, 1451
Stirling Castle
Parents
  • Mary of Guelders
  • James II of Scotland
Siblings
  • Mary Stewart, Countess of Arran
  • Alexander Stewart, Duke of Albany
Spouses
  • Margaret of Denmark, Queen of Scotland
Children
  • James IV of Scotland
  • John Stewart, Earl of Mar
  • James Stewart, Duke of Ross
Died
Jun 11, 1488
Scotland