Robert III. (1390-1405), 2nd of the Stuarts; Before his Coronation, called John, Earl of Carrick, Updated, pp.133-144.


ON the day of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary [15th of August], this same year, 1390, John, Earl of Carrick, was crowned King of Scotland, by the name of King Robert III., at Scone, with great solemnity, by the 3 estates of the kingdom; and with him was crowned Queen, his wife, Annabella, daughter to Sir John Drummond, knight.



In the year 1391, in the beginning of the month of February, died Philip [of Valois], Duke of Orléans, [childless]; and the duchy, by the French King, was given to his brother Louis [I.].

The 25th day of December, this same year, died John [I.], King of Castile, first of that name; and to him succeeded his eldest son Henry [III.], a child of 11 years of age, who thereafter became a virtuous and worthy prince. His 2nd brother, Don Ferdinand [I.], became thereafter, also, King of Aragon, and a most worthy and virtuous prince.



This year, 1392, the French King, Charles [VI.], what through anger and distemper of his brain fell mad; so that by his distraction France became a very theatre of tragedies.

This same year, [Gian] Galeazzo, Viscount, Duke of Milan and the Florentines, after much blood shed on both sides, are reconciled; and likewise, about this same time, the [Polish], and Sigismund, King of Hungary, are brought to think well of peace, and so agreed.



The year 1393, Pope Clement VII. the antipope, departed this life at Avignon; and to him succeeded Pedro [Martinez] de Luna, of Aragon, one nobly descended, and after his election was named Benedict XIII.

This year was the 2nd since Bayezid [I.], the Turkish King, laid siege to the imperial city of Constantinople, which siege he continued 8 years more, aye and while the valiant Tartarian [Amir Timur] Tamerlane came with a monstrous army, and overthrew Bayezid, took him prisoner, and like a wild beast, cooped up in an iron cage, and to his great infamy and derision, carried him up and down Asia, making of his neck a footstool, whensoever he would leap on horseback.



This year, 1394, Richard [II.], King of England, gifts his uncle, John [of Gaunt], Duke of Lancaster, with the duchy of Aquitane; and this same year, likewise, recalls that donation, as not convenient for his affairs.

After the death of Frederick [III.], King of Sicily, his only daughter [Maria] was, this year, married [to] Martin [I.], Earl of Luna, who thereafter became King of Aragon.



In March, 1395, about the beginning of the said month, Sigismund, King of Hungary, by aid of France, gave the Turks that had invaded his kingdom a notable overthrow.

This year, also, Wenceslaus, the Emperor, for a great sum of money [100,000 florins], creates Gian Galeazzo, brother-in-law to the Duke of Orléans, Duke of Milan.

This year, also, Charles [III.], the young King of Navarre, gets the investiture of the duchy of Nemours, in recompense of his territories his father [Charles II.] did possess in the duchy of Normandy.



The year 1396, on the 19th of May, dies John, King of Aragon, the first of that name, of a fall from his horse, to whom succeeded Don Martin, Earl of Luna, his brother.

This year, Pope Boniface [IX.] ordained the taking of annates [perpetuæ], or the first year’s revenue of vacant church benefices, to be paid to the apostolic chair, for maintaining a simulated war, proclaimed by him against the Turks: that so under the clock of a Holy war against the enemies of the cross of Christ, he might pick the purses of all such as professed Christ. This invention was thought so good by his successors, that none of them could ever be moved to quit it, but either by force or money.



The year of our salvation 1397, brought forth much jealousy of the English against their King, Richard [II.], that he should in his heart favour the French too much; but he palliated with the wisest of them, and scorned the rest, says [Jean] Froissart.

Bayezid [I.], the Turkish King, this year, uses all of the engines art or wit could invent against the city of Constantinople, but the resolution of the defendants was such, that nothing could prevail; for as yet the cup of their iniquities was not full; and the Lord, to see if they would repent, did restrain the force and fury of that barbarous and merciless enemy.



In the year 1398, at a parliament held by King Robert III. at Perth, 28th day of April, from thence being conveyed to Scone by the greatest part of the nobility, he solemnly created his eldest son, David [Stewart], Duke of Rothesay; his brother Robert [Stewart], Earl of Fife and Menteith, he created Duke of Albany; and Sir David Lindsay, knight, he created [first] Earl of Crawford. After that, divine service was celebrated by Walter Trail, [Arch]bishop of St. Andrews.



In 1399, David [Stewart], Duke of Rothesay, the Prince, contracts the Lady Elizabeth, daughter to George [de Dunbar], Earl of March and Dunbar; and for her dowry a great sum of money is delivered by the Earl her father to the King. But Archibald [the Grim], Earl of Douglas, gives the King, with his daughter Lady [Mary] Douglas, a far greater sum; to which the facile King and Prince assents, and without more ado they are married in Bothwell church: at which George, Earl of March, extremely storms, and demands the redelivery of his money from the King, which is refused to him, against all equity; which makes the Earl so swell with revenge, that [he] forthwith abandons Scotland and flees into England, where he combines with the English, and thereafter did very much hurt and mischief to his country.



This year, 1400, dies Archibald, first of that name, Earl of Douglas, called Grim, from his fierce aspect; being one of the wisest, hardiest, and [most] valiant [of] knights in his time. He subdued the rebellious Galwegians, and brought them to the King’s obedience; for which great service the King gave the said province to him and his heirs forever, [product] of his own body, with the title of lord of the same. He founded the collegiate church of Lincluden, and nunnery of Bothwell.

This year, also, Henry [IV.], King of England, entered Scotland with a great army, and besieged the castle of Edinburgh, kept by David [Stewart], Duke of Rothesay, and Archibald, 2nd of that name, Earl of Douglas; but not prevailing, returned home with shame and disgrace.



This year, 1401, died Annabella, Queen of Scotland, at Scone; and was solemnly interred at Dunfermline.

This year, 1401, King Robert being now old and decrepit, hearing of the debauched life and demeanour of his eldest son David, Duke of Rothesay, Earl of Carrick, sends his two trusty counsellors, Sir William Lindsay of Rossie, and Sir John Ramornie, knights, with letters to the governor of the Duke of Albany, commanding him to apprehend the said Duke, and imprison him until he were sensible of his guilt carriage, and promised to amend. He was taken between Nydie and Strathtyrum, and led captive to St. Andrews castle; but shortly thereafter removed to the castle of Falkland, where he was committed to the custody of two of the Duke of Albany’s ruffians, John Selkirk and John Wright, who handled him so roughly, that he died there the 7th of April, as they gave it out, of a dysentery; but the truth was, that through extreme hunger and famine, he ate off his own fingers. His body was interred in the abbey church of Lindores.

Lindsay and Ramornie were the two contrivers of this youthful prince’s destruction. Ramornie, because he had formerly counselled him to kill his uncle the Governor; and lest he should now reveal him, assured the Governor secretly, with great oaths and attestations, that his nephew was to kill him. Sir William Lindsay’s spleen (feelings) towards the Duke was, that long before he had affianced the Earl of March’s daughter, or married the Earl of Douglas’s, he repudiated his sister, Euphemia Lindsay, whom he had solemnly affianced; a very beautiful and comely lady, of whose unfortunate end, Thomas Learmonth of [Earlston], called the Rhymer, spoke thus; a comet appearing that same day he was apprehended, and still kept a little above the horizon until the day of his death, and then quite vanished:

Melody after David, luxury, festivity.
It holds that a wife is best,
Failed manners; Royal loses office.



This year, 1402, the battle of Nisbet [Muir] was fought between Sir Patrick Hepburn [the younger] of Hailes, knight, and George Dunbar, Earl of March, and Sir George Dunbar, his eldest son, wherein Sir Patrick Hepburn was killed, and of prisoners there was taken,

Sir John Haliburton [of Dirleton],

Sir Thomas Haliburton, his brother,

Sir Robert [de] Lawder of [Edrington],

Sir John Cockburn,

Sir William Cockburn;

with diverse other gentlemen.

This same year, likewise, was fought the battle of Homildon [Hill] between Archibald, 2nd of that name, Earl of Douglas, son-in-law to King Robert III., and Henry Hotspur, and George, Earl of March, leaders of the English army. In this battle the Scots were overthrown, and there were killed, of eminency and valour,

Sir John Swinton,

Sir Adam [de] Gordon,

Sir John Livingstone of Callendar,

Sir Alexander Ramsay of Dalhousie,

Sir Walter St. Claire,

Sir Roger Gordon,

Sir Walter Scott;

with diverse others gentlemen. And there was taken prisoners in this battle,

Archibald, Earl of Douglas, General of the Scottish army, who lost one of his eyes;

Murdoch Stewart [Earl of Fife], eldest son to the Governor, Robert, Duke of Albany;

Thomas [Dunbar], Earl of Moray;

George [Douglas], Earl of Angus, who while he was a prisoner in England, died of the plague;

Sir Robert Erskine of Alloway;

Sir William Abernethy of Saltoun;

James Douglas, Master of Dalkeith, with his 2 brothers, Hugh and William;

George Leslie of Rothes;

William Erth of the same;

Hugh Erth, his son;

John Stewart of Lorne;

Sir John Seaton of the same;

William St. Claire of Herdmanston;

James St. Clair of Longformacus;

[Henry Sinclair, Earl of Orkney];

Patrick Dunbar of Beil;

Alexander Hume of Dunglass;

Alexander Forrester of Corstorphine;

Robert Stewart of Durrisdeer;

Walter Bickerton of Luffness;

Sir Robert Logan of Restalrig;

John Ramsay of Greenock;

Elias Kininmont of the same;

Laurence Ramsay of Clettee;

John Kerr of Samuelston;

Fergus Macdougall of Garthland;

with diverse other gentlemen.



This year, Robert [Stewart], Duke of Albany, the Governor, relieved the castle of Cocklaw, besieged by Henry Hotspur, who lately before had razed the castle of Innerwick, by the treachery of John Gladstone, laird of the same.



This year, 1404, James [Stewart], Prince of Scotland, Earl of Carrick, in his voyage to France by sea, with Henry St. Clair, 2nd Earl of Orkney, is taken by the English, near Flamborough head; and was kept in close prison until he should recall John [Stewart], Earl of Buchan, with his Scottish soldiers, out of France.

This year, Lang Hermandston field was fought between David Fleming [of Biggar], Lord Cumbernauld, and James Douglas [of Balvenie], son to Archibald, Earl of Douglas, and Alexander Seton, thereafter Lord Gordon, the 13th of February. In this fight the Lord Fleming was killed, with most of his followers.

King Robert III. hearing of the taking of his only son, James, by the English, being at supper in his castle of Rothesay, in the Isle of Bute, was so surprised with grief and sorrow of heart, that he expired within a few hours thereafter, on the 4th day of April, being Palm Sunday, in the 16th year of his reign; and was solemnly interred at Paisley abbey.



The 5th of March, the estates of the kingdom met at Stirling, in 1405, where with unanimous consent, Robert [Stewart], Duke of Albany, is discerned Governor of the realm, until his nephew was relieved from the English captivity. This same day was Stirling town almost all burnt.