James V. (1513-1542), King of Scotland, Updated, pp.238-275.


THE 21st of December, this same year, 1513, King James, being a child of one year, 5 months, and 10 days old, is crowned at Stirling, in a convention of the estates.

At this same time, the Queen mother is declared Regent of the realm, with this restriction, to conclude nothing in matters of government, without the special advice and consent of James [Beaton], Archbishop of Glasgow, Lord Chancellor, and of the Earls of Huntly [Alexander Gordon], Angus [Archibald Douglas] and Arran [James Hamilton].

The estates send [the Lord] Lyon King of Arms [Sir William Cumming] to France, with letters for John [Stewart], Duke of Albany.

The Duke  of Albany, this same year, returns the [Lord] Lyon King of Arms, and with him Monsieur de la Beauté [Sir Anthony Darcy], with letters to the Queen Regent and nobility.

About the end of this same year, in a convention of the estates [held] at Perth, the Duke of Albany is chosen Governor, and protector of the King’s person and realm.



This year, 1514, [a truce is] concluded with England for a year and a day.

Henry VIII. by his ambassador, labours all he can that the Duke of Albany be not received [as] Governor, notwithstanding the estates of the kingdom, in a public meeting at Edinburgh, this year, ratified their former election of him; and they send [the Lord] Lyon King of Arms, and Sir Patrick Hamilton, with letters to the Duke, to France, to signify their constant election of him. King Henry VIII., of England, deals with the French King [Louis XII.] to [keep] the Duke in France, but in vain.

The Pope [Leo X.] sends his Legate [Lorenzo Campeggio], with a consecrated cape and sword, this year, to the young King, with a bull of indulgence, and a letter condoling his fathers death, and congratulating his [succession] to the crown.

The 30th day of April, this same year, the Queen is brought to bed, at Stirling castle, of a son; christened Alexander.

Stirs arise among the nobility this year, also; some would have a firm peace concluded with England, others not: so the Queen Regent, to pacify matters, calls a convention of the estates at Edinburgh, the 12th day of July, wherein all matters were debated, jealousies removed, and ambassadors sent to England for ratification of the peace.

James Ogilvie, Abbot of Dryburgh, [Lord] Lyon King of Arms, and Sir Patrick Hamilton, returns from France, with letters from the French King, and [the] Duke of Albany, excusing his slowness in coming home to accept the government.

The Queen Regent, this same year, without the advice of her brother, King Henry VIII., or of the nobility, on a sudden marries Archibald Douglas, Earl of Angus; whereat [James Beaton], the [Lord] Chancellor, much complains. The Earl of Angus takes him in the town of Perth, and takes the great seal from him. Of this indignity, the [Lord] Chancellor advertises the nobility; they rise [up] in arms, and the Queen Regent, with her husband, flee to the English border.

Louis XII., King of France, dies at Paris this year, after he had concluded a peace with England; to whom succeeds Francis de Valois, Duke of Angoulême.

Mary [Tudor], the Queen dowager of France, lately married to Louis XII., before his death, and sister to King Henry VIII., returns to England, and is married to Charles Brandon, whom King Henry creates Earl, Duke of Suffolk.

William Elphinstone, Bishop  of Aberdeen, Keeper of the Privy Seal, counsellor to King James III., IV. and V., dies this year, the 8th day of November; a wise, learned and religious prelate.

The Lord de la Beauté, and some companies of French, receive, this year, the castle of Dunbar from Robert Forman, Dean of Glasgow [Cathedral], as Governor thereof under John, Duke of Albany; for whose surety it was, by the estates, delivered to the Lord Le Beauté, his servant.

A great debate fell out, this year, between John Hepburn, Prior of St. Andrews, by his canons elected Archbishop, and Gavin Douglas, Bishop of Dunkeld, elected by the Queen Regent; but Hepburn possesses himself of St. Andrews castle.

The realm divided in two factions, the one whereof was of the Queen Regent and Earl of Angus, and their adherents; the other[s] of the Earl of Arran, and diverse [others] of the nobility. Arran takes Dumbarton castle by a stratagem, and removes the Lord [John] Erskine, keeper thereof.



In the beginning of this year, 1515, at the earnest solicitation of the Queen Regent, with the Duke of Albany, with the French King, and he, with the Pope, Andrew Forman, Bishop of Moray, is confirmed Archbishop of St. Andrews.

In the beginning of March, this year, there was a convention of the estates at Stirling; wherein nothing was concluded, but all things [were] delayed till the arrival of the Duke of Albany.

In April, this year, [a] 3 month [truce is] concluded with England.

In the month of June, this year, the Duke of Albany lands from France, at Ayr. He is honourably received, and comes to Edinburgh, [on] the 7th of this same month, where he is welcomed with triumph and pageants; and in a convention of the estates, takes on him the government.

The Duke of Albany, thus initiat[ed] in his government, calls a parliament, to be [held] at Edinburgh on Thursday the 12th of July, this same year, wherein many laws were made; and the Governor, to show his justice, with advice of the estates of the realm, [forfeits] the Lord [John] Drummond, for striking [the Lord] Lyon King of Arms [Sir William Comyn] with his hand; but thereafter, by the Lyon’s earnest solicitation, with the Duke and nobility, the said Lord was restored, and his [forfeiture] repealed: he humbly, on his knees, acknowledging his offence to the estates, and submitting himself to the [Lord] Lyon’s will.

After the breaking up of the parliament, there was a plot (of conveying the infant King away to England,) discovered to the Governor; who presently commits the young King and his brother to the safe custody of 4 noblemen, then esteemed [the] best patriots. This act of the Duke’s, with the taking of Stirling castle, incenses the Queen mother against him; where upon the Duke banishes the Lord [Alexander] Home, who plays the devil in the borders, and commits many wicked acts.

This year, the Queen and her husband, the Earl of Angus, flee to England, and by the Lord Dacres [Thomas Fiennes] are conveyed to Harbottle castle [Northumberland], where she remained until the time she was brought to bed of a daughter, christened Margaret [Douglas], thereafter married to Matthew [Stewart], Earl of Lennox. She was grandmother to King James VI.



About the beginning of this year, 1516, the Lord Home, with his two brothers, submit themselves to the Governor’s mercy, and fall at his feet. He sends them prisoners to Edinburgh castle, to the custody of [James Hamilton] the Earl of Arran; where they remained until the 1st of October this same year, from whence they all, with Arran, escape, and are declared rebels.

Arran’s mother [Mary Stewart], this year, makes [her] peace with the Governor.

The Earls of Moray [James Stewart] and Errol [William Hay] make a great [conflict] in Edinburgh, this year, against the Earl of Huntly [Alexander Gordon]; but the Governor apprehends them all, and commits them to prison, and so pacifies the matter.

[The Lord] Lyon King of Arms is sent, this year, with letters to England; and is taken on the border, near to Coldstream, and his letters taken from him by Lord Home, then in rebellion, and detained [as a] close prisoner aye, and while the Lady Home [Nicholace Ker], his mother, was released out of Dunbar castle.

Alexander [Stewart], Duke of Rothesay, the King’s brother, dies at Stirling castle, the 15th day of January, the same year.

The [truce is] continued between Scotland and England for 3 months longer, viz. to Whitsunday this year.

The Earl of Arran [James Hamilton] again breaks out, and with him the Earls of Lennox [John Stewart] and Glencairn [Cuthbert Cunningham]; but the wisdom of the Governor does pacify them, for he liberally bestows on them and their friends, diverse dignities and church benefices and promotions.

The Governor uses great clemency towards the stubborn nobility; for he restores the Lord Home to all his lands and honours, communicates his affairs to Angus, and relieves [Patrick] Pantar, a long prisoner in Inchgarvie.

This year, [William] Robertson of [Struan], for many villanies committed by him, is beheaded at [Tulliemet, Logierait], [7th of April] this year, by the Governor’s command.

The nobility cleaves to the Governor, and rejects King Henry VIII. of England’s suit, who laboured earnestly to have him removed from the government.

The 26th of October this year, the Lord [Alexander] Home and his brother [William], are beheaded at Edinburgh, and their heads, to the terror of others, fixed on Edinburgh tolbooth.

The Governor, John, Duke of Albany, this year, in a convention of the estates of the realm, [held] at Edinburgh, next [to] the King, [is] declared heir apparent to the crown.

This year, there arose a debate between the Governor and his brother Alexander, the eldest son of [the deceased] Alexander, Duke of Albany, begotten [by] the Earl of Orkney’s daughter, [about] the succession to the crown, (if the King should depart this life without heirs lawfully [obtained from] his own body) reconciled, and Alexander resigns his right in favour of his brother, the Governor; and in recompense gets the Bishopric of Moray and Abbey of Scone.

De la Beauté, in place of the Lord Home, is made Warden of the Borders; and shortly thereafter is killed by the Homes.



In January this year, 1517, the Governor, with advice of the estates, creates the Lord [Malcolm] Fleming, Chamberlain of Scotland, in place of the Lord Home.

This year, the Governor, with advice of the estates, sends the Bishop of Dunkeld [Gavin Douglas], and the Earl of Glencairn [Cuthbert Cunningham], ambassadors to France, who renews the ancient league and amity between the two realms.

The 1st of May this year, the Lord Governor returns to France; and during his absence, commits the government to the Archbishops of St. Andrews [Andrew Forman] and Glasgow [James Beaton], and to the Earls of Huntly [Alexander Gordon], Argyll [Colin Campbell], Angus [Archibald Douglas] and Arran [James Hamilton].

This year, the young King is brought to Edinburgh castle, and committed to the education and safe custody of the Earl Marischal [William Keith], and the Lords [John] Erskine, [William] Borthwick and [William] Ruthven.

The 1st of July this year, the Queen, hearing of the Governors going to France, returns to Scotland, but is not suffered to see her son, till, for fear of the plague of pestilence, (which then raged in these parts,) he removed to Craigmillar castle.

The 6 Regents convene the estates, and [forfeits David Home] the Laird of Wedderburn and his associates, the murderers of the Lord de la Beauté, Warden of the Marches, and imprison George Douglas, brother to the Earl of Angus, and Mark Ker [of Cessford], for [maintaining a] correspondence with Wedderburn.

This year, the ambassadors return from France, and with them [is] Maurice [de Gouzolles], with 500 French soldiers, to whom, in the Governor’s name, Dunbar castle is delivered.

Francis [I.], the French King, this year, concludes a peace with King Henry VIII., of England, and leaves out the kingdom of Scotland, contrary to his faith and promise; for which the Queen and nobility upbraid both the French King and Albany, the Governor, as violators of the sworn league and amity between the crowns of France and Scotland.



In the month of June, this year, 1518, Gavin Dunbar, Clerk Register, and Archdea[co]n of St. Andrews, in place of Alexander Gordon, lately deceased, is advanced to the Bishopric of Aberdeen.

In August, this same year, the Queen mother conceives a jealousy against her husband, the Earl of Angus, and can have no quiet in mind until she be divorced from him; the cause of [pursuing] this divorce she does pretend to be, that before their marriage he had given his faith and truth to the Earl of Bothwell’s daughter.



This year, in the beginning of March, 1519, Francis, the French King, purges himself, by his ambassador, why he did not comprehend the Scots in the peace lately concluded between him and England.

The 23rd of July, this year, a man possessed with the devil, being stark mad, in Dundee, kills a religious noblewoman, of the order of St. Francis, and 2 others, whereof one [was] big with child, and three men.

A great tumult in Edinburgh, this year, against [James Hamilton] the Earl of Arran, their Governor and Provost, on whom they closed their ports. The stirrer up of this commotion in Edinburgh, was thought to be [Archibald Douglas] the Earl of Angus, between whom and Arran there arose a mighty hatred, which bred a very great faction among the nobility; some partying [with] one, and some [with] the other, as their several interests led them.

Monsieur de la Fiat, and one Cordel, a religious man, were sent into Scotland, this year, by the French King, as his ambassadors; and with them, from King Henry VIII., [Thomas Benolt], one of the provincial [Clarenceaux] king of arms of England, who does conclude a peace with the Earl of Arran and his faction, at Stirling, for a year, whereat Angus and his faction much complain.



In January, this year, 1520, a great debate happened between the Earl of Angus, and the Laird of Ferniehurst [Andrew Kerr], [about] the holding of a court in the Forest of Jedburgh.

The 2nd of May, this same year, there was a fight in Edinburgh, between the Earls of Arran and Angus, wherein the Earl of Eglinton’s eldest son [John Montgomerie] and Sir Patrick Hamilton were killed; Arran and his brother, with the Archbishop of Glasgow, fled the town.



The Duke of Albany, advertised of the intestine discords among the nobility in Scotland, resolves to return, and lands at Gairloch, in Galloway, the third of December, this year, 1521, and from thence to Edinburgh, the 9th of this same month.



The Governor [charges] a parliament to be held at Edinburgh the 24th of July, this year; and by it, by a herald, with sound of trumpet, at Edinburgh cross, he cites the Earl of Angus, and his brother, [William Douglas] the prior of Coldingham, with the Lairds of Dalhousie [William Ramsay], Somerville [Hugh], Wedderburn [David Home], Cambusnethan [Sir John Ross], Langton [William Cockburn], and diverse others of that faction, to [appear] before parliament, and to render an [account] of their lewd and wicked pranks.

Gavin Douglas, Bishop of Dunkeld, hearing of the citation, and how all things went upside down with Angus, he secretly, this year, flees to England, and departs this life at London shortly thereafter.

The Queen solicits the Governor and [whole] estates, not to [forfeit] the Earl of Angus  and his brother; so that on his earnest solicitation, they are only exiled to France, during the Governors pleasure.

King Henry VIII., of England, this year, by [John Water] his herald Yorke, charges the Duke of Albany, the Governor, to return to France; but the Duke returns him a magnanimous, tart and biting answer.

About this time, also, dies Andrew Forman, Archbishop of St. Andrews, and to him succeeds James [Beaton], Archbishop of Glasgow; and the King’s master, Gavin Dunbar, was preferred to the sea of Glasgow. He was a religious and learned prelate, thereafter he was Lord Chancellor of Scotland.

Charles V., the [Holy Roman] Emperor, incites King Henry VIII., to war against Francis [I.], the French King; whereupon he commands all French and Scots within his dominions, to depart by a set day, and confiscates all their goods.

The French King incites the Scots by his letters, to invade England; the Governor calls a convention of the estates at Edinburgh, the 9th of August, this year, and immediately thereafter raises an army and marches towards Carlisle, and entreats the nobility to invade England; they answer him, that they only came to defend their own borders from the English, not to invade theirs. After much debate, they concluded to pitch their tents there, and see if the English would invade them. The Queen was thought to be the author of this backwardness of the nobility; and, about the 11th of September, they send 3 ambassadors to England to conclude a peace, but finding King Henry so rigid in his demands, they return without any conclusion at all; so that the borders break out anew.



The Duke of Albany, the Governor, returns to France this year, 1523, and craves the French King’s aid against the English.

King Francis aids the Scots, this year, with ships and ammunition against the English.

The Duke of Albany, the Governor, this year returns from France, escapes the English [trap] laid for him; he ships in at Brest, in Brittany, and lands at Kirkcudbright, the 7th of October.

The Earl of Surrey [Thomas Howard] spoils the town and monastery of Jedburgh, this year.

The Governor now being returned, convocates the estates, and eloquently displays to them the affection and love of the French King and nation, vehemently persuading them with many weighty arguments, to war against England; and immediately he raises an army, and enters England, the 15th of November, this same year; hoping that the Earl of Surrey, then lying near Alnwick with 20,000 men, would give him battle; but the Earl had no such intention; neither would he [engage those] from whom nothing was to be gained but blows. Then lays the Duke [of Albany] siege to Wark castle. but in vain; and with the other half of his army, he spoils all Glendale and Northumberland, to the walls of Alnwick, and returns with a great [booty]. But shortly thereafter, by the Queen’s mediation with her brother, King Henry, there was a peace concluded between both kingdoms, to the no small honour of Albany, the Governor, whose valour had forced England and Surrey to a peace; but within less than half a year, Surrey returns near the border, and the [truce] begins to stagger and wear weak, by the mutual incursions of the borderers of both kingdoms.



About the beginning of this year, 1524, Francis, the French King, is taken prisoner in Italy, at the battle of Pavia [in North Italy], by the army of [Holy Roman] Emperor Charles V., and sent prisoner to Spain.

This year, the Lord [Robert] Maxwell, and Sir Alexander Jardine, near Carlisle, in a great conflict with the English, of whom they kill 900, and take 300 prisoners.

The Duke of Albany, the Governor, takes his leave of the King, then at Stirling, and of the nobility, and returns to France, from whence he did not return.

The Earl of Angus, this year, returns from exile, and violates his faith given, in returning by England before the time limit of his exile was expired.

Queen mother, this year, comes from Stirling to Edinburgh castle, the King not opposing; and, by the advice and counsel of the Lord Maxwell, the Provost of Edinburgh, she reassumes the government of the realm.

King Henry VIII, being very glad at the departure of the Duke of Albany, sends one [Thomas] Magnus, a lawyer, and Sir Roger Ratcliff, his ambassadors to Scotland, for a peace; they impute all the cause of the bypast war to Albany, and concludes with the Queen and nobility a peace for a year.

The Queen Regent’s fury and hatred, daily increases more and more against her husband, the Earl of Angus, which divides the whole kingdom in two factions.

Gilbert [Kennedy], Earl of Cassilis, Robert Cockburn, Bishop of Dunkeld, and [Alexander] Mill, Abbot of Cambuskenneth, are by the Queen and her counsel sent ambassadors to England. They were kindly welcomed by King Henry, and had audience at Greenwich, near London; the sum of their negotiation was delivered to King Henry, in an eloquent oration, by the Bishop of Dunkeld, in the Latin tongue, that to the effect that a durable and lasting peace might be concluded between both crowns, that the Lady Mary, King Henry’s eldest daughter, might be married to King James. The English heard this message with great gladness, and returned them 3 proposals;

1. That they should break and forever renounce their league with France.

2. That on the same terms (as formerly with France,) they should conclude a perpetual amity and league with England.

3. That the young Scottish King, till he was fit for marriage, might be educat[ed] at the court of England. But all this great and shining embassy vanished like a shadow.

There was such a fearful tempest of wind for 6 days in Scotland, this year, that by it many churches and houses were ruined and blown down.



The Queen Regent, this year, convocates the estates in May, 1525, at Edinburgh, wherein nothing was done for the public, but she and her faction strengthening themselves against her husband, the Earl of Angus and his.

The Earls of Angus, Lennox and Argyll, with the Bishops of St. Andrews, Aberdeen and Dunblane, and their faction, [so] that she would not dishonour the estates in keeping the King, as [if] he were a prisoner in Edinburgh castle.

Angus, besieges the King in Edinburgh castle, and suffers not above a days provision for the King’s own table, to go [there] at once.

The King, this year, by the advice of some good men, and his mother, calls a parliament to be [held] at Edinburgh, the 6th of March, to which he comes in person, in royal robes, and the crown on his head and sceptre in his hand, and there solemnly takes on himself the government; which act of his makes all former factions vanish.

In this parliament the King, with the advice of his estates, makes choice, to be off his privy counsel, of the

Earls of Angus [Archibald Douglas],

Lennox [John Stewart],

Argyll [Colin Campbell],

Arran [James Hamilton],

Cassilis [Gilbert Kennedy],

   Lords [David] Drummond,

[Robert] Maxwell,

[William] Ruthven,

[Patrick] Haliburton,

      Archbishop [of] St. Andrews [James Beaton],

Glasgow [Gavin Dunbar],

Aberdeen [Gavin Dunbar, uncle to the above],

Bishop [of] Dunkeld [Robert Cockburn].

These were chosen to be the King’s privy counsel, for government of the realm, with this caveat, that they should conclude no act, nor do any deed of importance, without the King’s advice and consent obtained thereto, and that by the Queen’s knowledge.

The 12th of April, this year, the ambassadors return from England, and the Earl of Cassilis makes a full [account] to the King and counsel of their negotiation with England, and their concluding of a peace to last for three years and three months; and how that the motion [about] the marriage had been slighted by them, a purpose to elude King Henry’s 3 unreasonable demands.

The feigned friendship between the Queen mother and her husband, the Earl of Angus, bursts out in fresh troubles again, this same year.

The Earl of Angus violently takes on him the government, and retains the King in effect a prisoner with him; during which time he, the Earl of Lennox, and George Douglas, his own brother, freely disposes upon all affairs both of church and state.

The Queen, the Archbishop of St. Andrews, with the Earls of Argyll, Arran and Moray, demand the King of the Earl of Angus to be set at liberty; he answers their demand very subtly. At last the King entreats the nobility that they would take him [by] force from Angus, that misgoverned all under the shadow of his name, and yet in effect kept him more like a prisoner than a King.

To liberate the King, the Queen and nobility raise an army; Angus forces the King to march in the vanguard against [those] that [were] seeking to relieve him; they, understanding that the King was in the army against them, (for fear of his person) they retire without so much as a stroke; whereupon Angus and his associates [says a lot that’s] insolent, and he extorts the great seal from the Archbishop of St. Andrews, then Lord Chanceller, and plays [King] in all the scenes of that comedy.

This same year, also, the Queen mother obtains sentence of divorce from her husband, the Earl of Angus, before the Legate and the official of the Metropolitan of St. Andrews; and shortly thereafter marries Henry Stewart, son to the Lord Avondale [Andrew Stewart], whom King James V. thereafter, to honour his mother, created Lord Methven, and master of the ordnance.



In the beginning of this year, 1526, the King goes to Jedburgh, with his jailer, the Earl of Angus [Archibald Douglas]; at which time [Walter Scott] the Laird of Buccleuch, with 100 horse, endeavoured to liberate the King from his bold tutor, in a conflict at Melrose. But that bickering did not produce the wished [for] effect.

The Earl of Lennox [John Stewart], this same year, seeing Buccleuch’s attempt to have not taken the wished [for] effect, endeavours to relieve the King himself; they fight for it at Linlithgow, and the Earl of Lennox is killed.

This year [Hugh Campbell] the Sheriff of Ayr kills [Gilbert Kennedy] the Earl of Cassilis; and [Sir Thomas] Maclennan, Laird of Bombie, is killed by Sir John Campbell at [St Giles’ Church,] Edinburgh; and the Leslies and the Forbeses in the north, have many bickerings this year likewise.

This year, likewise, James Malcolmson kills [Lauchlan] the Laird of [Mackintosh], and thereafter he and his associates flee to the Isle of the Loch of [Rothiemurchus]; but being apprehended by Mackintosh’s kindred, they were all of them cut in[to] pieces.

About the end of this year, there does arise new [conflicts] in the north, between [James Stewart] the Earl of Moray and Mackintoshes; the King gives the Earl an army against them, who in [a] very short space overthrows them all, and hangs above 200 of them.



This year, 1527, is Patrick Hamilton, Abbot of [Fearn], and [cousin] to the Earl of Arran [James Hamilton], burnt at St. Andrews, by the wicked and corrupt clergy there, for professing the gospel.



The King, this year, 1528, besieges the castle of Edinburgh, which the Queen mother and her husband had held and fortified against Angus; but she hearing that the King was there in person, presently causes [the] open[ing of] the gates, and on her knees craves pardon at her sons hands, for her husband and his brother, which she obtains.

This year, by a solemn act and edict, being now 17 years of age complete, the King takes on himself the government of the realm.

The King, this year, by a herald, charges the Earl of Angus to confinement within the province of Moray, there to remain under the pain of death; he is cited by this same herald, likewise, to [appear] before the King and his estates, in a parliament to be [held] at Edinburgh, the 22nd of this same month of January, wherein he and his brother George are declared traitors, and [forfeited]; which they hearing, immediately flee to England.

This year, in June, the King besieges Tantallon castle, in Haddingtonshire, belonging to the [forfeited] Earl of Angus, and takes it.



In the month of June, this year, 1529, a great fight between [John Sinclair] the Earl of Caithness and the Lord [William Sinclair], and the inhabitants of Orkney, for the right of these Isles; in which fight the Orkneymen were victors, and the Earl of Caithness was killed.

The 27th of July, this year, the King causes [the] behead[ing of William] Cockburn of Henderland, and Adam [Scott], the chief leaders of the [thieves] and broken men of the borders; and, at the same time, imprisons [Patrick Hepburn] the Earl of Bothwell, that favoured them: then confines him to Aberdeen, and shortly thereafter to Moray, and at last, by strict sentence, exiles him [from] the kingdom; who retired himself to Italy.

This same year, likewise, the King imprisons the Lords [Robert] Maxwell and [George] Home, with the Lairds of Buccleuch [Walter Scott], Ferniehirst [Andrew Kerr], Polwarth [Patrick Hume][John] Johnston and Mark Kerr, as the chiefs of the broken men in the borders; and because they had winked at their villanies, and given them way, whereas they, by their power and authority, might have restrained them.

And about this time, the King marches to the fields with his army, surveys the borders, apprehends 48 of the [most] principal rogues and cutthroats, with their leader, John Armstrong, and hangs them all.

In August, this same year, light candles appear on the tops of the mountains, near Stirling, before the sun; and 2 battalions of armed men seem to skirmish, in order of battle, in the [sky], to the great astonishment of many thousands that did [witness] the same.



This year, 1530, [John Blackadder] the Laird of Tulliallan was beheaded the first day of March, for killing Mr James Inglis, Abbot of Culross; and with him a monk of the same abbey, a chief author of the Abbots slaughter.

The Earl of Angus [Archibald Douglas], this year, incites King Henry [VIII.] of England to invade Scotland.



A parliament [held] at Edinburgh, the year 1531, by historians remembered, which is not among the printed statutes of this King, wherein many acts [were] made against rebels, sorcerers and broken men; which laws, during his reign, he caused be strictly observed, and would never pass from the prosecution of the same to the rigour, against offenders.



This year, 1532, Pope Clement VII., and [Francis I.] the French King, have an interview at Nice; and shortly thereafter, in this same year, the Kings of England [Henry VIII.] and France have an interview at Boulogne.



This year, 1533, King Henry VIII, of England, having, upon scruple of conscience, as he pretended, repudiat[es] his wife, Catherine [Aragon] of Spain, by which act he both exasperates the [Holy Roman] Emperor Charles [V.] and Pope Clement VII. against him; and immediately he married Anne [Boleyn], whom he had lately created Marchioness of Winchester. She bore him a daughter, christened Elizabeth, the 22nd of September, this same year.

The Pope sends [De Burgo] his Legate to Scotland, this year, who arrived at Edinburgh the 16th of June. His legacy was to exhort the King’s majesty not to follow the footsteps of his uncle, King Henry VIII., who, as he averred, had made defection from the Roman church. The King so answered the Legate, that he departed well satisfied.

This same year, King James institutes the College of Justice, and endows that judicatory with diverse privileges and immunities.



In the beginning of this year, 1534, the King sends the Lord [John] Erskine and David [Beaton], Abbot of Arbroath, ambassadors to France, to suit the Duke of Vendôme‘s [daughter, Marie de Bourbon,] in marriage, a very gallant and beautiful lady.

In June, this same year, the Bishop of Durham and Prior of the same, Sir Thomas Clifford, knight, and [Dr.] Magnus, a lawyer, are, by King Henry VIII., of England, sent ambassadors to Scotland for concluding a peace, which was ratified under the great seals of both kingdoms, and solemnly sworn by both Kings.

King James, this, year, visits the north parts of his realm: [holds] justice courts, and severely punishes delinquents.

[David Straiton], a gentleman of good quality, and Norman Gourlay, with [John] Borthwick, Sheriff of Linlithgow, are all of them, this year, execut[ed] for professing of the gospel.

This year, likewise, King Henry VIII. take on him the title of Head (under God and his son Jesus Christ) of the Church of England, by act of parliament.



This year, 1535, King Henry, of England, puts down the Popes pride in England, suppresses monasteries and abbeys, and severely punishes the lubberdly idle bellied monks with diverse kinds of death, that refused to acknowledge his title of Head of the Church of England, immediately under God and his son Christ.

And for this same cause of not acknowledging his title, this same year, he [had] cause [to] chop the heads off Sir Thomas More, Lord Chancellor of England, and of Bishop [John] Fisher.

Pope Clement VII., this year, by his Legate, craves aid of King James against King Henry, who had banished his authority out of England: but [before] the Legate returned with [an] answer, Pope Clement [VII.] was dead, and Paul III. seated in his chair.



The King, this year, shows the nobility of his intended journey to France, and commits the government of the realm till his return, to the Earls of Huntly [George Gordon] and Eglinton [Hugh Montgomerie], ordaining them to use the counsel of the nobility for [the] preservation of the pubic peace. He ships in at Kirkcaldy, the 2nd of September, this year, accompanied with the Earls of Argyll [Archibald Campbell] and Arran [James Hamilton], with the Lords [Malcolm] Fleming and [Robert] Boyd, and a great many young noblemen and knights; he landed at Dieppe, where he was met with his ambassadors, the Earls of Moray [James Stewart], Lennox [Matthew Stewart] and Cassilis [Gilbert Kennedy], with the Lord [John] Erskine and Abbot of Arbroath [David Beaton]. From thence he goes to Paris, where he is solemnly welcomed by the French King with all public expressions of love and amity; and he falls in love with the Lady [Madeleine], eldest daughter to the French King [Francis I.], and to her is [engaged], and shortly thereafter married in the beginning of this year, 1536, at Paris, in the church of Notre Dame, the first day of January, in presence of 2 Kings, 7 Cardinals, a very great number of Princes, Dukes, Marquises, Earls and Lords of diverse nations.

The King having stayed at Paris till the month of May, he begins to make ready for his return home to Scotland. So having shipped in about the middle of May, so he, with his Queen and train, lands at Leith [on] the 22nd of June, this same year, accompanied [by] the Admiral of France, and diverse others of the French nobility.

Takes this ensuing list of gifts and [presents] which King James V. received himself from the French King at his return home, as I find them on record:

   [Firstly] – All his charges and expenses borne [free], from the day he landed in France, till the hour he departed out of it.

   Item – 2 great ships of burden, loaded with powder, and all sorts of ammunition for the wars.

   Item – 2 gallant ships of war, with their ordnance and whole [rigging].

   Item – 26 pieces of great brass ordnance for battery.

   Item – 30 small pieces of brass for the field.

   Item – His [dowry owed] paid in ready money.

   Item – Four suites of rich [tapestry] hangings, of 8 pieces a suite, wrought with gold and silk.

   Item – Four suites of hangings of cloth of gold silver, impaled with velvet.

   Item – 8 suites of coarser [tapestries], yet very good.

   Item – Three cloths of state, very rich and of excellent work.

   Item – Three rich beds, with all their furniture, of silk and gold.

   Item – A large cupboard of plate, all over gilt, and curiously wrought.

   Item – Another cupboard of silver plate ungilded; these cupboards [estimated at] 100 thousand crowns.

   Item – Sixteen rich tablecloths, of all sorts.

   Item – 20 Persian carpets, fair and large.

The King was received by the nobility at Leith, and the Queen welcomed to Scotland with the joyful acclamations of all sorts of people, and conducted to Holyroodhouse.

The King, this year, revokes all done by him in his minority in prejudice of the crown.

Queen [Madeleine] dies of a fever, the 22nd of July, this year, to the great grief of the King and of all his people, and was solemnly interred in the burial of the Kings, at Holyroodhouse abbey.

This year, also, the Lady Glamis [Janet Douglas], sister to the Earl of Angus, and her [2nd] husband, [Archibald Campbell], were [arraigned] for treason against the King’s person; the Lady was burned, and her husband was hanged, and her son, [John Lyon] the Lord Glamis, was [forfeited]; but his life was spared, because he knowing[ly] did not reveal his mother’s designs, and was sentenced to perpetual prison.

This same year, likewise, for treason against the King’s person, [John] the Master of Forbes, eldest son to the Lord [John] Forbes, was arraigned, and had sentence [handed down] to be hanged and quartered; but by the mediation of some friends, had that favour [of] be[ing] beheaded and quartered. My Lord Forbes, his father, being suspected of the same crime, was imprisoned in Edinburgh castle; but after trial, being found innocent, was [released].

A parliament, [held] at Edinburgh, the 17th day of May, this same year, wherein the King’s revocation, which he had lately made at Rouen, in France, is ratified and approved by the estates; as also the institution of the College of Justice is ratified, and their power set down, with the place where they shall sit, and times of [holiday], with the authority of [Gavin Dunbar] the Lord Chancellor of Scotland to be principal of this counsel and supreme court, with 15 others to be judges, viz.

The Abbot of Cambuskeneth, [Alexander Mylne,] president,

Mr [Robert] Bothwell,

Sir John Dingwall,

Mr Henry [White],

Mr Robert Shanwell, [Vicar of Kirkcaldy,]

Mr William Gibson,

Mr Thomas Hay,

Mr Arthur Boyce,

Laird of Balwerie, [Sir William Scott,]

Sir John Campbell [of Lundie],

Mr Adam Otterburn [of Auldhame & Reidhall],

James Colville of Easter Wemyss,

Justice Clerk, [Nicholas Crawford of Oxgangs,]

Mr Francis Bothwell,

Mr James Lawson.

King James, this year, likewise, gives to his four [bastard] sons, the abbeys and priories of Melrose [and] Kelso [to James Stewart (elder)], [St. Andrews to James Stewart (younger),] Coldingham [to John Stewart], and Holyroodhouse [to Robert Stewart].



The nobility humbly does beseech the King, in February, this year, 1538, to marry, if […] he would wish God to bless his government, or his kingdom to flourish.

The King, to please his nobility that wished him well, sends the Earl of Moray and David [Beaton], Abbot of Arbroath, (lately made a Cardinal by Pope Paul III., and Bishop of [Mirepoix] by the French King,) his ambassadors to suit for him the marriage of the Lady Mary, Duchess Dowager of Longueville, daughter to Claude of Lorraine, Duke of Guise, a very beautiful lady. This suit of the Scottish ambassadors pleased the French King and the [lady’s] parents exceedingly. The King hearing how all things went, sends over the Lord [Robert] Maxwell and [William Cunningham] the Master of Glencairn to conclude it, with the other ambassadors that were there before; the [said] marriage was solemnised by proxy, with great pomp, at Paris. She ships, and lands at Crail, in Fife, [on] the 19th day of June, this same year; from whence she went to St. Andrews, where the King meets her, and there accomplishes the marriage.



This year, 1539, the King sails to the Orkney and Western Isles, where all the chief men of the Isles met him, and submitted themselves to his mercy. Some of them he pardons; others he chains, and ships them with him; and with the [remaining] he took [such] good order, that during all his reign he had them dutiful and obedient to him.

The Queen is delivered, this year, of a son, christened James. His godfathers were the Archbishop of St. Andrews [James Beaton], and Earl of Arran [James Hamilton]; and the Queen mother was his godmother.

The Queen Regent [Margaret Tudor], the King’s mother, dies this year, and was solemnly interred in the abbey of the Carthusians, in the suburbs of Perth, in the sepulture of King James I.

This year, also, a canon regular, two Dominican friars [Beveridge and Keillor], and 3 commons, were burned at Edinburgh, for profession of the gospel; and at Glasgow, for the same cause, a young man called [John] Kennedy, and a friar of the order of St. Francis [Jeremy Russel].

About the end of this year dies James [Beaton], Archbishop of St. Andrews; and to his sea succeeds, by the King’s donation, David [Beaton], Cardinal Bishop of [Mirepoix].

This year, likewise, the King gives George [Durie] the abbey of Dunfermline.



In the beginning of this year, 1540, the King commands David Wood [of Craig], master of his house, to apprehend Sir James Hamilton [of Finnart], whom he committed prisoner to Edinburgh castle; but shortly thereafter he was arraigned and sentenced a traitor, and his head struck off on a scaffold.

This year, the Queen was brought to bed of another son, who was christened Arthur, and dies at Stirling the [eighth] day after he was christened; and this same week, also, dies Prince James, the King’s eldest son, at St. Andrews.

The King and Queen, this year, to lessen that grief which the death of their children had wrought in them, makes a progress through all the principal towns of the realm, so far north as Aberdeen.

This same year, Sir John Borthwick is cited to [appear] before the Cardinal and Bishops at Edinburgh, for alleged heresy. He flees to England, and is welcomed by King Henry VIII. Upon his flight, he is condemned [for] heresy, and his effigies burned publicly at Edinburgh cross.

Certain Germans, this year, dig gold in Crawford Moor, and in Clydesdale; the King employs them, and many are put to work in the mines.

King Henry VIII. first takes the title of King of Ireland; whereat King James somewhat [grumbles], yet keeps himself quiet, in respect King Henry makes no use of this title for expelling of the Scots there from their inheritance.

A parliament was called by the King this year, to be [held] at Edinburgh, [on] the 10th day of March; wherein was enacted many laws [about] trade and merchandising; as also the Cromar and Braemar, with the lands of Hinterland, Easter Wemyss, and Buckhaven, were annexed to the crown, by the [forfeiture] of James Colville.



In this year, 1541, King Henry VIII., of England, entreats, by his ambassador, Lord William Howard [of Effingham], his nephew, King James, to meet him at York, and speak with him. Of this interview, the King advises with his counsel; the churchmen, especially the cardinal, dissuade him. Sir James [Learmonth], knight, is sent ambassador, to excuse the King’s not coming to York; whereat King Henry [is] highly offended, seeing his so earnest [a] suit so [treated with contempt] by his nephew, he presently resolves to invade Scotland with an army.

The English take 28 Scottish ships: the Scots demand restitution; but instead of that, Sir Robert Bowes is sent to invade Scotland with an army, and with fire and sword acts all the points of hostility. To oppose whose fury, [George Gordon] the Earl of Huntly, Warden of the Scottish Marches, the 11th of September this year, on St. Bartholomews day [24th of August], [engages] him at [Haddon Rig], where he overthrows the English army, takes their two leaders, Sir Robert and Sir Richard Bowes, with 200 more, prisoners, and kills a great many more.

This same year, the Lord [Jean de Morvillier] comes here [as] ambassador from Francis I., the French King, to thank King James for his affection to the Popish religion, and his constant love to France.

King Henry VIII., inwardly fretting, this year, for the loss of his men at [Haddon Rig] levies an army of 40,000 men, under the command of the Duke of Norfolk [Thomas Howard] to the borders; they enter some 2 miles within the Scottish limits, and burn some small hamlets. Against them, [George Gordon] the Earl of Huntly, with 10,000 well armed men, opposes himself, and by his [regular] skirmishes and nimble dealing, blunts the fiery edge of the English blades; King James in the mean time, gathers a powerful army, and at [Saltoun] musters above 30,000 men; and in good order passes he forward to [Fala Muir], where he resolves to bid the Duke of Norfolk battle; but no sooner heard the Duke of the King’s approach, but incontinent returns over [the] Tweed homeward, and Huntly [pursues] them in the rear, and kills many in their passing over [the] Tweed.

The King solicits the nobility to invade England: they flatly refuse, and with good arguments delivers their mind by the Earl of Moray; whereat the King extremely storms, and inwardly grudges, yet carried a fair countenance.

The King, this year, immediately after the nobility had refused him, with all diligence, by the assistance of the prelates and clergy, levies a new army, and makes Oliver [Sinclair], general of the same, where at the nobility [complains] to see a mushroom preferred to them. To oppose this army of the King’s, the English take the fields, under the command of the Lord [Thomas] Wharton. The Scots, in disdain of their general, Oliver, render themselves captives to the English, at [Solway] Moss, and were led to London, of the chief of the army, such as the Earls of Cassilis [Gilbert Kennedy], Glencairn [William Cunningham], the Lords [Robert] Maxwell, [Hugh] Somerville, [Laurence] Oliphant, with Sir Oliver [Sinclair], the general, and diverse others of less note.

For grief of this loss, and disgrace put on him by his proud and factious nobility, the King sickens of a [slow] fever, at Falkland: the Queen, in the meantime, is brought to bed of a daughter, christened Mary.* News whereof being brought to the King, he turns himself to the wall, and with a grievous groan, says, Scotland did come with a lass, and it will go with one, devil go with it: and so, without any more words to a purpose, departs this life at his palace of Falkland, the [14th] of January, in the 31st year of his age, and 30th of his reign, in the year of our redemption 1542. His body being embalmed and put in [a] coffin of lead, was solemnly interred in the burial of the King, in the abbey church of the Holy Cross, near Edinburgh.


*  More on Queen Mary’s birth found in Chalmers’ ‘Life of Mary, Queen of Scots‘ where it tells of James’ lack of interest to the news of her birth, “The Scotish king dying of grief, and being even indifferent to the birth of an heiress, left his family, and his people, without the appointment of any formal government.”

50 thoughts on “James V. (1513-1542), King of Scotland, Updated, pp.238-275.

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