Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 29.djvu/142

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James I of Scotland
James II of Scotland
136

James Douglas, lord Dalkeith; Eleanor, married in 1449 Archduke Sigismund of Austria; Mary, who, while still a child, was married in 1444 to Wolfram von Borselen, lord of Camp-Vere in Zealand, and, in right of his wife, earl of Buchan in Scotland; and Annabella, betrothed in 1444 to Philip, count of Geneva, second son of Amadeus, duke of Savoy, the anti-pope Felix of the council of Basle, but who married George Gordon, second earl of Huntly [q. v.] His love for his wife never wavered. Almost alone of Scottish kings, he had no mistress and no bastards.

In person James was short and stout, broad-shouldered, narrow-waisted, but well-proportioned. and agile. ‘Quadratus,’ or square-built, is the term which Æneas Silvius used and Scottish historians accept as appropriate, though Major explains that he might have been fat for an Italian but not for a Scotsman. A portrait in the castle of Kielberg, near Tübingen, is wrongly said, by Pinkerton, in whose ‘Iconographia’ it is engraved, to represent James I. It is a picture of James II. From an engraving of James I in John Johnstone's ‘Icones’ later portraits have been taken. In this he appears as a man prematurely old, with grey hair, sunken cheek, and a double-pointed beard. His hair is said by Drummond of Hawthornden to have been auburn. His stoutness did not interfere with his activity, for he excelled in all games, the use of the bow, throwing the hammer, and wrestling. Nor was he less skilled in music, playing all the instruments then common, and having a good voice.

The imagination which inspired the ‘Kingis Quair’ did not desert him on his return home, and he composed verses both in Latin and the vernacular, though the subjects of his poems, alluded to by Major under the names ‘Yas Sen’ and ‘At Beltane,’ have not been identified. The manuscript of the ‘Quair’ was discovered by Lord Woodhouselee in the Bodleian Library in Oxford in 1783, and published by him in the same year. The best edition is that edited by Professor Skeat for the Scottish Text Society. The ascription of ‘Christis Kirk on the Green,’ ‘Peebles to the Play,’ and the ‘Ballade of Guid Counsale’ to his authorship has not been established, though the last is accepted as his by Professor Skeat, on the authority of the colophon in ‘The Gud and Godly Ballads,’ 1578, and the internal evidence of the earliest manuscript of the close of the fifteenth century. His love of learning was shown by his favour for St. Andrews. He was its nominal founder during his exile, and after his return sought out its best students for offices in church and state, attended their disputations, and confirmed their privileges. He was no pedant, and encouraged the introduction of foreign musicians and actors, as well as of artisans, from Flanders to teach his subjects. While he repressed, on political grounds, the trade with England, he fostered that with France, the Low Countries, and Scandinavia.

[Bower is the contemporary authority for the whole life, Wyntoun for the few years prior to his capture. The Acts of Parliament are of more than usual importance, and the Exchequer Rolls and Great Seal Registers are useful supplementary records. For his life in England the various English records collected by Mr. Bain in vol. iii. of the Documents relating to Scotland, published in the Scottish Record Series. Pinkerton's History and Mr. Burnett's Preface to the Exchequer Rolls are the best modern histories; the latter correct, and indeed supersede, Tytler and Burton. The King's Tragedy, by D. G. Rossetti, is a modern poetic version of the prose narrative of the death of James by Shirley, printed by the Maitland Club and as an appendix to Pinkerton. Galt's Spaewife is a novel founded on the same story.]

Æ. M.

JAMES II (1430–1460), king of Scotland, son of James I [q. v.] and Jane [q. v.], was born on 16 Oct. 1430, and succeeded to the throne of Scotland on his father's murder on 21 Feb. 1437. He was crowned at Holyrood, in the parliament of Edinburgh, on 25 March 1437. An act of this parliament revoked alienations of crown property since the death of the late king, and prohibited them, without the consent of the estates, till the king's majority. The queen retained the custody of James and his sisters. Archibald, fifth earl of Douglas [q. v.], was regent or lieutenant of the kingdom; John Cameron, bishop of Glasgow, appears to have continued chancellor. The chief power was in the hands of two of the lesser barons, Sir William Crichton [q. v.] and Sir Alexander Livingstone [q. v.] The queen, afraid of the growing position of the former, removed the king to Stirling in the beginning of 1439, concealing him, it is said, in a chest when she left Edinburgh Castle ostensibly for a pilgrimage to White Kirk. She placed herself and her son under the protection of Livingstone, and a general council at Stirling, on 13 March 1439, passed measures to strengthen the hands of Douglas, as lieutenant of the king, against Crichton. But Livingstone made terms with his rival under conditions which led to Crichton superseding Cameron as chancellor, while Livingstone retained Stirling and the custody of the king.

The death in 1439 of the Earl of Douglas, and the queen's marriage to James Stewart, the knight of Lorne, in the same year, afforded