Scotlands History

Death of Alexander III

Alexander III ruled Scotland from 1249 to 1286. It was a time of peace and prosperity: more land was turned over to agriculture; monasteries and abbeys grew and flourished. Trade with the continent brought much needed supplies and bolstered the economy. The king was on good terms with England.

Alexander defeated the Norwegian king at the Battle of Largs in 1266, adding the Western Isles to his domain.

When Alexander III’s first wife and only son died he decided to marry again. One stormy night he rode to visit his new wife, Yolande.

...he would neither be deterred by stress of weather nor yield to the persuasion of his nobles, but straightaway hurried along the road to Queensferry, in order to visit his bride, that is to say Yoleta, daughter of the Comte de Dru, whom shortly before he had brought from over the sea, to his own sorrow and the perpetual injury of the whole province.

The Chronicle of Lanercost

At Kinghorn, in Fife, Alexander fell from his horse. He was found dead the next morning. This left only the three-year-old Margaret, Maid of Norway as the heir to the Scottish throne.

Alexander III was dead, and Scotland was without a king.

  • Brown seal showing a knight on horseback carrying a shield and sword

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