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James I, King of Scots
James II, King of Scots
James III, King of Scots
James IV, King of Scots
James V, King of Scots
James VI of Scotland , James I of England
James VII of Scotland , James II of England
James, The Old Pretender
Jones, John Paul


Heroes & Famous Scots (J)


James I, King of Scots (1394-1437)

James, was King of Scots from the year 1406 to 1437, James was the son of Robert III, who was himself very ill and badly disabled. Robert II had left the governing of his country to his brother, the Duke of Albany. Robert had sent his son to France for safety during the regency, but after his ship had been seized by pirates, the youngster was taken to London and held hostage for eighteen long desperate years, despite being proclaimed James I at his father's death in 1406. When Albany died in 1420, it was time for James to return to Scotland .

James was young but he had learned a lot from his years in exile and knew how to get the best from people and to impose his will over his subjects. He was a powerful man for his youthful years. He set about sorting his people. He had some of his nobility stripped of their lands and title and even executed some. He was showing his ruthless streak.

James I
He built the magnificent palace at Linlithgow and spent a lot of time working on the “Auld Alliance” between Scotland and France. Unfortunately for Scotland James was murdered by the hand of his uncle who was the Earl of Athol. The earl would pay for that deed with his own life. James was a truly great Scottish King.
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James II, King of Scots (1430-1460)

James II acceded to the throne at the age of six, when his father was murdered by his uncle, it seemed as if most of his father's restoration of a strong, central authority was lost during the struggles of various Scottish nobles to assert their own authority over the new king. They were all trying to win favour with the young King and giving him advice which would benefit them.

James at nineteen years of age wanted to restore his fathers work and indeed tried to accomplish this, but to no avail. He was given a boost when Douglas was stabbed and killed as it turned out by a friend of the King. It was even suggested in some places that the King himself had struck the fatal blow. His biggest mistake was getting involved in the English Civil War. If he could have avoided that conflict things could maybe have worked out better for Scotland

James II
When a canon prematurely exploded at the siege of Roxburgh Castle , James lost his life and Scotland lost another chance to settle down and mature politically and economically. Intrigue and counter intrigue then became the order of the day. Scotland 's intellectuals were coming to the fore as the country now boasted three Universities and a manner of learning second to none.
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James III, King of Scots (1452-14-88)

James III was King for nine years before he was able to govern the country. He was not the type of person Scotland needed to guide her. The Scottish nobles disliked him and his way of having favourites and also his intellectual tastes they felt left a lot to be desired. He made many mistakes and they were always huge disasters. He had The Duke of Albany and the Earl of Mar arrested for an alleged treason. English troops actually came north to free him and many of James Friends were killed trying to defend him. Another group of conspirators where however waiting in the wings. Albany had fled to France and this was the opportunity that Archibald Douglas, and lord Home, and the Campbell Chief, had been waiting for.

James III

The battle of Sauchiburn saw James falling from his horse, and he was killed by a passer-by.

Scotland was once more plunged into political intrigue, and quarrelling between families desperate to control the country for their own greed.

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James IV, King of Scots (1473-1513)

James was looked upon as a soft touch at first when he became King. He wore an iron chain about his body in penance for bad deeds. He was soon to show his power and defeated all who tried to oppose him. He also learned to speak in Scotland's tongue of the Gaelic instead of the new ways of the lowland Scots who were all adopting the foreign English language in their everyday use. He grew in stature with the maturity of his Kingship. He was in a great position as the bystander at the fights between England and France .

James IV
He thought that Scotland should play a large part in the rescue of Constantinople from the Turks, and immediately ordered the Michael built to sail south for this purpose. Building the ship was a great thing for the Scots and it led to a thriving shipbuilding industry for the country. James married Margaret Tudor daughter of Henry VIII, and all seemed well. But however waiting in the wings was more trouble for the nation. Henry VIII, had attacked France in conjunction with a sanction from the Pope. James had sided with France as the ‘Auld Alliance' and Henry turned his wraith on him and declared himself King of Scotland. The result was the terrible Battle of Flodden where the cream of Scotland's people died. James also died here. Although impetuous near the end of his life, James IV was a great Scot.
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James V, King of Scots (1512-1542)

James the fifth can be looked upon by history as a rather sad story of a desperate man surrounded by troubles which could not be solved. He was also the father of Mary Queen of Scots who was to be one of the most tragic women in the whole of Scotland's sometimes sad history. He tried to emulate the tasks started off by his father and attacked the powerful English Army. The two met at Solway Moss in the year 1542. Things in James cause had not been helped by his religious stance for the Catholic religion in a Scotland which was being swept by the heat of the Reformation, which had already conquered England and had been adopted by that people.

James V was constantly drawn from one major issue to another and in fact died soon after Solway Moss. He died just before his Daughter Mary Stuart was born and started her hard fought journey through Scottish history.

James V
James V was constantly drawn from one major issue to another and in fact died soon after Solway Moss. He died just before his Daughter Mary Stuart was born and started her hard fought journey through Scottish history.
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James VI of Scotland , James I of England (1556-1625)

In the year of 1603 James VI of Scotland , became also James I of England , He became the first Stuart King of England and the first King of Both countries. He had become king as the infant son of Mary, Queen of Scots, and upon her forced abdication in the year 1567, with the Earl of Moray acting as his Regent. Moray was removed by a cousin of the young king, the Duke of Lennox, who tried to make the young King a Catholic despite the overwhelming conversion of much of the people of Scotland to Protestantism, during the Reformation. The idea also upset the rest of the nobility who wished to indoctrinate the young man with contempt for his Catholic mother and a belief in the rights of subjects against their sovereigns. The unrealistic Lennox dreamed of heading a Huge Catholic rising in Britain , aided by the King of France and Spain , but his plans were thwarted when a group of Scottish nobles kidnapped James at Ruthven and forced Lennox to flee the country.

King James 6 of Scotland I of England
He was a very clever and astute King and soon brought the church to heel and all his petty squabbling nobles grew to admire him. They made a new national flag depicting the Saltire of Scotland and the St. George flag of England ( Wales was ignored) James is credited with the translation of the bible. And many Christians even to this day will accept no other version. Although James only came back to Scotland once after he became joint King he was still a great Scotsman.
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James VII of Scotland , James II of England (1633-1701)

Charles the second died in the year 1685 and James came to the throne of Great Briton. James was an openly devout Catholic which endeared him to the Highlanders of Scotland and sowed the seeds for the Jacobite Struggles against the next King who would be the usurper William III of Orange, which would follow in the not to distant future. James Vii had a very liberated tolerant view of all other religions and accepted that although he was catholic that all people had a right to choose their own religious belief systems. This did not go down well with the protestant government of the time and the situation was also being closely watched by James son-in-law the Dutchman William who waited in the wings to usurp the throne by devious underhanded means.

James VII

The Duke of Monmouth (Illegitimate son of King Charles) used James tolerance to declare himself King, at Taunton , but was defeated in the crucial battle of Sedgemoor .

William of Orange was a shrewd man and played his hand perfectly. He knew that James was isolating himself from his people with his stand on Catholicism and he approached coming to England from the point of view as a liberator and not as a conqueror. It worked really well for him although his first attempt was defeated mostly by the British weather.

James situation worsened rapidly, and reports he was receiving were all to do with his people being pro- William. James panicked and fled to France which was what William wanted him to do. William and Mary waltzed in and usurped the crown with little problem at all.

James came back to fight and was defeated once and for all at the Battle of the Boyne, in the year 1690, which is still celebrated in Ulster and Scotland to this day. I wonder if these same people would revere this man if they knew the truth about how he tried to blackmail their country into submission with the Darien scheme. How this man hated the Irish and the Scots and considered them an inferior race to England .

James was a misguided Scottish hero.

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James, The Old Pretender (1688-1766)

James Stuart was the son of James the VII of Scotland James II of England . He was never crowned although people referred to him sometimes as James VIII, his efforts to attain that remote Scottish crown were not to be. He was born into controversy when it was said that he was not in fact royal at all but had been slipped into his mothers bedchamber to give the family a Catholic heir to the throne. He moved to France to the court set up by his father, but although everyone in Europe knew what the real truth was as to the true Royalty of Briton when Louis the XIV declared James King of England in 1701, they knew that was not going to be so easy to uphold. In the year 1708 James decided to invade Scotland with disastrous results, as his ships were driven away by the English navy..

James the Old Pretender

James went home never to return to his homeland shores. The struggle lived on in his famous son, Charles Edward Stuart the most famous of our Jacobite Freedom Fighters

The Young Pretender waited his call to arms and a huge place in the History of Scotland.The medal depicted here is actually a rare piece of Jacobite propaganda as it shows James the VIII of Scotland, James III of England.  As we know this never actually happened,

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Jones, John Paul (1747-1792)

The American Revolution was to be a testing time for many Scots, for some unknown reason some stayed loyal to the King, while others were totally against the English Monarchy.

John Paul Younger as he was known then was anti-England and her Monarchy. He had been born in Galloway in Scotland at a place near to the town of Dumfries . Younger was a sailor and had worked his way up from cabin boy, on the Virginia , to Chief mate of a slaver.

He was to earn his Masters ticket the hard way. The captain and chief mate had died on the return journey from a slaving trip and he had brought the ship home. He changed his name to Jones through circumstances which had led to him killing a mutinous crew on a ship he had recently purchased. During the war of Independence Jones was commissioned as a senior lieutenant in the Continental Navy. He fought the British as ferociously as any man could and scored famous victories against the until now invincible Naval Ships, like the Serapis. He was feted by Congress in America and hailed as a hero. He was to die in Paris and be buried in an unmarked grave but was eventually claimed by his new homeland and buried again with full military honours. He was a great Scottish hero.

John Paul Jones

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© Crann Tara 2006