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James II of Scotland

James II of Scotland (born October 16, 1430, with a still-born twin brother - August 3, 1460) was king of Scotland from 1437 to 1460. He was the son of the previous king James I and father of his successor James III. He was known as "Fiery face" because of a conspicuous birthmark on his face.

He is remembered for the manner in which in 1452 he personally slew the Black Douglas, a member of a powerful Scottish clan, by stabbing him at a state dinner.

This was the climax of a long affair that started during James's boyhood. Despite of the efforts of James's mother, Joan Beaufort, James became the pawn of two unscrupulous Scottish lords, Sir William Crichton and Lord Livingstone. The Black Douglas entered the fray and succeeded in defeating and executing Livingstone. Crichton, in turn, manipulated James into killing the Black Douglas. (Crichton later abducted one of James's daughters, Margaret.) Eventually, James II defeated the Douglas clan at the battle of Arkinholm.

He is remembered for other actions as well. He changed the capital of Scotland from Perth to Edinburgh and made laws that guaranteed the position of a tenant whose land passed to another owner or lord.

He married Mary of Gueldres at Holyrood Abbey, Edinburgh, on July 3, 1449. They had seven children, including James III of Scotland and the abducted Margaret.

He died when a cannon blew up near him during a siege of Roxburgh Castle[?], in which he was trying to recapture the castle from the English.

Preceded by:
James I
List of British monarchs Succeeded by:
James III

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