King James II of Scotland was born - On this day in Scottish history


16 October 2018
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King James II of Scotland was born on 16 October 1430.

King James II of Scotland was born on 16 October 1430 at Holyrood Palace to James I and Joan Beaufort. James came to the throne at the age of six, after his father was assassinated, and lived with his mother and sisters at Dunbar Castle.

In 1439, the young king's mother and her husband Sir John Stewart were placed under house arrest at Stirling Castle until they agreed to hand James to Sir Alexander Livingston, one of the nobles who had been ruling in James II's name.

James II was considered to have reached an age of majority in 1449, at the age of nineteen, but he struggled to free himself from the influence of the powerful Douglas family, who had helped to rule during his minority. The earl of Douglas was murdered on 22 February 1452, throwing the kingdom into turmoil.

King James II of Scotland timeline

  • 16 October 1430 - Born at Holyrood Palace
  • 21 February 1437 - Inherited the throne after his father James I was killed
  • 1449 - Married Mary of Guelders
  • 1455 - Defeated the Douglases at the Battle of Arkinholm
  • 3 August 1460 - Killed accidentally by a cannon

QUICK LINK: A HISTORY OF HOLYROOD PALACE