Battle of Sauchieburn

How James IV Won the Throne

Chapter 3 : Mysterious End

What had happened to James III? There is no certainty as to whether he died on the battlefield or off it. One story is that the James III left the fray, either voluntarily, or because his horse ran amok. He then tumbled off the animal crossing the Bannockburn (rather a symbolic note to the tale.) On being carried to the nearby Beaton's Mill, he asked for priest. One of the rebels, in disguise, entered the room and stabbed him to death.

The official enquiry into the King's death, held by James IV's first Parliament in October (almost the only indication that the battle actually took place) merely commented that James III “ happinit to be slayn" and that

"oure soverane lord that now is and the trew lordis and barouns that wes withe him in the samyne feild war innocent, quhyt and fre of the saidis slauchteris feilde and all persute of the occasioune and cause of the samyne'.

Two weeks after the battle, James III was interred at Cambuskenneth Abbey, at the side of his wife, Margaret of Denmark.

Tomb of James III and Margaret of Denmark at Cambuskenneth Abbey