James IV: Personality & Appearance

Chapter 1: Boundless Energy

The most obvious characteristic about James IV that shines through every mention of him in Ambassadors' correspondence, his own actions, and the records of his reign, is his boundless energy. James was constantly on the move, seldom staying in one place for more than a few days, racing around his country, by both horse and ship, popping up unexpectedly in far-flung corners of the realm and dispensing largesse liberally.

Although not an especially tall man, his physical prowess was remarkable – his favourite party trick being the ability to leap into the saddle of a running horse. This vigour was reflected in his enjoyment of the traditional pastimes of gambling, hunting, hawking and jousting.

One of the aspects of the King's character for which he was most famous, was his love of women. He had several long term mistresses, as well as more passing encounters, including one with Jane "bare-arse", who was paid from the royal accounts.