Kings & Queens of Scotland

Scotland’s current territorial expanse was arrived at during the late fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries. The Orkney Islands, formerly part of Denmark, were ceded to Scotland when the dowry of James III’s wife, Margaret of Denmark, could not be paid in cash. The Isles (the Western seaboard and islands previously ruled as a semi-autonomous state) were incorporated into the country by James IV, although there were rebellions under James V.

The Kings of Scotland were the Stewart dynasty – spelt thus until the reign of Mary, Queen of Scots (Mary I in Scottish regnal numbering), who changed the spelling to Stuart. The dynasty had ruled since the fourteenth century, but was dogged by repeated long minorities – James I, James II and James III all succeeded as children, James IV was only 15, James V was a baby when he became monarch as were Mary I and James VI. Despite this, and the ensuing factional strife amongst the Regents, (or Governors, as they were called), the dynasty remained in place. Through the marriage of James IV with Margaret Tudor, daughter of Henry VII, and the marriage of Mary I with Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley (also Margaret Tudor’s grandson), the Stuarts became the heirs presumptive to the English throne. This was not without controversy, but, in 1603, James VI of Scotland became James I of England, on the death of the last Tudor monarch.

Monarch Dates of Reign Spouse(s)
James III 3 August 1460 - 11 June 1488 Margaret of Denmark
James IV 11 June 1488 - 9 September 1513 Margaret (Tudor) of England
James V 9 September 1513 - 14 December 1542 Marie of Guise
Mary I
(known as
Mary, Queen of Scots)
14 December 1542 - 24 July 1567 François II of France
Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley
James Hepburn, Earl of Bothwell
James VI
(also James I
of England)
24 July 1567 - 27 March 1625

Anne of Denmark