Alexander II of Scotland

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Alexander II
King of Scots
Image:Alexander II (Alba) i.JPG
Reign 4 December, 1214July 6, 1249
Born August 24, 1198
Died July 6, 1249
Buried Melrose Abbey
Predecessor William I
Successor Alexander III
Consort Joan of England
Marie de Coucy
Father William I
Mother Ermengarde de Beaumont
Image:Alexander II (Alba) ii.JPG
Alexander the warrior and knight: the reverse side of Alexander II's Great Seal, enhanced as a 19th century steel engraving.

Alexander II (August 24, 1198July 6, 1249), King of Scots, was the son of William the Lion and Ermengarde of Beaumont. He was born at Haddington, East Lothian, in 1198, and succeeded to the kingdom on the death of his father on 4 December 1214, being crowned at Scone on December 6 of that year.

The year after his accession the clans Meic Uilleim and MacHeths, inveterate enemies of the Scottish crown, broke into revolt; but loyalist forces speedily quelled the insurrection. In the same year Alexander joined the English barons in their struggle against John I of England, and led an army into the Kingdom of England in support of their cause; but after John's death, on the conclusion of peace between his youthful son Henry III of England and the French prince Louis VIII of France, the Scottish king joined in the pacification. Diplomacy further strengthened the reconciliation by the marriage of Alexander to Henry's sister Joan of England on June 18 or June 25, 1221.

The next year marked the subjection of the hitherto semi-independent district of Argyll. Royal forces crushed a revolt in Galloway in 1235 without difficulty; nor did an invasion attempted soon afterwards by its exiled leaders meet with success. Soon afterwards a claim for homage from Henry of England drew forth from Alexander a counter-claim to the northern English counties. The two kingdoms, however, settled this dispute by a compromise in 1237.

Joan died in March, 1238 in Essex, and in the following year, 1239, Alexander remarried. His second wife was Marie de Coucy. The marriage took place on May 15 1239, and produced one son, the future Alexander III, born in 1241.

A threat of invasion by Henry in 1243 for a time interrupted the friendly relations between the two countries; but the prompt action of Alexander in anticipating his attack, and the disinclination of the English barons for war, compelled him to make peace next year at Newcastle. Alexander now turned his attention to securing the Western Isles, which still owed a nominal allegiance to Norway. He successively attempted negotiations and purchase, but without success. Alexander next attempted to dissuade Ewen, the son of Duncan, Lord of Argyll, to sever his allegiance to Haakon IV of Norway. Ewen rejected these attempts, and Alexander sailed forth to compel him.

But on the way he suffered a fever at the Isle of Kerrera in the Inner Hebrides, and died there in 1249. He was buried at Melrose Abbey, Roxburghshire. His son Alexander III succeeded him as King of Scots.

[edit] Consorts

1. Joan of England, (July 22, 1210March 4,1238), was the eldest legitimate daughter and third child of John of England and Isabella of Angouleme. She and Alexander II married on June 21,1221, at York Minster. Alexander was 23. Joan was 11. They had no children. Joan died in Essex in 1238, and was buried at Tarant Crawford Abbey in Dorset.

2. Marie de Coucy, who became mother of Alexander III of Scotland

[edit] References

  • Tewkesbury Annals
  • Worcester Annals
  • Rotuli Litterarum Patencium
Preceded by:
William I
King of Scots
1214–1249
Succeeded by:
Alexander III
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