Scotland

   Since Edward I’s intervention in Scottish affairs in the late thirteenth century, Scotland had generally acted in alliance with FRANCE against English interests. During the WARS OF THE ROSES, the Scots intervened in England to achieve territorial gains at England’s expense. In the early 1460s, Scottish involvement in English affairs prolonged military activity in northern England and prevented the house of YORK from fully securing the English Crown; in the mid-1490s, Scottish intervention similarly threatened the house of TUDOR. News of the Battle of ST.ALBANS in 1455 led JAMES II of Scotland to propose that CHARLESVII of France assault CALAIS while the Scots besieged BERWICK. When Charles 244 SCALES, THOMAS, LORD SCALES declined, James launched a series of border raids, but in 1457 concluded a two-year truce with England that was eventually extended to 1463. However, the capture of HENRY VI at the Battle of NORTHAMPTON in July 1460 prompted James to besiege the English-held border castle of Roxburgh. Although James was killed in early August by the explosion of one of his own ARTILLERY pieces, Roxburgh and the nearby castle of Wark fell to the Scots shortly thereafter.
   Because JAMES III was only nine, a regency COUNCIL headed by Queen MARY OF GUELDRES and influenced by its most experienced member, James KENNEDY, bishop of St. Andrews, assumed the government. In late 1460, the flight into Scotland of Queen MARGARET OF ANJOU and her son Prince EDWARD OF LANCASTER offered the Scots opportunities for further gains. Although pressured by her kinsman, Duke PHILIP of BURGUNDY, to resist Margaret’s appeals for assistance, Queen Mary, in early January 1461, concluded an agreement with Margaret that called for the surrender of Berwick and the marriage of Prince Edward to a sister of James III in return for Scottish military aid. Later in the month, when Margaret reentered England to assume command of the Lancastrian army that had slain Richard PLANTAGENET, duke of York, at the Battle of WAKEFIELD on 30 December, Scottish troops accompanied her. During Margaret’s subsequent MARCH ON LONDON, the presence of these Scottish MERCENARIES was one cause of the panic that gripped the capital and southern counties at the queen’s approach, providing the Yorkists with both a PROPAGANDA boon and an opportunity to enter LONDON and proclaim York’s son king as EDWARD IV. Defeat at the Battle of TOWTON in March 1461 forced the entire Lancastrian royal family to flee into Scotland. Torn between Lancastrian pleas for assistance and Yorkist demands for the return of the exiles, the Scottish regency council split. The so-called Old Lords, led by Kennedy, supported the house of LANCASTER, while the Young Lords, led by Queen Mary, were more willing to accommodate the house of York.However, Queen Margaret’s willingness to hand over Berwick, which surrendered to James III in April, tipped the balance toward the Lancastrians, who were thus able to use Scotland as a base for military operations against northern England. With Scottish support, the Lancastrians several times invaded England and seized the castles of ALNWICK, BAMBURGH, and DUNSTANBURGH. Edward IV countered by concluding the Treaty of WESTMINSTER-ARDTORNISH with disaffected magnates in northern Scotland. By 1463, such internal threats, combined with the achievement of Berwick and military defeats in northern England, destroyed Scottish enthusiasm for the Lancastrian cause. Margaret sailed to France in August, and Kennedy, under the terms of the truce, reluctantly sent Henry VI into England in January 1464. By 1465, Scotland and Yorkist England were at peace. When the Wars of the Roses resumed in 1469, James III was engaged in consolidating his authority in Scotland and did not intervene in the English conflict. In the 1470s, James altered the traditional anti-English tone of Scottish foreign policy by proposing a series of marriages between the houses of York and Stuart (the Scottish royal family). These attempts at improved Anglo-Scottish relations foundered on the English desire to regain Berwick. In 1482, Edward concluded the Treaty of Fotheringhay with Alexander, duke of Albany, James’s dissident brother, who agreed to restore the town to the English in return for assistance in overthrowing James. Richard, duke of Gloucester, invaded Scotland and captured Berwick in August, but James remained king and in 1484 concluded a truce with RICHARD III (the former Gloucester), who, having recently displaced his nephew EDWARD V, sat uneasily on his throne and wanted no trouble with Scotland. However, neither Richard, nor his successor, HENRY VII, who had a Scottish contingent in his army when he won the Crown at the Battle of BOSWORTH FIELD in 1485, were willing to surrender Berwick.
   In 1488, a coalition of Scottish magnates, angered in part by their king’s failure to pursue a more anti-English policy, defeated and slew James III at the Battle of Sauchieburn. Although horrified by his father’s murder, the new king, JAMES IV, had associated himself with the rebels and was determined to be more assertive in his relations with the English. In 1491, James ended his father’s truce with England and renewed the traditional French alliance, agreeing to attack England should Henry VII invade France. Involving himself in Yorkist conspiracies against the house of Tudor, James invited Perkin WARBECK to Scotland. In 1495, the Scottish king publicly acknowledged Warbeck as Richard PLANTAGENET, duke of York, the younger son of Edward IV who had disappeared in the TOWER OF LONDON in 1483. When his support of Warbeck failed to persuade Henry VII to restore Berwick, James invaded England on Warbeck’s behalf in 1496, the pretender having agreed to surrender Berwick when he won the Crown. When northern England displayed no enthusiasm for Warbeck, the invasion collapsed. James expelled the pretender from Scotland in 1497 and soon after opened talks that led to a formal peace treaty in 1502. Unlike the other Scottish gains derived from the Wars of the Roses, the Treaty of Ayton had important long-term effects. By arranging the 1503 marriage of James IV and Margaret Tudor, the daughter of Henry VII, the treaty made possible the 1603 union of the Crowns of Scotland and England in the person of James’s great-grandson, James VI.
   Further Reading: Macdougall, Norman, James III: A Political Study (Edinburgh: J. Donald, 1982); McGladdery, Christine, James II (Edinburgh: John Donald Publishers, 1990); Macdougall, Norman, James IV (East Lothian, UK:Tuckwell Press, 1997); Nicholson, Ranald, Scotland: The Later Middle Ages, vol. 2 of The Edinburgh History of Scotland (New York: Barnes and Noble, 1974);Wormald, Jenny, Court, Kirk, and Community: Scotland, 1470-1625 (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1981).

Encyclopedia of the Wars of the Roses. . 2001.

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