Scottish Monarch. The son of James III and Margaret of Denmark, he acceded in 1488 and was crowned at Scone on June 26. As penance for his unwilling part in the death of his father at the Battle of Sauchieburn, James wore an iron chain around his waist for the rest of his life, adding a link for every anniversary year. To promote good relations with England, he married Princess Margaret Tudor, daughter of Henry VII, on August 8, 1503. James was a vigorous, effective ruler, and was described as having "wonderful powers of mind, an astonishing knowledge of everything, an unconquerable magnanimity, and the most abundant generosity". He spoke 7 languages, studied literature, science and law, and even tried his hand at dentistry and surgery. Under his patronage the printing press came to Scotland and the Royal College of Surgeons in Edinburgh, St. Leonard's College, St. Andrews, and King's College were founded, and he made it mandatory for the sons of the noble households to attend college. When Henry VIII joined the Holy Alliance against France in 1513 and invaded, James felt it was his duty under the Auld Alliance to come to France's aid, and led one of the largest armies ever to cross the border south into England. There they faced the English forces at Flodden. It was a bitter defeat for the Scots, and James and his son Alexander were killed. The king was 40 years old. He was survived only by his queen and one son, James.
Bio by: Kristen Conrad