The Info List - Alexander II Of Scotland

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Alexander II (Mediaeval Gaelic: Alaxandair mac Uilliam; Modern Gaelic: Alasdair mac Uilleim; 24 August 1198 – 6 July 1249) was King of Scots from 1214 until his death in 1249.


1 Early life 2 King of Scots 3 Death 4 Wives 5 Fictional portrayals 6 Ancestry 7 References 8 Further reading

Early life[edit] He was born at Haddington, East Lothian, the only son of the Scottish king William the Lion
William the Lion
and Ermengarde of Beaumont. He spent time in England ( John of England
John of England
knighted him at Clerkenwell Priory
Clerkenwell Priory
in 1213) before succeeding to the kingdom on the death of his father on 4 December 1214, being crowned at Scone on 6 December the same year. King of Scots[edit] In 1215, 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 of England, and led an army into the Kingdom of England
Kingdom of England
in support of their cause.[1] This action led to the sacking of Berwick-upon-Tweed
as John's forces ravaged the north. The Scottish forces reached the south coast of England at the port of Dover
where in September 1216, Alexander paid homage to the pretender Prince Louis of France for his lands in England, chosen by the barons to replace King John. But John having died, the Pope and the English aristocracy changed their allegiance to his nine-year-old son, Henry, forcing the French and the Scots armies to return home.[2] Peace between Henry III, Louis of France, and Alexander followed on 12 September 1217 with the treaty of Kingston. Diplomacy further strengthened the reconciliation by the marriage of Alexander to Henry's sister Joan of England on 18 June or 25 June 1221.[3]

Alexander the warrior and knight: the reverse side of Alexander II's Great Seal, enhanced as a 19th-century steel engraving. Legend: Alexander Deo rectore Rex Scottorum (Alexander, with God as his guide, king of the Scots)

The next year marked the subjection of the hitherto semi-independent district of Argyll
(much smaller than the modern area by that name, it only comprised Craignish, Ardscotnish, Glassary, Glenary, and Cowal; Lorn was a separate province, while Kintyre
and Knapdale
were part of Suðreyar). Royal forces crushed a revolt in Galloway
in 1235 without difficulty;[2] 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.[1] This was the Treaty of York
Treaty of York
which defined the boundary between the two kingdoms as running between the Solway Firth (in the west) and the mouth of the River Tweed (in the east). Joan died in March 1238 in Essex. Alexander married his second wife, Marie de Coucy, the following year on 15 May 1239. Together they had 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 were still part of the Norwegian domain of Suðreyjar.[1] He repeatedly attempted negotiations and purchase, but without success.[2] Alexander set out to conquer these islands but died on the way in 1249.[4] This dispute over the Western Isles, also known as the Hebrides, was not resolved until 1266 when Magnus V of Norway
Magnus V of Norway
ceded them to Scotland along with the Isle of Man.[5] The English chronicler Matthew Paris
Matthew Paris
in his Chronica Majora
Chronica Majora
described Alexander as red-haired: "[King John] taunted King Alexander, and because he was red-headed, sent word to him, saying, 'so shall we hunt the red fox-cub from his lairs."[6] Death[edit]

Coat of arms of Alexander II as it appears on folio 146v of Royal MS 14 C VII (Historia Anglorum). The inverted shield represents the king's death in 1249. The blazon for the arms was Or, a lion rampant and an orle fleury gules.[7]

Alexander attempted to persuade Ewen, the son of Duncan, Lord of Argyll, to sever his allegiance to Haakon IV of Norway. When Ewen rejected these attempts, Alexander sailed forth to compel him, but on the way he suffered a fever at the Isle of Kerrera
in the Inner Hebrides.[1] He died there in 1249 and was buried at Melrose Abbey Wives[edit] 1. Joan of England, (22 July 1210 – 4 March 1238), was the eldest legitimate daughter and third child of John of England
John of England
and Isabella of Angoulême. She and Alexander II married on 21 June 1221, at York Minster. Alexander was 23. Joan was 11. They had no children. Joan was Alexander's 3rd cousin, their closest common ancestor being Henry I of England. 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. She was Alexander's 3rd cousin once removed by their common ancestor Hugh I, Count of Vermandois. Fictional portrayals[edit] Alexander II has been depicted in historical novels:

Sword of State (1999) by Nigel Tranter. The novel depicts the friendship between Alexander II and Patrick II, Earl of Dunbar. "Their friendship withstands treachery, danger and rivalry".[8] Child of the Phoenix by Barbara Erskine.


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Ancestors of Alexander II of Scotland

16. Malcolm III of Scotland

8. David I of Scotland

17. Saint Margaret of Scotland

4. Henry, Earl of Northumbria

18. Waltheof II, Earl of Northumbria

9. Maud, Countess of Huntingdon

19. Judith of Lens

2. William I of Scotland

20. William de Warenne, 1st Earl of Surrey

10. William de Warenne, 2nd Earl of Surrey

21. Gundred, Countess of Surrey

5. Ada de Warenne

22. Hugh I, Count of Vermandois

11. Elizabeth of Vermandois

23. Adelaide, Countess of Vermandois

1. Alexander II of Scotland

24. Ralph VII, Viscount of Beaumont

12. Roscelin, Viscount of Beaumont

25. Adenor? de Laval

6. Richard I, Viscount de Beaumont

26. Henry I of England

13. Constance or Maud FitzRoy

27. ?

3. Ermengarde de Beaumont

28. Richard I de l'Aigle

14. Richard II de l'Aigle

29. Beatrice

7. Lucie de l'Aigle


15. Edelina



^ a b c d  One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Alexander II.". Encyclopædia Britannica. 1 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 563.  ^ a b c "Alexander II, King of Scots
King of Scots
1214 – 1249", Scotland's History, BBC ^ Chisholm 1911. ^ Scotland A Concise History, Fourth Edition. New York: Thames & Hudson. 2012. p. 32. ISBN 978-0-500-28987-7.  ^ "Alexander III King of Scotland". Encyclopedia Brittanica. November 28, 2017.  ^ Scottish annals from English chroniclers A.D.500 to 1286, Alan Orr Anderson, Paul Watkins, 1991. ^ Heath, Ian (2016). Armies of Feudal Europe 1066-1300. Lulu.com. p. 250. ISBN 9781326256524. Retrieved 11 October 2017.  ^ "Tranter First Edition Books, Publication Timeline"

Further reading[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Alexander II of Scotland.

 "Alexander II". Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1885–1900.  Chambers, Robert & Thomson, Thomas Napier (1857). Alexander II. A biographical dictionary of eminent Scotsmen. 1. Glasgow: Blackie and son. pp. 47–49.  Worcester Annals Rotuli Litterarum Patencium

Alexander II of Scotland House of Dunkeld Born: 24 August 1198 Died: 6 July 1249

Regnal titles

Preceded by William I King of Scots 1214–1249 Succeeded by Alexander III

v t e

Pictish and Scottish monarchs

Monarchs of the Picts (traditional)

Drest I Talorc I Nechtan I Drest II Galan Erilich Drest III Drest IV Gartnait I Cailtram Talorc II Drest V Galam Cennalath Bridei I Gartnait II Nechtan II Cinioch Gartnait III Bridei II Talorc III Talorgan I Gartnait IV Drest VI Bridei III Taran Bridei IV Nechtan III Drest VII Alpín I Óengus I Bridei V Ciniod I Alpín II Talorgan II Drest VIII Conall Constantine (I) Óengus II Drest IX Uuen Uurad Bridei VI Ciniod II Bridei VII Drest X

Monarchs of the Scots (traditional)

Kenneth I MacAlpin Donald I Constantine I (II) Áed Giric Eochaid (uncertain) Donald II Constantine II (III) Malcolm I Indulf Dub Cuilén Amlaíb Kenneth II Constantine III (IV) Kenneth III Malcolm II Duncan I Macbeth Lulach Malcolm III Canmore Donald III Duncan II Donald III Edgar Alexander I David I Malcolm IV William I the Lion Alexander II Alexander III Margaret First Interregnum John Second Interregnum Robert the Bruce
Robert the Bruce
(I) David II Robert II Robert III James I James II James III James IV James V Mary I James VI1 Charles I1 Charles II1 James VII1 Mary II1 William II1 Anne1

1 also monarch of England and Ireland.

Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 1109001 LCCN: n2005008287 ISNI: 0000 0000 5026 9754 GND: 13007652X SELIBR: 31736