Front Matter The Story of Prince Gathelus A Fight with the Romans The March of the Romans The Story of Saint Columba French and Scot Allies The Last of the Picts A Ploughman Wins a Battle Macbeth and Three Sisters The Murder of Banquo Thane of Fife went to England Birnam Wood at Dunsinane Malcolm Canmore Saint Margaret of Scotland The Story of Pierce-Eye Donald Bane and Duncan Alexander I—The Fierce Battle of the Standard William I—the Lion Alexander II Alexander III is Crowned The Taming of the Ravens A Lady and a Brave Knight How the King Rode Home The Maid of Norway The Siege of Berwick The Last of Toom Tabard Adventures of William Wallace The Black Parliament of Ayr The Battle of Stirling Bridge The Battle of Falkirk The Turning of a Loaf How the Bruce Struck a Blow How the King was Crowned If at First you don't Succeed The King Tries Again The Fight at the Ford The Bruce Escapes The Taking of Perth How Two Castles Were Won Castle of Edinburgh is Taken How de Bohun Met his Death The Battle of Bannockburn How the Scots Carried the War The Heart of the King The Story of Black Agnes Battle of Neville's Cross French/Scots War with England The Battle of Otterburn A Fearful Highland Tournament The Duke of Rothesay The Battle of Harlaw The Scots in France Beautiful Lady of the Garden The Poet King The Black Dinner Fall of the Black Douglases The Story of the Boyds How a Mason Became an Earl The Battle of Sauchieburn A Great Sea Fight The Thistle and Rose Flodden Field Fall of the Red Douglases Story of Johnnie Armstrong The Goodman of Ballengiech King of the Commons Mary Queen of Scots Darnley and Rizzio Mary and Bothwell The Queen Made Prisoner King's Men and Queen's Men Death of Two Queens New Scotland The King and the Covenant The Soldier Poet How the Soldier Poet Died For the Crown How the King was Restored The Church among the Hills A Forlorn Hope The Battle of Killiecrankie Glen of Weeping Fortune's Gilded Sails How the Union Jack was Made For the King over the Water Story of Smugglers Prince Charles Came Home Wanderings of Prince Charles A Greater Conqueror God Save the King

Scotland's Story - H. E. Marshall

James III.—The Story of the Boyds

The lords and barons were full of grief at the death of their King. The soldiers lost heart, and they would have given up the siege. But the Queen, hearing of this, left off her weeping and her sorrow. Drying her eyes, she took her little son James by the hand, and with him went to the lords, as they sat in council.

Sad, pale, and beautiful, she stood before them, with the little Prince beside her. 'You must not give up the siege,' she said, 'for very shame you must not. Let not the death of one man take away all your courage from you. Forward, therefore, my lords. Shed the blood of your enemies for your King, rather than your own tears. Let it not be said that you needed to be encouraged by a woman, and that a widowed one. Rather, my lords, should you comfort her.'

Cheered by these brave words, the nobles resolved to go on with the siege, and so fiercely did they assault the castle that the English, seeing no hope of help, yielded it. Then the Scots destroyed the castle, so that it should not again be a stronghold for the enemy.

The new King, who was called James III., was only eight years old, so the kingdom was ruled by Bishop Kennedy. In England, great churchmen were often also great statesmen, but in Scotland Bishop Kennedy was the first great churchman to be a statesman. He ruled well and wisely, but after six years he died. He was greatly mourned, for, as an old history writer says, 'He knew the nature of the Scottish men so that he was the most able of any lord in Scotland to give any wise counsel, or an answer when the time occurred.' Another says that his death was lamented by all men, as if in him they had lost a public father.

After the good bishop died, the great nobles, greedy of power, began each to flatter James and to try to get possession of him. Two of the boldest, Lord Boyd and his brother Alexander, succeeded in carrying him off from those who had charge of him.

One day, as the young King, who was now fourteen, sat in his court at Linlithgow, Lord Boyd and his friends rushed in. They seized the King, placed him upon a horse, and set out for Edinburgh. Gilbert Kennedy, the brother of the good Bishop, tried to stop them. He took the King's horse by the bridle and turned it again towards Linlithgow. But Alexander Boyd struck the old man with his hunting staff so that he dropped the bridle. Then the King and his captors rode on to Edinburgh, and Kennedy turned sadly back to Linlithgow.

Lord Boyd had succeeded in gaining possession of the King, but he was afraid that he might be punished for it. So when Parliament was sitting in Edinburgh he suddenly entered. Throwing himself at the King's feet he clasped his knees. 'I pray you, my lord King,' he cried, 'declare before the lords and commons here assembled that you are not angry with me for having of late removed your Majesty from Linlithgow to Edinburgh. Declare to them that I have used no force nor in any way hurt your royal person.'

James, having been told before what to say, replied, 'My lords, far from being carried forth from Linlithgow by force, I do assure you that I accompanied my Lord Boyd and his knights of mine own free will and pleasure.'

Whereupon Parliament agreed that Lord Boyd had done right, and that in future he should take care of the King.

After this the Boyds grew quickly greater and greater. Land, money, and power were given to them, till soon they were the most important people in the whole country.

But just as quickly as the Boyds had risen into power they fell again. It was proposed that James should marry Margaret, the daughter of the King of Denmark, and one of Lord Boyd's sons went to that country to arrange about the marriage. While he was away the nobles talked to James. They told him many evil stories of the Boyds, and showed him that he was being treated more as a prisoner than as a King. They succeeded in making him very angry with the Boyds, and he turned entirely from his old friends, and gave orders that they should be seized and put in prison. Lord Boyd and his sons, however, were warned in time, and they fled away, and died in a foreign land. But Alexander was taken prisoner, and his head was cut off.

After this the King himself ruled. He married the Princess Margaret of Denmark, and as her wedding present her father gave the islands of Orkney and Shetland to the King of Scotland. These islands had been in the possession of the Norse King ever since the days when the fierce Vikings used to come to fight and plunder along the shores of Scotland. Now they were returned to the Scottish King, and ever since they have belonged to Scotland.