King James IV of Scotland Timeline 1473-1513

King James IV of Scotland

Born – 17th March 1473
Died – 9th September 1513
Father – King James III (1451 – 1488)
Mother – Margaret of Denmark (1456 – 1486)
Spouse – m. 1503 –Margaret Tudor (1489 – 1541)
Children – James (1507 – 1508), Arthur (1509 – 1510), James V (1512 – 1542)
King of Scotland – 1488 – 1513
Predecessor – James III – 1460 – 1488
SuccessorJames V – 1512 – 1542


1473 (17th March)
King James IV of Scotland was born to King James III and Margaret of Denmark at Holyrood Abbey.
1474 (during)
James was betrothed to Cecily of York, daughter of King Edward IV of England. James’s father followed a pro-English policy which was not popular with the Scottish people.
1476 (March)
James’s brother, also named James, was born to James III and Margaret of Denmark.
1479 (December)
James’s brother, John, was born to James III and Margaret of Denmark.
1479 (onward)
James was well educated speaking many languages including French, German and Spanish. He also studied history and was very interested in science.
1482 (around)
James’s betrothal to Cecily of York was broken after James III stopped dowry payments. In retaliation Edward IV’s brother, Richard Duke of Gloucester invaded Scotland. James III tried to raise an army against the English but his councillors refused permission.
1486 (14th July)
James’s mother, Margaret of Denmark, died at Stirling Castle.
1488 (11th June)
Battle of Sauchieburn
This was a battle between the forces of James’s father, James III and rebels who wanted him toppled from power. James was the figurehead for the rebels. During the battle James III was killed and James became King James IV of Scotland. James felt guilty about his father’s death for the rest of his life.
1488 (24th June)
James was crowned King James IV at Scone in Scotland.
1489 (Summer)
James successfully defeated a rebellion against his rule.
1493 (May)
The Lord of the Isles, John MacDonald was relieved of his title meaning that the clans of the Highlands and Islands were now under the control of the King.
1495 (27th November)
James gave the pretender to the English throne, Perkin Warbeck, a state welcome. He believed that he was Richard, the younger son of King Edward IV and agreed to support an invasion of England.
1496 (21st September)
James IV and Perkin Warbeck crossed the border with a large army. James hoped the northern counties would rise against King Henry VII but he found little support and returned to Scotland four days later after learning that an English army was marching from Newcastle.
1496 (Autumn)
Negotiations began between England and Scotland to secure a peace. The possibility of a marriage between James and Princess Margaret of England was discussed.
1496 (October)
A ruling that Clan Chiefs in the Highlands and Islands would be responsible for crimes committed by their people was not well received.
1497 (5th July)
King Henry VII of England asked James IV to surrender Perkin Warbeck and threatened him with war if he did not comply. Deciding that an alliance with England would be in Scotland’s best interests he gave Perkin Warbeck a boat and expelled him from Scotland.
1497 (7th August)
Siege of Norham
After another incident on the border with England, James lay siege to Norham Castle.
1497 (12th August)
Siege of Norham
James abandoned the siege.
1497 (mid August)
Siege of Ayton
Thomas Howard, Earl of Surrey, lay siege to Ayton Castle.
1497 (20th August)
James agreed a truce with the English.
1497 (30th September)
Treaty of Ayton
This treaty agreed a seven year peace between England and Scotland. Negotiations for a marriage between James and Princess Margaret were re-opened.
1498 (during)
Act of Revocation
This treaty was an attempt to wrest further power from the clan chiefs. It was met with resistance by the Highlanders.
1499 (July)
An extension of the peace between England and Scotland to last for the lifetime of both Kings was discussed. It would be sealed with the marriage of Princess Margaret to James IV of Scotland.
1500 (28th July)
Henry VII appealed to the Pope to grant a dispensation allowing Margaret to marry her fourth cousin, James IV of Scotland.
1502 (24th January)
Treaty of Perpetual Peace
This treaty between England and Scotland provided that each King would put an end to the border disputes and would not make war on each other or assist each other’s enemies. A Perpetual peace was to last for the lifetime of each king and their legitimate heirs and successors. The allies of each country were to be given the opportunity to be included in the treaty. The treaty would be sealed with the marriage of King James IV to Princess Margaret of England.
1502 (25th January)
The marriage of James and Margaret took place by proxy at Richmond Palace. The Earl of Bothwell, Patrick Hepburn, stood proxy for James IV.
1503 (May)
James IV of Scotland confirmed that on their marriage Margaret would be given Methven Castle, Stirling Castle, Doune Castle, Linlithgow Palace and Newark Castle.
1503 (1st August)
Princess Margaret of England and her entourage crossed the border at Berwick upon Tweed into Sccotland and continue to Dalkeith Palace.
1503 (8th August)
James IV married Margaret Tudor in Holyrood Abbey, Edinburgh.
1504 (March)
James’s wife, Margaret Tudor was crowned Queen of Scotland.
1506 (during)
James IV granted a royal charter to the Incorporation of Surgeons and Barbers of Edinburgh.
1507 (during)
Scotland’s first printing press, Chepman and Myllar Press, was founded.
1507 (during)
James was given the title Defender of the Faith by the Pope. This was the first recorded use of the title.
1507 (21st February)
A son, James, was born to James and Margaret at Holyrood Palace Edinburgh. He was styled Duke of Rothesay.
1508 (27th February)
James IV’s son, James, died at Stirling Castle.
1508 (15th July)
A daughter was born to James and Margaret at Holyrood Palace, Edinburgh. She died later that day.
21st April 1509
King Henry VII of England died of tuberculosis at Richmond Palace. He was succeeded by his son, Henry who took the throne as King Henry VIII. The new King was young and eager to make a name for himself. He was not peace-loving like his father.
1509 (20th October)
A son, Arthur, was born to James and Margaret at Holyrood Palace Edinburgh. He was styled Duke of Rothesay.
1510 (14th July)
James IV’s son, Arthur, died at Edinburgh Castle.
1512 (April)
Having joined the Holy League against France, Henry VIII of England declared war on France. This put James in a difficult position since he was allied to both England and France. The French appealed to James for support under the terms of the Auld Alliance 1295. Although his ministers urged caution, James agreed to support the French.
1512 (10th April)
A son, James, was born to James and Margaret at Linlithgow Palace, Fife. He was styled Duke of Rothesay.
1512 (November)
A daughter was born to James and Margaret at Holyrood Palace, Edinburgh. She died shortly afterwards.
1513 (28th June)
Pope Leo X excommunicated James IV for breaking the peace treaty with England.
1513 (30th June)
King Henry VIII of England, led a force into France. Seeking to take advantage of the absence of the English King, James prepared to invade England.
1513 (24th August)
James IV at the head of a huge army, crossed the River Tweed.
1513 (29th August)
James IV took Norham Castle.
1513 (early September)
James IV took the castles of Etal and Ford.
1513 (9th September)
Battle of Flodden Field
James had positioned his army on the ridge of a hill and waited for Thomas Howard, Earl of Surrey to approach. When the English army came in sight James abandoned caution and charged down the hill. The action had disastrous consequences. James IV and much of the nobility of Scotland were killed. James was succeeded as king by his infant son, James V.


Published Jun 19, 2019 @ 1:30 pm – Updated – [last-modified]

Harvard Reference for this page:

Heather Y Wheeler. (2019 – 2020). King James IV of Scotland 1473 – 1513. Last accessed [date]

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