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James II

James II, 1430–60, king of Scotland (1437–60), son and successor of James I. During his minority successive earls of Douglas vied for power with factions led by Sir William Crichton and Sir Alexander Livingstone. The power of the Douglases was temporarily broken (1440) by the judicial murder of William Douglas, the 6th earl, but the king later allied himself with William Douglas, the 8th earl, to overthrow Crichton and Livingstone. By 1450, James ruled in his own right. When in 1452 the king discovered Douglas in a conspiracy, James called him to Stirling, charged him with betrayal, and stabbed him. After the resulting rebellion, the king attainted James Douglas, the 9th earl, and seized the Douglas lands. During his reign James improved the justice courts and regulated the coinage. A Lancastrian partisan in the Wars of the Roses, he invaded England and was accidentally killed at the siege of Roxburgh. His son James III succeeded him.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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