James II of Scotland

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Definition

James II of Scotland ruled as king from 1437 to 1460. Succeeding his murdered father James I of Scotland (r. 1406-1437), James inherited the throne as a child. The first part of his reign witnessed intense rivalries between rival barons, which sent Scotland into a civil war. The young king was nicknamed 'fiery face' because of a prominent birthmark on his face. From 1449, James reached maturity and began to take control of his kingdom, and he skilfully fostered allies, reduced the wealth and power of rival families, and championed new military technology. Having eliminated all rivals and made several attacks on northern England, the king died aged just 29 in August 1460 when a cannon he was standing next to exploded. He was succeeded by his son James III of Scotland (r. 1460-1488).

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