Skip to main content

Stuart dynasty

(35) Page 15 - --- Robert III, 1390-1406

‹‹‹ prev (34) Page 14Page 14

(36) next ››› Page 16Page 16

(35) Page 15 - --- Robert III, 1390-1406
Under Two Kings. 15
inimitably narrated by Froissart. During the latter portion
of this reign the executive government was guided by that
mysterious but able member of the Stuart family, Eobert,
Earl of Fife, who never really lost grasp of power until his
death in 1419. He seems to have conducted a raid into
England in 1389, but the incidents were unimportant ; and
a truce which followed in the same year cheered the last
days of the old King, who, dying in 1390, aged 74 years, in
the words of Scotland's latest historian, " left the character of
a peaceful ruler over a quarrelsome people." * He is known
in history more especially as the first sovereign of the Stuart
line, although the previous chapter contains evidence that
before his elevation to the throne, and when Steward of
Scotland, this high-minded peace-loving King underwent a
career of hardship and warlike adventure, which made him
a prominent figure in the times wherein he lived. The
remains of Robert II. were buried in the Abbey of Scone on
August 13, 1390, and the following day saw the coronation
of Eobert III. celebrated with great pomp and solemnity.
Next day his wife Annabella, a daughter of the noble house
of Drummond, was anointed Queen ; and then the assembled
prelates and nobles took the oath of allegiance to the new
sovereign, who rejected the name of John because it had been
that of the anti-national claimant for the sovereignty, Baliol,
and was consequently adjudged " ominous and unpopular." f
When quite a youth the King received a kick from a
horse at a tournament, and was rendered little better than
a cripple for life, and so was doomed to inactivity when
war's alarms were sounded. Moreover, his character was
in some degree similar to that of Robert II. Amiable and
full of good sense, the second Stuart sovereign did not lack
discretion, although a love of pacific, not to say domestic,
life tended to make him hesitate sometimes when decision
was most needed. %
Trusting, then, the affairs of State generally to the Earl
of Fife, his brother, and appointing a half-brother the Earl
of Buchan, with his son (the King's nephew), to control
the Highlands and the north, Robert III. sank into a
state of dignified repose which enabled him to display to
his subjects the gentleness and chivalric nature which made
mankind love him, but did not realise the ideal which those
* Burton's ' History of Scotland,' new edition, vol. ii. p. 369.
t Tytler's ' History of Scotland,' edition 1841, vol. iii. p. 60.
% Ibid., pp. 60, 61.

Images and transcriptions on this page, including medium image downloads, may be used under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Licence unless otherwise stated. Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Licence