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Robert III of Scotland

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Template:House of Stewart(Scotland)

Robert III (c. 1340April 4, 1406), king of Scotland, was the eldest son of King Robert II by his mistress, Elizabeth Mure, and was legitimised when his parents were formally married about 1349. They had previously been married in 1336, but this ceremony had been criticized as being uncanonical.

In 1368 he was created Earl of Carrick, and he took some part in the government of the kingdom until about 1387, when he was disabled by the kick of a horse. It was probably in consequence of this accident that his brother Robert, Earl of Fife, and not the crown prince himself, was made guardian of the kingdom in 1389; but the latter succeeded to the throne on his father's death in May 1390.

At this time he changed his baptismal name of John, which was unpopular owing to its connection with John de Baliol, for that of Robert, being crowned at Scone in August 1390 as King Robert III. Although he probably attended several parliaments the new king was only the nominal ruler of Scotland, the real power being in the hands of his brother, the Earl of Fife.

In 1399, however, owing to the king's "sickness of the body," his elder son, David, Duke of Rothesay, was appointed lieutenant of the kingdom; but this event was followed by an English invasion of Scotland, by serious differences between Rothesay and his uncle, Robert, now Duke of Albany, and finally in March 1402 by Rothesay's mysterious death by starvation at Falkland Palace.

Fearing for the safety of his surviving son, James, the king had the boy hidden at Dirleton Castle, from where he was to be smuggled to France. However, a month later in 1406 young James was captured by the English; and in 1406 Robert died, probably at Rothesay. The king was said to have died from grief over the capture of James. Robert even asked to be buried under a dunghill with the epitaph: "Here lies the worst of Kings and the most miserable of men." Instead he was interred at at Paisley instead of Scone, the traditional burial ground of the Scottish kings, as he did not consider himself worthy of the honor.

Robert III married Annabella Drummond (c. 1350-1402), daughter of Sir John Drummond of Stobhall, and by her, in addition to the two sons already mentioned, had four daughters (Margaret, Mary, Egidia, and Elizabeth). He also had an illegitimate son, James Stewart of Kilbride.

This entry was modified from the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.

See also

Preceded by:
Robert II
King of Scots Succeeded by:
James I

de:Robert III. (Schottland)sv:Robert III av Skottland

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