Alexander III • Alexander III was only seven years old when he became king in 1241. • He had defeated the last great Viking invasion at the Battle of Largs in 1263. • He was able to bring his powerful nobles under control and he further developed Scottish trade and economy. • He developed good cross-border relations with the English. • Some historians disagree and claim there was no 'Golden Age', it was made up as Scottish propaganda after the Scottish Wars of Independence.
Death of Alexander • Alexander died tragically in 1296. • He was travelling by himself to meet his new wife. • His horse threw him and he was found with a broken neck. • Unfortunately for Scotland all his children had already died. • Only his three-year-old granddaughter remained. • Margaret would be the next queen of Scots.
The Maid of Norway • Margaret’s mother had been the oldest daughter of Alexander. • She had married the King of Norway as a diplomatic move after the Battle of Largs. • She died in childbirth, leaving Margaret with her father in Norway. • After a lot of negotiations between the Guardians and her father it was agreed she would become the next queen.
Treaty with England • A young girl as queen was obviously not going to work. • But if she was married to a prince then he could act as the next king. • It was decide that the prince of England would wed Margaret. • This was decided in the Treaty of Birgham.
Treaty of Birgham • In 1291 it was decided that the treaty would go ahead. • Margaret would wed the young Prince Edward, son of Edward I. • Scotland would remain independent. • No Scottish parliament would ever be held outside of Scotland.
The last voyage of the Maid of Norway • Margaret was still a young girl and the voyage was undertaken in the middle of winter. • She caught pneumonia on board the ship and died at Orkney. • Now there was no-one with a clear succession to the throne. • That meant only one thing: civil war, as the powerful nobles fought among themselves for the right to be the next king.