Treaty of Perth


The Treaty of Perth brought about peace between Norway and Scotland, settling their respective territorial claims; Scotland gained the Hebrides and the Isle of Man, compensating Norway with a sum of 4,000 marks, together with an annual fee of 100 marks payable in perpetuity, while Norway's sovereignty over Orkney and Shetland was confirmed.

The Treaty was concluded between the nobles of King Magnus VI of Norway (1238-80) and King Alexander III of Scotland (1241-86) and signed in Perth on 2nd July 1266. The division of territory had been in dispute for many years, with Kintyre proving a particular problem. However, Magnus's father Haakon IV had lost the Battle of Largs just three years earlier, giving the Scots the upper hand when the son sued for peace. The route towards a treaty was probably paved by a monk - Reginald of Melrose - while its terms were finalised through negotiations which took place directly with Alexander III in Perth in 1265 and 1266. Magnus's representatives were Chancellor Askatin and Andres Nikolasson. The treaty was renewed and ratified in Inverness on 29th October 1312.

The Scots were slow to pay up, with the last installment of the 4,000 mark payment not reaching Norway until 1282. It is not known exactly when the annual payments were suspended, but the Norwegians are known to have had difficulties collecting the money owed during the 14th and 15th centuries. The debts were eventually written off as part of the marriage agreement between King James III and Margaret of Denmark (and Norway) in 1468, which ceded Orkney and Shetland the Scottish crown.

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