King Alexander II

1198 - 1249

Scottish monarch. Born in Haddington (East Lothian), the son of William I (The Lion). In 1216 Alexander led an army against King John of England, to Dover on the south coast and made contact with the Dauphin of France, pretender to the English throne who was expected to land in England but never came. The English knights offered their allegiance to John's son and Alexander felt dismayed at having to pay homage to the young Henry III. Alexander wished to be seen as an equal to the English King and therefore set about consolidating his own power in Scotland, subduing Argyll, Galloway, Moray and Caithness. He also founded abbeys at Balmerino and Pluscarden, the Blackfriars Monastery at Perth and Eilean Donan Castle. Regarded also as an effective politician, offering to buy the Western Isles from Norway, but his offer was spurned. Having has no success with diplomacy in terms of recovering the Western Isles, he set out to retrieve them by force, but died suddenly on the Isle of Kerrera, and was buried at Melrose. He was succeeded by his only son Alexander III (1241 - 1286).

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