Robert III (Scotland)

Robert III

b. c. 1337 [1]
d. 4 Apr 1406, Dundonald, Ayrshire [2]

Title: Dei gratia Rex Scotorum = By the grace of God, King of the Scots
Term: 19 Apr 1390 - 4 Apr 1406
Chronology: 19 Apr 1390, succeeded to the throne of Scotland
14 Aug 1390, crowned, Scone Abbey, Perthshire [3]
4 Apr 1406, died
Names/titles: Private name: John Stewart; adopted the name Robert with consent of the Estates upon coronation [4]; Gaelic name: Raibeart; Earl of Carrick [22 Jun 1368 - 19 Apr 1390]
Biography:
Eldest son of Robert II by his mistress, Elizabeth, daughter of Sir Adam Mure of Rowallan; was legitimised with the formal marriage of his parents (after 22 Nov 1347); created Earl of Carrick in Parliament at Scone (22 Jun 1368); declared heir to the Crown by decree of Parliament at Scone (27 Mar 1371); entrusted with full authority to enforce the law in the name of the king (1384); became partially incapacitated after he was kicked by a horse (1388); succeeded to the throne on the death of his father and assumed the name Robert upon coronation (probably to avoid associations with unpopular King John Balliol); faced increasingly high rate of criminal offences and acts of violence throughout the country; presided over the Battle of the Clans at Perth (1396), an attempt to settle clan feuds in the pitched fight; sanctioned the appointment of his son, David, Duke of Rothesay, as lieutenant of the Kingdom by the General Council at Perth (27 Jan 1399) for the term of three years; was unable to prevent a power struggle between Rothesay and the king's brother, Robert Duke of Albany, while Scotland was invaded by the English, who won a number of battles between 1400 and 1402; failed to compel his son to resign the office; ordered the arrest of the Duke of Rothesay (1401), who was given into custody of Albany and died of unknown causes (1402); sent his only surviving son, James (future King James I), to France and died shortly after James's capture by English pirates.
Biographical sources: "James I, King of Scots" by E. W. M. Balfour-Melville (London: Methuen, 1936).

[1] Exchequer Rolls of Scotland, 4, Appendix to Preface, 170, Robert III.
[2] Scotichronicon, Book XV, c. 18: "iv. Kal. Aprilis, id est, dominica palmarum A.D. MCDV" (apparently confuses "iv. Kal. Apr." with "April 4", which was Palm Sunday in 1406); "The Orygynale Cronykil of Scotland, by Androw of Wyntoun" in "The Historians of Scotland. Vol. IX.", ed. by David Laing (Edinburgh: William Paterson, 1879), vol. III, p. 98: "A thousand and foure hundyr yere / To tha the sext all reknyt clere, / Sanct Ambrose fest in till Aprile / The ferd day fallis, bot in that quhile / That fest fell on Palm Sonday, / The quhilke before Pasch fallis ay, / Robert the Third, oure Lord the King, / Maid at Dundownald his endyng." (Wyntoun is correct in asserting that April 4 was the Feast of the Passing of St. Ambrose and Palm Sunday [1406]).
[3] Registrum Episcopatus Moraviensis, 381 (no. 303): " · Sciendum eſt quod anno Domini milleſimo · cccmo · nonogeſimo de menſe Aprilis obiit Robertus Seneſcalli Rex Scocie apud Dundonald et ſepultus eſt apud Sconam · Cui ſucceſſit in regnum filius ſenior Comes de Carryke vocatus Robertus coronatus in regem apud Sconam dominica in vigilia Aſſumpcionis beate Marie ſequenti · et in craſtino coronata eſt in reginam domina Anabilla uxor ſua per dominum Walterum Trayle epiſcopum Sancti Andree · "; "The Orygynale Cronykil of Scotland, by Androw of Wyntoun", op. cit., vol. III, p. 44: "A.D. 1390 And on the morne forowtyn mare / Bydyng, lete, or mare delay, / As fell that yhere on the Swnnownday, / The eẅyn off the Assumptyown, / His eldare swne thare tuk the Crown / [Wyth honowre gret in Skwne Abbay.] / And on the morne Oure Lady day, / Dame Annabill, that lady brycht, / Wes crownyd Qwene, as fell on rycht."; Scotichronicon, Book XV, c. 1; Extracta E Variis Cronicis Scocie, 202: "Johannes filius regis Roberti secundi primogenitus, et comes de Carrik, patri successit et coronatur apud Sconam in vigelia Assumpcionis nostre Domine, anno Domini M°iiic nonagesimo, et abhinc de consensu trium statuum vocatus est Robertus tercius." (Sunday, on the eve of the feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary [August 15], which is August 14); Book of Pluscarden, Book X, c. 11.
[4] Acts of the Parliaments of Scotland, 1:577, red (215, black); Extracta E Variis Cronicis Scocie, loc. cit.; Registrum Episcopatus Moraviensis, loc. cit.; Scotichronicon, loc. cit.; Book of Pluscarden, Book X, c. 10, 11.
Image: privy seal of Robert III.
Last updated on: 13 Mar 2010 01:33:59