Robert III (1390-1406)
Robert was named 'John' at birth, but went by the name Robert (a name shared with his brother, the Duke of Albany), to avoid comparison with the much-loathed John Balliol. He married Annabella Drummond in 1367. Robert suffered a debilitating injury after falling from a horse in 1388. Due to this disability, the Scottish Parliament did not consider him an adequate successor to his father. Though Robert III was officially crowned king in 1390, he had little power, as his brother, the Duke of Albany, was effectively Prince Regent. Robert III ended his reign as a depressed, self-hating old man. He died in 1406, and it is said that he wanted to be buried under a dunghill, instead of a traditional royal grave.
Robert III had many children. The eldest, David, died mysteriously in 1402, having been appointed to rule in his father's place by the Scottish Parliament three years prior. The Duke of Albany was believed to have been involved in David's death. Robert now feared for the safety of his other children, and in the same year arranged for his son James to be taken to France for his own safety. However, the Duke of Albany sent an army to stop James from escaping Scotland. However, James and several followers escaped to a tiny island off the east coast of Scotland, where he waited for a month, before a ship sent by Robert III found James, and set off for France. However, English spies had heard of this, and reported it to the king of England, who in turn arranged the ship's capture. The raid was successful, and James remained a hostage of the English for 18 years. He was eventually released in 1420, 14 years after the death of his father. He was crowned King James I in 1424.
- Kings and Queens of Scotland, Otter Books, 199(4?)
- The Oxford Junior Encyclopedia Vol.5, Oxford University Press, 1960