Stirling Castle, Stirlingshire
Castle Wynd, off A84 / A811
The king accused the Earl (probably with justification) of forging links with John Macdonald, 11th Earl of Ross (also Lord of the Isles) and Alexander Lindsay, 4th Earl of Crawford. If true, this created a dangerous axis of power of independently minded men, forming a major rival to royal authority. When Douglas refused to break the bond with Ross, James broke into a fit of temper, stabbed Douglas 26 times and threw his body out of a window. His court officials then joined in the bloodbath, one allegedly striking out the earl's brain with an axe.
This murder does not end the power of the Douglases, but rather created a state of intermittent civil war.
1483 ~ King James III, on poor terms with his queen, Margaret of Denmark, lives the last three years of her life away from the king at Stirling Castle, with her son and future king James IV.
1488 ~ Two years after his mother's death at Stirling Castle, James is persuaded to leave the castle to join with disaffected nobles who have risen up against his father the king. Prince James's presence helps ensure the defeat of King James III.
In succeeding to the throne king James IV confesses his role in the overthrow of his father in the royal chapel in Stirling Castle.
King James goes on to undertake extensive building work on his favourite castle into a sumptuous royal residence.
1538 ~ King James V begins an ambitious building program on his royal residences including a palace at Stirling Castle.
1543 ~ Following her father's death at Falkland Palace, his daughter Mary is crowned Mary, Queen of Scots at Stirling Castle. Her mother, Mary of Guise, makes the safety of Stirling Castle the main residence for her and her infant daughter. She is forced to defend her daughters interests against the ambitious Earl of Arran, Regent of Scotland, and King Henry VIII's forceful policy of seeking bethrothal by warfare of his son Edward to the infant Mary, during the period known as the Rough Wooing.
1547 ~ Following the disastrous defeat at the Battle of Pinkie, young Mary is sent from Stirling Castle to the safety of France the following year, out of the clutches of the English King.
1554 ~ Mary of Guise becomes regent of Scotland in her daughter's absence.
1560 ~ Following the death of her young husband King Francis II of France after just one year, as well as her mother in the same year, Mary Queen of Scots returns to Scotland. On her return she finds her realm Protestant and at odds with her Catholic faith, led by the zealous reformer John Knox who, along with her ruling own half brother James Stewart, become her greatest and most dangerous adversaries.
1566 ~ Following Queen Mary's marriage to her cousin Henry Stewart, Lord Darnley the previous year, she gives birth to a son in Edinburgh but soon moves the infant to the safety of Stirling Castle.
1567 ~ Mary is forced to abdicate, never to see her son again. He is crowned King James VI at Stirling aged just 13 months old. Much of the king's childhood is spent at Stirling Castle where he is taught by the great scolar George Buchanan.
1571 ~ Rival factions fight for control of the infant king, culminating in an attack on the castle, which is repeated 7 years later.
1582 ~ King James is held virtual prisoner at Stirling Castle following the 'Ruthven raid' to kidnap the king.
1594 ~ King James and his queen's first born, prince Henry, is born at Stirling Castle.
1603 ~ Following the death of Queen Elizabeth of England and King James VI succession to the Crown of England, he decides to rule both kingdom's from London, moving away from Stirling Castle and the country of his birth.
1617 ~ Various building works and much needed repairs are carried out at Stirling Castle in time for King James VI visit to the castle.
1633 ~ King Charles I briefly visits the castle following further extensive building works. The king visits one more time during his reign 8 years later when at loggerheads with the Covenanting party in Scotland and on the verge of Civil War in England.
1651 ~ Following King Charles I execution and his son declared King Charles II in Scotland, an English Parliamentary army marches north under the command of General Monck, taking Stirling Castle by siege following a battering of the castle's walls.
1670's ~ With King Charles II king of both England and Scotland, extensive building work is undertaken at Stirling Castle.
1681 ~ King Charles brother and future King James VII visits Stirling Castle but deems its lodgings not fit for royalty.
1688 ~ The Catholic King James is forced to flee his kingdom in favour of his Protestant daughter Mary and her husband, William of Orange. Support for King James continues in Scotland leading to the Jacobite rebellions which lead to defensive improvements being made to the castle to withstand rebel threat.
1707 ~ Following Union of the Crowns the threat of further Jacobite uprisings see further defensive improvements to the castle in the following year.
1746 ~ After the disasterous Battle of Culloden which see's the Jacobite threat all but destroyed, the strategic importance of Stirling in a joint kingdom dies alongside the cause. The castle falls into a state of disrepair.
1794 ~ The outbreak of the Napoleonic War with France see's repair work undertaken at the castle and garrisoned by the Argyll and Sutherland Highland regiments. The castle remains the home of the united regiment until 1964.