Your RDA of Irony

The Hollow Crown for Hollow Heads

How would you like to rule over an impoverished, fractious land with the added perk of a violent death? Just send your resume to 15th or 16th century Scotland.

On this day in 1437, James I resolved an argument with some cousins by being stabbed to death. He also set a precedent for names and sudden deaths. His son was James II who, while besieging an English castle in 1460, belatedly discovered a need for caution when standing next to a cannon. He was succeeded by James III whose son just couldn’t wait to be James IV; among royalty, civil wars generally are family reunions. Having killed dear old dad, James IV became king in 1488. In 1513, he had a fatal family reunion, fighting his brother-in-law Henry VIII; and that created a job opening for James V. Unfortunately, in 1542, he died in flight from Uncle Henry. James V forgot to have any legitimate sons and he could not bring himself to naming his heir Jamesette. No, she was known as Mary, Queen of Scots. Her autopsy report is fairly well known. Mary’s heir was…wild guess…James VI; however, he heard of a job opening in London where the pay and longevity were better. He was the first reigning Stuart in nearly 200 years to die of natural causes.

Charles I must have been a traditionalist, chipped off the old block. But his descendants were content to die of the pox (both syphilitic or small) and alcoholism.

  1. Hal Gordon says:

    If memory serves, James V’s last words were, “It began wi’ a lass and ’twill gang with a lass.” By which he meant that the Stuart (originally Stewart) dynasty began with the marriage of Walter Stewart to Marjorie Bruce (daughter of Robert the Bruce), and would end with his only child — a daughter. As in so many things, he was wrong.

  2. Rothgar says:

    And the really sad thing is that 200 years early Scotland was a relatively prosperous land that even then had an hard time keeping Royalty alive. Perhaps this should have been a clue. Something like it is bad to have an active Vice President who is getting major cash from a defense contractor. Hmm! Makes one wonder.

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