The House Of Dunkeld
Alexander III, who aquired the epithet 'the Glorious' was the son of Alexander II by Marie de Coucy and was born on 4th September, 1241 at Roxburgh. He came to the throne at the young age of eight and was crowned at Scone on 13 July, 1249. Scotland was thus weakened by another minority government.
For the first six years of Alexander's reign, Scotland was ruled by Walter Comyn, Earl of Menteith and his brother Alexander, Earl of Buchan.
A marriage was negotiated for the young King with Margaret of England, the daughter of Henry III and Eleanor of Provence and he accordingly travelled to York for the marriage which took place in 1251. Henry III, eager to gain the upper hand and reassert England's overlordship of Scotland, asked the boy why he should not pay homage to him, he was reported to have responded that he came in peace, not to answer difficult questions.
Alexander attempted to recover the Hebridean Islands from the grip of the Norwegians, launching raids against them. King Haakon of Norway gathered a fleet in the Summer of 1263 and sailed for Scotland. The wily and resolute Alexander artfully managed to delay giving battle until October by entering into negotiations with the Norwegian King. As he had planned, Autumn gales battered the Norwegian fleet as it lay in the Firth of Clyde. Haakon of Norway died on the return journey to Norway and his successor, Magnus, negotiated a treaty with Alexander ceding control of the Hebrides to Scotland.
The King's daughter Margaret was married to Eric of Norway in 1283, which finally cemented the peace between the two countries. Scottish trade improved and law and order were maintained by Alexander's strong government.
The king's two sons, Alexander and David, his daughter, Margaret and his English first wife all predeceased him. Having established his only grandchild, Margaret of Norway, as his heiress in 1284, Alexander remarried in November, 1285 to Yvette de Dreux, the daughter of Robert IV, Count of Dreux, in the hope of producing a male heir to Scotland's throne.
The king, while in the course of returning from a council meeting at Edinburgh to his new Queen at Kinghorn on 19 March, 1286, was killed when his horse inadvertantly stumbled over a cliff in the darkness causing him to fall to his death. His body was found lying on the shore the next morning. He was buried at Dunfermline Abbey. A monument today marks the spot where Alexander met his end.
He was succeeded by his only grandchild, Margaret, Maid of Norway, the daughter of Eric of Norway and Margaret of Scotland.