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Accessing Scotland's Past Project

Event ID 561712

Category Descriptive Accounts

Type Accessing Scotland's Past Project


A holly tree on the Floors estate, near the banks of the Tweed, is said to mark the spot where King James II was killed during the siege of Roxburgh Castle.

In the summer of 1460, the great Scottish army summoned by James II laid siege to Roxburgh Castle, long occupied by English forces. On August 3rd, the arrival of the queen was honoured with a salute from the siege cannons. As they fired upon Roxburgh Castle, the king stood close by and was mortally wounded when a cannon exploded.

James' death, just a few months before his thirtieth birthday, fulfilled a long held prophecy that Roxburgh Castle would only fall to a dead man. The Scots maintained their siege, inspired by the words of James' queen Mary of Guelders and the crowning of the heir to the throne, eight year old James III, at Kelso on the 10th of August. With the capture of the castle, a century of English domination of Roxburgh and the region as a whole was ended.

Text prepared by RCAHMS as part of the Accessing Scotland's Past project

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