Alexander, Prince of Scotland

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Alexander (21 January 1264 – 28 January 1284) was an heir apparent to the throne of the Kingdom of Scotland who never ascended due to his early death.

Alexander was born at Jedburgh[citation needed] on 21 January 1264.[1] He was the second child and elder son of King Alexander III of Scotland and Margaret of England, preceded by a daughter named Margaret and followed by a son called David.[1] The Scottish crown was determined that the young Alexander should be adequately established. In 1270, he was made Earl of Fife for the duration of the minority of the heir to the earldom, Duncan III, who was then eight years old. Probably sometime after 1275, Alexander was also made Lord of Mann, which gave him revenue and a "quasi-royal position of dignity" while also assuring the people of the island that the recently established Scottish rule would be efficient.[2]

Alexander's mother, Queen Margaret, died in 1275. It is evident from the letters of Alexander and his sister that the family remained close to their maternal uncle King Edward I of England.[3] Alexander's brother, David, died in 1281, the year when their sister married King Eric II of Norway. King Alexander did not seek a second wife for about ten years, focusing instead on arranging a suitable marriage for his surviving son, the young Alexander. In 1281, the King started negotiating with Guy, Count of Flanders, about his son's marriage to the Count's daughter, also named Margaret.[2] The marriage was celebrated on 15 November 1282.[4]

Alexander's sister died in Norway in childbirth in 1283, leaving Alexander as the sole surviving child of the King of Scotland.[4] A week after his twentieth birthday, on 28 January 1284, the young Alexander also died.[2] He was buried at Dunfermline Abbey.[5] By April it was clear that his widow was not pregnant and that his sister's daughter, Margaret, Maid of Norway, was the new heir presumptive.[6] King Alexander hastened to contract a second marriage, choosing Yolanda of Dreux, but died in 1286.[7]


  1. ^ a b Barrow 1990, p. 121.
  2. ^ a b c Barrow 1990, p. 122.
  3. ^ Prestwich 1998, p. 356-357.
  4. ^ a b Duncan 2002, p. 169.
  5. ^ "Dunfermline". 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Dunfermline. 1911.
  6. ^ Duncan 2002, p. 211.
  7. ^ Duncan 2002, p. 171.