King of Scots

The monarch of Scotland was the head of state of the Kingdom of Scotland. According to tradition, the first King of Scots was Kenneth MacAlpin (Cináed mac Ailpín), who founded the state in 843, although this is no longer taken seriously by historians. The distinction between the Kingdom of Alba/Scotland and the Kingdom of the Picts is rather the product of later medieval myth and confusion from a change in nomenclature, i.e. "Rex Pictorum" (King of the Picts) becomes "ri Alban" (King of Alba) under Donald II when annals switched from Latin to vernacular around the end of the 9th century, by which time the word Alba in Gaelic had come to refer to the Kingdom of the Picts rather than Britain (its older meaning). Fact|date=March 2008

The Kingdom of the Picts just became known as Kingdom of Alba in Gaelic, which later became known in English as "Scotland"; the terms are retained in both languages to this day. By the late 11th century at the very latest, Scottish kings were using the term "rex Scotorum", or King of Scots, to refer to themselves in Latin. The title of "King of Scots" fell out of use in 1707 when the Kingdom of Scotland merged with the Kingdom of England to form the Kingdom of Great Britain. Thus Queen Anne became the last monarch of Scotland (and concurrently, the last monarch of England) and the first monarch of Great Britain. The two kingdoms had shared a monarch since 1603 (see Union of the Crowns), and Charles II was the last Scottish monarch to actually be crowned in Scotland, at Scone in 1651.

Coronation Oath

The Coronation Oath sworn by Mary II, William II and Anne as monarch of Scotland was approved by the Parliament of Scotland on 18 April 1689. [ [ Scottish Parliament Project] .] The oath was as follows:

"'WE William and Mary, King and Queen of Scotland, faithfully promise and swear, by this our solemn Oath, in presence of the Eternal God, that during the whole Course of our Life we will serve the same Eternal God, to the uttermost of our Power, according as he has required in his most Holy Word, revealed and contained in the New and Old Testament; and according to the same Word shall maintain the true Religion of Christ Jesus, the preaching of his Holy Word, and the due and right Ministration of the Sacraments, now received and preached within the Realm of Scotland; and shall abolish and gainstand all false Religion contrary to the same, and shall rule the People committed to our Charge, according to the Will and Command of God, revealed in his aforesaid Word, and according to the laudable Laws and Constitutions received in this Realm, no ways repuguant to the said Word of the Eternal God; and shall procure, to the utmost of our power, to the Kirk of God, and whole Christian People, true and perfect Peace in all time coming. That we shall preserve and keep inviolated the Rights and Rents, with all just Privileges of the Crown of Scotland, neither, shall we transfer nor alienate the same; that we shall forbid and repress in all Estates and Degrees, Reif, Oppression and all kind of Wrong. And we shall command and procure, that Justice and Equity in all Judgments be kept to all Persons without exception, us the Lord and Father of all Mercies shall be merciful to us. And we shall be careful to root out all Heretics and Enemies to the true Worship of God, that shall be convicted by the true Kirk of God, of the aforesaid Crimes, out of our Lands and Empire of Scotland. And we faithfully affirm the Things above-written by our solemn Oath".'


Although genealogists divide the monarchs of Scotland into "Houses", based on continental European ideas of dynasties, it appears that the kings and queens of Scotland, insofar as they thought about their ultimate origins, traced their descent from Fergus Mór, the legendary founder of Dál Riata said to have flourished in the late 5th century, and from his grandson Gabrán mac Domangairt and brother Loarn mac Eirc. James VI is recorded as saying that he was a "Monarch sprunge of Ferguse race". After the Restoration of 1660, when Jacob de Wet was commissioned to produce portraits of Scotland's past and present rulers for Holyrood Palace, the series began with Fergus Mór.

List of monarchs of Scotland

House of Alpin (848-1034)

The reign of Kenneth MacAlpin begins what is often called the House of Alpin, a concept entirely modern. The descendants of Kenneth MacAlpin were divided into two branches; the crown would alternate between the two, the death of a king from one branch often hastened by war or assassination by a pretender from the other. Malcolm II was the last king of the House of Alpin; in his reign, he successfully crushed all opposition to him and, having no sons, was able to pass the crown to his daughter's son, Duncan I, who inaugurated the House of Dunkeld.

House of Balliol (1292-1296)

The death of Margaret of Norway began a two-year interregnum in Scotland caused by a succession crisis. With her death, the descent of William I went extinct; nor was there an obvious heir by primogeniture. Thirteen candidates presented themselves; the most prominent were John de Balliol, great-grandson of William I's younger brother David of Huntingdon, and Robert de Brus, Lord of Annandale, David of Huntingdon's grandson. The Scottish Magnates invited Edward I of England to arbitrate the claims; he did so, but forced the Scots to swear allegiance to him as overlord. Eventually, it was decided that John de Balliol should become King; he proved weak and incapable, and in 1296 was forced to resign by Edward I, who then attempted to annex Scotland into the Kingdom of England.

tuart (1567-1651)

The Stewarts of Lennox were a junior branch of the Stewart family; they were not, however, direct descendants of Robert II. In the past, through the means of the Auld Alliance with France, they had adapted their surname to the French form, "Stuart". Consequently, when the son of the Earl of Lennox, Henry, Lord Darnley, married the Queen of Scots, Mary I, their son, as the first King of the Lennox branch of the Stewart family, ruled as a Stuart.

James VI also became King of England and Ireland as James I in 1603, when his cousin Elizabeth I died; thereafter, although the two crowns of England and Scotland remained separate, the monarchy was based chiefly in England.

Charles I, James's son, found himself faced with Civil War; the resultant conflict lasted eight years, and ended in his execution. The English Parliament then decreed their monarchy to be at an end; the Scots Parliament, after some deliberation, broke their links with England, and declared that Charles, son and heir of Charles I, would become King. He ruled until 1651; however, the armies of Oliver Cromwell occupied Scotland and drove him into exile.

From 1707, the titles "King of Scots" and "Queen of Scots" are incorrect. Hence, this list runs up to 1707; for monarchs after that date, see List of British monarchs.

Jacobite claimants

Despite having lost his thrones, James VII continued to claim the thrones of England, Scotland, and Ireland. When he died in 1701, his son, James, inherited his father's claims, and called himself James VIII of Scotland and III of England and Ireland. He would continue to do so all his life, despite the fact that the Kingdoms of England and Scotland were ended by their merging as the Kingdom of Great Britain. In 1715, a year after the death of his sister, Queen Anne, and the accession of their cousin George of Hanover, James landed in Scotland and attempted to claim the throne; he failed, and was forced to flee back to the Continent. A second attempt by his son, Charles, in 1745, also failed. Both James's children died without issue, bringing the Stuart family to an end.

* James VIII (Seumas VIII), also known as "The Old Pretender", son of James VII, was claimant from 1701 until his death in 1766.
* Charles III (Teàrlach III), also known as "The Young Pretender" and often called "Bonnie Prince Charlie", son of James VIII, was claimant from his father's death until his own death in 1788.
* Henry I (Eanraig I), brother of Charles III and youngest son of James VIII. Died in 1807 without offspring.
* After 1807, the Jacobite claims passed first to the House of Savoy (1807–1840), then to the Modenese branch of the House of Habsburg-Lorraine (1840–1919), and finally to the House of Bavaria (since 1919). The current heir is Franz, Duke of Bavaria. Neither he nor any of his predecessors since 1807 have pursued their claim.

Other claimants

* Idi Amin, President of Uganda 1971-1979, proclaimed himself King of Scotland in 1975 (died in exile 2003).
* Michel Roger Lafosse, has since 1979 claimed to be Prince of Albany and heir to the Scottish throne.



* Anderson, Alan Orr, "Early Sources of Scottish History: AD 500–1286", 2 Vols, (Edinburgh, 1922)
* Hudson, Benjamin T., "Kings of Celtic Scotland", (Westport, 1994)
* Skene, W. F. (ed.), "Chronicles of the Picts, Chronicles of the Scots and other Early Memorials of Scottish History", (Edinburgh, 1867)

ee also

*List of Kings of the Picts
*Scottish monarchs family tree
*List of Scottish consorts
*List of Queens of Scotland
*British monarchy
*Constitutional monarchy in the United Kingdom
*List of British monarchs
*List of regnal numerals of future British monarchs
*Lord High Commissioner to the Parliament of Scotland
*List of monarchs in the British Isles
*List of monarchs of the British Isles by cause of death
*Idi Amin (self-proclaimed "last king of Scotland")

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