About this artwork

James V, father of Mary, Queen of Scots, became king at a year old when his own father, James IV, was killed at Flodden, fighting the English. Ignoring the urgings of his uncle, Henry VIII, who wished him to become a Protestant, James V strengthened Scotland's alliance with her traditional ally, France, by marrying the French king's daughter, Princess Madeleine. When she died, he took as his second wife Mary of Guise, another high-born French woman. James died at Falkland Palace in 1542, soon after his army's defeat by the English at Solway Moss. His six-day old daughter Mary succeeded to his throne.