Today in 1430 King James II was born.
Another of Scotland's boy kings, he was crowned aged only 6, and, after a quite horrific childhood at the hands of various scheming nobles and regents, at the age of 19 James took control of the country. He married well, and quickly proved himself a strong, confident king: his wife, Mary of Gueldres, was an intelligent woman from a sophisticated and rich Flanders family. She bore him three healthy children, and it was doubtless partly her influence that led to his strength in dealing with the many troublesome nobles, especially a long-running bloody battle with the powerful "black Douglas" family. He made many sound political moves, creating alliances, and ruthlessly dealing with those who opposed him, as was necessary to rule effectively. However, James's interest in artillery ultimately led to his early demise, as he was killed aged only 30 at a siege when a cannon exploded.