A look at the power struggle between James I and the MacDonald family during the time of Alexander’s captivity. When Alexander, Lord of the Isles surrendered to James I forces in 1429, it seemed that control of the whole of Scotland had moved from the magnates to the king. However, the MacDonalds continued to defy James I and the two forces met at the Battle of Inverlochy. After this, James realised holding Alexander captive was as dangerous as having him at liberty. Alexander was subseqeuntly freed and able to regain his lands and prestige.

First broadcast:
1 December 2008

This clip could be used to explore the power structures of historic Scotland and how they evolved. It can prompt an exploration of language development and how Scottish and English came to be used more widely than Gaelic.