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Source 3: Louis XII’s response to rumours of James IV’s death

Rumours of the death of James IV reached King Louis XII in France. On 5 October 1513, he wrote to his ambassadors, Seigneur de la Bastie and Master Jaques Augubly, instructing them to pass on certain messages to the king’s widow, Margaret Tudor, and the Scottish court.

Louis expressed his thanks to James for taking up his cause against the English and fighting for him in person. If rumours of his death were true, he expressed his grief and wished James to be remembered as a great and virtuous king. He asked to receive accurate information from the Queen of Scotland and be updated on the condition of the future king, James V, who was only 17 months old. Louis recognised that the preservation of the kingdom of Scotland was profitable not only to the young king but to himself and France. His ambassadors were to assure the Queen and Council that Louis would maintain his alliance with Scotland and urged her to have it re-ratified on behalf of the young king.

Image shows part of a letter from Louis XII, 1513. National Records of Scotland reference: SP7/21/107

(National Records of Scotland reference: SP7/21/107)


Item, et n’oubliera jamais ledit roy trescrestien ce
qu’a fait pour luy ledit feu roy des Escossoys en exposant
sa propre personne a la bataille contre leurs communs
ennemys les Angloys et ce pour la querelle et en tenant
la part dudit roy trescrestien et de sa part mectra peine
de monstrer a tout le monde la bonne affection qu’il
avoit audit feu roy et son intelligence.

(National Records of Scotland reference: SP7/21/107)


Item, and he, the King, will never forget what the said late King of Scots has done for him in exposing himself in the face of battle against their common enemy the English, taking the side of the said most Christian King in his quarrel, and for his part he will take pains to demonstrate to the world the great affection he had for the late King and his intellect.



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