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Timeline: 1450 to 1500

1450: James II demonstrates his power by executing two members of the Livingston family.

7 January 1451: The University of Glasgow is founded.

22 February 1452: James II invites the dangerously powerful 8th Earl of Douglas to Stirling Castle where he personally murders him. Followers of the Earl subsequently sack the town of Stirling.

1455: James II completes his subjugation of the Black Douglas family by taking their land and castles in south west Scotland.

1457: In an effort to ensure the population practice military skills, and archery in particular, James II decrees that "futeball and golfe be utterly cried down." He is widely ignored.

3 August 1460: James II is killed during his siege of Roxburgh Castle when an artillery piece explodes. A week later his 9 year old son James is crowned James III of Scotland.

1461: In return for a promise of support from James III's mother against the House of York, Henry VI of Lancaster gives Berwick-upon-Tweed back to Scotland, and offers Carlisle.

1464: Bishop Kennedy of St Andrews, acting for the King after the death of his mother, signs a truce with the English.

July 1466: The Boyd family kidnap James III now 14, and use his influence to enhance their own power, including a marriage to the King's sister.

10 July 1469: James III, now 18, marries 13 year old Margret of Denmark, Princess of Norway and Denmark and assumes his full powers over Scotland. Part of her dowry is mortgaged against Orkney and Shetland.

November 1469: Parliament upholds charges of treason against the Boyd family for their kidnap of James III in 1466. The head of the family, Sir Alexander Boyd, is executed and family land and property is seized.

20 February 1472: Shetland and Orkney formally become part of Scotland under an Act of Parliament, so settling the northern extent of the Kingdom.

October 1474: Marriage is arranged between James III's one year old son James and Lady Cecilia, Edward IV's three year old daughter.

1479: James III is worried by unrest amongst Scottish nobles who want him replaced, and arrests and imprisons his brothers Alexander and John. John subsequently dies in suspicious circumstances, but Alexander escapes via France to England.

November 1479: The arranged marriage between James III'syounger sister Margaret and Edward IV's brother in law collapses when it emerges she is pregnant by someone else. A period of peace between England and Scotland comes to an end.

1482: The English, on behalf of James III's exiled brother Alexander, invade southern Scotland. At Lauder the Scottish nobles kill many of King James III's advisers and arrest the King, returning him to captivity in Edinburgh Castle. The English take Edinburgh, but then withdraw, keeping both Berwick-upon-Tweed and Berwick Castle, which will now remain English. James IIIis released following apparent reconciliation with his brother Alexander, Duke of Albany. It is only temporary: further plotting sees him leave for France in 1484.

11 June 1488: James III seeks to capture his eldest son, James, Duke of Rothesay, who at 15 is becoming a focus for dissent in the kingdom. Following a fight between their supporters near Stirling, on the site of the earlier Battle of Bannockburn, the injured James III is murdered by persons unknown.

26 June 1488: James IV is crowned at Scone.

1489: A serious rebellion by supporters of James III is followed by reconciliation with James IV in the 1490 Parliament.

1492: Blind Harry dies. He is the minstrel whose verses have preserved the story of William Wallace, and which help shape Scottish views of the English for the rest of the millennium.

1493: John MacDonald II Lord of the Isles is tried by James IV and the lordship taken over by the king: ending a dynasty that has effectively ruled much of Western Scotland and the Isles for nearly 350 years.

1494: The first written reference appears to the art of distillation of whisky in Scotland.

1495: The University of Aberdeen is founded.

September 1496: James IV launches major raids on Northumberland.

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