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Timeline: 1500 to 1550

8 August 1503: A "Treaty of Perpetual Peace" with England is followed by the marriage between James IV and Margaret Tudor, eldest daughter of Henry VII of England at Holyrood. This does little to interrupt James IV's succession of mistresses and illegitimate children.

1503: The death of John MacDonald II, the last Lord of the Isles.

1 July 1505: The Barber Surgeons of Edinburgh are granted a charter by the City Council enabling them to practise surgery within the city. This marks the beginnings of the Royal College of Surgeons.

12 October 1511: The launch of the "Great Michael" the flagship of the rapidly growing Royal Scottish Navy.

10 April 1512: After three children who die in infancy, Margaret Tudor gives birth to a son, James.

26 July 1513: James IV responds to pleas for assistance from France and gives notice to his brother in law, Henry VIII, that he is going to invade Northumberland.

22 August 1513: The Scottish army crosses the border with England, taking Norham Castle amongst others.

9 September 1513: At the Battle of Flodden, near Coldstream, up to 10,000 Scots are killed, including James IV himself and many Scots nobles. This compares with losses of just 1,700 on the English side. It is a decisive victory for the English and a catastrophe for Scotland. The English King Henry VIII is campaigning in France at the time.

21 September 1513: King James V is crowned at Stirling at the age of just one.

6 August 1514: Margaret Tudor marries Archibald Douglas, 6th Earl of Angus who becomes the young James V's stepfather.

May 1515: John, Duke of Albany, son of James III's exiled brother Alexander, accepts the Scottish Parliament's invitation to become Regent in place of Margaret Tudor during James V's childhood. He brings from France, where he has been brought up, French troops and support.

May 1524: Following a coup d'état, the Duke of Albany returns to France with his supporting troops. This leaves the way clear for Margaret Tudor, mother of James V, to have her son crowned at the age of twelve.

April 1526: James V assumes his full powers at the age of 14, but is taken captive by Margaret Tudor's second - but by now estranged - husband, Archibald Douglas, 6th Earl of Angus.

29 February 1528: Patrick Hamilton is tried and found guilty for heresy and burned in St Andrews. He is the first of eleven Protestant martyrs in Scotland.

1528: James V escapes his stepfather's clutches and commences his true period of rule. His first act is to exile the Earl of Angus to England and seize his lands.

5 July 1530: The King imposes order on the bandit country in the Scottish Borders by capturing and hanging Johnnie Armstrong and 50 other border reivers or raiders.

3 September 1535: Alison Rough is executed in Edinburgh for the murder of her son in law.

1 January 1537: Although she is in ill health, James V marries Madeleine, daughter of King Francois of France, in Paris. By July her health has worsened and she dies at Holyrood Palace.

17 July 1537: Janet, Countess of Glamis, and the sister in law of James V's exiled stepfather, the Earl of Angus, is tried on charges including trying to poison the King. She is burned at the stake outside Edinburgh Castle and her - extremely rich - estate is forfeited to James V.

June 1538: James marries again, to Marie de Guise, adopted sister of Madeleine.

20 December1539: Archbishop David Beaton is appointed a Cardinal by Pope Paul III.

1540: James V tours the northern and western outposts of his kingdom in a fleet of warships to impose his rule.

18 October 1541: The death of Margaret Tudor, mother of James V.

24 November 1542: The Scots lose the Battle of Solway Moss, north of Carlisle, intended to stem the warlike moves of James V's uncle, King Henry VIII of England.

8 December 1542: Marie de Guise, gives birth to a daughter, Mary, at Linlithgow Palace.

14 December 1542: James V dies at Falkland Palace, aged 30, probably from cholera.

10 January 1543: Cardinal David Beaton appointed himself Chancellor of Scotland

March 1543: Cardinal Beaton is imprisoned for allegedly forging James V's will and the Earl of Arran is appointed Governor of Scotland and Regent to Mary Queen of Scots.

July 1543: The Treaties of Greenwich provide for Mary to be married to Henry VIII's son Edward in 1552: and for their heir to inherit the Kingdoms of Scotland and England.

9 September 1543: Mary is crowned Queen of Scots at Stirling Castle, at the age of nine months.

December 1543: The Scottish Parliament believes it better to pursue alliance with France than England and takes advantage of the failure of the English Parliament to ratify the Treaties of Greenwich by repudiating them.

May 1544: Henry VIII commences a period of "rough wooing" designed to impose the marriage of his son to Mary Queen of Scots. Armies invade from the south and from the sea near Edinburgh.

1545: Cross border raids by English forces continue.

1 March 1546: Cardinal Beaton has the Protestant George Wishart burned at the stake at St Andrews for heresy.

29 May 1546: Protestants break into St Andrews Castle, surprise Cardinal Beaton, murder him, and take over the castle. Their appeals to Henry VIII for support are ignored.

31 July 1547: French naval forces in support of the Catholic Mary Queen of Scots bombard St Andrews Castle and capture the Protestant rebels. These include John Knox, who is sent to become a galley-slave.

10 September 1547: A large English army with naval support meets and soundly beats the Scots at the Battle of Pinkie, a little to the east of Edinburgh. The English move on to occupy Edinburgh, though not its castle. They bombard Dundee, destroying much of it.

1548: Another English army invades, building a major fortification at Haddington, east of Edinburgh.

16 June 1548: A large French army lands at Leith to support the Scots following an agreement that Mary Queen of Scots, still only five, would marry Francois, eldest son of King Henri II of France. They besiege the English at Haddington.

29 July 1548: A French fleet rescues Mary Queen of Scots from Dumbarton and returns with her to France.

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