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Ross, James Stewart, 1st duke of

Ross, James Stewart, 1st duke of [S] (c.1477–1504). Second son of James III, he received more favour from his father than the duke of Rothesay, the future James IV. In particular James III proposed him as part of a marriage alliance with England, but not his elder brother (1486); and made him duke of Ross, an act that precipitated Rothesay into the rebellion that ended with James III's death at Sauchie Burn (1488). Potential trouble continued. Ross had links with James III's councillor Archbishop William Scheves, and Henry VII's spy John Ramsay (1496). James IV solved this problem by making Ross archbishop of St Andrews (1497). Thus Ross was removed as focus for opposition, the king could reclaim his secular estates, and his substantial ecclesiastical revenues went to the crown. Chancellor, in name only, from 1501, Ross died shortly before reaching the canonical age for consecration, 27.

Roland Tanner

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