From 1406-1542 the king of Scotland was named James, and there were five of them. Dynastic successors of the house of Stuart, they were descendants of Robert the Bruce through his daughter Marjorie. With an unbroken five generation regnal succession of father to son (seven really if you go back to Robert II), one might think this was a peaceful age for Scotland, compared to the violent wars of succession in England. Wrong! All of the James' faced rebellion from their subjects and conflicts with England. All five of the first James' met premature ends as well. James I 1406-1437: Captured by the English around the time of his father's death, he was king in exile for over a decade where he was apparently treated well by Henry V and learned from his style of leadership. When he was able to return to Scotland after Henry's death, he tried to impose a similar absolute rule on his subjects, and was eminently unsuccessful. Constantly at odds with his nobles, he was ultimately the target of an assassination plot. The story goes that James was alerted to the presence of the assassin and could've escaped, but the basement exit was locked to prevent people from stealing his tennis balls. James II 1437-1460: Survived the assassination of his father by quick action on the part of his mother, and was able to escape. Only a child at the time of his ascension, his early reign was dominated by his advisors, who were constantly at odds. As an adult, he became a relatively successful monarch, but remained at odds with his nobles as well as England. He spent much time campaigning, and was a fan of artillery. James II was blown to bits by one of his own cannons when the device exploded. James III 1460-1488: Another child king, James III was thought of as a Renaissance man, with interests in art and music, derisively considered unmanly in the chronicles. He was however a largely unsuccessful monarch. Constantly at odds with his nobles, he had a love/hate relationship with England, and attempted to court good relationship with the Yorkists, much to the chagrin of his subjects. Eventually the country fell into civil war. The rebel faction had the support, or at least the coerced acceptance of James' son the future James IV. James III and his son met in battle at Sauchieburn, and James III was killed. James IV 1488-1513: While a teenager at the time and probably a pawn of the larger political events, James felt a great deal of remorse for the death of his father and wore an iron chain as penance. James IV took interest in the art and science of the era, and was able to make nice with his subjects better than his predecessors. He was generally considered a good king, but like his predecessors could not avoid conflict forever. He ended up warring against Henry VIII and personally led his arm into disastrous defeat at the battle of Flodden, where James was killed. He was the last British Isles monarch to die in battle. James V 1513-1542: Another child king with a long regency, he was able to rule in his own right in an era of peace with England, due to the efforts of his mother, Henry VIII's aunt. Unfortunately once she died things went back to as they had been. Scotland and England clashed, in part due to the religious changes of the time, with the Reformation in England, and James fought against the English. Already sick with illness from the campaign, James suffered defeat at the battle of Solway Moss and died shortly afterwards. He had two sons who had died in infancy, and his daughter Mary was born just a few days before his death. He is storied to have said "It began with a lass and will end with a lass", referring to the Stuart dynasty starting with Marjorie Bruce, and ending with his own daughter. He was wrong about the latter, and Mary would have a long though troubled reign, and her descendants would eventually rule England and the United Kingdom. I regret I didn't have more time to describe the women in these stories, who were remarkable for their time, and played huge roles in the political and social history, especially with these child kings on the throne. The Scottish groat was introduced by David II in the 1350s and was produced throughout this time. It was the largest silver denomination in Scotland, though the value changed through various currency reforms. Larger denominations were produced during the time of Mary Queen of Scots, and the groat lost importance in Scotland (as it did in England with the introduction of the shilling).