Tuesday, March 24, 2015

James IV - A Redhead

Another ruby-headed royal to add to the collection. I've just found out that James IV of Scotland was supposedly red-haired. He was the last British monarch to die in battle, falling at the Battle of Flodden Field. According to Wikipedia his body was recovered from the battlefield and taken to London for burial;
John Stow claimed to have seen it, and said the king's head (with red hair) was removed by a glazier and eventually buried at St Michael Wood Street.
It seems like anyone who was anyone in British royalty during this period had red hair. I guess it also opens the door to the idea that James V and other Stuart royals were redheads. Especially given that the wife of James IV was Margaret Tudor - whose mother was the red-haired Elizabeth of York, and grandmother the equally red-haired Elizabeth Woodville.

Incidentally, I also found out today that the famed Scottish king Macbeth was known as "the Red King". There doesn't seem to be any indication of what this "red" alludes to, but I guess hair colour could be an option. According to Wiki a verse history titled the Prophecy of Berch├ín states this about a ruler referred to as "the generous king of Fortriu" - thought by scholars to be Macbeth;
The red, tall, golden-haired one, he will be pleasant to me among them; Scotland will be brimful west and east during the reign of the furious red one.
I haven't read Shakespeare's Macbeth since childhood, but I think I'll have to give it another whirl now :)

No comments:

Post a Comment