Robert III (c. 1340- April 4, 1406), king of Scotland, was the eldest son of King Robert II by his mistress, Elizabeth Mure, and was legitimised when his parents were formally married about 1349. They had previously been married in 1336, but this ceremony had been criticized as being uncanonical.
In 1368 he was created Earl of Carrick, and he took some part in the government of the kingdom until about 1387, when he was disabled by the kick of a horse. It was probably in consequence of this accident that his brother Robert, Earl of Fife, and not the crown prince himself, was made guardian of the kingdom in 1389; but the latter succeeded to the throne on his father's death in May 1390.
At this time he changed his baptismal name of John, which was unpopular owing to its connexion with John de Baliol, for that of Robert, being crowned at Scone in August 1390 as King Robert III. Although he probably attended several parliaments the new king was only the nominal ruler of Scotland, the real power being in the hands of his brother, the Earl of Fife.
In 1399, however, owing to the king's "sickness of the body," his elder son, David, Duke of Rothesay, was appointed lieutenant of the kingdom; but this event was followed by an English invasion of Scotland, by serious differences between Rothesay and his uncle, Robert, now Duke of Albany, and finally in March 1402 by Rothesay's mysterious death at Falkland Palace.
Early in 1406 the king's only surviving son, afterwards King James I, was captured by the English; and in 1406 Robert died, probably at Rothesay, and was buried at Paisley. Robert III married Annabella Drummond (c. 1350-1402), daughter of Sir John Drummond of Stobhall, and by her, in addition to the two sons already mentioned, had four daughters (Margaret, Mary, Egidia, and Elizabeth). He also had an illegitimate son, James Stewart of Kilbride.
This entry was modified from the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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