Royal Fighters: 7 Kings Who Led their Armies into Battle
Royal Fighters: 7 Kings Who Led their Armies into Battle

Royal Fighters: 7 Kings Who Led their Armies into Battle

Stephanie Schoppert - May 11, 2017

Royal Fighters: 7 Kings Who Led their Armies into Battle
King David II of Scotland.

King David II of Scotland

King David II of Scotland spent more time in prison or in exile from his throne than he did upon his throne. He took the throne of Scotland at the age of 5 after the death of his father, Robert I. He was crowned with his wife, Joan of the Tower, on November 24, 1331. There was strife within the Kingdom as there were conflicts over David’s regency and Edward Balliol was acting as a pretender to the Scottish throne.

In 1333, David and his wife were sent to France for their safety. He was treated very well by King Philip VI and was given a residence, Chateau Gaillard, where he remained until 1341. He regained his throne and began managing his government. In 1346, bound by the Auld Alliance, he invaded England on behalf of France. King David II did have some initial success at Hexham but it was short-lived.

At the Battle of Neville’s Cross in 1346, David was wounded and his army was defeated. He was taken prisoner and held at the Tower of London. When Edward III returned to France he was moved to Windsor Castle. While he was not treated poorly as an English prisoner he did remain in captivity for eleven years.

In 1357, the Scots’ regency council negotiated a treaty that agreed to a ransom of 100,000 marks for the return of King David II. The ransom was to be paid at a rate of 10,000 marks a year. However, in 1363 it was impossible for the Scots to raise the ransom and King David traveled to England in order to negotiate to leave Scotland to Edward III or one of his sons in order to forgive the ransom. David did this knowing that the Scottish Parliament would never agree to it. He strung out the negotiations with Edward and eventually appeased the matter. When King David II died in 1371, Scotland was strong and more prosperous than anyone could have expected.

Royal Fighters: 7 Kings Who Led their Armies into Battle
King George II at the Battle of Dettingen. Wikipedia

King George II

King George II was the last of a number of things for British monarchs. He was the last of the British monarchs born outside of Great Britain as he was born in northern Germany in 1683. He took the throne from his father in 1727 and took little control over the domestic policy in Britain. Throughout his reign, he hungered for war in Europe but his ministers were much more cautious towards war.

In 1739, George II was happy when hostilities with the Spanish flared up again and allowed him to focus on war rather than the death of his wife and his conflicts with his son. The War of Jenkins’ Ear merged with the War of Austrian Succession after the death of the Holy Roman Emperor Charles VI in 1740. There was a dispute over whether or not Charles’ daughter Maria Theresa had the right to inherit his Austrian territories.

There was a pro-war faction in Parliament that rose up in 1742, believed that the failure of Maria Theresa to come to power would mean more power to the French. Therefore, George agreed to send 12,000 hired mercenaries to Europe to fight on behalf of Maria Theresa. He placed the men in Hanover in order to prevent any French troops from marching on the electorate. The army which had not fought in 20 years was suffering from great neglect.

At the Battle of Dettingen an allied force of Austrian, British, Dutch, Hanoverian and Hessian troops fought against the French. George personally accompanied the men and led them to victory, becoming the last British monarch to ever led troops into battle. After that battle, he left the fighting to his sons and his military advisors. A move that likely helped him live until the age of 77 which was longer than any of his English or British predecessors.


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