Cabinet 4

In 1429, James Campbell, as King James I’s representative, met John Mor MacDonald at Dunure.

James I of Scotland, The Kingis Quair.

Violence broke out, and MacDonald was killed. James I tried to placate the Clan by having Campbell executed. The seed was thus sown for future antagonisms. Five years earlier, in February 1424, James I penned The Kingis Quair, a semi-autobiographical poem describing his capture and imprisonment by the English.

James was influenced strongly by Chaucer’s works, borrowing the rhyme scheme ABABBCC found in Parliament of Fowls and Troilus and Criseyde.

The only copy of the poem, which C. S. Lewis called ‘the first modern book of love’, survives in the Bodleian Library, Oxford. This modern edition once belonged to Charles Brasch.

James I of Scotland, The Kingis Quair. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1971.

James I of Scotland, The Kingis Quair.