James V suffered the fate of many a son of a famous father in being somewhat overshadowed not only by his father James IV but also by his internationally renowned daughter Mary Queen of Scots. But no-one would deny the importance of his reign, embracing as it did the establishment of the Court of Session, the birthpangs of religious dissent, and the growth of royal power to such a remarkable extent that this king could leave his kingdom for nine months in 1536-7 without fear of rebellion. Jamie Cameron concentrates on James V's style of government and relations with his nobility, and challenges the widely held view of a vindictive and irrational king, motivated largely by greed, who antagonised most of his leading magnates and met his just deserts when they refused to support him in 1542. This book offers a different view, and presents us with a rounded picture of a king whose approach to government, in spite of some personal defects, closely resembles that of his supposedly more popular father; and, like James IV himself, retained impressive magnate support to the end of his reign.
The late Jamie Cameron completed his research for this book in the Department of scottish History at the University of St Andrews.