This chapter discusses Scotland's late medieval nobility that conformed to the European norm in their embracing of a martial ethos, their active engagement in warfare and in the pursuits that ensured war preparedness. It notes that the prolonged fourteenth-century wars of independence followed by intermittent wars with England in the 1550s required a high level of military preparedness. It observes that the frontier societies of the Anglo-Scottish Border and of the Highlands promoted martial cultures and caused difficulties for government that increased the need for military confrontation within the context of domestic politics. It further observes that Scotland's late medieval kings were expected to be soldiers: Robert I was a great warrior leader; David II was taken prisoner in battle; and James II, James III, and James IV were all killed on military campaigns.
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