In 1460, on this day Mary of Guelders the Queen Consort of Scotland was tragically killed by an exploding Mons Meg siege gun at Roxburgh Castle in the Borders.
Mary of Guelders killed at RoxburghKnown as "the Lion" the prized cannon had been a gift from her Uncle, the Duke of Burgundy because her husband "James of the fiery face" (so-called for the bright red birthmark that covered a whole side of his countenance) had expressed his wild enthusiasm for modern artillery. After defeating his Scottish rivals the Black Douglases, he confiscated their considerable wealth and set his sights further South.
While cultivating alliances abroad and negotiating with both the Yorkists and the Lancastrians during the Wars of the Roses, he assaulted Berwick, mounted a sally into Northumberland, raided the English-held Isle of Man and attacked Berwick again in 1457. Three years later he besieged Roxburgh Castle. Despite the loss of the cannon and the accompanying personal tragedy, his army under George Douglas, 4th Earl of Angus siezed the Castle. But it was just beginning of a long campaign that would forever change the history of the nation.