Ellen, daughter of the rebel chief, Douglas, loves Malcolm but is promised by her father to Roderigo. Further complicating matters, King James (disguised as Uberto) also loves Ellen. Rowing across the lake, she meets King James V, under the guise of Uberto, and offers him shelter. The disguised King is perturbed to learn of Ellen’s rebel parentage. Meanwhile, Malcolm agrees to join the rebels but is bitter at the news of Ellen's coming marriage. In the second act the King expresses his love for Ellen and presents her with a ring that will give her protection, should she need it. Roderigo sees their meeting, duels with ‘Uberto’ and is killed. In the palace at Stirling, where Douglas is now held as a prisoner, the King reveals his identity. However, he decides to spare Douglas and Malcolm and agrees to the latter's marriage with Ellen.