28 November 1489 – Birth of Margaret Tudor, Queen of Scotland

Posted By on November 28, 2017

On 28th November 1489, Elizabeth of York, queen consort of King Henry VII, gave birth to the couple’s second child and eldest daughter at Westminster Palace. The couple named her Margaret after her paternal grandmother, Lady Margaret Beaufort, and she was baptised at St Margaret’s Church, Westminster, on 30th November.

Margaret spent her childhood at Sheen and at Eltham Palace, but was sent to Scotland at the age of thirteen to marry James IV following the 1502 Treaty of Perpetual Peace between England and Scotland. Margaret and James had been married by proxy on 25th January 1503 at Richmond Palace but married in person on 8th August 1503 at Holyrood Abbey.

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3 thoughts on “28 November 1489 – Birth of Margaret Tudor, Queen of Scotland”

  1. Michael Wright says:

    Very interesting life and what a legacy she herself left. How ironic that her brother didn’t believe in divorce!

    I realize this is the times in which they lived and that this happened all over Europe but it drives me crazy the way women were used as chess pieces.

  2. Banditqueen says:

    Margaret Tudor for me is one of the most tragic figures of that period and one of the most heroic. She was also a woman who to some extent lived her own life, regardless of the consequences. At fourteen or fifteen she was married to King James iv of Scotland and gave him a number of children, including two sons. She was protected to a point by her grandmother, Margaret Beaufort, who insisted on a long enough delay in her marriage to prevent her from having a difficult consummation and being torn apart by a difficult birth while being too young for such an ordeal. Although women as they were considered could legally marry at twelve, it was generally advised that a husband wait about two years before having sex in order for her to develop fully. Margaret Beaufort had experienced being made pregnant by an impatient husband, in his mid twenties, when she was twelve. Edmund Tudor died five months later, leaving her a pregnant widow who had a son when she was little more than thirteen. Her son, Henry Tudor, King Henry Vii was born on a stormy January night in 1457 at Pembroke Castle which is on the South Wales coast. It was a difficult birth, which historians believe left internal injuries that left Margaret unable to have further children. Both mother and son lived by a narrow margin but Margaret was determined that none of her female grandchildren would suffer in this way. She influenced the delay in coming to Scotland by Margaret Tudor in order to force James to wait and thus the Princess was older at the time of her first child.

    An interesting connection to the Boleyn family appeared here also as the young Sir Thomas Boleyn was one of the gentleman chosen to escort Princess Margaret to Scotland. This was a great sign of favour and shows him as already a valuable member of the Tudor court.

    Margaret was widowed in 1513 when her husband took advantage of the absence of her younger brother, Henry Viii of England, away on campaign in France. Henry had been causing trouble for his neighbours and now he wanted to regain lost glory abroad. He left his very able and formidable wife, Catherine of Aragon at home to rule as Regent in his place and the warrior, Thomas Howard, Earl of Surrey at her disposal. In September James invaded and burnt Berwick and several other places. Catherine raised an army and placed it under Surrey and organised the defence and the people to keep England safe. She made banners and badges and rode behind with a second army. At Flodden in Northumberland, James was killed and his army defeated. Catherine wanted to chop of his head and send his body to Henry, but this is prevented and she sent his bloodied coat instead. James body was taken to Syon Abbey but he was never buried. His body vanished.

    Margaret was left with two young sons, the little boy, James v, whom she now crowned and his infant brother, Alexander, who died at eighteen months. She was at first the Regent for her son but faced dangerous opposition and ended up taking refuge in England. Margaret remarried, Archibald Douglas, Earl of Angus in 1514 and she was forced to give birth on the move while fleeing trouble to her next child, Margaret Douglas. Margaret would not have an easy life with Angus and she found him unfaithful and divorced him. She spent time in England with her brother and other sister, Mary, in 1517 and is present at the time of Evil May Day, when 500 youths are brought before Henry in a show trial and pardoned.

    Margaret would marry a third time and gave birth to a daughter, called Dorothea who died young. Henry Stewart, Lord Methven does not seem to have been any more of a wise choice than Angus. Margaret and he had married without the consent of the Scottish Council and her son, James V consented to her husband’s arrest. They were besieged in Stirling Castle until James joined her there and changed his mind to support their marriage. They didn’t have a great marriage and Margaret caught him keeping a mistress in one of their houses. In 1539 she wrote to her brother asking for help and that she will divorce her third husband. However, James V forbade it and Henry disapproved this move. However, she did live apart from him for a time and died in 1541.

    Her life had several ups and downs, with triumphant moments as her son is made King and in that she chose her next two husbands. However, these marriages are marked by tragedy in the loss of her children, in being separated from her daughter, Margaret, raised in England at Court, marred by unfaithful men and they are politically dangerous. Margaret fell out with her brother and her death was probably from the family illness of consumption. However, Margaret had defied everyone to chose her own marriage and had even divorced one husband. In some ways, although marred by tragedy, one could say that Margaret Tudor invented the phrase ” I did it my way. “

  3. Laura says:

    Thank you. I have always wanted to know more about Margaret. I am guessing Margaret was the baby of the family. To loose children must have been devastating and what a life to have led for a woman at that time. Margaret Beaufort really looked after her children and grand children. I think that her experiences must have made her resolute not to have her descendants repeat her experiences.

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