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Women in History of Scots Descent
Margaret Tudor



Margaret Tudor was the first daughter born to Henry VII and Elizabeth of York. She was married to James IV of Scotland on 8 August, 1503 at Holyrood House.

Margaret was apparently not happy in her early days in Scotland, as is evident in a letter she wrote to her father, Henry VII. The two different handwritings in the letter are because the top part was written by a secretary, while the last section was in Margaret's own hand.

James died at Flodden Field 9 September 1513. When James IV died, Margaret's infant son became James V. It was because of this union that England and Scotland would be united under one crown 100 years later at the death of Elizabeth I in 1603.

John Stuart, Duke of Albany, used the Scottish Lord's distrust of Margaret to make himself regent and sent the Queen to flee to England in 1516 with her second husband, the Earl of Angus.

Quotes about Margaret from primary sources

Richard Grafton describes Margaret's departure for Scotland for her wedding:

"Thus this fair lady was conveyed with a great company of lords, ladies, knights, esquires and gentlemen until she came to Berwick and from there to a village called Lambton Kirk in Scotland where the king with the flower of Scotland was ready to receive her, to whom the earl of Northumberland according to his commission delivered her."

And later he says:

"Then this lady was taken to the town of Edinburgh, and there the day after King James IV in the presence of all his nobility married the said princess, and feasted the English lords, and showed them jousts and other pastimes, very honourably, after the fashion of this rude country. When all things were done and finished according to their commission the earl of Surrey with all the English lords and ladies returned to their country, giving more praise to the manhood than to the good manner and nature of Scotland."

Polydore Virgil writes:

"This year also Margaret, queen of Scots, wife of James IV killed at Flodden in the fifth year of the king's reign, and elder sister of the king, after the death of her husband married Archibald Douglas, earl of Angus, without the consent of the King her brother or the council of Scotland, with which he was not pleased. But after that there arose such strife between the lords of Scotland that she and her husband came into England like banished persons, and wrote to the king for mercy and comfort. The king, ever inclined to mercy, sent them clothing and vessels and all things necessary, wishing them to stay in Northumberland until they knew further of his wishes. And the queen was there delivered of a fair lady called Margaret, and all the country were commanded by the king to do them pleasure."


My most dear lord and father, in the most humble wise that I can think, I recommend me unto your Grace, beseeching you of your daily blessing, and that it will please you to give hardy thanks to all your servants the which by your commandment have given right good attendance on me at this time. And especially to all these ladies and gentlewomen which hath accompanied me hither, and to give credence to this good lady the bearer hereof, for I have showed her more of my mind than I will write at this time.

Sir, I beseech your Grace to be good and gracious lord to Thomas, which was footman to the Queen my mother, whose soul God have pardon; for he hath been one of my footmen hither with as great diligence and labor to his great charge of his own good and true mind. I am not able to recompense him, except the favor of your Grace.

Sir, as for news I have none to send, but that my lord of Surrey is in great favor with the King here that he cannot forbear the company of him no time of the day. He and the Bishop of Murray ordereth everything as nigh as they can to the King's pleasure. I pray God it may be for my poor heart's ease in time to come. They call not my Chamberlain to them, which I am sure will speak better for my part than any of them that be of that counsel. And if he speak anything for my cause, my lord of Surrey hath such words unto him that he dare~speak no further.

God send me comfort to his pleasure, and that I and mine that be left here with me be well entreated such ways as they have taken. For God's sake, Sir, hold me excused that I write not myself to your Grace, for I have no leisure this time, but with a wish I would I were with your Grace now, and many times more, when I would answer.

As for this that I have written to your Grace, it is very true, but I pray God I may find it well for my welfare hereafter. No more to your Grace at this time, but our Lord have you in his keeping.

Written with the hand of your humble daughter


Margaret Tudor, National Portrait Gallery, London

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