The Remarkable Life Of Margaret Douglas, Countess Of Lennox, Ancestor Of The Royal Bloodline Of Britain
The life of a woman in Tudor England was not an easy one, even for those of noble birth and royal status. The role of a woman was to marry, run a household and produce the all-important male heir. Katherine of Aragon and Anne Boleyn, both wives of King Henry VIII, were very aware of what it meant to fail in this: one was divorced and the other lost her head. Not many women veered from this path, some were lucky enough to be educated like Margaret Roper, the daughter of Sir Thomas More, as he understood the importance of educating his daughters. The Duke and Duchess of Suffolk also ensured their daughters were educated to the same level as a man would be. Their eldest daughter was the ‘nine-days queen’ Lady Jane Grey and she became one of the most well-respected young women of her age and held her place in theologian circles that included many well-educated men such as Henrich Bullinger. Other ladies made their mark in other ways, and Margaret Douglas was one of these ladies.
Margaret Tudor, Queen of Scotland, mother of Margaret Douglas by Daniël Mijtens (1620) Royal Collection (Public Domain)
Born just over the Scottish border at Harbottle Castle in Northumbria, England, Margaret was the daughter of Margaret Tudor, elder sister of King Henry VIII of England; widow of King James IV of Scotland; dowager Queen of Scotland to the heir James V of Scotland; and wife of Archibald Douglas, Earl of Angus. Queen Margaret had fled Scotland in fear of her life after she had remarried without the consent of the Scottish king’s council. As the widow of King James IV and mother of King James V she was not free to marry whom she wished, but the Earl of Angus had managed to persuade her that he was in love with her, when in reality what he loved the most was the power he thought she could bring him. As punishment for disobeying the rules Margaret was forced to hand over her two young sons, James V and Alexander, Duke of Ross to the regent, the Duke of Albany, who came to Stirling Castle to take the two young boys into his care. Facing the loss of her two sons, Margaret was determined she would keep hold of the baby she carried so she fled from Edinburgh Castle to Linlithgow Palace, under the pretense that she was entering her confinement, but she only stayed a few hours before fleeing to head for the safety of her brother’s realm; England.
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Writer and historian Beverley Adams holds a Master’s Degree in English, and her books bring the lives of inspirational women back to life, such as her latest The Forgotten Tudor Royal, Margaret Douglas: Grandmother to King James VI/I
Top Image: Margaret Douglas and her husband Matthew, Earl of Lennox, their young son Charles and grandson James VI of Scotland, next to the body of their son Lord Darnley, consort to Queen Mary of Scots and father of James VI, by Livinus De Vogelaare (1567) (Public Domain)
By: Beverley Adams