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The Tudor Society
  • Marriage Melancholy: Untangling Unhappy Tudor Unions (Part 1)

    The thumbnail image for my video on unhappy Tudor marriages - a photo of me looking sad

    Unravelling the threads of Tudor matrimony!

    Marriage is never easy, is it? But it surely must have been harder for those of the Tudor nobility and gentry whose marriages were arranged. Many Tudor marriages grew from mutual respect to love, and were solid, but some marriages were desperately unhappy.

    I thought I’d consider a few of those unhappy unions, and there are quite a few of them, so I’m going to do some today and then do another video next week.

    Today, I’m looking at the marriages of a Queen of Scotland, a poet’s sad tale, a marquess who finally divorced his wife but then had it rescinded, and a Seymour marriage surrounded by rumour…

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  • September 30 – Margaret Tudor flees to England

    On this day in Tudor history, 30th September 1515, Margaret Tudor, sister of Henry VIII and former queen consort of King James IV of Scotland, fled from Scotland to England.

    Margaret was pregnant with the child of her new husband, Archibald Douglas, 6th Earl of Angus, at the time.

    Her remarriage had cost her the regency for her son, King James V, who had been born in 1512 and had become king on his father’s death in September 1513. John Stewart, 2nd Earl of Albany, took over as regent and had custody of the young king and his brother, Alexander. Margaret hoped that her brother, Henry VIII, would help restore her to the regency.

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  • August 8 – The marriage of Margaret Tudor and King James IV of Scotland

    Portrait of Margaret Tudor by Daniel Mytens with a portrait of James IV also by Daniel Mytens

    On this day in Tudor history, 8th August 1503, King Henry VII’s eldest daughter, Princess Margaret Tudor, married King James IV of Scotland at Holyrood Abbey.

    Margaret was just thirteen years old and James was thirty, and their marriage had been arranged by the 1502 Treaty of Perpetual Peace between England and Scotland.

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  • March 3 – Margaret Tudor marries for a third time

    A portrait of Margaret Tudor by Daniel Mytens

    On this day in Tudor history, 3rd March 1528, in the reign of King Henry VIII, Margaret Tudor, sister of Henry VIII and widow of King James IV of Scotland, married for a third time.

    Thirty-eight-year-old Margaret’s third husband was Henry Stewart, who was about 33. Stewart was the son of Andrew Stewart, 1st Lord Avondale, and he’d served Margaret’s son, James V, as master carver and master of the artillery. It is thought that he and Margaret got to know each other in 1524.

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  • October 18 – The death of Margaret Tudor

    On this day in Tudor history, 18th October 1541, Margaret Tudor died of a stroke at Methven Castle, Perthshire, Scotland. She was laid to rest at the Carthusian Priory of St John in Perth, which was later destroyed.

    Margaret Tudor was the sister of King Henry VIII and eldest daughter of King Henry VII. At the age of 13, she was sent to Scotland to marry the Scottish king, James IV.

    Margaret Tudor had an interesting life. She was widowed, divorced and unhappily married, and she fled to England at one point.

    Margaret was the mother of Lady Margaret Douglas, she was the grandmother of Mary, Queen of Scots AND Lord Darnley, and she was the great-grandmother of King James VI of Scotland (King James I of England).

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  • October 8 – The birth of Lady Margaret Douglas, daughter of Margaret Tudor

    On this day in Tudor history, 8th October 1515, Margaret Tudor, Queen Dowager of Scotland and sister of King Henry VIII, gave birth at Harbottle Castle in Northumberland.

    The baby was a little girl, Margaret, and her father was Margaret Tudor’s second husband, Archibald Douglas, 6th Earl of Angus. Little Margaret was born while her mother was travelling to Henry VIII’s court in London after fleeing Scotland.

    Lady Margaret Douglas is a fascinating Tudor lady…

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  • 18 October – Freedom for Elizabeth and the death of Margaret Tudor

    On this day in Tudor history, 18th October 1555, Elizabeth, daughter of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn, finally received permission from her half-sister, Queen Mary I, to leave court and travel to her own estate at Hatfield, rather than return to house arrest in Woodstock.

    Poor Elizabeth had spent the last 18 months being watched or imprisoned, so this must have been a huge relief.

    But why had Elizabeth been watched and confined? What had she gone through and why?

    Find out more about this awful part of Elizabeth I’s life…

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  • 8 August – Princess Margaret Tudor marries James IV of Scotland

    On this day in Tudor history, 8th August 1503, King Henry VII’s eldest daughter, Margaret Tudor, married King James IV of Scotland.

    Find out more about their marriage, and how it was arranged, in this edition of #TudorHistoryShorts…

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  • International Women’s Day – unknown Tudor women

    Today it's not only International Women's Day, a day where we acknowledge the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women, but the whole of March we celebrate Women's History Month! A month in which we commemorate the contributions of women to events in history and contemporary society.

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  • A Grand Prior, Anne of Denmark, Margaret Tudor’s third marriage and Mary Boleyn’s son

    In the first part of her “This week in Tudor history” for week beginning 1st March, I introduce you to Thomas Tresham, grand prior of the Order of St John of Jersualem, and Anne of Denmark, James I’s queen consort, as well as talking about another unhappy marriage for Margaret Tudor, and the birth of Mary Boleyn’s son.

    1st March 1559 – Death of Thomas Tresham, landowner, Catholic politician and Grand Prior of the Order of St John of Jerusalem in England.

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  • 6 August – Margaret Tudor’s Secret Marriage

    On this day in Tudor history, 6th August 1514, Margaret Tudor, sister of Henry VIII and Regent of Scotland, married for a second time.

    The widow of King James IV of Scotland married Archibald Douglas, 6th Earl of Angus, the most important Scottish magnate, in a secret ceremony at Kinnoull in Perthshire. When news got out, it led to Margaret losing the Regency of Scotland.

    Find out what happened next and how things turned out with Margaret and Angus, and how and why Margaret sought refuge at the English court, in today’s talk.

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  • 8 July – Thomas Boleyn’s important duty

    On this day in Tudor history, on 8th July 1503, during the reign of King Henry VII, Thomas Boleyn, father of Anne Boleyn, left Collyweston in Northamptonshire to undertake an important job for the king.

    He was to be part of a retinue escorting King Henry VII’s eldest daughter, Margaret Tudor, to Scotland, for her marriage to King James IV.

    Find out more about the retinue and journey in today’s talk.

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  • Margaret Tudor Crossword Puzzle

    18th October was the anniversary of Margaret Tudor’s death in 1541, so I thought I’d pay tribute to this Queen of Scotland by testing your knowledge of her, her life and family.

    If you watched my video on Friday, then you should be able to answer quite a few of these!

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  • 18 October – Margaret Tudor, Queen of Scotland

    On this day in Tudor history, 18th October 1541, Margaret Tudor, sister of King Henry VIII and eldest daughter of King Henry VII, died of a stroke at Methven Castle, Perthshire, Scotland. She was laid to rest at the Carthusian Priory of St John in Perth, which was later destroyed.

    Margaret Tudor is a fascinating Tudor lady. She was sent to Scotland at 13 to marry King James IV, she was widowed, divorced and unhappily married, she fled to England at one point, and she was the mother of Lady Margaret Douglas, grandmother of Mary, Queen of Scots AND Lord Darnley, and great-grandmother of King James VI of Scotland (King James I of England). What a life she had!

    Find out all about Margaret Tudor in today’s talk.

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  • Live chat with Sarah-Beth Watkins on Friday (31 August) and book giveaway

    Just a reminder that our expert chat is taking place in the Tudor Society chatroom at https://www.tudorsociety.com/chatroom/ this Friday, 31st August.

    Our August expert speaker, Sarah-Beth Watkins, will be joining us to answer your questions on Margaret Tudor, daughter of Henry VII, sister of Henry VIII, and wife of James IV. If you haven’t managed to watch Sarah-Beth’s talk yet, then you can watch it at https://www.tudorsociety.com/expert-talk-sarah-beth-watkins-margaret-tudor/.

    Here are the times in different time zones:

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  • Expert Talk – Sarah-Beth Watkins – Margaret Tudor

    Margaret Tudor, eldest daughter of Henry VII, sister of Henry VIII and queen consort of James IV of Scotland, tends to get forgotten about so we are delighted to welcome Sarah-Beth Watkins, author of Margaret Tudor, Queen of Scots to the Tudor Society to flesh her out. Sarah-Beth will be joining us in the Tudor Society chatroom on Friday 31st August to answer your questions.

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  • Margaret and Mary Tudor Quiz

    King Henry VII had two surviving daughters, Margaret and Mary, but how much do you know about these Tudor women? Grab a drink and snack, make yourself comfortable and let’s get that brain working! Good luck!

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  • Margaret Tudor 1489-1541

    Detail of Margaret Tudor's face from a portrait of her by Daniel Mystens

    Margaret Tudor, Queen of Scotland, was born on 28th November 1489 at Westminster Palace. Her parents were King Henry VII and Elizabeth of York, and she was the couple’s second child and eldest daughter. 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 King James IV following the 1502 Treaty of Perpetual Peace between England and Scotland. Margaret and James were married by proxy on 25th January 1503 at Richmond Palace and Margaret set off from Richmond Palace to travel to Scotland on 27th June 1503, spending eleven days with her grandmother, Lady Margaret Beaufort, at Collyweston in Northamptonshire on the way. Stops included Grantham, York, Durham, Newcastle and Berwick, which was, at the time, held by England. Margaret arrived in Scotland on 1st August and the wedding took place took place in the chapel of Holyroodhouse, Edinburgh, on 8th August 1503. The marriage ceremony was performed by the Archbishop of Glasgow and the papal bulls were read by the Archbishop of York.

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  • 13 November 1537 – Margaret Tudor writes to Henry VIII

    On this day in history, Margaret Tudor, the former Queen of Scotland, wrote a letter to her brother, Henry VIII.

    The following letter is one of a collection of letters written by Margaret to Henry in the 1530s. Margaret was desperately unhappy. She had married her third husband, Henry Stewart, 1st Lord Methven, in 1528, and was intent on divorcing him because not only did he have a mistress, he was also spending and wasting Margaret’s money. Margaret’s own son, James V of Scotland, was siding with Methven and Methven had control of Margaret’s lands and money, so Margaret wanted her brother’s support and help:

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  • Margaret or Mary?

    Showtime’s “The Tudors” TV series caused all kinds of confusion by amalgamating Henry VIII’s two sisters in one character named Margaret, and throwing in lots of inaccuracies too! So, how much do you know about these two women and do you know which woman did what?

    Grab a drink and snack, sit comfortably and get those little grey cells working with today’s fun history quiz. Good luck!

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