On this day in 1514 – Margaret Tudor and Archibald Douglas married

Margaret Tudor, eldest daughter of King Henry VII, was the wife of King James IV of Scotland and mother to the future King James V. After King James IV was killed at the Battle of Flodden their infant son became King of Scotland, however, as he was just 17 months old a regency was required to rule in his place. It was originally led by Margaret as part of the royal will under the condition that it would last for as long as she remained a widow.

It was unusual for a woman to be in a powerful position and it wasn’t long before some of the nobility began plotting to replace Margaret and looked to John Stewart, 2nd Duke of Albany as their figurehead. Margaret began searching for her own allies in an attempt to keep the regency and looked to the House of Douglas and as a result met Archibald Douglas, 6h Earl of Angus. The couple married in secret on 6th August 1514 in the parish church of Kinnoull, Perth.

The marriage between Margaret and Archibald Douglas meant that the terms of her first husbands will was now violated and she would have to forfeit the regency and guardianship of her son. At this news Margaret took her children to Stirling Castle in defiance. John Stewart would eventually negotiate the handing over of the young King into his care.

Margaret briefly returned to London and stayed at the court of her brother, King Henry VIII, whilst Margaret travelled her husband remained in Scotland. Whilst the couple were separated Douglas had an illegitimate daughter and moved his mistress and daughter into property that belonged to his wife. Margaret returned to Scotland to find that Douglas had been openly living with his new family and refused to support Douglas as he attempted to gain power. Margaret also wrote to her brother in regards to divorcing Douglas. Margaret wrote;

I am sore troubled with my Lord of Angus since my last coming into Scotland, and every day more and more, so that we have not been together this half year…I am so minded that, and I may by law of God and to my honour, to part with him, for I wit well he loves me not, as he shows me daily.”

King Henry VIII did not support his sister, at this time he was still married to Katherine of Aragon. Henry viewed Douglas as an ally against Scotland. Margaret disappointed at the lack of support from her brother began moving her support towards John Stewart and the current regency. With the help of Stewart the couple were eventually divorced on 11th March 1528.

Margaret Tudor Archibald DouglasMargaret Tudor and Archibald Douglas

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