Tag Archives: Stuarts

On this day in 1578 – Lady Margaret Douglas died

In 1515, Margaret Douglas was born to Archibald Douglas, 6th Earl of Angus, and Margaret Tudor, the Dowager Queen of Scotland. Therefore making the younger Margaret niece to the reigning Henry VIII.

Margaret’s relationship was not easy going with the King of England. She twice incurred his wrath due to her personal relationships. The first time was due to her unauthorised engagement to Lord Thomas Howard, who in 1537 died imprisoned in the Tower of London. The second time was due to an affair with the brother of the current Queen, Catherine Howard. Margaret was finally and legally married in 1544 when she became the wife of Matthew Stuart, 4th Earl of Lennox.

Her marriage produced two living children Charles and Henry. Henry in later life became Lord Darnley.

Upon the ascension of Elizabeth I, she roused suspicion when she negotiated the marriage of her son Henry to Mary, Queen of Scots. This strengthened their claim to the English throne and it probably worried Elizabeth as it was a cause for rebels to focus on. Henry and Mary had one son, James. He later became James I of England after Elizabeth’s death.

Margaret died on 9th March 1578, from unknown causes. Rumours at the time suggested that she had dined with Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, just days before she was taken ill and that she had been poisoned. Was this a suggestion that the Queen was involved in order to suppress any further rebellions? There was never any evidence of this and so it shall be left as rumour.

Margaret Douglas

Elizabeth I provided Margaret with a grand funeral in Westminster Abbey and she is buried sharing a grave with her other son, Charles in Henry VII’s chapel.