Margaret of Denmark, Queen of Scotland

Margaret of Denmark, Queen of Scotland
Margaret of Denmark
Margaret of Denmark
Queen consort of Scotland
Tenure 1469–1486
Spouse James III of Scotland
James IV of Scotland
James, Duke of Ross
John, Earl of Mar
House House of Oldenburg
Father Christian I of Denmark
Mother Dorothea of Brandenburg
Born 23 June 1456
Died 14 July 1486 (aged 30)
Stirling Castle, Stirlingshire
Burial Cambuskenneth Abbey, Stirlingshire

Margaret of Denmark (23 June 1456 – before 14 July 1486) was the Queen Consort of Scotland from 1469 to 1486 as the wife of King James III of Scotland. She was the daughter of King Christian I of Denmark (1448–1481), Norway (1450–1481), and Sweden (1457–1464), and his wife Dorothea of Brandenburg. The future King James IV of Scotland was her eldest son.



Margaret was betrothed to James of Scotland in 1460. The marriage was arranged by recommendation of the king of France to end the feud between Denmark and Scotland about the taxation of the Hebrides islands, a conflict that raged between 1426 and 1460. In July 1469 (at age 13), at Holyrood Abbey, she married James III, King of Scots (1460–88). Her father, King Christian I of Denmark and Norway, agreed to a considerable dowry. He was in need of cash, however, so the islands of Orkney and Shetland, possessions of the Norwegian crown, were pledged as security until the dowry was to be paid.

William Sinclair, 1st Earl of Caithness, was at that time the Norse Earl of Orkney. In 1472 he was made to exchange his Orkney fief to Castle Ravenscraig, so the Scottish throne took the earl's rights in the islands too.

This marriage produced three children:

Margaret became a popular queen in Scotland and was described as beautiful, gentle, and sensible[1] A story given by her son claims that Margaret was killed by poison given to her by Ramsay, leader of one of the political factions[1] However, as Ramsay was favoured by the royal family also after the death of the queen, this is considered doubtful and may have been slander [1]

She died at Stirling Castle and is buried in Cambuskenneth Abbey.


King James III and Queen Margaret on the 1562 Froman Armorial

Her great-great-grandson James VI of Scotland married another princess of her dynasty, Anne of Denmark. They became ancestors of all the future monarchs of England and Scotland.

She was responsible for introducing the bloodline of England's first Danish monarch King Sweyn Forkbeard into the Scottish Royal blood line, and after James VI of Scotland ascended to the English throne in 1603, into the English royal bloodline as well.



External links

Scottish royalty
Preceded by
Mary of Guelders
Queen consort of Scotland
Succeeded by
Margaret Tudor

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