- Margaret Stewart, Dauphine of France
- See also Margaret Stewart.
Margaret of Scotland Dauphine of Viennois Spouse Louis XI of France House House of Stewart Father James I of Scotland Mother Joan Beaufort Born 1424
Died 16 August 1445
Burial Saint-Laon church, Thouars, France
Margaret of Scotland (French: Marguerite d'Écosse) (25 December 1424 – 16 August 1445) was a Princess of Scotland and the Dauphine of France. She was the firstborn child of King James I of Scotland and Queen Joan Beaufort.
She married the eldest son of the king of France, Louis, 9th Dauphin, at eleven years old. Their marriage was unhappy, and she died childless aged 20 apparently of a fever.
She was born in Perth, Scotland to James I of Scotland and Joan Beaufort, a cousin of Henry VI of England. Margaret was the first of six daughters and twin sons born to her parents (her surviving brother, James, would become James II of Scotland at six years old).
Margaret was Charles VII of France's diplomatic choice for daughter-in-law. The marriage was forced upon Charles's thirteen-year-old son, Louis, which did not help their relationship. However, royal marriages in the 15th century were always political. There are no direct accounts from Louis or Margaret of their first impressions of each other, and it is mere speculation to say whether or not they actually had negative feelings for each other. Several historians think that Louis had a predetermined attitude to hate his wife. But it is universally agreed upon that Louis entered the ceremony and the marriage itself dutifully, as evidenced by his formal embrace of Margaret upon their first meeting on 24 June 1436, the day before their wedding.
Margaret and Louis's marriage shows both the nature of medieval royal diplomacy and the precarious position of the French monarchy. The marriage took place 25 June 1436 in the afternoon in the chapel of the castle of Tours and was presided over the Archbishop of Reims. By the standards of the time, it was a very plain wedding. Louis, thirteen, looked clearly more mature than his bride, eleven. Margaret looked like a beautiful “doll,” interesting because she was treated as such by her in-laws. Charles wore “grey riding pants” and “did not even bother to remove his spurs.” The Scottish guests were quickly hustled out after the wedding reception. This was seen as something of a scandal by the Scots. King Charles’ attire and the speed with which the guests were hustled out was considered an insult to their small but proud country. However, this spoke to the impoverished nature of the French court at this time. They simply could not afford an extravagant ceremony or to host their Scottish guests for any longer than they did.
Following the ceremony, “doctors advised against consummation” because of the relative immaturity of the bride and bridegroom. Margaret continued her studies and Louis went on tour with Charles to loyal areas of the kingdom. Even at this time, Charles was taken aback by the intelligence and temper of his son. During this tour, Louis was named Dauphin by Charles, as is traditional for the eldest son of the king.
Margaret was lovely, gracious and very beautiful (facie venusta valde, "a very lovely face," says the compiler of the Book of Pluscarden), with a certain ability to write poesy and rhymes (no example of her compositions survived destruction at her husband's hands after her death). She was also superficial and very interested in the French court's social and gallant life. She was a favourite of her father-in-law Charles VII of France and popular among the courtiers. However, she felt herself alien amongst the French court and became depressed.
She had a strained relationship with her husband, the future king of France, mainly because of Louis' hatred of his father. Charles VII ordered the marriage, and Margaret frequently supported the king against her husband. It is said that she wore a strongly-tied corset because of her fear of pregnancies, ate green apples and drank apple vinegar. Her unhappy marriage furthered her depression, as did the gossip spread regarding her by supporters of Louis.
On 16 August 1445, between ten and eleven at night, she died in Châlons-sur-Marne, Marne, France at the age of 20. On Saturday, 7 August, she and her ladies had joined the court on a short pilgrimage. It was very hot, and when she returned, she undressed in her stone chamber. The next morning she was feverish, the doctor diagnosed the inflammation of the lungs. She died, raving against a Jamet de Tillay, a Breton soldier, in favour of her father-in-law, King Charles (James surprised Margaret at her habitual poetry reading, when there were no candles, only a good fire in the mantelpiece; he stuck a candle into her face, sniggered and afterwards went around, talking about "wanton princesses". Louis was cold to Margaret, and she attributed his coldness to the gossip spread by Jamet. She died, protesting her faithfulness to her husband, and accused Jamet of killing her with his words). 1 Melancholic and distressed by slander against her, she sank into a final languor before dying. Her last words, in response to others' urgings to rouse herself and live, were supposedly Fi de la vie! qu'on ne m'en parle plus ("Fie on life! Speak no more of it to me").
Margaret is also famous for the legend that she was kissed or almost kissed by poet Alain Chartier while asleep in her own rooms (another variant of this legend has Anne of Brittany as its protagonist), though her age and location at the time of Chartier's death would have made that impossible.
Ancestors of Margaret Stewart, Dauphine of France 16. Walter Stewart, 6th High Steward of Scotland 8. Robert II of Scotland 17. Marjorie Bruce 4. Robert III of Scotland 18. Sir Adam Mure of Rowallan or Rawalla 9. Elizabeth Mure 19. Joan Cunningham or Janet Mure of Ponkelly or Pokellie 2. James I of Scotland 20. Sir Malcolm Drummond, 10th of Lennox 10. Sir John Drummond, 11th of Lennox 21. Margaret de Graham 5. Anabella Drummond 22. Sir William de Montifex 11. Mary Montifex 1. Margaret Stewart, Dauphine of France 24. Edward III of England 12. John of Gaunt, 1st Duke of Lancaster 25. Philippa of Hainault 6. John Beaufort, 1st Earl of Somerset 26. Paen de Roet 13. Katherine Roet 3. Joan Beaufort, Queen of Scots 28. Thomas Holland, 2nd Earl of Kent 14. Thomas Holland, 2nd Earl of Kent 29. Joan of Kent 7. Margaret Holland 30. Richard FitzAlan, 10th Earl of Arundel 15. Alice FitzAlan 31. Eleanor of Lancaster
- ^ Kendall,Paul Murray. Louis XI "...the universal spider...". New York: W. W. Norton & Company Inc., 1971.[page needed]
- ^ a b c Tyrell, Joseph M. Louis XI. Boston: Twayne Publishers, 1980.[page needed]
- ^ a b c Cleugh,James. Chant Royal The Life of King Louis XI of France (1423-1483). Garden City, New York: Doubleday & Company, Inc., 1970.[page needed]
- ^ http://www.diocese-poitiers.com.fr/patrimoine/thouars-stlaon.html (French)
- ^ McAndrew, Scotland's Historic Heraldry, p 173
- ^ http://thepeerage.com/p10210.htm#i102098
- Ruth Putnam, Charles the Bold
- Kendall, P.M. Louis XI: The Universal Spider, London, 2001, pp. 66, 393-395
Dauphines of FranceJeanne de Bourbon (1350-1364) · Princess Marguerite of Burgundy (1412-1415) · Duchess Jacqueline of Bavaria (1415-1417) · Princess Margaret of Scotland (1436-1445) · Princess Charlotte of Savoy (1451-1461) · Catherine de' Medici (1536-1547) · Mary, Queen of Scots (1558-1559) · Duchess Maria Anna Victoria of Bavaria (1680-1690) · Princess Marie Adélaïde of Savoy (1711-1712) · Infanta Maria Teresa Rafaela of Spain (1745-1746) · Princess Maria Josepha of Saxony (1747-1765) · Archduchess Maria Antonia of Austria (1770-1774) · Princess Marie Thérèse of France (1824-1830) French royalty Preceded by
Jacqueline of Hainaut
Dauphine of France
24 June 1436 – 16 August 1445
Charlotte of Savoy
Scottish royalty Preceded by
James II of Scotland
Heir of Scotland
as heiress presumptive
21 February 1437 – 16 August 1445
Isabella Stewart, Duchess of Brittany
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