Joan, Queen of Scotland (DNB00)
JOAN (1321–1362), queen of Scotland, fourth and youngest child of Edward II [q. v.], by his wife Isabella, daughter of Philip IV of France, was called Joan of the Tower, in which fortress she was born at the end of June or beginning of July 1321 (cf. Annales Paulini, p. 291). The ‘Flores Historiarum’ (iii. 192, Rolls Ser.) alone gives the date of her birth as 1319, and places it at York, possibly confusing her with her elder sister Eleanor. The two neglected princesses passed some years under the care of Ralph de Monthermer and his second wife at Pleshy and Marlborough (Green, Princesses of England, iii. 67).
In 1325 Edward II made vain proposals to marry Joan, first to the eldest son (afterwards Peter IV, 1336–1387) of Alfonso, eldest son and heir of James II, king of Aragon from 1291 to 1327 (Fœdera, ii. 590, Rec. ed.; but cf. entry on Pat. Rolls), and subsequently to John, son of Philip, count of Valois (afterwards Philip VI) (Green, p. 99). Joan and her sister were removed in the same year to Bristol, under the care of the elder Hugh le Despenser, and were present when he was surrendered to Isabella and hanged (Froissart, i. 17).
At Easter 1327 (12 April) Queen Isabella had all her children with her at Peterborough. One of the first steps of Isabella and Mortimer, in Edward III's name, was to send, late in the summer of 1327, to Robert Bruce [see Bruce, Robert de VIII], then besieging Norham, a proposal for a match between his son and heir, David Bruce [q. v.], not yet four years old, and Joan (Scalachronica, p. 155, Maitland Club ed. 1836). Conditions of peace between the two countries, including this marriage, were arranged during the winter, and the ‘turpis pax’ (Avesbury, p. 7, ed. Hearne) which surrendered the English claims over Scotland was concluded at Edinburgh on 17 March (Fœdera, ii. 734). The treaty provided that Joan should be handed over to the Scots on 15 July following, and secured her a jointure of two thousand ‘librates’ of land in Scotland, ‘in some convenient place.’ If David should die before the marriage was solemnised, Joan was nevertheless to enjoy her dower. Should David die, Joan was to marry, subject to papal dispensation, the next male heir to the Scottish crown. If she died, David was to marry some other lady nearly allied to the English king (ib.; Robertson, Index to Scotch Records, p. 101). Isabella made no stipulation for her custody, and in July the queen and Mortimer, with a great train, brought her to Berwick (Fœdera, iii. 740). Despite the tender age of both parties, the marriage was celebrated at Berwick with great splendour on Sunday, 17 July 1327 (Fordun, i. 352; Chron. de Lanercost, p. 261; Knighton, i. 447; Chronique de London, ed. Aungier, Camden Soc., p. 61; Walsingham, i. 192, says the 12th, Annales Paulini the 16th, Chronicle of London, ed. Nicolas, and others, the 22nd. Cf. Excheq. Rolls of Scotl. i. cxiii–cxvii, ed. Stuart and Burnett). Edward pointedly absented himself, and in England, where the peace was most unpopular, Isabella was held to have ‘disparaged’ her daughter by a ‘vile matrimonium’ (Brute Chron. in Harl. MS. 2279; Chron. Angl. 1328–88, p. 2). The Scots, too, ‘in despyte of Englyssh men,’ called their future queen ‘Joan Make-peace’ (Chron. of Lond. ed. Nicolas, p. 53). Her mother, after loading her with farewell gifts, handed her over, very probably on 22 July (Green), to the Scottish commissioners, who conveyed her to Edinburgh, where King Robert gave her a ‘fair welcoming’ (Barbour, Bruce, iii. 159, ed. Pinkerton, 1790). Her brother's commissioners had already been put in possession of her dower-lands (Rot. Scot. i. 390; Green). The infant couple, who resided chiefly at Cardross, Dumbartonshire, were crowned and anointed at Scone on 24 Nov. 1331. On 23 Nov. 1332 Edward Baliol [q. v.], having seized the crown of Scotland, promised in a letter to Edward III to marry his sister Joan if the inchoate marriage with David Bruce were broken off and the lady were willing. He undertook also to increase her jointure, or, in case she declined to marry him, to pay her 10,000l. whether she married elsewhere, or remained unmarried (Fœdera, ii. 848). Joan, however, shared David Bruce's exile in France, where Philip VI assigned Chateau Gaillard to their use from May 1334 to May 1341, when they returned secretly to Scotland (Fordun, Chron. Nangis, cont. iii. 105; Stevenson, Illustr. of Scottish Hist., Maitland Club, p. 57). When David was captured by the English at Neville's Cross, her grief was great (Green, p. 139), and after a futile embassy she obtained a safe-conduct from her brother on 10 Oct. 1348, to last until 24 June 1349, in order to visit her husband in the Tower (Fœdera, iii. 174). Returning to Scotland in a few months, she continued to use every effort for David's release, sending frequent messengers to London. Another safe-conduct was granted to her by Edward III on 30 July 1353 until the following Christmas (ib. iii. 262). Finally Edward allowed her to reside in Hertford Castle, and provided a handsome establishment (Green, p. 143). Here she was visited by her mother (Packington in Leland, Collect.; cf. Wyntoun, ii. 288), and became greatly attached to Queen Philippa (Green). She also made a journey to Gloucester to offer a necklace enclosing a valuable ruby at the tomb of her father, Edward II (ib.) On David's release in October 1357, Joan was excepted from the operation of the statute passed by the Scottish parliament in November, resuming all crown grants of lands towards the payment of the king's ransom (Excheq. Rolls of Scotl. ii. xl.)
David had long been unfaithful to his wife, and, apparently to get rid of her for a time, he, immediately after their return to Scotland, obtained for her a safe-conduct into England, dated 25 Dec. 1357 (Fœdera, iii. 385). On coming back to Scotland a few months later, she found Catherine Mortimer, whose acquaintance David had made in London, installed as his mistress, and indignantly obtained another safe-conduct from her brother about 6 May 1358 (ib. iii. 391; Green, p. 155). David, in his irritation, deprived the queen and her household of the customary supplies of provisions. At her entreaty Edward III ordered corn, &c. to be sent by water ‘for his dearest sister the queen’ (Rot. Scot. i. 823), but she soon arrived in London and settled in England.
Joan interested herself in obtaining commercial and university privileges for the Scots in England (ib. pp. 822–3, 825). On 21 Feb. 1359 David signed in London an undertaking that the respite in the payment of his ransom granted him at the earnest request of Joan, his ‘dear compaigne,’ should not invalidate Edward's rights (Fœdera, iii. 419). She stayed with her husband during his visit at the Friars Preachers in Holborn, but declined to go back with him. Not even the murder of Catherine Mortimer in 1360 induced her to return, although in 1362 David was again in England, probably hoping to prevail upon her to go back (ib. iii. 645). Edward showed his approval of her action by allowing her 200l. a year, and the use of Hertford Castle (Bain, Cal. of Documents relating to Scotl. iv. 37; Green, p. 158). According to two contemporary manuscripts of Fordun (see Skene's Preface, pp. xxvii, xxix, and xlv, and i. 380; cf. Walsingham, i. 198) she died on 14 Aug. 1362; but the ‘Eulogium’ (iii. 229) gives 7 Sept. of that year as the date. Queen Philippa was with her at her death (Green, p. 159). She was buried near her mother in the Church of the Friars Minor in London (Scalachronica in Leland, Collect. i. 579). Edward discharged his sister's unpaid debts (Cal. of Documents, iv. 65). A son of Joan, who died young, is twice mentioned in Harl. MS. 115, ff. 6–7, but the silence of all contemporary authorities renders the statement very improbable. The same manuscript (f. 6) contains rude coloured portraits of David and Joan in bridal costume, but much later than the date of their marriage. Her effigy formerly stood in a niche on the north side of the tomb of Queen Philippa in Westminster Abbey, under which her arms are carved and painted (Sandford, pp. 155, 173). Joan was very popular in Scotland, with whose interests, unlike her husband, she closely identified herself. According to Wyntoun (ii. 466)—
She was sweet and debonaire,
Courteous, homely, pleasant and fair.