Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 36.djvu/158

This page needs to be proofread.
Margaret Tudor
Margaret Tudor

sented her application to Rome for power to confer vacant bishoprics. At last there was an open split, and she withdrew with her supporters to Stirling. Strengthened by the accession of James Hamilton, second earl of Arran [q. v.], and Lord Home, she effected a temporary reconciliation of parties in July 1514, and Scotland was comprised in the treaty between France and England signed on the 29th of that month.

But Henry's failure to bind Louis not to allow Albany to return to Scotland left Margaret's position insecure, and almost forced her to lean more and more upon the Douglases. In what proportions passion, policy, and the pressure of the house of Douglas contributed to Margaret's decision to surprise the world by a marriage with the handsome young Archibald Douglas, sixth earl of Angus [q . v.], grandson of Archibald Bell-the-Cat, it is not easy to determine. She was certainly of a susceptible and impetuous temperament. Henry had defeated the Scottish idea of marrying her to Louis XII, and had induced the Emperor Maximilian, whose secretary went to Scotland and brought back a favourable report of her, to declare his willingness to marry her (Letters and Papers, i. 5208), but on 6 Aug. she was privately married to Angus in the church of Kinnoull, near Perth, by Walter Drummond, dean of Dunblane, nephew of Lord Drummond, justiciar of Scotland, and maternal grandfather of Angus, who is said to have promoted the match. Margaret was already seeking to advance Gavin Douglas the poet, uncle of Angus, to high preferment, and the secret soon leaked out. Henry VIII accepted the marriage, though he, too, had been kept in the dark, and he wrote to the pope in support of Gavin Douglas's claim to the archbishopric of St Andrews, which became vacant some months later. But Margaret found she had made a most imprudent step, for she had alienated the other Scottish nobles and strengthened the party of French alliance, led by James Beaton [q. v.], archbishop of Glasgow, and Forman, whom they successfully supported for the archbishopric of St. Andrews. Margaret was obliged to sign an invitation to Albany to come over as governor, and the privy council on 18 Sept. resolved that she had by her second marriage forfeited the office of tutrix to her son (Green, pp. 186, 189). She maintained herself in Stirling, and procured the bishopric of Dunkeld for Gavin Douglas ; but Albany arrived in May 1515, was invested with the regency, and broke up the party of the Douglases. Margaret, after an attempt to work upon the loyalty of the besiegers by placing James on the ramparts in crown and sceptre, had to surrender Stirling early in August, and Albany obtained possession of the young princes (see under Douglas, Archibald, sixth Earl of Angus; Green, pp. 185-211 ; Letters and Papers, i. 5614, 5641, ii. 67, 574, 705, 779, 827).

Margaret was kept under watch at Edinburgh, and her dower revenues were withheld. Henry had since the beginning of the year been urging her to fly to England with her sons, but she had feared to imperil James's crown (ib. ii. 44, 62, 66 ; Green, p. 198). Having now no further control over them, she obtained permission to go to Linlithgow to 'take her chamber,' and thus contrived to make her escape to the borders, and was admitted alone into England by Lord Dacre, under Henry's orders, on Sunday, 30 Sept. 1515. Eight days later she gave birth, at Harbottle Castle, Northumberland, to a 'Christen sowle beyng a yong lady,' Margaret Douglas [q. v.], afterwards countess of Lennox and mother of Lord Darnley (ib. pp. 223-4 ; Ellis, Letters, 2nd ser. i. 265). She was again at the point of death. On 26 Nov. she was removed, suffering agonies from sciatica, to Morpeth, where Angus joined her (Green, p. 228 ; cf. Letters and Papers, ii. 1350). Her sufferings were somewhat relieved by a 'wonderful love of apparell' (ib.} 'She has two new gowns held before her once or twice a day. She has twenty-two fine gowns and has sent for more.' The news of the death of her favourite son Alexander, on 18 Dec., aggravated her illness. It was English pressure that made Margaret sign accusations against Albany of aiming at the crown and driving her from Scotland in fear of her life. At the dictation of Lord Dacre she demanded not only the government of her children, but the regency. A more reasonable" letter from herself was followed by the release of Gavin Douglas, whom Albany had imprisoned, and Dacre in alarm advised her removal southwards (Green, pp. 232-6). Angus preferred the generosity of Albany, and escaped, 'which much made Margaret to muse' (Hall, p. 584). She set out from Morpeth on 8 April, received a flying visit from the remorseful Angus, and on 3 May entered London and was lodged at Baynard's Castle. On the 7th she joined the court at Greenwich (Green, p. 240). Henry, who aimed at the entire elimination of French influence in Scotland, impeded her reconciliation with Albany. But in 1517 she was allowed to return to Scotland. She was promised the restoration of her dower revenues and liberty to see her son, now in Edinburgh Castle, but