Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 36.djvu/160

This page needs to be proofread.
Margaret Tudor
Margaret Tudor

liament of 18 Nov. separated her from her son. If we may believe Margaret, she refused a pension of five thousand crowns from Albany (ib. p. 362). But a rumour that Henry was promoting the return of Angus to Scotland seems to have induced her to enter into a bond with Albany by which she undertook to recognise the parliamentary arrangements for James, and to forward his marriage with a French princess, being assured of a residence in France for herself if necessary (ib. p. 367). A copy falling into the hands of the English she disavowed it. Albany, after failing to get Margaret's promise not to enter into alliance with England, or even to consent to peace, left Scotland at the end of May 1524, promising to return by 31 Aug. (ib. p. 372). Margaret, supported by England, though she could not get perfectly satisfactory assurances on the subject of Angus, who had arrived in England on 28 June, carried off James, with Arran's help, from Stirling to Edinburgh on 26 July 1524. The step was popular, and parliament on 20 Aug. received with favour her proposal to abrogate Albany's regency, in spite of the opposition of Beaton and the Bishop of Aberdeen, whom she cast into prison (ib. pp. 386-387). But she threw away the fruits of her triumph by her arbitrary employment of the king's English guard now formed, by close alliance with Arran and wanton offence to Lennox and others, and by her over-favour to Henry Stewart, a younger brother of Lord Avondale, who now came to court as master-carver to the king, and was thrust by the queen into the offices of lieutenant of the guard and treasurer (ib. p. 389). Hearing that Margaret and Arran were leaning to a French alliance and had alienated all the lords, Henry at last allowed Angus to cross the border (about 28 Oct. 1524).

The parliament, which met on 14 Nov., recognised Margaret as the chief councillor of the young king, and imposed restrictions upon Angus, who, losing patience, broke into Edinburgh with four hundred men on the morning of Wednesday, 23 Nov. Margaret fired upon him from the castle, and he retired to Tantallon (ib. p. 420). But she continued to act with imprudence, and as her adherents would not begin civil war except round the young king, she, on 21 Feb. 1525, admitted Angus into the regency, but next day wrote to Albany as ' governor,' to Francis, and to the pope urging her divorce from the earl (ib. p. 439). Finding the influence of Angus rapidly growing, she personally, and through the king, pressed him to consent to a divorce. Whether from want of evidence or fear of a counter-charge, she did not accuse Angus of infidelity, but on the desperate plea, first brought forward early in 1525, that James IV had lived for three years after Flodden (ib. pp. 445, 450). After Pavia, Henry, who had intercepted her letters to Albany and Francis, and no longer feared her joining the French party, sent her ' such a letter as was never written to any noble woman.' The parliament of July, which she refused to attend, alleging fear of Angus, practically deprived her of all authority, but on the 'remonstrance of James gave her twenty days' grace. This was, however, of no avail. Angus was now master of the king's person and of the government. Margaret organised resistance in the north, but Angus foiled the junction she had planned for 17 Jan. 1526 at Linlithgow with Arran and other opponents of the Douglases, and she retreated to Hamilton with Arran, who soon made terms with Angus (ib. p. 454). On receiving assurances of personal freedom, Margaret rejoined her son in Edinburgh in February, but was soon again moving the council against Angus for withholding her rents. Finding her influence gone, she went to Dunfermline, where she was presently joined by Lennox and by Beaton, from whom Angus had taken the seals. After the failure of two attempts to rescue James by force from the constraint Angus put upon him, Margaret undertook to be guided by Angus, and to renounce the company of Henry Stewart (Letters and Papers, iv. 2575). Angus on his side is said to have withdrawn his opposition to the divorce (Green, p. 462).

On 20 Nov. she came to the opening of the new parliament, and soon regained her old influence over James. Beaton was recalled to court, and a new revolution was expected. But her request for the return of Henry Stewart was refused by James, and she retired in dudgeon to Stirling, which she had placed in Stewart's hands (Letters and Papers, iv. 2777, 2992). She was now 'entirely ruled by the counsel of Stewart,' who, if not a married man, had only lately divorced his wife in the hope of marrying the queen. At last, on 11 March 1527, Albany's efforts to promote her divorce were crowned with success, and the Cardinal of Ancona, appointed judge by Clement VII, gave judgment in her favour (State Papers, Henry VIII, iv. 490). Owing to the disturbed state of the continent, Margaret did not hear of the sentence until December (Maitland Club Miscellany, ii. 387). It was soon whispered that she had contracted a secret marriage with Stewart, and in March 1528 she openly de-