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MARGARET OF AUSTRIA

acquiesce in York's power. Yet at this time one wrote of her: “The queen is a great and strong laboured woman, for she spareth no pain to sue her things to an intent and conclusion to her power” (Paston Letters, i. 378). All the while she was organizing her party; and ultimately, in October 1456 at Coventry, procured some change in the government. Though formally reconciled to York in March 1458, she continued to intrigue with her partisans in England, and even with friends in France, like Pierre de Brezé, the seneschal of Normandy. After the Yorkist failure at Ludlow in 1459, it was Margaret's vindictiveness that embittered the struggle by a wholesale proscription of her opponents in the parliament at Coventry. She was not present with her husband at Northampton on the 10th of July 1460. After romantic adventures, in which she owed her safety to the loyalty of a boy of fourteen, her only companion, she escaped with her little son to Harlech. Thence after a while she made her way to Scotland. From Mary of Gelderland, the queen regent, she purchased the promise of help at the price of surrendering Berwick. Margaret was still in Scotland at the date of Wakefield, so was not, as alleged by hostile writers, responsible for the barbarous treatment of York's body. But she at once joined her friends, and was with the northern army which defeated Warwick at St Albans on the 17th of February 1461; for the executions which followed she must bear the blame. After Towton Margaret with her husband and son once more took refuge in Scotland.

A year later she went to France, and with help from her father and Louis XI. equipped an expedition under Pierre de Brezé. She landed in Northumberland in October, and achieved some slight success; but when on the way to seek further help from Scotland the fleet was overwhelmed in a storm, and Margaret herself barely escaped in an open boat to Berwick. In the spring she was again trying to raid Northumberland, meeting with many hardships and adventures. Once she owed her escape from capture to the generosity of a Yorkist squire, who carried her off on his own horse; finally she and her son were brought to Bamburgh through the compassionate help of a robber, whom they had encountered in the forest. Thence in August 1463 she crossed to Sluys in Flanders. She was almost destitute, but was courteously treated by Charles the Bold, then count of Charolais, and so made her way to her father in France. For seven years she lived at Saint-Michel-en-Barrois, educating her son with the help of Sir John Fortescue, who wrote at this time: “We be all in great poverty, but yet the queen sustaineth us in meat and drink. Her highness may do no more than she doth” (Works, ii. 72, ed. Clermont). Margaret never lost her hopes of her son's restoration. But when at last the quarrel between Warwick and Edward IV. brought her the opportunity, it was with difficulty that she could consent to be reconciled to so old and bitter an enemy. After Warwick's success and Henry's restoration Margaret still remained in France. When at last she was ready to sail she was delayed by contrary winds. So it was only on the very day of Warwick's defeat at Barnet (14th of April) that Margaret and Edward landed at Weymouth. Three weeks later the Lancastrians were defeated at Tewkesbury, and Edward was killed. Margaret was not at the battle; she was captured a few days after, and brought to London on the 21st of May. For five years she remained a prisoner, but was treated honourably and for part at least of the time was in charge of her old friend the duchess of Suffolk. Finally Louis XI. ransomed her under the Treaty of Pecquigny, and she returned to France on the 29th of January 1476. Margaret lived for six years at different places in Bar and Anjou, in poverty and dependent for a pension on Louis, who made her surrender in return her claims to her father's inheritance. She died on the 25th of April 1482 and was buried at Angers Cathedral. René, whom she probably never saw after 1470, had died in the previous year. During her last years Chastellain wrote for her consolation his Temple de Bocace dealing with the misfortunes of contemporary princes.

As the courageous champion of the rights of her son and her husband, Margaret must command a certain sympathy. But she was politically unwise, and injured their cause by her readiness to purchase foreign help at the price of English interests. Comines wrote well of her that she would have done more prudently if she had endeavoured to adjust the disputes of the rival factions instead of saying “I am of this party, and will maintain it” (Mémoires vi. ch. 13). Her fierce partisanship embittered her enemies, and the Yorkists did not hesitate to allege that her son was a bastard. This, like the scandal concerning Margaret and Suffolk, is baseless; the tradition, however, continued and found expression in the Mirror for Magistrates and in Drayton’s Heroical Epistles, as well as in Shakespeare’s Henry VI.

Bibliography.—For contemporary English authorities see under Henry VI. French authorities and especially the Chroniques of George de Chastellain, and the Mémoires of Philippes de Comines contain much that is of value. The Letters of Margaret of Anjou (Camden Soc., 1863) have small historical importance. There have been numerous biographies, the chief is Mrs Hookham’s Life of Margaret of Anjou (1872). But the best modern accounts are to be found in G. du Fresne de Beaucourt’s Histoire de Charles VII., Dr Gairdner’s Introductions to the Paston Letters, Sir James Ramsay’s Lancaster and York (1892), and The Political History of England, vol. iv. (1906), by Professor C. Oman. Dr Karl Schmidt’s Margareta von Anjou, vor und bei Shakespeare (Palaestra, liv., Berlin, 1906) is a useful digest of authorities.  (C. L. K.) 


MARGARET OF AUSTRIA (1480–1530), duchess of Savoy and regent of the Netherlands from 1507 to 1530, daughter of the archduke Maximilian of Austria, afterwards the emperor Maximilian I., was born at Brussels on the 10th of January 1480. At two years of age she was betrothed to the dauphin Charles, son of Louis XI. of France, and was brought up at the French court. In 1489, however, Charles, now king as Charles VIII., to prevent Maximilian taking as his second wife the duchess Anne of Brittany, threw over Margaret and married the Breton heiress himself. Her ambitious father now sought for Margaret another throne, and in April 1497 she was married at Burgos to the Infant John, heir to the throne of Castile and Aragon. She was left a widow, however, a few months later. In 1501 Margaret became the wife of Philibert II., duke of Savoy, who only survived until 1504. The sudden death of her brother the archduke, Philip the Handsome (Sept 25, 1506), opened out to her a new career. In 1507 she was appointed by her father regent of the Netherlands and guardian of her nephew Charles, afterwards the emperor Charles V. Charles came of age in 1515, but he entrusted Margaret with the regency, as the vast extent of his dominions permitted him but seldom to visit the Netherlands, and she continued to hold the post until her death in 1530. She was a wise and prudent ruler, of masculine temper and intrepidity, and very capable in affairs.

See E. Münch, Margaretha von Österreich (Leipzig, 1883); Th. Juste, Charles-Quint et Marguérite d’Autriche (Brussels, 1858); A. Le Glay, Maximilien I. et Marguérite d’Autriche (with correspondence, Paris, 1839); De Quinsonas, Matériaux pour servir à l’histoire de Marguérite d’Autriche (Paris, 1855), and E. E. Tremayne, The First Governors of the Netherlands: Margaret of Austria (1908).


MARGARET OF AUSTRIA (1522–1586), duchess of Parma and regent of the Netherlands from 1559 to 1567, was a natural daughter of Charles V. Her mother, Margaret van Ghent, was a Fleming. She was brought up by her aunts Margaret of Austria and Maria of Hungary, who were successively regents of the Netherlands from 1507 to 1530 and from 1530 to 1555. In 1533 she was married to Alexander de’ Medici, duke of Florence, who was assassinated in 1537, after which she became the wife of Ottavio Farnese, duke of Parma, in 1542. The union proved an unhappy one. Like her aunts, who had trained her, she was a woman of masculine abilities, and Philip II., when he left the Netherlands in 1559 for Spain, acted wisely in appointing her regent. In ordinary times she would probably have proved as successful a ruler as her two predecessors in that post, but her task was very different from theirs. She had to face the rising storm of discontent against the Inquisition and Spanish despotism, and Philip left her but nominal authority. He was determined to pursue his own arbitrary course, and the