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Margaret of Denmark

(1457—1486) queen of Scots, consort of James III.


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Queen of Scotland, b. c.1457, da. of Christian I of Denmark and Norway, and Dorothea, princess of Brandenburg; m. James III, 13 July 1469; d. Stirling, 14 July 1486; bur. Cambuskenneth.

The treaty of Copenhagen (1468) had included a proposed marriage between James III and the Danish king's only daughter. Christian agreed to a dowry of 60,000 Rhenish florins, but was unable to raise this in full, so the isles of Orkney and then Shetland, which had been pledged as security, passed into Scottish ownership. James and Margaret were married at Holyrood, and made a royal progress the following year as far as Inverness. Probably in thanksgiving for the safe delivery of an heir in 1473, the queen, who was notably pious, then made a pilgrimage to St Ninian's shrine at Whithorn in Galloway. She seems to have had some political involvement after James's incarceration in Edinburgh castle in 1482, but their subsequent living apart may have been less of a question of personal estrangement than of security: the young duke of Rothesay (as heir) would have been safer apart from his father, as had been the case when James I was assassinated. After Margaret's death, James III unsuccessfully attempted to obtain her canonization.

Subjects: British History.


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