Margaret Tudor

Sister of Henry VIII, Grandmother of Mary, Queen of Scots

Margaret Tudor, from an engraving b y R Cooper after Hans Holbein
Margaret Tudor, from an engraving b y R Cooper after Hans Holbein. Hulton Archive / Getty Images

Known for: sister of King Henry VIII, queen of James IV of Scotland, grandmother of Mary, Queen of Scots, grandmother also of Mary's husband Henry Stewart, Lord Darnley, and great-grandmother of James VI of Scotland who became James I of England.

Dates: November 29, 1489 - October 18, 1541

Margaret Tudor Biography:

Margaret Tudor was the older of two daughters of King Henry VII of England and of Elizabeth of York (who was the daughter of Edward IV and Elizabeth Woodville).

Her brother was King Henry VIII of England. She was named for her maternal grandmother, Margaret Beaufort, whose persistent protection and promotion of her son, Henry Tudor, helped bring him to kingship as Henry VII.

In August of 1503, Margaret Tudor married King James IV of Scotland, a move intended to repair relations between England and Scotland. The party escorting her to meet her husband stopped at Margaret Beaufort's manor, where Henry VII turned back to home and Margaret Tudor and her attendants continued on to Scotland. Henry VII failed to provide an adequate dowry for his daughter, and England and Scotland's relationship did not improve as hoped.

James died in 1513 in battle against the English at Flodden, and Margaret Tudor became the regent for their infant son, James V. In 1514, Margaret Tudor married Archibald Douglas, earl of Angus, a supporter of England. She was, for this, removed from the regency for her son and exiled to England.

But Margaret Tudor rather quickly changed allegiances and supported the pro-French regent, John Stewart, the duke of Albany. She won an annulment from Douglas, though they had already produced a daughter.  Margaret Tudor then married Henry Stewart (or Stuart), who was later made Lord Methven.

Margaret Tudor attempted to arrange a meeting between her son James and her brother, Henry VIII, in 1534, but James accused her of betraying secrets and no longer trusted her.

He refused her request for permission to divorce Methven.

Margaret Tudor died in 1541 at Methven Castle.

Descendants of Margaret Tudor:

Margaret Tudor's granddaughter, Mary, Queen of Scots, daughter of James V, became Scotland's ruler. Her husband, Henry Stewart, Lord Darnley, was also a grandson of Margaret Tudor -- his mother was Margaret Douglas who was Margaret's daughter by her second husband, Archibald Douglas.

Mary was eventually executed by her cousin, Queen Elizabeth I of England, who was Margaret Tudor's niece. Mary and Darnley's son became King James VI of Scotland. Elizabeth named James her heir at his death and he became King James I of England.