Author Topic: Lady Margaret Douglas, Countess of Lennox  (Read 43181 times)

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Offline Prince_Lieven

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Lady Margaret Douglas, Countess of Lennox
« on: October 21, 2005, 06:18:57 PM »
Hi all! Just bringing this Lady Lennox discussion over from the Mary-Darnley thread.

As to your question on there, Bell, I think Lady Margaret was sent to the Tower for marrying (without permission) Lord William Howard.

She was generally a favourite of Henry VIII, though her mother Queen Margaret had little to do with her, and she was brought up in England. She was said to have been the prettiest Tudor girl, aside from Mary, Duchess of Suffolk. In correspondance, she was often referred to as 'the princess of Scotland.'
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Offline umigon

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Re: Lady Margaret Douglas, Countess of Lennox
« Reply #1 on: October 22, 2005, 05:23:29 AM »
She married Thomas Howard, younger half-brother of the Duke of Norfolk in 1536 (so an uncle to both Anne Boleyn and Catherine Howard!). She was thrown in the Tower but, after promising Henry that she had been forced to the marriage and that she was still a virgin, Henry released her and annulled her marriage. Howard was executed the next year.
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Offline Prince_Lieven

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Re: Lady Margaret Douglas, Countess of Lennox
« Reply #2 on: October 22, 2005, 07:05:30 AM »
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by Prince_Lieven »
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Offline bell_the_cat

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Re: Lady Margaret Douglas, Countess of Lennox
« Reply #3 on: October 22, 2005, 09:30:52 AM »
Great idea for a thread on this lady!

Anyone know the occasion of her third stay in the tower? My guess-1570s.

A word about the Douglas family. The Douglases were the only other family in mediaeval Scotland capable of rivalling the Stewarts and as such caused problems for all the Jameses from I to VI.

The founder of the family fortunes was Lord James Douglas, sidekick to Robert the Bruce at Bannockburn. Sir James was so trusted by the Bruce, that when he was dying he entrusted Douglas with the task of taking his heart (to Jerusalem!) to be buried. Sir James set off with the heart in a silver case, but only got as far as Spain, where he was killed by the moors.

In the 15th century the main line of the family "the Black Douglases" was wiped out by James II - he had to have them massacred twice, and the lands devolved on the "Red Douglases" the Earls of Angus. One of these Archibald Earl of Angus "Bell the Cat" was instrumental in the downfall of James III (see Margaret of Denmark on the Queen Consorts thread).

"Bell the Cat" was more cooperative with James IV however and supported that king's disastrous expedition to England in 1513. Two of his sons died with James at Flodden, and the old Earl himself died shortly afterward.

It was Bell the Cat's grandson (also Archibald) who inherited the earldom, picking up the widowed Queen Margaret as well. Their daughter was born in 1515 but they soon split up.

Angus proceeded to cause problems for the Stewarts until he died in 1556/7. James V had a major falling out with his stepfather, which resulted in Angus' sister being accused of witchcraft and burnt at the stake (see Mary of Guise on Queen Consorts).




« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by bell_the_cat »
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Offline Prince_Lieven

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Re: Lady Margaret Douglas, Countess of Lennox
« Reply #4 on: October 22, 2005, 12:43:58 PM »
Thanks for that info Bell!

Her 3rd Tower visit was in 1574, when her son Charles married without royal permission. She was released when he died in 1577 (just as she had been imprisoned in 1566 and relased when Darnley died in 1567) but she died in 1578, just a year later.
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Offline bell_the_cat

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Re: Lady Margaret Douglas, Countess of Lennox
« Reply #5 on: October 22, 2005, 03:32:38 PM »
I've just read that she died on the same evening that she had dinner with Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester. Suspicious or what?
Never put off until tomorrow what you can put off until the day after tomorrow. (Mark Twain)

Offline ilyala

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Re: Lady Margaret Douglas, Countess of Lennox
« Reply #6 on: October 22, 2005, 03:34:23 PM »
those tudors sure had intense lives, didn't they?  ;D
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Offline bell_the_cat

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Re: Lady Margaret Douglas, Countess of Lennox
« Reply #7 on: October 22, 2005, 06:16:43 PM »
There were three spells in the tower:

1) 1537-8, because of her own "marriage" with Thomas Howard

2) 1565-6, because of her son's marriage to the Queen of Scotland

3) 1575-6, because of her second son's marriage to Elizabeth Cavendish

It seems like she was not a person you should invite to your wedding!





« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by bell_the_cat »
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Offline Prince_Lieven

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Re: Lady Margaret Douglas, Countess of Lennox
« Reply #8 on: October 23, 2005, 06:47:37 AM »
On her second and third spells, she was released both times because the sons in question had died quite young.

BTW, I was reading Dulcie M. Ashdown's 'Tudor Cousins' and she brings up an important question - why was Lady Lennox excluded from the will of her uncle Henry VIII?

Henry made this will in 1546, though he might have also made one in 1544, when the Act of Succession was passed. If he had no problem leaving his Catholic daughter Mary as one of his heirs, why not his Catholic niece Margaret?

Technically, she had a better claim to the throne than her niece Mary, Queen of Scots, though Mary was in the senior line - when Margaret Tudor had married James IV she gave up her succession rights. Lady Lennox had even been born in England. And, most importantly, she was the only member of the younger generation who had a son - Lord Darnley was born in 1545. So why did Henry exclude her? This is perplexing!

Apparently, she and Henry had an argument before he died, but he was not the sort of man to let personal feelings dictate the future of his dynasty.

Any theories?
"How often have I said to you that when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth?"
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Offline bell_the_cat

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.Re: Lady Margaret Douglas, Countess of Lennox
« Reply #9 on: October 23, 2005, 07:52:02 AM »
Henry's reason for excluding the descendants of his sister Margaret must reflect a desire to avoid a Scottish king inheriting the throne of England. This applied to Margaret as well after her marriage to Lennox who I think was third or fourth in line to the Scottish throne.

Why would he not want this to happen? Maybe he thought they would be too much under French influence, and would undo all his "good" work.

The other possibility is that he regarded his sister's renunciation as irrevocable and considered that it applied to all her descendants.

Maybe it was a bit of both, I can't believe it was anything personal though.

I've always found the will itself to be unusual, as if the kingdom can be bequeathed! Fortunately apart from Northumberland and his cronies, no one thought it was worth the paper it was printed on.
Never put off until tomorrow what you can put off until the day after tomorrow. (Mark Twain)

Offline bell_the_cat

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Re: Lady Margaret Douglas, Countess of Lennox
« Reply #10 on: October 23, 2005, 07:55:29 AM »
Quote


Lady Lennox had even been born in England.


She was born at Harbottle in Northumberland which is about 10 miles from the Scottish border.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by bell_the_cat »
Never put off until tomorrow what you can put off until the day after tomorrow. (Mark Twain)

Offline Prince_Lieven

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Re: .Lady Margaret Douglas, Countess of Lennox
« Reply #11 on: October 23, 2005, 02:46:45 PM »
Quote
Henry's reason for excluding the descendants of his sister Margaret must reflect a desire to avoid a Scottish king inheriting the throne of England. This applied to Margaret as well after her marriage to Lennox who I think was third or fourth in line to the Scottish throne.

Why would he not want this to happen? Maybe he thought they would be too much under French influence, and would undo all his "good" work.

The other possibility is that he regarded his sister's renunciation as irrevocable and considered that it applied to all her descendants.

Maybe it was a bit of both, I can't believe it was anything personal though.

I've always found the will itself to be unusual, as if the kingdom can be bequeathed! Fortunately apart from Northumberland and his cronies, no one thought it was worth the paper it was printed on.


Well, Matthew Stewart claim to the throne of Scotland was contentious - it was either he or the Earl of Arran who was heir presumptive to Mary Stuart. But why would Henry quibble about this? He didn't mind the idea of Edward VI marrying Mary Queen of Scots, so what had he to fear?

As for him regaring Margaret's renounciation as total and unchangable, I doubt this. Henry wasn't the type to regard anything as irrevocable, except his own authority! And also, Margaret Tudor's renounciation applied only to her descendants by James IV - it did not apply to the children of any subsequent marriage.

As to the will, I think parliament, in the 1530s, voted Henry the right to choose any successor of his blood he wished - poosibly with a view to makin Henry Fitzroy heir. As far as I know, he is the only English king to have been allowed to choose his own successor.

Why he excluded the Lennoxs still perplexes me, especially since they had a son . . .
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by Prince_Lieven »
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-Sherlock Holmes

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Offline bell_the_cat

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Re: Lady Margaret Douglas, Countess of Lennox
« Reply #12 on: October 23, 2005, 02:55:35 PM »
It was the Earl of Arran who was the heir presumptive. Henry wouldn't have minded the Edward/Mary scenario, as this would have been an English takeover of Scotland ( la Edward I), but given the international situation (Henry was at war with France in the early 1540s) he might have objected to a Scottish takeover of England.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by bell_the_cat »
Never put off until tomorrow what you can put off until the day after tomorrow. (Mark Twain)

Offline Prince_Lieven

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Re: Lady Margaret Douglas, Countess of Lennox
« Reply #13 on: October 23, 2005, 03:03:58 PM »
Lennox could contest Arran's claim - Arran was dynastically senior but he came from an unequal marriage, I think.
"How often have I said to you that when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth?"
-Sherlock Holmes

"Men forget, but never forgive; women forgive, but never forget."

Offline bell_the_cat

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Re: Lady Margaret Douglas, Countess of Lennox
« Reply #14 on: October 23, 2005, 03:07:15 PM »
Quote
Lennox could contest Arran's claim - Arran was dynastically senior but he came from an unequal marriage, I think.


All the more reason for Henry to write the Lennoxes out of his will. I didn't know that about Arran. I'll have to look it up!
Never put off until tomorrow what you can put off until the day after tomorrow. (Mark Twain)