Updated: Sep 7, 2019
On This Day In History
Margaret of England; Queen of Scots was born
Margaret was born at Windsor Castle on 29 September 1240. Her parents were King Henry III of England & his wife, Eleanor of Provence.
King Alexander II of Scotland had previously been married to her aunt, Joan of England. In 1244, her father Henry III & Alexander met in Newcastle to resume peaceful relations between the two nations, & they decided that the future Alexander III of Scotland should marry Margaret. She was betrothed the same year.
By the time the wedding took place, Alexander II had died (6 July 1249), so her future husband became king of Scotland, at the age of seven, & inaugurated at Scone on 13 July 1249 (pictured below). The years of his minority featured an embittered struggle for the control of affairs between two rival parties, the one led by Walter Comyn, Earl of Menteith, the other by Alan Durward, Justiciar of Scotia. The former dominated the early years of Alexander's reign.
The wedding took place on 25 December 1251 at York Minster, Margaret was 11 years old, Alexander 10 years old. After the wedding the newlyweds stayed at York before moving on to the Scottish capital Edinburgh.
Her life didn't go according to plan & she became unhappy in Scotland, this created tensions between England & Scotland. She wrote to her parents expressing her unhappiness, & poor treatment in Scotland.
Margaret wasn't allowed to see Alexander very often, & because she had become fond of him, this increased her unhappiness. She didn't like the royal castle, she hated Edinburgh, & didn't like the climate in Scotland either. She confessed her homesickness for England & her family there, this isn't surprising considering her age! Her parents asked for her to visit them. The Scots, however, refused permission, because of the risk that she would never return.
In 1255, a physician was dispatched to Edinburgh to investigate Margaret’s well being on the orders of her mother Queen Eleanor. His report that she was pale & depressed, & complaining of loneliness & neglect appalled her parents. The English king sent a new delegation, wrote to some of the Scottish earls & demanded that she be better treated.
Queen Margaret complained to her fathers envoys that she was kept as a prisoner without the permission to travel, & that she was not allowed to see her spouse nor be intimate with him. After this, the king of England & the regency council of Scotland finally came to an agreement. It was agreed that as the royal couple were now fourteen, they should be allowed to consummate their marriage, & the regency council would be obliged to turn the power over to Alexander in seven years time: Alexander would be obliged to give Margaret physical affection, & allow her freedom to travel to visit her parents. The same year, 7 September 1255, Margaret & Alexander III visited her parents & Margaret’s sister Beatrice at Wark. Margaret stayed a bit longer in England after her spouse's departure, but soon followed him when the agreement was secured.
In 1257, Margaret & Alexander were captured and held prisoner by the Comyn family, who demanded the expulsion of all foreigners from Scotland. They were eventually released after the intervention of her father & the Scottish regency council. She visited England in 1260-61, to give birth to her daughter Margaret, & 1269, to attend the translation of Edward the Confessor’s relics to Westminster Abbey, both times in the company of Alexander. She couldn't visit her father's funeral in 1272 though because of her pregnancy.
It was said that Margaret was responsible for the death of a young courtier, who reputedly had killed her uncle Simon de Montfort, 6th Earl of Leicester. She had been given this esquire as a gift from her brother Edward, who visited her in 1257. This incident took place at Kinclaven Castle near Perth in the summer of 1273, where she recuperated after the birth of her son David. While walking along the River Tay accompanied by her confessor, some maidens & several esquires one evening after supper, an English esquire went down to the river to wash his hand clean from some clay. She pushed him into the river as a joke, but he was swept to his death by a powerful current before anyone could help. This was done as a joke, & according to her confessor, she had told her maidens to push him, & everyone had laughed at first, thinking there was no danger for the esquire's life. He was, however, seized by a heave current, & both he, as well as his servant boy who jumped in to save him drowned. Margaret was reportedly very upset by the incident.
Margaret & Alexander were present at the coronation of her brother Edward I in Westminster in August 1274. Margaret died on 26 February 1275 at Cupar Castle, & was buried at Dunfermline Abbey, Fife.
Margaret & Alexander had three children;
Margaret (28 February 1261 – 9 April 1283), who married King Eric II of Norway
Alexander (21 January 1264 Jedburgh – 28 January 1284 Lindores Abbey)
David (20 March 1272 – June 1281 Stirling Castle); buried in Dunfermline Abbey
1267 – The Treaty of Montgomery recognises Llywelyn ap Gruffudd as Prince of Wales, but only as a vassal of King Henry III.
Joan of Kent was born
Joan was the daughter of Edmund of Woodstock, 1st Earl of Kent, & Margaret Wake, 3rd Baroness Wake of Liddell. Her father Edmund was the son of King Edward I by his second wife, Margaret of France, daughter of Philip III of France.
Joan was known as 'The Fair Maid of Kent'. She was the mother of King Richard II of England, whom she bore to her third husband Edward, the Black Prince, son & heir of King Edward III. The French chronicler Jean Froissart called her "the most beautiful woman in all the realm of England, & the most loving", the appellation "Fair Maid of Kent" does not appear to be contemporary. Joan assumed the title of fourth Countess of Kent & fifth Baroness Wake of Liddell after the death of her brother, John, in 1352.
Descendants of Joan of Kent (& her first husband Thomas Holland, Earl of Kent) through her children Lady Joan & Thomas Holland include Lady Margaret Beaufort, Countess of Richmond & Derby (mother of King Henry VII), & queens consort Anne Neville, Elizabeth of York, & Catherine Parr.
1364 – English forces defeat the French in Brittany, ending the War of the Breton Succession.
1634 Henry Hyde (born c. 1563) died. He was an English politician & lawyer. He was the father of Edward Hyde, 1st Earl of Clarendon (1609–1674), & thus was great-grandfather of two British monarchs, Queen Mary II & Queen Anne.
Charlotte, Princess Royal was born
Princess Charlotte was born at Buckingham House (now Buckingham Palace). Her parents were King George III & Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz.
She was christened on 27 October 1766 at St James's Palace, by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Thomas Secker. Among her godparents were her paternal uncle & aunt, King Christian VII of Denmark & his wife, Caroline Matilda of Great Britain.
Charlotte was officially given the title Princess Royal on 22 June 1789. After the birth of three sons in a row, her parents were delighted to have a Princess in the nursery. Like all of her siblings, Charlotte was inoculated in her case, in December 1768 along with her brother William. As the eldest daughter of the monarch, Charlotte was assumed to be destined for an important marriage on the continent, & her education was considered to be of the utmost importance, beginning when she was only eighteen months old. Since French was the official language in every European court, the little Princess was given a Frenchwoman to be her tutor. Charlotte's memory was another of her beginning subjects. She was taught to recite little verses & stories, & as a result had an almost uncanny ability to recall detail for the rest of her life. Her early childhood was not all scholarly pursuits. When she was almost three years old, she took place in her first tableau dressed like Columbine, where she danced with her seven-year-old brother George, Prince of Wales.
Charlotte was fortunate in having parents who preferred spending time with their numerous children (fifteen in total) to spending all their time at court & took her education seriously. However, given the frequency with which children were being produced & the troubles that plagued George III's reign (had recurrent, & eventually permanent, mental illness.), Charlotte's childhood was not as utopian as her parents planned it to be.
On 18 May 1797 at the Chapel Royal, St James's Palace, the Princess Royal married The Hereditary Prince Frederick of Württemberg, the eldest son & heir apparent of Duke Frederick II Eugene of Württemberg & his wife, Margravine Sophia Dorothea of Brandenburg-Schwedt.
The younger Frederick succeeded his father as the reigning Duke of Württemberg on 22 December 1797. Duke Frederick II had two sons & two daughters by his first marriage to the late Princess Augusta (3 December 1764 – 27 September 1788), the daughter of Duke Karl II of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel & Princess Augusta of Great Britain (the elder sister of George III) & the elder sister of Caroline of Brunswick, the estranged wife of the future George IV (then Prince of Wales). The marriage between Duke Frederick & the Princess Royal produced one child: a stillborn daughter on 27 April 1798.
In 1800, the French army occupied Württemberg & the Duke & Duchess fled to Vienna. The following year, Duke Frederick concluded a private treaty ceding Montbeliard to France & receiving Ellwangen in exchange two years later. He assumed the title Elector of Württemberg on 25 February 1803. In exchange for providing France with a large auxiliary force, Napoleon recognized the Elector as King of Württemberg on 26 December 1805. Electress Charlotte became queen when her husband formally ascended the throne on 1 January 1806 & was crowned as such on the same day at Stuttgart, Germany.
Württemberg seceded from the Holy Roman Empire & joined Napoleon's short-lived Confederation of the Rhine. However, the newly elevated king's alliance with France technically made him the enemy of his father-in-law, George III. George III, incensed by his son-in-law's assumption of the title & his role of one of Napoleon's most devoted vassals, accordingly refused to address his daughter as "Queen of Württemberg" in correspondence. In 1813, King Frederick changed sides & went over the Allies, where his status as the brother-in-law of the Prince Regent (later George IV) helped his standing. After the fall of Napoleon, he attended the Congress of Vienna & was confirmed as king. He died in October 1816.
The Dowager Queen of Württemberg continued to live at the Ludwigsburg Palace, near Stuttgart, & received visits from her younger siblings, the Duke of Kent, the Duke of Sussex, the Duke of Cambridge, the Landgravine of Hesse-Homburg, & Princess Augusta Sophia. She was a godmother (by proxy) at the christening of her niece, Princess Victoria of Kent (the future Queen Victoria), in 1819. In 1827, she returned to Britain for the first time since her wedding in 1797 in order to have surgery for dropsy. She died at Ludwigsburg Palace the following year & is buried there in the royal vault.
1829 The Metropolitan Police of London, later also known as the Met, is founded.
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