England Under the Tudors: The Birth of Margaret Tudor

by AlexandriaIngham

Margaret Tudor was born on November 28, 1489. Her birth brought temporary peace between two warring crowns.

On November 28, 1489, Henry VII welcomed his second child into the world. After the successful birth of an heir, Henry and Elizabeth of York were happy to welcome their first daughter; a daughter who would play an important political part for the English court. In fact, because of the birth of Margaret, the English rose and the Scottish thistle would finally join, leading to the Great Britain of today.

However, Margaret’s life was not without its ups and downs, even before her marriage to the Scottish King, James IV.

The Birth of Margaret Tudor

Margaret Tudor was the first daughter for Henry VII to use as a policial pawn.

Margaret Tudor, Queen of ScotlandMargaret was born three years after her older brother, Arthur. Contrary to the belief after the actions of her younger brother, Henry VIII, she was not a disappointment for her parents. Henry VII knew how important females were, especially since he already had an heir to the throne. Of course, he wanted that spare heir, but he and Elizabeth were still young; there was still time for that. Right now, he needed a girl to use to forge relationships with powers closer to home; mainly Scotland.

Henry VII honoured his mother by naming his first daughter after her. His mother had always been the driving force to him gaining the English throne. Whether Elizabeth of York liked that or not didn’t matter. She had little to no say in the naming of her children. However, Elizabeth’s mother was honoured some years later after the birth of their second daughter. However, little Elizabeth only lived until she was three years old.

The Joining of the Thistle and the Rose

Margaret married James IV of Scotland when she was 14 years old.

Mary, Queen of Scots, Margaret's granddaughterThe birth of Margaret was an important one. It would be Henry VII’s chance to bring peace between England and Scotland. He proposed a marriage between the then Scottish King, James IV, and his young daughter from 1499. Scotland, at the time, supported Perkin Warbeck’s claim to the throne, believing that he was Richard, Duke of Shrewsbury. Henry VII needed Scotland’s support and this marriage was the best way forward.

On January 24, 1502, the Treaty of Perpetual Peace was signed. 13-year-old Margaret was now betrothed, but her grandmother was against it. This was the same age as Margaret Beaufort when she gave birth to Henry VII of England. She and Henry almost died partially due to Margaret’s young age and she didn’t want the same thing happening to her granddaughter. The marriage went ahead the next year by proxy and the couple finally met in August 1503. Margaret was now considered old enough to consummate the marriage and bear children.

The Treaty of Perpetual Peace didn’t last for long. 10 years later, after the death of Henry VII, Scotland and England would find themselves at war. James IV would die at the Battle of Flodden Field, against Henry VIII’s army, led by Catherine of Aragon.

However, for that short time, England and Scotland were at peace. There were no threats between them and Henry VII could rely on his son-in-law’s support.

The Creation of Great Britain

It was because of Margaret that Great Britain was able to become as one.

Elizabeth II Coat of ArmsWhile Great Britain didn’t become united as it is now until the early 18th century, Margaret Tudor’s birth and marriage to James IV led to that. She gave birth of James V, who then was the father of Mary, Queen of Scots; the mother of James VI of Scotland and James I of England.

After James IV’s death, Margaret married again and had another child, Margaret Douglas, while in England. Margaret became the Countess of Lennox and was the mother of Henry Stuart, who would later marry Mary, Queen of Scots and was the father of James VI of Scotland. James VI had a very strong claim to the English throne.

After the death of Elizabeth I of England, James did become King of England. However, the two countries didn’t quite join together. While they had the same monarch, they had different parliaments, laws and religions. It wasn’t until James’ great-granddaughter, Anne, that the two countries joined together and became Great Britain.

If it wasn’t for Margaret Tudor’s birth and marriage this wouldn’t have happened. It will be interesting if all that will come to an end when Scotland get to vote for or against Scottish independence in 2014.

Also on November 28

Other events that happened on this day in history.

1291: The death of Eleanor of Castile, wife of Edward I of England

1499: The execution of Edward Plantagenet, Earl of Warwick.

1908: The Marianna Pa coal mine explosion, killing 154 people.

1916: The first air attack by the Germans on London.

1948: The first ever Polaroid camera is sold.

1990: John Major replaces Margaret Thatcher after she resigns as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.

Updated: 11/28/2013, AlexandriaIngham
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AlexandriaIngham on 11/29/2013

Thanks. Hope you enjoyed it.

VioletteRose on 11/28/2013

Very nicely written!

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