Margaret of Scotland

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This article is about Margaret, Queen of Scots. For the Saint, see Saint Margaret of Scotland.

Margaret, Maid of Norway (12831290), was Queen of Scotland (1286-1290). The infant Margaret was the last ruler of the House of Dunkeld.

With the sudden death of Alexander III, Scotland was left without an obvious heir to the throne. At first, Margaret's step-grandmother Yolande declared that she was pregnant with a legitimate heir, countering the claims of two powerful nobles, Robert Bruce (grandfather of the future Robert I of Scotland) and John Balliol, each of whom wanted the throne for himself. When it was discovered that Yolande was not really pregnant, it was decided that Alexander's only surviving descendant, his three-year-old granddaughter Margaret, would ascend to the throne under a regency of six nobles.

Margaret was born on April 9 1283 at Tnsberg in Norway. She was the daughter of Eric II of Norway and his wife Margaret, daughter of Alexander III, who died in childbirth. Fearing that a young and powerless queen would invite civil war between the rival claimants to the throne, the Scottish nobles appealed to Edward I of England to intervene. Eager to extend his own influence in Scotland, Edward arranged the Treaty of Birgham (1290), by which Margaret was betrothed to his son the Prince of Wales (later Edward II of England), in return for an assurance of Scottish independence (though he would serve as ward for the young queen).

Margaret set sail from Norway to her new realm in the autumn of 1290, but took ill during the stormy voyage and died soon after reaching the Orkney Islands around September 26. With her death, the House of Dunkeld came to an end. Her corpse was taken to Bergen and buried beside her mother in the stone wall, on the north side of the choir, in Christ's Kirk at Bergen.

In the two years that followed, Scotland was left with 14 claimants to the throne. Once again, Edward was asked to intercede. His efforts to exert his own authority over the country eventually led to the First Scottish War of Independence.

Preceded by:
Alexander III
Queen of Scots Succeeded by:
John Balliol
de:Margarete (Schottland)

ja:マーガレット (スコットランド女王) no:Margaret av Skottland pl:Małgorzata (królowa Szkocji)

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