Margaret of France, Queen of England

Last updated

Margaret of France
Marguerite of france.jpg
Queen consort of England
Tenure8 September 1299 – 7 July 1307
Bornc.1279
Paris, France
Died14 February 1318 (aged 38–39)
Marlborough Castle, Wiltshire, England
Burial
Spouse
(m. 1299;died 1307)
Issue
more...
Thomas, Earl of Norfolk
Edmund, Earl of Kent
House Capet
Father Philip III of France
Mother Maria of Brabant

Margaret or Marguerite of France (c.1279 – 14 February 1318) [1] was Queen of England as the second wife of King Edward I. She was a daughter of Philip III of France and Maria of Brabant. [2]

Contents

Childhood

Margaret was the daughter of King Philip III of France and his second wife, Maria of Brabant. [3] Margaret was only six years old when her father died. She grew up under guidance of her mother, and also of Queen Joan I of Navarre, the wife of her half-brother, King Philip IV.

Marriage negotiations

Margaret's marriage to Edward I, depicted in the 14th century Nuova Cronica EdwardandMargaret.png
Margaret's marriage to Edward I, depicted in the 14th century Nuova Cronica

The death of his beloved first wife, Eleanor of Castile, in 1290, left King Edward I of England grief-stricken. He was at the time at war with France and Scotland. He and Eleanor had only one surviving son, Edward, and so the king was anxious to remarry to have more sons. In summer of 1291, Edward betrothed his son to Blanche, half-sister to Margaret and Philip IV, in order to achieve peace with France. However, having been told of Blanche's renowned beauty, Edward decided to have his son's bride for his own and sent emissaries to France. Philip IV agreed to have Blanche marry Edward on the conditions that a truce would be concluded between the two countries, and that Edward would give up the province of Gascony.

Edward agreed, and sent his brother Edmund Crouchback, Earl of Lancaster, to fetch the new bride. Edward had been deceived, for Blanche was to be married to Rudolph, the eldest son of King Albert I of Germany. Instead, Philip IV offered her younger sister Margaret to marry Edward (then 55). Upon hearing this, Edward declared war on France, refusing to marry Margaret. After five years, a truce was agreed upon under the influence of Pope Boniface VIII. A series of treaties in the first half of 1299 provided terms for a double marriage: Edward I would marry Margaret and his son would marry Isabella, Philip IV's only surviving daughter. Additionally, the English monarchy would regain the key territory of Guyenne and receive £15,000 owed to Margaret as well as the return of Eleanor of Castile's lands in Ponthieu and Montreuil as a dower first for Margaret and then Isabella. [4]

Queenship

Margaret's seal as queen Marketa Eduard1postava.jpg
Margaret's seal as queen

Edward was then 60 years old, at least 40 years older than his bride. The wedding took place at Canterbury on 10 September 1299. [6] Margaret was never crowned due to financial constraints, being the first uncrowned queen since the Conquest. This in no way lessened her dignity as the king's wife, however, for she used the royal title in her letters and documents, and appeared publicly wearing a crown even though she had not received one during a formal rite of investiture. [7]

Edward soon returned to the Scottish border to continue his campaigns and left Margaret in London, but she had become pregnant quickly after the wedding. [8] After several months, bored and lonely, the young queen decided to join her husband. Nothing could have pleased the king more, for Margaret's actions reminded him of his first wife Eleanor, who had had two of her sixteen children abroad. In less than a year Margaret gave birth to a son, Thomas, who was named after Thomas Becket, since she had prayed to him during her pregnancy. The next year she gave birth to another son, Edmund.

Many who fell under the king's wrath were saved from too stern a punishment by the queen's influence over her husband, and the statement, Pardoned solely on the intercession of our dearest consort, queen Margaret of England, appears. In 1305, the young queen acted as a mediator between her step-son and husband, reconciling the heir apparent to his aging father, and calming her husband's wrath. She and her stepson, who was only five years younger than she, also became fond of each other: he once made her a gift of an expensive ruby and gold ring, and she on one occasion rescued many of the prince's friends from the wrath of the king.

Margaret favoured the Franciscan order and was a benefactress of a new foundation at Newgate. She employed the minstrel Guy de Psaltery and both she and her husband liked to play chess. [9] The mismatched couple were blissfully happy. When her sister Blanche died in 1305, Edward ordered full court mourning to please his wife. He had realised the wife he had gained was "a pearl of great price" as Margaret was respected for her beauty, virtue, and piety. The same year Margaret gave birth to a girl, Eleanor, named in honour of Edward's first wife, a choice which surprised many, and showed Margaret's unjealous nature.

In 1307, when Edward went on summer campaign to Scotland, Margaret accompanied him. Edward died in Burgh by Sands.

Widowhood

Arms of Margaret of France as Queen of England. Arms of Margaret of France.svg
Arms of Margaret of France as Queen of England.

Margaret never remarried after Edward's death in 1307, despite being only 28 when widowed. She was alleged to have stated that, "when Edward died, all men died for me".

Margaret was not pleased when Edward II elevated Piers Gaveston to become Earl of Cornwall upon his father's death, since the title had been meant for one of her own sons. She attended the new king's wedding to her niece Isabella, and a silver casket was made with both their arms. After Isabella's coronation, Margaret retired to Marlborough Castle (which was by this time a dower house), but she stayed in touch with the new queen and with her half-brother Philip IV by letter during the confusing times leading up to Gaveston's death in 1312. Margaret, too, was a victim of Gaveston's influence over her stepson. Edward II gave several of her dower lands to the favourite, including Berkhamsted Castle. In May 1308, an anonymous informer reported that Margaret had provided £40,000 along with Philip IV to support the English barons against Gaveston. Due to this action, Gaveston was briefly exiled and Margaret remained fairly unmolested by the upstart until his death in June 1312.

She was present at the birth of Edward III in November 1312.

On 14 February 1318 she died in her castle at Marlborough. Dressed in a Franciscan habit, she was buried at Christ Church Greyfriars in London, a church she had generously endowed. [10] Her tomb was destroyed during the Reformation.

Issue

In all, Margaret gave birth to three children: [11]

Genealogical table

Margaret's relationship to the royal families of France and England [12]
Marie of Brabant Philip III of France Isabella of Aragon
Eleanor of Castile Edward I of England Margaret of France Blanche of France Rudolph III of Austria Philip IV of France Joan I of Navarre
Edward II of England Isabella of France
Edward III of England

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Edward II of England</span> King of England from 1307 to 1327

Edward II, also known as Edward of Caernarfon or Caernarvon, was King of England from 1307 until he was deposed in January 1327. The fourth son of Edward I, Edward became the heir to the throne following the death of his older brother Alphonso. Beginning in 1300, Edward accompanied his father on campaigns in Scotland, and in 1306 he was knighted in a grand ceremony at Westminster Abbey. Edward succeeded to the throne the next year, following his father's death. In 1308, he married Isabella of France, the daughter of the powerful King Philip IV, as part of a long-running effort to resolve the tensions between the English and French crowns.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Isabella of France</span> Queen of England from 1308 to 1327

Isabella of France, sometimes described as the She-Wolf of France, was Queen of England as the wife of King Edward II, and de facto regent of England from 1327 until 1330. She was the youngest surviving child and only surviving daughter of Philip IV of France and Joan I of Navarre. Isabella was notable in her lifetime for her diplomatic skills, intelligence, and beauty. She overthrew her husband, becoming a "femme fatale" figure in plays and literature over the years, usually portrayed as a beautiful but cruel and manipulative figure.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Isabella of Angoulême</span> Queen of England from 1200 to 1216

Isabella was Queen of England from 1200 to 1216 as the second wife of King John, Countess of Angoulême in her own right from 1202 until her death in 1246, and Countess of La Marche from 1220 to 1246 as the wife of Count Hugh.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Marie of France, Countess of Champagne</span> Countess consort of Champagne

Marie of France was a Capetian princess who became Countess of Champagne by her marriage to Henry I of Champagne. She served as regent of the County of Champagne three times: during Henry I's absence from 1179-1181; during the minority of their son Henry II from 1181–1187; and during Henry II's absence from 1190-1197. The daughter of Eleanor of Aquitaine and Louis VII of France, she was the sister of Alice of France and the half-sister of: William IX, Henry the Young King, Richard I, Geoffrey of Brittany, Matilda of England, Eleanor of England, Joan of England, John of England; Margaret of France, Alys of France, Agnes of France, Philip II of France; and the stepdaughter of Henry II of England, and Constance of Castile, and Adela of Champagne.

Margaret de Clare, Countess of Gloucester, Countess of Cornwall was an English noblewoman, heiress, and the second eldest of the three daughters of Gilbert de Clare, 6th Earl of Hertford and his wife Joan of Acre, making her a granddaughter of King Edward I of England. Her two husbands were Piers Gaveston and Hugh de Audley, 1st Earl of Gloucester.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Edmund Fitzalan, 2nd Earl of Arundel</span> English nobleman (1285–1326)

Edmund Fitzalan, 2nd Earl of Arundel was an English nobleman prominent in the conflict between King Edward II and his barons. His father, Richard Fitzalan, 1st Earl of Arundel, died in 1302, while Edmund was still a minor. He, therefore, became a ward of John de Warenne, Earl of Surrey, and married Warenne's granddaughter, Alice. In 1306 he was styled Earl of Arundel, and served under Edward I in the Scottish Wars, for which he was richly rewarded.

Edmund, 1st Earl of Lancaster, also known as Edmund Crouchback, was a member of the royal Plantagenet Dynasty and the founder of the first House of Lancaster. He was Earl of Leicester (1265–1296), Lancaster (1267–1296) and Derby (1269–1296) in England and Count Palatine of Champagne (1276–1284) in France.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Joan II of Navarre</span> Queen of Navarre from 1328 to 1349

Joan II was Queen of Navarre from 1328 until her death. She was the only surviving child of Louis X of France, King of France and Navarre, and Margaret of Burgundy. Joan's paternity was dubious because her mother was involved in a scandal, but Louis X declared her his legitimate daughter before he died in 1316. However, the French lords were opposed to the idea of a female monarch and elected Louis X's brother, Philip V, king. The Navarrese noblemen also paid homage to Philip. Joan's maternal grandmother, Agnes of France, and uncle, Odo IV of Burgundy, made attempts to secure the counties of Champagne and Brie to Joan, but the French royal troops defeated her supporters. After Philip V married his daughter to Odo and granted him two counties as her dowry, Odo renounced Joan's claim to Champagne and Brie in exchange for a compensation in March 1318. Joan married Philip of Évreux, who was also a member of the French royal family.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Edmund of Woodstock, 1st Earl of Kent</span> 14th-century English prince and nobleman

Edmund of Woodstock, 1st Earl of Kent, whose seat was Arundel Castle in Sussex, was the sixth son of King Edward I of England, and the second by his second wife Margaret of France, and was a younger half-brother of King Edward II. Edward I had intended to make substantial grants of land to Edmund, but when the king died in 1307, Edward II refused to respect his father's intentions, mainly due to his favouritism towards Piers Gaveston. Edmund remained loyal to his brother, and in 1321 he was created Earl of Kent. He played an important part in Edward's administration as diplomat and military commander and in 1321–22 helped suppress a rebellion.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Marie of Brabant, Queen of France</span> Queen consort of France

Marie of Brabant was Queen of France from 1274 until 1285 as the second wife of King Philip III. Born in Leuven, Brabant, she was a daughter of Henry III, Duke of Brabant, and Adelaide of Burgundy.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Blanche of Artois</span> Queen consort of Navarre (c. 1248 – 1302)

Blanche of Artois was Queen of Navarre and Countess of Champagne and Brie during her marriage to Henry I of Navarre. After his death she became regent in the name of their infant daughter, Joan I. She passed on the regency of Navarre to Philip III of France, her cousin and her daughter's prospective father-in-law, but retained the administration of Champagne. She later shared the government of Champagne with her second husband, Edmund, until her daughter reached the age of majority.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Hugh Despenser the Younger</span> English peer and favourite of Edward II

Hugh Despenser, 1st Baron Despenser, also referred to as "the Younger Despenser", was the son and heir of Hugh Despenser, Earl of Winchester, and his wife Isabel Beauchamp, daughter of William Beauchamp, 9th Earl of Warwick. He rose to national prominence as royal chamberlain and a favourite of Edward II of England. Despenser made many enemies amongst the nobility of England. After the overthrow of Edward, he was eventually charged with high treason and ultimately hanged, drawn and quartered.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Thomas of Brotherton, 1st Earl of Norfolk</span> 14th-century English prince and nobleman

Thomas of Brotherton, 1st Earl of Norfolk, was the fifth son of King Edward I of England (1239–1307), and the eldest child by his second wife, Margaret of France, the daughter of King Philip III of France. He was, therefore, a younger half-brother of King Edward II and a full brother of Edmund of Woodstock, 1st Earl of Kent. He occupied the office of Earl Marshal of England.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">House of Plantagenet</span> Angevin royal dynasty that ruled England in the Middle Ages

The House of Plantagenet was a royal house which originated in the French County of Anjou. The name Plantagenet is used by modern historians to identify four distinct royal houses: the Angevins, who were also counts of Anjou; the main line of the Plantagenets following the loss of Anjou; and the Houses of Lancaster and York, two of the Plantagenets cadet branches. The family held the English throne from 1154, with the accession of Henry II, until 1485, when Richard III died.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">House of Capet</span> Royal house of France from 987 to 1328

The House of Capet ruled the Kingdom of France from 987 to 1328. It was the most senior line of the Capetian dynasty – itself a derivative dynasty from the Robertians.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Blanche of Burgundy</span> Queen consort of France and Navarre

Blanche of Burgundy was Queen of France and Navarre for a few months in 1322 through her marriage to King Charles IV the Fair. The daughter of Count Otto IV of Burgundy and Countess Mahaut of Artois, she was led to a disastrous marriage by her mother's ambition. Eight years before her husband's accession to the thrones, Blanche was arrested and found guilty of adultery with a Norman knight. Her sister-in-law, Margaret of Burgundy, suffered the same fate, while her sister Joan was acquitted. Blanche was imprisoned and not released even after becoming queen, until her marriage was annulled when she was moved to the coast of Normandy. The date and place of her death are unknown; the mere fact that she died was simply mentioned on the occasion of her husband's third marriage in April 1326.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Joan II, Countess of Burgundy</span> Countess Palatine of Burgundy

Joan II, Countess of Burgundy, was Queen of France by marriage to Philip V of France; she was also ruling Countess of Burgundy from 1303 to 1330 and ruling Countess of Artois in 1329–1330.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Joan, Countess of Ponthieu</span> Queen consort of Castile and León

Joan of Dammartin was Queen of Castile and León by marriage to Ferdinand III of Castile. She also ruled as Countess of Ponthieu (1251–1279) and Aumale (1237–1279). Her daughter, the English queen Eleanor of Castile, was her successor in Ponthieu. Ferdinand II, Count of Aumale, her son and co-ruler in Aumale, predeceased her, thus she was succeeded by her grandson John I, Count of Aumale.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Margaret de Clare, Baroness Badlesmere</span> Anglo-Norman noblewoman

Margaret de Badlesmere, Baroness Badlesmere was a Anglo-Norman noblewoman, suo jure heiress, and the wife of Bartholomew de Badlesmere, 1st Baron Badlesmere.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Tour de Nesle affair</span> Speculated adultery in the French royal family

The Tour de Nesle affair was a scandal amongst the French royal family in 1314, during which Margaret, Blanche, and Joan, the daughters-in-law of King Philip IV, were accused of adultery. The accusations were apparently started by Philip's daughter, Isabella. The Tour de Nesle was a tower in Paris where much of the adultery was said to have occurred. The scandal led to imprisonments, torture and executions for the princesses' lovers and the imprisonment of the princesses, with lasting consequences for the final years of the House of Capet.

References

Sources

Margaret of France, Queen of England
Born: 1279 Died: 14 February 1318
English royalty
Vacant
Title last held by
Eleanor of Castile
Queen consort of England
8 September 1299 – 7 July 1307
Vacant
Title next held by
Isabella of France