Marie de Coucy

Last updated

Marie de Coucy
Queen consort of Scotland
Bornc. 1218
France [ dubious ]
Newbattle Abbey, Scotland [1]
Spouse Alexander II of Scotland (1239-1249)
John of Brienne (1257-1268)
Issue Alexander III of Scotland
House Coucy
Father Enguerrand III, Lord of Coucy
MotherMarie de Montmirail

Marie de Coucy (c. 1218 – 1285) was queen of Scotland by marriage to King Alexander II. She was a member of the royal council during the two last years of the minority of her son, King Alexander III, in 1260–1262.



Marie was the daughter of Lord Enguerrand III of Coucy and his third wife, Marie de Montmirel (fr) (1192 – 1267) and a great-great granddaughter of King Louis VI of France. According to the chronicler Matthew Paris, she was beautiful and very wealthy. In 1238, King Alexander II of Scotland needed to remarry after the death of his first childless spouse, Joan of England. King Henry III of England claimed sovereignty over Scotland, which was opposed by Alexander, who wished to make an alliance with France against England. Enguerrand III was a powerful French vassal and a known enemy of England, and the marriage between Marie and Alexander II was regarded as a French-Scottish alliance against England.


On 15 May 1239 Marie married Alexander II of Scotland in Roxburgh. The marriage brought an alliance between the Scots and the Coucy lordship, and for the rest of the 13th century they exchanged soldiers and money. She brought a large train of French followers to Scotland. [2] In her retinue was her chancellor Richard Vairement and her nephew Enguerrand de Guines, who came to have some influence in Scottish affairs. Her nephew married Christiane de Lindsay, a niece of John Balliol, and thus became a Scottish magnate. Two years after her marriage, she gave birth to the future king, Alexander III.

King Alexander II died on 8 July 1249 during an expedition against the lord of Argyll on the island of Kerrera. Immediately after the news reached her, Queen Marie made sure her 8-year-old son was crowned as soon as possible at Scone. [3] Although her son was a minor and was placed under regency, Marie did not become regent. On 9 June 1250 Marie and Alexander III were present in Dunfermline for the observance of the canonisation of Saint Margaret of Scotland and the transference of her remains to the new shrine.

Later life

In autumn 1250 Marie returned to Picardy and, for the rest of her life, she divided her time between France and Scotland. In 1252 she attended the wedding in York of her son Alexander III and Margaret of England with a great entourage of French and Scottish nobles. In 1256 or 1257 Marie married John of Brienne (1227–1296), grand butler of France. They had no children together.

In 1260 the rivalries between the Scottish factions for influence during the minority of her son made the situation in Scotland critical, and Marie and her husband were therefore named members of the royal council during the remaining years of the king's minority, until Alexander III was declared of legal majority in 1262. In 1268 Marie separated from John and returned to Scotland. When her daughter-in-law, Margaret, died in February 1275, Marie arranged the new marriage between her son and Yolande of Dreux. In 1275–76, she made a pilgrimage to the shrine of St. Thomas Becket in Canterbury.

Marie de Coucy died in the summer of 1285 and was buried in a tomb she had constructed in Newbattle Abbey. [4]


  1. Carrick, J.C.The abbey of S. Mary, Newbottle : a memorial of the royal visit1908. pp47-48.
  2. Marshall, Rosalind K. (2003). Scottish Queens, 1034-1714. Tuckwell Press. p. 20.
  3. Marshall, Rosalind K. (2003). Scottish Queens, 1034-1714. Tuckwell Press. p. 21.
  4. Stringer, Keith J. (2004). "Marie [née Marie de Coucy] (d. 1284), queen of Scots, second consort of Alexander II" . Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/49369. ISBN   978-0-19-861412-8 . Retrieved 29 December 2021.{{cite encyclopedia}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)(Subscription or UK public library membership required.)

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Alexander III of Scotland</span> King of Scots from 1249 to 1286

Alexander III was King of Scots from 1249 until his death. He concluded the Treaty of Perth, by which Scotland acquired sovereignty over the Western Isles and the Isle of Man. His heir, Margaret, Maid of Norway, died before she could be crowned.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">James V of Scotland</span> King of Scotland from 1513 to 1542

James V was King of Scotland from 9 September 1513 until his death in 1542. He was crowned on 21 September 1513 at the age of seventeen months. James was the son of King James IV and Margaret Tudor, and during his childhood Scotland was governed by regents, firstly by his mother until she remarried, and then by his second cousin, John, Duke of Albany. James's personal rule began in 1528 when he finally escaped the custody of his stepfather, Archibald Douglas, Earl of Angus. His first action was to exile Angus and confiscate the lands of the Douglases.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Mary of Guise</span> French noblewoman and queen of Scotland (r. 1554-60)

Mary of Guise, also called Mary of Lorraine, was a French noblewoman of the House of Guise, a cadet branch of the House of Lorraine and one of the most powerful families in France. She was Queen of Scotland from 1538 until 1542, as the second wife of King James V. As the mother of Mary, Queen of Scots, she was a key figure in the political and religious upheaval that marked mid-16th-century Scotland, ruling the kingdom as regent on behalf of her daughter from 1554 until her death in 1560.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Margaret of Denmark, Queen of Scotland</span> Queen consort of Scotland (1456–1486)

Margaret of Denmark was Queen of Scotland from 1469 to 1486 by marriage to King James III. She was the daughter of Christian I, King of Denmark, Norway and Sweden, and Dorothea of Brandenburg.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">John II, Duke of Brittany</span> Duke of Brittany

John II reigned as Duke of Brittany from 1286 until his death, and was also Earl of Richmond in the Peerage of England. He took part in two crusades prior to his accession to the ducal throne. As a duke, John was involved in the conflicts between the kings of France and England. He was crushed to death in an accident during the celebrations of a papal coronation.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Madeleine of Valois</span> Queen consort of Scotland

Madeleine of France or Madeleine of Valois was a French princess who briefly became Queen of Scotland in 1537 as the first wife of King James V. The marriage was arranged in accordance with the Treaty of Rouen, and they were married at Notre-Dame de Paris in January 1537, despite French reservations over her failing health. Madeleine died in July 1537, only six months after the wedding and less than two months after arriving in Scotland, resulting in her nickname, the "Summer Queen".

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Joan Beaufort, Queen of Scots</span> Queen consort of Scotland

Joan Beaufort was Queen of Scotland from 1424 to 1437 as the spouse of King James I of Scotland. During part of the minority of her son James II, she served as the regent of Scotland.

Coucy is the name or part of the name of several communes in France:

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Joan of the Tower</span> 14th-century English princess and queen of Scotland

Joan of the Tower, daughter of Edward II of England and Isabella of France, was Queen of Scotland from 1329 to her death as the first wife of David II of Scotland.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Mary of Guelders</span> Queen consort of Scotland

Mary of Guelders was Queen of Scotland by marriage to King James II of Scotland. She ruled as regent of Scotland from 1460 to 1463.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Enguerrand III, Lord of Coucy</span> Medieval French nobleman

Enguerrand III de Boves, Lord of Coucy was a medieval French nobleman. The eldest son and successor of Ralph I, Lord of Coucy and Alix de Dreux, he succeeded as Lord of Coucy in 1191, and held it until his death; he was also lord of Marle and Boves.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Yolande of Dreux, Queen of Scotland</span> Countess of Montfort

Yolande of Dreux was a sovereign Countess of Montfort from 1311 until 1322. Through her first marriage to Alexander III of Scotland, Yolande became Queen consort of the Kingdom of Scotland. Through her second marriage to Arthur II, Duke of Brittany, she became Duchess Consort of Brittany.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Anabella Drummond</span> Queen consort of Scotland

Anabella Drummond was the Queen of Scotland by marriage to King Robert III of Scotland.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Margaret of England</span> 13th-century English princess and Queen of Scotland

Margaret of England was Queen of Scots by marriage to King Alexander III.

Ermengarde de Beaumont was Queen of Scotland as the wife of King William I. She is reported to have exerted influence over the affairs of state as queen, though the information of her is lacking in detail. Her paternal grandmother is Constance FitzRoy, illegitimate daughter of Henry I of England.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Joan of England, Queen of Scotland</span> 13th-century English princess and Queen of Scotland

Joan of England, was Queen consort of Scotland from 1221 until her death. She was the third child of John, King of England and Isabella of Angoulême.

Isabella of England was the eldest daughter of King Edward III of England and Philippa of Hainault, and the wife of Enguerrand de Coucy, Earl of Bedford, by whom she had two daughters. She was made a Lady of the Garter in 1376.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Marie I de Coucy, Countess of Soissons</span> French countess

Marie I de Coucy was Dame de Coucy and d'Oisy, and Countess of Soissons from 1397. She succeeded suo jure to the title of Countess of Soissons upon the death of her father, Enguerrand VII de Coucy, on 18 February 1397. In addition to her titles, she also possessed numerous estates in northeastern France. She was the wife of Henry of Bar, and the granddaughter of King Edward III of England and Philippa of Hainault.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Enguerrand V de Coucy</span> Lord of Coucy

Enguerrand V, Lord of Coucy inherited the title of Lord of Coucy and castle from his maternal uncle, Enguerrand IV in 1311. He was also lord of Oisy and Montmirail.

Sir John of Brienne, was a French nobleman who served as Grand Butler of France in 1258.


Scottish royalty
Preceded by Queen consort of Scotland
Succeeded by