Yolande of Dreux, Queen of Scotland

Last updated

Yolande of Dreux
Sceau de Yolande d'Ecosse - Duchesse de Bretagne.png
Yolande of Dreux
Countess of Montfort
Tenure1311–1322
Predecessor Beatrice
Successor John II
Queen consort of Scotland
Tenure1285–1286
Duchess consort of Brittany
Tenure1305–1312
Born20 March 1263
Died2 August 1330(1330-08-02) (aged 66–67)
Spouse Alexander III of Scotland
Arthur II, Duke of Brittany
Issue
more...
John of Montfort
House Dreux
Father Robert IV, Count of Dreux
Mother Beatrice, Countess of Montfort

Yolande of Dreux (20 March 1263 – 2 August 1330 [1] ) 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.

Contents

Life

Coat of arms (House of Dreux) Blason Comtes de Dreux.svg
Coat of arms (House of Dreux)

Early life

She was the daughter of Robert IV, Count of Dreux, and Beatrice, Countess of Montfort. Her father was a patrilineal descendant of King Louis VI of France, making her a member of a cadet branch of the Capetian dynasty with powerful connections.

Queen of Scotland

In 1281, King Alexander III of Scotland lost his son David and two other children in the two following years, leaving his granddaughter, Margaret, Maid of Norway, as his heir presumptive. He was in need to remarry to have a new heir to the throne. Yolande was daughter of the stepdaughter of Jean de Brienne, the second spouse of king Alexander's mother, queen dowager Marie de Coucy, and considered a suitable match. Yolande was related to her husband Alexander III, through shared ancestry in the French noble houses of Coucy and Dreux. In addition to providing an heir for the Kingdom of Scotland, Alexander's marriage to Yolande represented a move to distance Alexander from his neighbour Edward I of England and to emphasize Scottish independence from England.

An embassy was sent from Scotland in February 1285 and returned with Yolande in the company of her brother Jean. The marriage was celebrated on 15 October 1285 at Jedburgh Abbey, attended by a great many nobles of France and Scotland. [2]

Alexander died on either 18 March or 19 March 1286, after falling from his horse, while riding from his court at Edinburgh to join Yolande at Kinghorn. Following his death, queen dowager Yolande moved to Stirling Castle and declared that she was pregnant. The Guardians of Scotland were elected by a parliament held at Scone, Perth and Kinross on 2 April or 28 April 1286 and swore to govern the kingdom until Alexander's declared heir Margaret of Norway arrived to take the throne or Yolande gave birth to a child who would be preferred over Margaret.

It is unclear what happened to her pregnancy; either she had a miscarriage, or the baby was stillborn or died shortly after birth. However, by one account the Guardians gathered at Clackmannan on Saint Catherine's Day – 25 November 1286 – to witness the birth, but the child was stillborn. Tradition says the baby was buried at Cambuskenneth. [lower-alpha 1] After the queen dowager's pregnancy did not result in a living child, the council begun preparations for Margaret of Norway to be taken to Scotland as their new sovereign.

Queen dowager Yolande remained in Scotland for a couple of years supported by her dower provisions and living possibly at Stirling Castle: it is known that she was still in Scotland at least as late as in 1288. At some point, she returned to France.

Duchess of Brittany and Countess of Montfort

In May 1294, she married Arthur II, Duke of Brittany. Together they had at least six children. Arthur died in 1312, being succeeded by his son John III, Duke of Brittany.

Yolande succeeded her mother as suo jure Countess of Montfort in 1311. She continued to manage her Scottish affairs: as late as shortly before her death, she is noted to have sent a knight to Scotland to see to her dower lands.

Yolande died on 2 August 1330 in the convent of Port-Royal des Champs outside of Paris. [3] Her county of Montfort passed to her son John, who would later fight for his claim to his father's duchy in the Breton War of Succession.

Issue

Yolande and Arthur had at least six children:

Note

  1. It is also possible she had a phantom pregnancy, and according to one dubious English account she was faking pregnancy. See Peter Traquair Freedom's Sword.

Related Research Articles

Alexander III of Scotland 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.

Margaret, known as the Maid of Norway, was the queen-designate of Scotland from 1286 until her death. As she was never inaugurated, her status as monarch is uncertain and has been debated by historians.

A queen dowager or dowager queen is a title or status generally held by the widow of a king. In the case of the widow of an emperor, the title of empress dowager is used. Its full meaning is clear from the two words from which it is composed: queen indicates someone who served as queen consort, while dowager indicates a woman who holds the title from her deceased husband. A queen mother is a former queen, often a dowager queen, who is the mother of the reigning monarch.

Arthur II, Duke of Brittany

Arthur II, of the House of Dreux, was Duke of Brittany from 1305 to his death. He was the first son of John II and Beatrice, daughter of Henry III of England and Eleanor of Provence.

John III, Duke of Brittany

John III the Good was Duke of Brittany, from 1312 to his death and 5th Earl of Richmond from 1334 to his death. He was the son of Duke Arthur II of Brittany and Mary of Limoges, his first wife. John was strongly opposed to his father's second marriage to Yolande of Dreux, Queen of Scotland and attempted to contest its legality.

Joan, Duchess of Brittany Duchess regnant of Brittany during the War of the Breton Succession

Joan of Penthièvre or Joan the Lame reigned as Duchess of Brittany together with her husband, Charles of Blois, between 1341 and 1364. Her ducal claims were contested by the House of Montfort, which prevailed only after an extensive civil war, the War of the Breton Succession. After the war, Joan remained titular Duchess of Brittany to her death. She was Countess of Penthièvre in her own right throughout her life.

War of the Breton Succession War of succession within Brittany from 1341 to 1365; part of the Hundred Years War

The War of the Breton Succession was a conflict between the Counts of Blois and the Montforts of Brittany for control of the Sovereign Duchy of Brittany, then a fief of the Kingdom of France. It was fought between 1341 and 12 April 1365. It is also known as the War of the Two Jeannes due to the involvement of two queens of that name.

Earl of Richmond

The now-extinct title of Earl of Richmond was created many times in the Peerage of England. The earldom of Richmond was initially held by various Breton nobles associated with the Ducal crown of Brittany; sometimes the holder was the Breton Duke himself, including one member of the cadet branch of the French Capetian dynasty. The historical ties between the Ducal crown of Brittany and this English Earldom were maintained ceremonially by the Breton dukes even after England ceased to recognize the Breton Dukes as Earls of England and those dukes rendered homage to the King of France, rather than the English crown. It was then held either by members of the English royal families of Plantagenet and Tudor, or English nobles closely associated with the English crown. It was eventually merged into the English crown during the reign of Henry VII and has been recreated as a Dukedom.

Counts and dukes of Penthièvre

In the 11th and 12th centuries the Countship of Penthièvre in Brittany belonged to a branch of the sovereign House of Brittany. It initially belonged to the House of Rennes. Alan III, Duke of Brittany, gave it to his brother Eudes in 1035, and his descendants formed a cadet branch of the ducal house.

Marie de Coucy 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.

Margaret of England 13th-century English princess and Queen of Scotland

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

Montfort of Brittany

The House of Montfort was a Breton-French noble family, which reigned in the Duchy of Brittany from 1365 to 1514. It was a cadet branch of the House of Dreux; it was thus ultimately part of the Capetian dynasty. It should not be confused with the older House of Montfort which ruled as Counts of Montfort-l'Amaury.

Robert IV, Count of Dreux

Robert IV of Dreux (1241–1282), Count of Dreux, Braine and Montfort-l'Amaury, was the son of John I of Dreux and Marie of Bourbon.

Yolande II, Countess of Nevers

Yolande II or Yolande of Nevers, was the daughter of Odo of Burgundy, and Matilda II, Countess of Nevers.

Ada de Warenne was a Scottish princess, the Anglo-Norman wife of Henry of Scotland, Earl of Northumbria and Earl of Huntingdon. She was the daughter of William de Warenne, 2nd Earl of Surrey by Elizabeth of Vermandois, and a great-granddaughter of Henry I of France. She was the mother of Malcolm IV and William I of Scotland.

Jeanne, Dame de Chateaudun was a French heiress and the wife of two French noblemen: Jean I de Montfort and Jean de Brienne, Grand Butler of France.

Beatrice, Countess of Montfort

Beatrice de Montfort, Countess of Montfort-l'Amaury was a ruling sovereign countess of Montfort from 1249 until 1312. She was also countess of Dreux by marriage to Robert IV of Dreux, Count of Dreux. She was the ancestor of the Dukes of Brittany from the House of Montfort-Dreux which derived its name from her title.

Yolande of Brittany

Yolande of Brittany was the ruler of the counties of Penthièvre and Porhoet in the Duchy of Brittany. Yolande had been betrothed to King Henry III of England in 1226 at the age of seven years, but married Hugh XI of Lusignan, the half-brother of Henry III. Through Hugh, she became Countess of La Marche and of Angoulême. She was the mother of seven children. From 1250 to 1256, she acted as Regent of La Marche and Angoulême for her son, Hugh XII of Lusignan.

References

  1. Le livre des rois de France
  2. Sharon Bennett Connolly (2017). Heroines of the Medieval World. Amberley Publishing. p. 116. ISBN   978-1-4456-6265-7.
  3. Antoine Rivet de La Grange (1723). Necrologe de l'abbaye de Port-Royal-des-Champs. p. 300.

Sources

Necrologe de l'abbaie de Port-Royal-des-Champs

Yolande of Dreux, Queen of Scotland
Born: 1263 Died: 2 August 1322
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Beatrice
Countess of Montfort
1311–1322
with Arthur (1311–1312)
Succeeded by
John II
Royal titles
Vacant
Title last held by
Margaret of England
Queen consort of Scotland
1285–1286
Vacant
Title next held by
Elizabeth de Burgh
Vacant
Title last held by
Blanche of Navarre
Duchess consort of Brittany
1305–1312
Succeeded by
Isabella of Aragon