Margaret Douglas: Life Story

Chapter 2 : Early Childhood

Queen Margaret was very ill with sciatica following Margaret’s birth. She lay immovable, barely able to sit up in bed. Young Margaret would have been in the care of a wet nurse, it being unthinkable that a queen would breast feed her own child, even if she were in good health.

In the meantime, it was rumoured in Europe that Henry intended to invade Scotland. His minister, Cardinal Wolsey, maintained that there was absolutely no English intention whatever to invade Scotland, or France. Nevertheless, he added menacingly, if Albany did not mend his ways with reference to Queen Margaret, Henry would be forced to make him. Albany continued, with little success, to reach an accommodation with the Queen.

After some to-ing and fro-ing of letters, it was decided by Henry and his Council to invite Queen Margaret and her husband, Angus, south for Christmas. In the event, the party did not travel to London in November, perhaps because of Queen Margaret’s continued frailty or because Henry had not yet decided on the best policy with reference to Scotland. Instead, Queen Margaret and the baby Margaret were moved in very slow stages of four or five miles each day to Morpeth, which had a few more of the creature comforts to which the Queen was accustomed, arriving on 23rd November 1515.They were met there by Angus, who appears to have returned to Scotland in the period after the original arrival at Harbottle.