Queenship and the Challenge of a Widowed Queen: Margaret Tudor Regent of Scotland 1513–1514

Lorna G. Barrow


A queen consort in the pre-modern period had to consider what her role would be if she were widowed. The role of a widowed queen was complicated and its difficulty compounded if she had underage male heirs. In many places the assumption that she was entitled to be regent was set aside by the local nobles as it was in Sweden and Denmark. When James IV was killed on 9 September 1513 fighting against the English army of his wife’s brother, Henry VIII, Margaret Tudor was left in a peculiarly invidious position. Margaret was pregnant, in a land hostile to her brother and not inclined to be ruled by a woman—and an Englishwoman at that.

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