Fourteenth-Century Scottish Royal Women 1306-1371: Pawns, Players and Prisoners

Lorna G Barrow


The kings of Scotland in the fourteenth century, with the exception of DavidII, did not initially marry the daughters of kings. Their wives were Scottishand were drawn in the main from the level of earls and lairds. Furthermore,unlike most Scottish princesses in the thirteenth and fifteenth centuries, whowent out of the realm to marry, those in the fourteenth century were on thewhole stay at home princesses. These women were married into the ranks ofthe nobility thereby strengthening the political position of any givenmonarch within the realm. However, the possible claims to the thronethrough the highly fertile female lines proliferated. After the crown hadpassed to the house of Stewart through a female, Marjory, daughter ofRobert the Bruce, the possibility of such claims probably served to maintainthe royal status as primus inter pares or ‘first among equals’. This paperwill attempt to examine the nature of the royal court to which queens cameand at which their daughters were brought up.

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