1515 (8th October)
Margaret Douglas was born to Margaret Tudor
, widow of King James IV
and her second husband Archibald Douglas at Harbottle Castle, Northumberland. She was born in England because her mother had been removed from the regency of King James V
, after she had remarried. She was styled Lady Margaret Douglas.
1515 (18th December)
Margaret’s half-brother, Alexander, died at Stirling Castle.
1515 (late December)
Margaret’s father, Archibald Douglas, returned to Scotland and made peace with the Duke of Albany who was now regent for James V.
Margaret Tudor left Harbottle and went south to London, taking Margaret Douglas with her. She stayed at Scotland Yard in Whitehall, traditional London residence of Scottish Kings. Together with the Duke of Albany, Cardinal Wolsey
and her brother, Henry VIII, she began to negotiate a peace treaty between England and Scotland.
1516 (18th February)
With peace between England and Scotland successfully negotiated, Margaret’s mother returned to Scotland. However, she was not fully trusted by the council and was only allowed to visit her son, James, under supervision. Having returned to Scotland she soon learned that her husband had been openly living with Jane Stewart and she began trying to gain a divorce from Archibald Douglas. Douglas took Margaret into his custody.
1525 (late February)
Margaret’s father, the Earl of Angus took custody of the young King James V and began to rule on his behalf.
1527 (11th March)
Margaret’s parents divorced after the Pope gave his approval to the divorce.
1527 (22nd June)
Henry VIII separated from Catherine of Aragon.
1528 (3rd March)
Margaret’s mother married Henry Stewart who had been her treasurer.
King James V, took control of Scotland, removing himself from Margaret’s father who fled into exile. He appointed Margaret’s mother one of his senior advisers.
Archibald Douglas, Earl of Angus sent Margaret to Norham Castle in England. He was concerned for her safety in Scotland.
1529 (17th October)
Henry VIII removed Cardinal Wolsey from the post of Chancellor due to his failure to secure his divorce from Catherine of Aragon.
1530 (1st November)
A warrant for Thomas Wolsey’s arrest was drawn up. It was sent to Henry Percy, Earl of Northumberland, who was instructed to arrest Wolsey and bring him to London.
1530 (29th November)
Thomas Wolsey died at 8am at the Abbey of St Mary in Leicester.
Margaret joined the household of Princess Mary and the two became friends.
1533 (25th January)
Henry VIII married Anne Boleyn in the private chapel in Whitehall Palace.
1533 (7th September)
Margaret was appointed lady-of-honour to Princess Elizabeth.
1534 (23rd March)
Act of Succession
This act settled the succession on the children of Henry and Anne Boleyn. Princess Mary was declared illegitimate and given the title Lady Mary. The act also included a requirement for all of the king’s subjects to swear an oath to uphold the act.
1534 (8th June)
Margaret Douglas and Thomas Howard, Anne Boleyn’s uncle, were secretly betrothed.
1534 (3rd November)
Act of Supremacy
This act declared that Henry VIII was Head of the Church in England. The reigning monarch has held the title ever since.
1536 (7th January)
Catherine of Aragon died.
1536 (1st May)
Anne Boleyn was arrested on a charge of treason for having committed adultery.
1536 (19th May)
Anne Boleyn was executed for treason.
1536 (30th May)
Henry VIII married Jane Seymour
at Whitehall Palace, London.
This new act settled the succession on the children of Henry VIII and Jane Seymour. Like her half-sister, Mary, Princess Elizabeth was now declared illegitimate and given the title Lady Elizabeth. Margaret was now second in line to the throne after her mother.
King Henry VIII was furious when he learned of the betrothal of Margaret Douglas and Thomas Howard and they were both sent to the Tower of London.
1536 (18th July)
An Act of Attainder sentenced Thomas Howard to death for attempting to interrupt the succession of the crown. The Act stated that no member of the royal family could marry without the monarch’s permission. Howard was not executed but remained in prison.
After her mother pleaded with Henry VIII, Margaret, who had become ill in the Tower, was moved to Sion Abbey.
1537 (12th October)
A son, Edward
, was born to Henry VIII and Jane Seymour at Hampton Court Palace.
1537 (24th October)
Jane Seymour died from puerperal fever.
1537 (29th October)
Margaret Douglas was released from captivity after being forced to recant her love and betrothal to Thomas Howard.
1537 (31st October)
Margaret Douglas was very upset when she learned that Thomas Howard had died in the Tower of London.
1539 (4th October)
Margaret Douglas and Mary Howard
, Duchess of Richmond, widow of Henry VIII’s illegitimate son, Henry Fitzroy
, were chosen to become members of Anne of Cleves’ household.
1540 (6th January)
Despite the fact that he did not like his bride, Henry VIII married Anne of Cleves at Greenwich Palace to avoid a diplomatic situation.
1540 (9th July)
The marriage of Henry VIII and Anne of Cleves was annulled. As a gift for agreeing to the annulment of the marriage, Anne was given Hever Castle, the childhood home of Anne Boleyn, a pension for life and was made an honorary sister to the King.
1540 (28th July)
Margaret had a romantic relationship with Charles Howard, brother of Kathryn Howard. Henry VIII was furious when he learned that Margaret had began an affair without his permission and sent her away from court.
1541 (18th October)
Margaret’s mother, Margaret Tudor, died at Methven Castle of palsy. Margaret was now second in line to the throne after Prince Edward.
1541 (13th November)
Margaret was moved to Kenninghall, Norfolk.
1543 (12th July)
Margaret and the King’s three children were present for the marriage ceremony of Henry VIII and Katherine Parr
1544 (7th February)
A new Succession Act settled the succession on the children of Henry VIII: Edward, Mary and Elizabeth.
1544 (6th July)
Margaret Douglas married Matthew Stewart, Earl of Lennox at St James’s Palace, London. King Henry VIII and Katherine Parr attended the wedding.
1545 (7th December)
A son, Henry Stuart
, was born to Margaret Douglas and Matthew Stewart at Temple Newsam. He was given the anglicised surname because he was born in England. He was styled Lord Darnley.
1547 (28th January)
King Henry VIII, aged 55 years, died at 2 am at Whitehall Palace. He was succeeded by his 10 year old son, Edward.
Margaret received a letter from her father, Archibald Douglas, stating that members of the Douglas family had been captured. He wanted Margaret to use her position in England to speak for her family and gain preferential treatment for them. The letter was forwarded on to the Duke of Somerset who was regent for King Edward VI.
1553 (10th July)
King Edward VI died. As directed by Edward on his deathbed, Protestant Lady Jane Grey
became Queen rather than Henry VIII’s Catholic daughter, Mary. Jane reigned for just nine days.
1553 (19th July)
Henry VIII’s daughter Mary had raised her standard against Jane Grey and with popular support became Queen Mary I of England, Wales and Ireland. She vowed to restore Catholicism to Britain. Jane Grey and her husband Guildford Dudley
were imprisoned in the Tower of London.
1553 (late Summer)
Margaret returned to court where she was given lodgings in Westminster Palace.
A son, Charles, was born to Margaret Douglas and Matthew Stewart. He was styled Charles Stuart.
1558 (24th April)
17th November 1558
Queen Mary I died. She was succeeded by her sister, Elizabeth, who became Queen Elizabeth I of England, Ireland and Wales. Many Catholics believed that Mary Queen of Scots was the rightful Queen of England and Scotland as Elizabeth was illegitimate. Margaret was now second in line to both the Scottish and English thrones, her son, Henry was third in line.
1558 (14th December)
Margaret was chief mourner at the funeral of Queen Mary I.
1560 (5th December)
Mary Queen of Scots’ husband, Francis II of France, died.
Margaret Douglas sent her son, Henry, and his tutor, John Elder, to France so that Henry could pay his respects to Mary for the loss of her husband. Margaret wanted her son to marry the Scottish queen and schemed to that purpose.
1565 (3rd February)
Margaret’s son, Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley, left London to travel north to Scotland where he was going to go to the Scottish court. Mary Queen of Scots had returned from France and he hoped to find favour with her.
1565 (17th February)
Darnley presented himself to Mary at Wemyss Castle in Fife. He made a great impression on Mary who decided that she would marry him.
1565 (4th June)
Queen Elizabeth I and her Privy council were alarmed when they heard that Mary Queen of Scots intended to marry Darnley fearing that it would strengthen both of their claims to the English throne. Elizabeth demanded that Darnley return to England.
1565 (29th July)
Mary Queen of Scots married Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley.
1565 (late October)
Margaret’s son, Darnley, had hoped that Mary would grant him the right to inherit the Scottish throne if she died without an heir (the Crown Matrimonial). When she refused he became angry, something that happened whenever he did not get his own way.
Queen Elizabeth I believed that Margaret had schemed for the marriage of her son to Mary Queen of Scots and had her sent to the Tower of London.
Margaret’s son, Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley, was angry that Mary Queen of Scots spent time a lot of time with her secretary, David Rizzio. He raised concerns with the Protestant lords in Scotland that they may be planning to re-introduce Catholicism to Scotland.
1566 (9th March)
A number of Protestant lords entered Mary’s apartments at Holyrood Palace and murdered Rizzio in front of her. The Earl of Morton and Lord Ruthven, who had both been with Mary at the time of the murder fled to England. Darnley had hoped that with Rizzio out of the way he would be granted the ‘Crown Matrimonial’, but instead Mary left Darnley and went to Edinburgh Castle.
1566 (27th March)
The Earl of Morton and Lord Ruthven wrote to Elizabeth I’s minister Robert Cecil, stating that Darnley had been responsible for the murder of Rizzio.
1566 (19th June)
A son, James, was born to Mary Queen of Scots and Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley at Edinburgh Castle.
Darnley, who had been taken ill with a fever, feared for his life and went to stay with his father in Glasgow.
Darnley returned to Edinburgh after Queen Mary requested his return. He moved into a house at Kirk o’ Field where Mary visited him regularly.
1567 (10th February)
At around 2 am Darnley’s house was blown up. Darnley was found in the grounds of the property and it appeared he had been strangled. It was believed that Bothwell was behind the murder but Mary was also incriminated.
1567 (late February)
Margaret was devastated to learn of the murder of her son. Elizabeth released Margaret shortly afterwards but Margaret chose to remain in England.
1567 (19th June)
Mary Queen of Scots was implicated in the murder of her husband, Lord Darnley.
1567 (24th July)
Mary Queen of Scots was forced to abdicate the throne in favour of her infant son who became James VI of Scotland.
Mary Queen of Scots fled to England and sought the protection of Elizabeth I.
A number of northern Catholic nobles mounted a rebellion against the rule of Elizabeth I. They wanted to replace her with Mary Queen of Scots.
Margaret’s husband, Matthew Stewart, Earl of Angus, became regent for the infant king of Scotland.
1571 (4th September)
Margaret’s husband, Matthew Stewart, was shot and killed by a party of the Queen’s men.
Margaret upset Queen Elizabeth I again when she arranged for her younger son, Charles, to marry Elizabeth Cavendish. She was returned to the Tower of London.
A daughter, Arabella, was born to Charles Stuart and Elizabeth Cavendish. She was styled Lady Arabella Stuart.
Margaret’s son, Charles, died of consumption.
1576 (late Spring)
Margaret was released from the Tower. She spent time helping her daughter-in-law take care of her young granddaughter, Arabella.
1578 (7th March)
Margaret Douglas died of food poisoning.