[MR] Death of the Maid of Norway

Garth Groff and Sally Sanford mallardlodge1000 at gmail.com
Sat Sep 26 03:21:47 PDT 2020

Noble Friends, Especially Fellow Scots,

On this sad day in 1290, Margaret, the seven year-old Maid of Norway, died
on her way to be crowned as Queen of Scots. Margaret was the granddaughter
and last surviving descendant of the King of Scots Alexander III, who had
the bad luck to break his neck in a riding accident in 1286.

Margaret the Maid, was the only child of another Margaret, Alexander's
daughter who had married King Eric II of Norway. Margaret, the mother, died
shortly after giving birth. In 1290 Margaret the Maid was packed off to
Scotland to be crowned Queen of Scots. Along the way the child sickened,
possibly from food poisoning, and died after her ship put in at Orkney.

Margaret's death threw Scotland into turmoil, as no less than major 13
claimants jockeyed for the throne. Ultimately, and I might add rather
stupidly, the Scots turned to Edward I of England to arbitrate the
situation before civil war could break out. Edward already had his eye on
adding Scotland to Wales in his conquest collection. The Maid's death
spoiled his hopes for a bloodless take-over by having her marry his son,
the future royal flop Edward II.

This was a golden ticket for Edward, so he picked the weak John Balloil,
who was more than happy to swear fealty to Edward as his overlord. When
Balliol's nobles finally pushed him into a mutual defense treaty with the
French in 1296, Edward publicly sacked him and seized the Scottish throne
for himself. Thus we got the First Scottish War of Independence, with
William Wallace and all that stuff.

A rather brief Wikipedia biography on the Maid of Norway (she didn't live
long enough to do much) is found at:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Margaret,_Maid_of_Norway . Have fun with the
family tree, where you will find five different Margarets (and there were
probably more among the unnamed daughters--it was a very popular name). The
Robert Bruce on this chart is the grandfather of Robert the Bruce, who
eventually won all the marbles (so to speak) and became King of Scots as
Robert I.

Yours Aye,

Lord Mungo Napier, Laird of Mallard Lodge  🦆

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