13 May 1471

Charter: confirmation under the great seal and seals of the three estates, of the dowry of Queen Margaret of Denmark, made in parliament

James, by the grace of God king of Scots, to all good men of all his land, clergy and laity, or others our friends and allies, to whose notice our present letters shall come, greeting. Whereas princes are accustomed to enter into treaties and friendships and other bonds of honesty, so that, defended by double power, their domains may be rendered stronger, and the attacks of foes and enemies more fiercely resisted; among the certainties, however, the treaty of the marriage-bond oath was ordained from the earliest times by the supreme creator of all things, that the propagation of the human race might advance lawfully, and that true love - accompanied by the bond of blood - and strength of treaty between kings and princes may proceed, concord increase, [and] peace and tranquillity be established. Hence it is that it was formerly treated, agreed, concluded, approved and confirmed with our ambassadors - the reverend fathers in Christ [Andrew Durisdeer], bishop of Glasgow and [William Tulloch], bishop of Orkney; the noble lord Andrew [Stewart], lord Avondale, our cousin and chancellor; our discreet clerics Martin Wan, our great almoner [and] Gilbert Rerick, archdeacon of Glasgow; and our dear esquires David Crichton of Cranstoun-Riddell and John Shaw of Halie - for contracting, on our behalf and in our name, among other things, marriage with the most serene lady, Lady Margaret, only daughter of the most illustrious prince, Christian [I], by the grace of God king of Denmark, Sweden, Norway, [and] of the Goths and the Slavs, now our most agreeable wife, that our sweetest spouse herself should have, by way of dowry or wedding gift, our palace of Linlithgow, and our castle in Doune in Menteith, with all their pertinents and adjacencies; and with them, a third part of the property of our realm, and of all proceeds, rents and income of the same properties appertaining to us by royal right, if it happens that, through God's will, we should pass away before our sweetest spouse. And, finally, if the creator of all things should prematurely remove us, the said James, king of Scots, with our aforesaid most sweet spouse surviving, our same spouse herself may, in the three years immediately following our death, freely leave the realm, or stay therein, as it may seem better and more pleasantly expedient to the same Lady Margaret. And should she decide to leave our realm of Scotland, we oblige our heirs and successors to the extent of 120,000 Rhenish florins faithfully to be paid to the said Lady Margaret, as the third part of the property of our realm of Scotland, assigned to her by way of dowry or wedding gift; the which sum of 120,000 Rhenish florins defaulting, the sum of the dowry assigned to us and not yet paid, namely the sum of 50,000 Rhenish florins, and the lands of the Orkney Isles impignorated to us, will revert to the king of Norway, wholly and severally without contradiction, fraud, guile or trickery, as long as the aforesaid Lady Margaret, now our sweetest spouse, does not unite in marriage, or join in any way whatsoever, with the king of England, or any one other whatsoever of his race or his realm of England. Moreover, so that our royal spouse, offspring of the most illustrious blood, may be more honourably endowed as befits her lineage, we - with the express consent and advice of the estates of our realm in a special session of our parliament - have granted, given, assigned, approved, and ratify and confirm irrevocably in perpetuity on our behalf and that of our heirs and successors, to the aforesaid Lady Margaret, our spouse, our aforesaid palace of Linlithgow and castle of Doune in Menteith, with all pertinents and adjacencies, and, with them, the third part of our property of the kingdom of Scotland or of the things appertaining to the property of the said kingdom, for the term of her life, in accordance with the agreements and promises of our ambassadors. And we promise that the other agreements and appointments firmly undertaken and established by our aforesaid spokesmen will be observed. And all the aforesaid things we confirm to be given, and, from certain knowledge, give to be confirmed, according to their tenor. In witness whereof our great seal was appended, along with the seals of diverse prelates, peers, earls, barons and burgh commissioners gathered in our aforesaid parliament, present [as] the three estates of our realm, as a sign of their consent and assent, at Edinburgh, 13 May 1471, and in the twelfth year of our reign.

  1. NAS, Register of the Great Seal, C2/7/1/154, f.69v. Back