Mary (d.1463) (DNB00)

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MARY of Gueldres (d. 1463), queen of James II of Scotland, was the daughter of Arnold, duke of Gueldres, by Catherine, duchess of Cleves, and daughter of John, duke of Burgundy. She was brought up at the court of her kinsman, Philip the Good of Burgundy, who in 1449 recommended her to the Scottish commissioners as a fitting consort for their king. Charles VII of France, whom they thereupon consulted, having also strongly advised the match, a treaty for the marriage was agreed upon between Philip and James II, 1 April 1449. In the treaty she is described as 'nubilis et formosa.' She set sail from Flanders in a splendid galley, escorted by a large retinue of nobles, and' three hundred men of arms in thirteen other ships; and after paying her devotions at the chapel of St. Andrew, in the Isle of May, landed at Leith on 18 June. Thence she journeyed to Edinburgh, where not improbably the palace of Holyrood had been built for her reception (Burnet, Preface to Exchequer Rolte, vol. v. p. lxxvi). Philip of Burgundy granted her a portion of sixty thousand crowns, while James II settled on her, in the event of her surviving 'him, a dower often thousand crowns to be secured on lands in Strathearn, Atholl, Methven, and Linlithgow. The marriage was celebrated at Holy rood on 3 July.

On the death of James II at the siege of Roxburgh, 3 Aug. 1460, Mary, taking with her the infant prince, James III, immediately set out for the camp, and so inspired the soldiers to redouble tneir efforts to capture the castle, that soon after her arrival it was carried by assault. During the minority of James III, who was crowned at Kelso on 10 Aug., she retained her position as regent of the kingdom, with Bishop Kennedy [see Kennedy, James] as her principal minister. In July 1460 she entertained Margaret of Anjou and her son in Lincluden Abbey; and she also gave Margaret and her husband, Henry VI, shelter after their defeat at Towton in 1461. Henry VI also obtained the promise of help from the powerful Earl of Angus; but a proposal of the Earl of Warwick, on behalf of Edward IV, for the hand of the queen regent, tended to weaken the influence of his rival in Scotland. Mary died, according to Bishop Leslie, on 16 Nov. 1463 (History of Scotland, Bannatyne ed. p. 36), but according to the ‘Exchequer Rolls’ (vii. 389) on 1 Dec. 1464. The year given in the ‘Exchequer Rolls’ is clearly a clerical error; but otherwise this date is probably correct. She was buried in the church of Trinity College, Edinburgh. Although credited with intrigues with Somerset, who after Towton took refuge in Scotland, and with Adam Hepburn, second lord Hales, she was as a sovereign both prudent and energetic. She built the castle of Ravenscraig, near Dysart, Fife, and the church of Trinity College, Edinburgh, besides providing for extensive repairs on Stirling Castle, the palace of Falkland, and other royal residences.

[Chroniques de Matthieu de Coussy; Auchinleck Chronicle; Histories of Leslie, Lindsay of Pitscottie, and Buchanan; Francisque Michel's Les Écossais en France; Exchequer Rolls of Scotland; see arts. James II and James III of Scotland.]

T. F. H.