Born 1515 Died 1578

Margaret, Countess of Lennox, daughter of Archibald Douglas, 6th Earl of Angus, and Margaret Tudor, daughter of Henry VII of England and widow of James IV of Scotland, was born at Harbottle Castle, Northumberland, on the 8th of October 1515. On account of her nearness to the English crown, Lady Margaret Douglas was brought up chiefly at the English court in close association with the Princess Mary, who remained her fast friend throughout life. She was high in Henry VIII's favour, but was twice disgraced; first for an attachment to Lord Thomas Howard, who died in the Tower in 1537, and again in 1541 for a similar affair with Sir Charles Howard, brother of Queen Catherine Howard.

In 1544 she married a Scottish exile, Matthew Stuart, 4th Earl of Lennox (1516-1571), who was Regent of Scotland in 1570-1571. During Mary's reign the countess of Lennox had rooms in Westminster Palace; but on Elizabeth's accession she removed to Yorkshire, where her home at Temple Newsam became a centre for Catholic intrigue. By a series of successful manoeuvres she married her son Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley, to Mary, Queen of Scots. In 1566 she was sent to the Tower, but after the murder of Darnley in 1567 she was released. She was at first loud in her denunciations of Mary, but was eventually reconciled with her daughter-in-law. In 1574 she again aroused Elizabeth's anger by the marriage of her son Charles, Earl of Lennox, with Elizabeth Cavendish, daughter of the Earl of Shrewsbury. She was sent to the Tower with Lady Shrewsbury, and was only pardoned after her son's death in 1577. Her diplomacy largely contributed to the future succession of her grandson James to the English throne. She died on the 7th of March 1578.

The famous Lennox jewel, made for Lady Lennox as a memento of her husband, was bought by Queen Victoria in 1842.

Being the entry for LENNOX, MARGARET, COUNTESS OF in the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica, the text of which lies within the public domain. The original text referred to 'Matthew Stewart' and 'Henry Stewart', this has been amended to 'Stuart' as this is the common form of their surname

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