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Grantham has connections to the throne, explains Civic Society’s Ruth Crook

Ruth Crook, of Grantham Civic Society.
Ruth Crook, of Grantham Civic Society.

In 1503, Margaret Tudor, the eldest daughter of King Henry the Seventh, then aged 13, was married by proxy to James the Fourth, King of Scotland.

This had been arranged by Richard Fox, Bishop of Winchester, who was a native of Ropsley, and re-founded and endowed the Grammar School of Grantham in 1528.

The new queen was provided with a large wardrobe of clothes, and her crimson state bed curtains made of Italian sarcenet were embroidered with red Lancastrian roses.

Margaret left her home in Richmond Palace in June that year and travelled to Scotland to meet her new husband. Her father accompanied her as far as Collyweston Castle, which belonged to her grandmother Margaret, Duchess of Richmond. They stayed there for two weeks, until July 8, before Margaret left her father and grandmother and continued on her long journey to Scotland.

Her next stop was Grantham and on the border of Lincolnshire Sir Robert Dymock, the High Sheriff, accompanied by 30 horsemen, met her holding a white wand, with which he saluted her before riding at the front of her party. She was in a rich litter between two nobly caparisoned horses. The Bishop of Moray rode on her right-hand side, and the Bishop of Norwich, on her left. Her four ladies of her bedchamber followed in a finely adorned car. Near to her rode Johannes and his company, the minstrels of music, and the trumpeters with their banners displayed.

They were met at Denton by the Alderman of Grantham, with the Burgesses and other inhabitants of the town, to accompany her. As they approached the edge of the town, the Prebendaries and Vicars of Grantham Church, and the Friars Mendicant of the Grange, received her singing lauds and carrying crosses. The Bishop of Norwich alighted from his horse and presented her with the crosses, so that she could kiss them. Her minstrels began playing and her retinue continued to Grantham House, where she stayed with the Hall family.

Margaret Tudor stayed at Grantham House for the following day, Sunday, July 9, and probably attended a service at St Wulfram’s church. On Monday, July 10, 1503, she left Grantham on her way to Newark, escorted beyond Great Gonerby by the Alderman and Burgesses.

King James and Queen Margaret had six children, but only one survived infancy.

When James died in 1513, killed fighting the English at Flodden Field, their only surviving son became King James V of Scotland.

King James and Queen Margaret were the grandparents of Mary, Queen of Scots and great-grandmother of King James VI of Scotland, who also became the king of England and Ireland on the death of Margaret’s fraternal niece, Elizabeth I of England in 1603.


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