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Lady Lennox
History's Lady Lennox.jpg
Biographical Information
Real Name: Margaret Douglas
Title: Countess of Lennox

Lady Lennox
Lady Margaret Douglas

Born: 8 October 1515
Death: 7 March 1578
Age: 62
Religion: Catholic
House: House of Tudor
Gender: Female Female.png
Originally From: Northumberland, England
Parents: Margaret Tudor

Archibald Douglas

Husband: Lord Lennox
Family: Jame Stuart(Brother)

Henry Tudor(Uncle)
Elizabeth Tudor (First Cousin) Mary Tudor (First Cousin)
Jane Grey(Second Cousin)
Mary Stuart (Neice)
James Stuart (Nephew) King James VI (Grandson)

Children: Lord Darnley

Charles Stuart

TV Character Information
First appearance: With Friends Like These
Portrays: Lady Lennox
Portrayed by: Nola Augustson

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Lady Lennox (Margaret Douglas, Countess of Lennox) was the daughter of Margaret Tudor, Queen Dowager of Scotland and Archibald Douglas. In her youth, she was high in the favour of her uncle, King Henry VIII, but twice incurred the King's anger. First for her unauthorized engagement to Lord Thomas Howard, who died in The Tower of London because of his misalliance with her. Then again for an affair with Thomas Howard's nephew Sir Charles Howard, the brother of Queen consort Catherine Howard. She married Lord Lennox, and her son Lord Darnley, married Mary, Queen of Scots and was the father of King James VI of Scotland, future King of England.

Early Life

Margaret was born at Harbottle Castle. Her mother had crossed the border from Scotland when her father was facing difficulties there. In October 1528, Angus was threatened by James V of Scotland and sent Margaret back over. After a brief stay at Berwick Castle, Margaret joined the household of her godfather, Cardinal Wolsey. When Wolsey died in 1530, Lady Margaret was invited to the royal Palace of Beaulieu, where she resided in the household of Princess Mary. Because of her nearness to the English crown, Lady Margaret was brought up chiefly at the English Court in close association with Mary, her first cousin, the future Queen Mary I of England, who remained her lifelong friend. At Christmastime at Greenwich Palace from 1530-'32,King Henry VIII gave Margaret large amounts of money.

When Anne Boleyn's court was established, Margaret was appointed as a Lady-in-Waiting. There she met Anne Boleyn's uncle, Lord Thomas Howard, and they began their courtship. By the end of 1535, Thomas and Margaret had fallen in love and become secretly engaged.

King Henry turned against Anne Boleyn in May 1536. When in early July 1536 he learned of Margaret's engagement to Thomas Howard (Anne's uncle), he was furious. Henry had declared his daughters Mary and Elizabeth bastards, leaving Margaret next in the line of succession; for her to contract an unauthorized marriage was politically outrageous, especially with the son of a powerful nobleman and near kin of the disgraced Queen. Both Lord Thomas and Lady Margaret were committed to The Tower of London. On 18 July 1536, Thomas was put to death for attempting to 'interrupt with the Succession of the Crowne'. Thomas was spared execution but remained in the Tower even after Margaret broke off their relationship. He died a year later.

Margaret also fell ill in The Tower of London, and the King allowed her to move to Syon Abbey under the supervision of the abbess. She was released from imprisonment on 29 October 1537.

In 1539, Margaret and the Duchess of Richmond were appointed to greet Henry VIII's bride, Anne of Cleves, at Greenwich Palace, join her household, and convey her to the King. This would have been a great honor, but instead, Henry chose to meet Anne at Rochester.

In 1540, Margaret was again in disgrace with the King when she had an affair with Lord Thomas Howard's half-nephew Sir Charles Howard. He was a brother of Henry VIII's fifth wife, Catherine Howard.

In 1543, Margaret was one of the few witnesses of King Henry's final marriage to Catherine Parr. Margaret became one of Queen Catherine's chief ladies. Catherine Parr and Margaret had known each other since they both had come to court in the 1520s.

Marriage and Diplomacy

In 1544 Lady Margaret married a Scottish exile, Lord Lennox, who later became regent of Scotland. In June 1548, during The War of the Rough Wooing, Margaret's father, wrote to her with the news that her half-brother George Douglas and others of the family had been captured at Dalkeith Palace.

During Queen Mary I's reign, Lady Lennox had rooms in Westminster Palace. In November 1553, the Queen told the ambassador Simon Renard that Lady Lennox was best suited to succeed her to the throne. Margaret was the chief mourner at Queen Mary's funeral in December 1558. On the accession of Queen Elizabeth I, Lady Lennox moved to Yorkshire, where her home at Temple Newsam became a center for Roman Catholic intrigue. She succeeded in marrying her son, Lord Darnley, to his cousin Mary, Queen of Scots, thus uniting their claims to the English throne.

In 1566 she was sent to The Tower of London, but after the murder of her son in 1567 she was released. She denounced her daughter-in-law but was eventually reconciled with her. Her husband assumed the government of Scotland as regent but was assassinated in 1571. In 1574 she again aroused Elizabeth's anger by marrying her younger son, Charles, to Elizabeth Cavendish. She was sent to the Tower again but was pardoned after her son's death in 1576.

Lady Lennox's diplomacy largely contributed to the future succession of her grandson, James VI of Scotland, to the English Throne.


After the death of her younger son, she helped care for his daughter, Lady Arbella. However, she did not outlive him by very long. A few days before her death, she dined with Robert Dudley, and this led to rumors that she had been poisoned. There is no historical evidence to substantiate this.

Although she died in debt, she was given a grand funeral in Westminster Abbey, at the expense of Queen Elizabeth. She was buried in the same grave as her son Charles in the south aisle of King Henry VII's chapel in the Abbey.

The Lennox Jewel was most likely made for Lady Lennox. Theories vary as to when the jewel was made and for what occasion. In 1842, the jewel was bought by Queen Victoria.


Family Tree

King Henry Tudor VII
Elizabeth of York
Arthur Tudor
Catherine of Aragon
King Henry Tudor VIII
Anne Boleyn
Mary Tudor
Margaret Tudor
Mary Tudor
Elizabeth Tudor
Frances Grey
King James Stuart
Lady Lennox
Lady Jane Grey
James Stuart
Mary Stuart
Lord Darnley

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