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Lennox, Margaret Stewart, countess of

Lennox, Margaret Stewart, countess of (1515–78). The daughter of Lady Margaret Tudor by her second husband Archibald, earl of Angus, Lady Margaret was niece to Henry VIII. If Elizabeth was bastardized, the countess was near the throne. In 1544, at St James's, Westminster, she married Matthew, earl of Lennox, a great-grandson of James II of Scotland. During Mary's reign, as a catholic, the countess was in high favour and given precedence over Elizabeth, who subsequently bore her ‘little love and affection’: she was chief mourner at Mary's funeral. By 1562 Elizabeth was concerned at her plan to marry her son, Lord Darnley, to Mary, queen of Scots, and when it was accomplished in 1565, the countess was sent to the Tower. She managed to effect a partial reconciliation but was in trouble again in 1574 when her second son Charles married a daughter of Bess of Hardwick: the queen's suspicions were aroused by the fact that Bess's husband, the earl of Shrewsbury, was custodian of Mary, queen of Scots. Lady Lennox played for high stakes. According to Cecil's reports, prophecies at the death of her first infant son declared that a future son would unite the thrones of England and Scotland. In the shape of her grandson James VI and I, Lady Lennox gained a posthumous victory.

J. A. Cannon

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