Drummond, Annabella (1350–1401)

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Drummond, Annabella (1350–1401)

Queen of Scotland. Name variations: Anabil de Drummond. Born in 1350 in Scotland; died in October 1401 at Scone Palace, Perth, Tayside, Scotland; interred in Dunfermline Abbey, Fife, Scotland; daughter of Sir John Drummond of Stobhall and Mary Montifex (daughter of Sir William Montifex); married Sir John Stewart of Kyle, later known as Robert III (1337–1406), king of Scotland (r. 1390–1406), around 1367; children: Elizabeth Stewart (d. before 1411, who married James Douglas, Lord of Dalkeith); Margaret Stewart (d. before 1456, who married Archibald Douglas, 4th earl of Douglas); David Stewart (1378–1402), duke of Rothesay; Robert Stewart (died in infancy); Mary Stewart (d. 1458); Egidia Stewart ; James I (1394–1437), king of Scotland (r. 1406–1437).

A Scottish noblewoman, Annabella Drummond became queen of her native country. Born into the petty nobility, she married the illegitimately born knight Sir John Stewart of Kyle around 1367. Her father-in-law was the earl Robert of Atholl, who was related through his mother to the Scottish royal house. Although he was not in line to the throne, Earl Robert was chosen king of Scotland by the Parliament in 1371, succeeding as Robert II. A weak and ineffectual man, Robert was also chronically ill; in 1384, his son John and daughter-in-law Annabella took over as regents of the country, ruling in Robert's name. Six years later, Robert II died and John ascended the throne as Robert III (r. 1390–1406), changing his name because there were so many disreputable King Johns in Scottish history.

Annabella thus rose from being the wife of a minor knight with a tainted birth to being queen of Scotland. She proved to be an excellent queen. Energetic and kind, she strongly advocated Scotland's right to be free from English oppression and was involved in all aspects of the administration, including creating legislation. She presided over a large court and raised her two sons, David and James (James I, r. 1406–1437), to be astute politicians. Annabella also aided in planning the defense of Scotland upon its invasion by the English in 1399. She died in 1401 during a bubonic plague epidemic.


Echols, Anne, and Marty Williams. An Annotated Index of Medieval Women. NY: Markus Wiener, 1992.

Uglow, Jennifer. The Continuum Dictionary of Women's Biography. NY: Continuum, 1989.

Laura York , Riverside, California