Mary of Guelders (1433–1463)

Updated About encyclopedia.com content Print Article Share Article
views updated

Mary of Guelders (1433–1463)

Queen of Scotland . Name variations: Mary of Gelders; Mary of Gueldres; Mary of Gelderland; Marie von Geldern. Born on July 3, 1433, in Holyrood Abbey, Edinburgh, Scotland (some sources cite Guelders, the Netherlands); died on December 1, 1463, in Scotland; interred in Holy Trinity Church, Edinburgh; daughter of Arnold, duke of Guelders, and Catherine of Cleves (1417–1479); married James II (1430–1460), king of Scotland (r. 1437–1460), on July 3, 1449; children: James III (1451–1488), king of Scotland (r. 1460–1488); Margaret Stewart (fl. 1460–1520); Alexander (c. 1454–1485), 1st duke of Albany; David, earl of Moray (died in infancy); David (c. 1454–1456); John (c. 1456–1479), earl of Mar and Garioch; Mary Stewart (c. 1451–1488).

A Dutch noblewoman, Mary of Guelders became queen of Scotland upon her marriage to King James II. Over time, she became a great supporter and patriot of her adopted country, playing an important role in Scotland's continuous wars against English rule. Even after James died in 1460, Mary of Guelders maintained the Scottish campaigns against the British as regent of Scotland for her young son, now James III. The queen was a capable strategist and leader, heading the siege of several northern English towns and conquering the town of Berwick. She was a prominent political force in Scotland throughout her regency and even beyond, and was rewarded by the Scots' loyalty to her rule. In 1462, she founded the Church of the Holy Trinity in Edinburgh. She died young, the following year, at the age of 30.

Laura York , Riverside, California