Ward's Book of Days.

Pages of interesting anniversaries.

What happened on this day in history.

APRIL 9th  

On this day in history in 1283, was born Margaret, Maid of Norway.

Margaret was the daughter of Eric II, King of Norway, and of the daughter of Alexander III, King of Scots, Princess Margaret who had died giving birth. When in 1286, Alexander died in mysterious circumstances, there was no obvious successor to the throne. Alexander’s second wife, Yolande claimed she might be pregnant but, after a discrete interval waiting for developments, it was obvious that she was not. The throne therefore passed to the three year old princess who lived across the sea in Norway. 

The English king, Edward I was not satisfied with this arrangement. He coveted the throne of Scotland and threatened to invade. The Scottish nobles placated him with a promise that Margaret would, in due course, marry Edward’s son, the future Edward II. 

In 1290, when Edward was intimidating the Scots with further threats, The Scottish regents decided that they must have Margaret present in Scotland as a symbol of national unity and independence. Margaret therefore set sail from Norway but became sea sick on the voyage. The ship made an unscheduled landing at the Orkney Islands to allow the young queen to recover. Sadly Margaret died and the House of Dunkeld came to an abrupt end, precipitating a major constitutional crisis with thirteen claimants to the throne, and the King of England intimidating and interfering.  

After this debacle, Margaret’s body was returned to Norway for burial in Bergan, and the kingdom degenerated into chaos.

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