Scotlands History

Queen Margaret (1045–1093)

Margaret was the sister of Edgar Aethling. She met her future husband Malcolm III when she and her family sought asylum in Scotland in 1068. She had six sons and two daughters with Malcolm: Edward, Edmund, Ethelred, Edgar, Alexander, David, Edith and Mary.

Her children’s names marked a departure from traditional Gaelic names. Margaret also invited Benedictine monks to Scotland. She was said to have owned a piece of the True Cross, the Black Rood of Scotland.

She was already ill when she heard of her husband’s and eldest son’s deaths and she died three days later on 19 November 1093. She was buried in Dunfermline Abbey.

Margaret was canonised in 1250 by Pope Innocent IV in recognition of her considerable religious and charitable work.

Saint Margaret’s head became a religious relic. Mary Queen of Scots sent for the head, in a silver reliquary, to watch over her as she gave birth in Edinburgh Castle.

  • Photo of stained glass window showing a queen in a blue robe

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