Friday, September 17, 2010

Question from Scarlet - Margaret Tudor's annulment from Angus

Was looking for annulment info & a link brought me to a Q & A here regarding the Seymour-Filiol fun, so I said o! why didn't I think of inquiring here first? (probably because I enjoy clicking historical links to see where they lead, but that's beside the point....)

Annulment, in particular, as it relates to Margaret Tudor's from Angus. I'd thought (& as the Seymour question replies bear out) that while Catholics could get what we'd today term a legal separation, one of the parties involved would have to take religious orders or die to free up the other to remarry. Why Campeggio nudged Catherine of Aragon with the convent notion prior to Blackfriars, right?

Angus outlived MT by 6 yrs & married Margaret Maxwell after MTs 1541 demise, so OK, his remarriage seemed in line with the church. But how did MT marry Methven in 1528 while Angus was still breathing, not in a cassock, & in custody of James Vs person? What was the trick to MT taking another spouse after her annulment was granted?

You always see that they got a "divorce", which was impossible under existing canon law at the time, but I never see grounds for it mentioned; not that any of the ones that existed for an annulment would've permitted MT to remarry in the haste that she did. If that was invalid, surely it was cause for MT to kick Methven to the curb rather than bothering to reconcile with him yrs later.

That was after Henry's break with Rome, & I've seen some English muttering that JV married "French papists" & Mom was an "even worse papist" (can't recall where I saw this, & not surprising as I read too much history), so apparently MT was considered a good little Catholic lass. Angus was busy sucking up to Henry (hypocritically frowning at Sissy's "divorce", likely jealous he couldn't get one himself), not returning to Scotland until after both MT & JV were dead, to kick off the Rough Wooing on Henry's behalf.

So if there was no divorce & the rare possibility of remarriage after getting an annulment didn't apply here, how did MT pull this off?

I'll feel really stupid if I've missed something glaringly obvious, but this is bugging me. Thanks in advance if you know anything!



kb said...

Others may be able to confirm what I am trying to remember but...

I'm pretty sure that one of the arguments was that Angus had a pre-contract with his lover Jane. Therefore the marriage to Margaret was unlawful in the first place.

Orla said...

I've read Maria Perry's book, I think she said it was because of two reasons

1) John Stuart, Duke of Albany the regent of Scotland became the young James V's guardian after James IV died. Albnay became all friendly with Margaret a couple of years later, and he apparently had a great connection with the papacy, I think his wife was the niece of a cardinal (John Stuart was Catherine de Medici's uncle through marriage) Albany saw Angus as a bad thing for Scotland his control over poor James V and helped Margaret get rid of him.

2) The actual reason for divorce was that James IV (hubby no.1) hadn't been properly identified after the battle of flodden field in 1513, the wrong body was picked out, they only corrected it later but they made this out that James wasn't really dead at the time Margaret was announced as a widow. There had been rumours for months after James IV's death that he was alive, and Margaret didn't really wait long to marry Angus. It doesn't make much sense but I think they were just using it as a loophole to get out of a marriage.

Their daughter Margaret Douglas was still declared a 'legit' because Margaret and Angus were unaware that James IV had still been alive.

Hope that helps a bit

Scarlet said...

Thanks, you guys give fast service here! :)

I think a pre-contract would bastardize MD?

I thought Albany was the one who pulled the coup on MT & forced her to make that run for the border while 9 mos pregnant with MD? I know eventually MT had to work with Albany when they went back & that JV despised Angus, so maybe the enemy of my enemy is my friend kind of deal, but canon law is canon law, was there any sort of dispensation issued giving MT permission to remarry within Angus's lifetime? All I remember is that as soon as she got word from Rome she married Methven even faster than she'd married Angus, & Henry was super-irked about it because he'd just gotten thru with Blackfriars still stuck with Catherine while MT wasn't stuck with Angus.

Still-breathing spouse sounds like a fab loophole, but I'd think that would also bastardize MD? Reasonable doubt was sufficient not to do that? Catherine did have his bloody shirt to dispatch in triumph to Henry in France, so one would think it had been a fairly definitive ID.

(Totally OT but I've always thought Flodden to be James IVs way of suicide-by-Tudor.) definitely a special one-of-a-kind deal brokered with Rome that even Henry couldn't buy?

Anonymous said...

Church marriage law says that if either party to an annulled marriage believed the marriage was valid at the time of the marriage, then any children are legitimate.