Here, gathered in our beloved South Dakota, are a few members of our Williamson / Mattson Clan. Charles and Luella are to be blamed (be kind, they didn't know what they were doing). We're generally a happy bunch and somewhat intelligent (notwithstanding our tenuous grasp on reality). I'm also proud to say that most of us still have our teeth.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Our 14th Great Grandmother, Margaret Drummond, Mistress to James IV. Murdered?

James IV King of Scotland. Our 14th Great Grandfather.
Grandma Mattson to her father and along the Pierce Line

A Dispatch from the Fortress of Solitude
To the Clan

Tonight I tell a tale of woe. It is the story of our 14th Great Grandmother Margaret Drummond. She was born in 1475 to John Drummond the 1st Lord Drummond. In 1495 Scotland’s King, James IV (our 14th Great Grandfather) beheld her beauty and sought a relationship. They fell in love. She became his mistress. The King was unmarried at the time. In 1496 she lived in the royal castle at Stirling. Together they had a child named Margaret Stewart, our 13th Great Grandmother.

It is widely believed that James IV secretly married Margaret. There are no pictures of Margaret.


Margaret died of food poisoning in 1501 along with her two sisters Eupheme and Sibylia while staying at their parents’ residence. Normally the fact that someone died of food poisoning during this time in history is common. Standards of food hygiene are unlikely to have been very good then, and cases of accidental food poisoning have happened in any period. However, with three people who presumably died shortly after eating the same meal, the claim of poisoning gains serious merit.

Murder Theories

It is suggested that our Great Grandmother was murdered either by English agents or pro-English elements in the Scottish nobility. If she was married to James IV then her death was necessary in order to allow, or force the King to marry the English princess Margaret Tudor (Henry VIII’s sister). The plaque on her grave in Dunblane Cathedral says she was “privately married” to the King and that she was murdered by Scottish nobles who supported the English marriage.

Dunblane Cathedral

The marriage of James IV and Margaret Tudor brought about the Union of the English and Scottish Crowns 100 years later when their great grandson James VI claimed the English Throne upon the death of Queen Elizabeth I (daughter of Henry VIII).

If James IV and our great grandmother were married then the Union of Crowns might never have taken place and Scotland might have remained an independent country. Of course this is a theory. No one can be sure.

Serious historians doubt she was poisoned, believing the poisoning was an accident.

Our 13th Great Grandmother, Margaret Stewart, now without her mother, was raised at Edinburgh Castle as Lady Margaret. She was supported throughout her life by her father James IV.