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Margaret Douglas (1515–1578), Countess of Lennox

Photo credit: National Portrait Gallery, London

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Grandmother of James VI of Scotland, later James I of England; her diplomacy was instrumental in his succession to the English throne. She was brought up with, and was a lifelong friend to, King Henry VIII's daughter by Katherine of Aragon, Princes Mary, later Queen Mary I. After Mary's death and the succession of Protestant Queen Elizabeth I in 1558, Margaret Douglas retired from Westminster Palace to Yorkshire, where she became involved with Roman Catholic plotting. In 1566 Elizabeth sent her to the Tower, but after the murder of her son Darnley in 1567 she was released. She was again imprisoned in 1574 when her son Charles married without royal permission and was pardoned after his death in 1577.

National Portrait Gallery, London



Margaret Douglas (1515–1578), Countess of Lennox






H 96.5 x W (?) x D (?) cm

Accession number


Acquisition method

purchased, 1872

Work type



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National Portrait Gallery, London

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