The Treaty of Perpetual Peace…which wasn’t very long lasting

Reference: National Library of Scotland
MS, Seaton Armorial, Acc. 9309, f. 18 (date: early 17th century)
By kind permission of Sir Francis Ogilvy.

In 1497, Henry VII, a man who avoided war when possible, sought to end the ongoing conflict between England and Scotland by the Treaty of Ayton which reinforced march law and sought to prevent cross-border feuding and cattle theft erupting into full scale conflict. The treaty was ratified in London on 24 January 1502 and sealed by a diplomatic marriage between Tudor’s daughter Margaret and King James IV of Scotland. The following year the Pope also ratified the treaty.

Margaret travelled to Edinburgh to marry in August 1503. She was not yet fourteen but had not left England any sooner because her grandmother, Lady Margaret Beaufort, was insistent that she was of an age to be married. She was not yet six when she was betrothed to James IV who was twenty-two-years old in 1497. Inevitably he already had a mistress and children by the time Margaret arrived in Scotland but as things turned out James was a kindly husband who treated his new bride with consideration.

It wasn’t a particularly popular match with the English who did not take kindly to the Scots after two hundred years of intermittent warfare not to mention James IV’s involvement with Perkin Warbeck which had resurrected the Wars of the Roses for a short time.

Unfortunately for all concerned, James IV was tied by the Auld Alliance to France which meant that when Tudor’s son Henry VIII resumed the centuries old habit of going to war against the French that James was obliged to open up a northern front breaking the perpetual treaty and getting himself killed at the Battle of Flodden on 9 September 1513.

3 thoughts on “The Treaty of Perpetual Peace…which wasn’t very long lasting

  1. A strange lot the Tudors. Add Margaret Beaufort to the mix and anything could happen and it did . She ended life as a nun in pray. Hope she prayed really long and hard for her evil sins and how she got her bastard son on the throne in the first place would be her first talk with pray to God for she murdered all in the way including branding a man innocent with the crime .This action had him murdered in battle as she had hoped for .Morton is the only trace to this crime and it is set in stone who really killed King Edwards boys

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