St. Margaret Of Scotland

Saint Margaret of Scotland (Scottish Gaelic: Naomh Maighréad; Scots: Saunt Marget, c. 1045 – 16 November 1093), also known as Margaret of Wessex, was an English princess and a Scottish queen. Margaret was sometimes called “The Pearl of Scotland”. Born in the Kingdom of Hungary to the expatriate English prince Edward the Exile, Margaret and her family returned to England in 1057. Following the death of king Harold II at the Battle of Hastings in 1066, her brother Edgar Ætheling was elected as King of England but never crowned. After she and her family fled north, Margaret married Malcolm III of Scotland by the end of 1070.

Margaret was a very pious Christian, and among many charitable works she established a ferry across the Firth of Forth in Scotland for pilgrims travelling to St Andrews in Fife, which gave the towns of South Queensferry and North Queensferry their names. Margaret was the mother of three kings of Scotland, or four, if Edmund of Scotland (who ruled with his uncle, Donald III) is counted, and of a queen consort of England. According to the Vita S. Margaritae (Scotorum) Reginae (Life of St. Margaret, Queen (of the Scots)), attributed to Turgot of Durham, Margaret died at Edinburgh Castle in Edinburgh, Scotland in 1093, merely days after receiving the news of her husband’s death in battle.

In 1250, Pope Innocent IV canonised her, and her remains were reinterred in a shrine in Dunfermline Abbey in Fife, Scotland. Her relics were dispersed after the Scottish Reformation and subsequently lost. Mary, Queen of Scots, at one time owned her head, which was subsequently preserved by Jesuits in the Scots College, Douai, France, from where it was lost during the French Revolution.

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