Ermengarde de Beaumont

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Ermengarde de Beaumont
Queen consort of Scotland
Tenure 1186 - 1214
Spouse William I of Scotland
m. 1186; wid. 1214
Issue Margaret, Countess of Kent
Isabella, Countess of Norfolk
Alexander II, King of Scots
Marjorie, Countess of Pembroke
Father Richard I, Viscount de Beaumont-le-Vicomte, de Fresnay et de Ste-Suzanne
Mother Lucie de l'Aigle
Born c. 1170
Died 12 February 1233(1233-02-12)
Scotland
Burial Balmerino Abbey, Fife, Scotland

Ermengarde de Beaumont (c. 1170 – 11 February 1233/1234) was Queen of Scotland as the wife of King William I. She is reported to have exerted influence over the affairs of state as queen, though the information of her is lacking in detail.

Life[edit]

Ermengarde was born c. 1170 to Richard I (fr), Viscount of Beaumont-le-Vicomte, Fresnay and Ste-Suzanne (died aft. 1199, bur. Etival), and wife (m. bef. 1177) Lucie de l'Aigle (fr) (died aft. 1217), daughter of Richard II de l'Aigle.[1] Her father was the son of Roscelin, Viscount of Beaumont (fr) (died ca. 1176) and wife (m. 1122) Constance or Maud FitzRoy, illegitimate daughter of King Henry I of England.

She married William I of Scotland at the royal chapel at Woodstock Palace near Oxford in England on 5 September 1186 by Baldwin, Archbishop of Canterbury. The marriage was arranged by King Henry of England, who was at the time the acknowledged overlord of Scotland: William considered her status beneath him, but agreed after Henry offered to pay for the entire wedding, land valued at 100 merks and 40 knight’s fees, and to return the castles that he had forfeited, one of them being Edinburgh.

The chronicler Walter Bower described Ermengarde as ‘an extraordinary woman, gifted with a charming and witty eloquence’. Though William had many lovers before his marriage, he was reportedly never unfaithful to her after their wedding. The relatives of Ermengarde benefited from her status as Queen. In 1212, she accompanied William with their children to King John of England to secure the succession of their son Alexander. Queen Ermengarde is credited with mediating a renegotiation of the 1209 treaty, probably due to her husband’s incapacity. Due to the illness of William, Ermengarde took over some of his duties during his later years, and there is evidence that she wielded considerable influence in public affairs. She is recorded to have presided with the Bishop of St. Andrews over a complex court case. In 1207, there was a complaint by a canon that a royal chaplain obtained the bishopric of Glasgow by bribing the King and the Queen. Ermengarde was described as distraught and lethargic over her husband’s death in 1214.

As Queen Dowager, she devoted her time to the foundation of a Cistercian abbey at Balmerino in Fife. It was completed in 1229, and she often visited it as a guest with her son Alexander. stayed at the abbey many times.

Children[edit]

She died on 12 February 1233/1234, and was buried at St Edward of Balmerino Abbey, Fife.

Ancestry[edit]

References[edit]

  • Alison Weir, Britain's Royal Families: The Complete Genealogy
  • "The Kings and Queens of Scotland" edited by Richard Oram
  • "Scottish Queens 1034-1714" by Rosalind K. Marshall
  • "British Kings and Queens" by Mike Ashley

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Maud, 2nd Countess of Huntingdon
Queen consort of Scotland
1186–1214
Succeeded by
Joan of England