Isabella of Scotland, Duchess of Brittany

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Isabella of Scotland
Isabella of Scotland.jpg
Duchess consort of Brittany
Tenure 30 October 1442–18 July 1450
Spouse Francis I, Duke of Brittany
Issue Margaret, Duchess of Brittany
Marie, Viscountess of Rohan
House Stewart
Father James I of Scotland
Mother Joan Beaufort
Born autumn, 1426
Died 13 October 1494
Burial Vannes Cathedral
Religion Roman Catholicism

Not to be confused with Isabella of Scotland, Countess of Norfolk

Isabella Stewart (autumn of 1426 – 13 October 1494/5 March 1499) was a Scottish princess and by marriage the Duchess of Brittany. Also known as Isabel Stewart and Isabel of Scotland, she was the second daughter of James I of Scotland and Joan Beaufort and the second wife of Duke Francis I of Brittany.

It was said she was more beautiful than her elder sister Margaret, who married the Dauphin of France, and that John VI, Duke of Brittany proposed to marry her to his son; thus he sent ambassadors to Scotland to take a description of her. They reported she was handsome, upright and graceful but she seemed simple too. The Duke's reply was "My friends, return to Scotland and bring her here, she is all I desire, and I will have no other; your clever women do more harm than good".

Isabella was married to Francis I, Duke of Brittany at the Château d'Auray on October 30, 1442, after which the whole court went to Rennes for eight days of festivities.

Upon the death of her sister Margaret, Isabella penned an illuminated prayer book of hours Livre d'Isabeau d'Escosse, which is still in preserved to this day. Like her father she had some reputation as a poet.

She had two children:

Isabella's coat of arms

Upon her husband's death in 1450, there were talks of Isabella's marrying Charles, Prince of Viana, heir to the disputed Kingdom of Navarre, but this proposal fell through due to the disapproval of Charles VII of France. Her brother James II made vigorous efforts to persuade her to return to Scotland, where he hoped to arrange a second marriage for her. Isabella however refused,saying that she was happy and popular in Brittany and was in any case too frail to travel, and complaining that her brother had never paid her dowry.[1] Isabella died in 1494, which suggests that her claims of ill health 40 years earlier were much exaggerated.

Ancestry[edit]

Sources[edit]

  • Alison Weir, Britain's Royal Families
  • Annie Forbes Bush Memoirs of the Queens of France
  1. ^ MacDougall, Norman James III Revised Edition John Donald Edinburgh 2009
  2. ^ McAndrew, Scotland's Historic Heraldry, p 173
  3. ^ http://thepeerage.com/p10210.htm#i102098
French nobility
Vacant
Title last held by
Joan of France
Duchess consort of Brittany
30 October 1442–18 July 1450
Succeeded by
Françoise d'Amboise
Scottish royalty
Preceded by
Margaret Stewart, Dauphine of France
Heir of Scotland
as heiress presumptive
21 February 1437–10 July 1451-2
Succeeded by
James III of Scotland