Marie de Coucy

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For other people named Marie de Coucy, see Marie de Coucy (disambiguation).
Marie de Coucy
Queen Consort of Scotland
Tenure 1239–1249
Born c. 1218
Died 1285
France[dubious ]
Burial Newbattle Abbey, Scotland[1]
Spouse Alexander II of Scotland
(m. 1239; d. 1249)

Jean de Brienne, Grand Butler of France
(m. c. 1257)
Issue Alexander III of Scotland
Father Enguerrand III, Lord of Coucy
Mother Marie de Montmirel

Marie de Coucy (c. 1218 – 1285) was a Queen consort of the Kingdom of Scotland by marriage to King Alexander II of Scotland. She was a member of the royal council during the two last years of the king's minority in 1260-1262.


Marie was the daughter of Enguerrand III, Lord of Coucy and his third spouse Marie de Montmirel (fr) (1192 – 1267) and a great-great granddaughter of Louis VI of France. According to the chronicler Matthew Paris, she was beautiful and very wealthy. In 1238, Alexander II of Scotland needed to have an heir after the death of his first childless spouse. King Henry of England claimed sovereignty over Scotland, which was opposed by Alexander II, who wished to make an alliance with France against England. Enguerrand III was a powerful French vassal and a known enemy of England, and the marriage between Marie and Alexander II was regarded as a French-Scottish alliance against England.

On 15 May 1239 Marie married King Alexander II of Scotland in Roxburgh. The marriage brought an alliance between the Scots and the Coucy lordship, and for the rest of the 13th century, they exchanged soldiers and money. She brought a large train of French followers to Scotland.[2] In her retinue was her chancellor Richard Vairement and her nephew Enguerrand de Guines, who came to have some influence in Scottish affairs. Her nephew married Christiane de Bailleul, a cousin of King John Balliol, and thus became a Scottish magnate. Two years after her marriage, she gave birth to the future King, Alexander III of Scotland.

Alexander II died on 8 July 1249 during an expedition against the Lord of Argyll on the island of Kerrera. Immediately after the news reached her, Marie made sure her eight-year-old son was crowned as soon as possible at Scone.[3] Although her son was a minor and was placed under regency, Marie did not become regent. On 9 June 1250 Marie and her son Alexander III was present in Dunfermline for the observance of the canonization Saint Margaret of Scotland and the translation of her remains to the new shrine.

In autumn 1250 Marie returned to Picardy and, for the rest of her life, she divided her time between France and Scotland. In 1252 she attended the wedding between her son Alexander III and Margaret of England in York with a great entourage of French and Scottish nobles.

In 1256 or 1257 she remarried Jean de Brienne (1227-1296), Grand Butler of France and King of Acre, in his second marriage. De Brienne was the son of John of Brienne, King of Jerusalem (1210-1225) and Emperor of Constantinople (1229-1237), and Berenguela of Leon. They had no children together.

In 1260 the rivalries between the Scottish fractions for influence during the minority of her son made the situation in Scotland critical, and Marie and her spouse was therefore named members of the royal council during the remaining years of the king's minority, until Alexander III was declared of legal majority in 1262.

In 1268 Marie separated from her spouse and returned to Scotland. When her daughter-in-law Margaret of England died in February 1275, Marie arranged the new marriage between her son and Yolande, the stepdaughter of her spouse. In 1275-76, she made a pilgrimage to the shrine of St. Thomas Becket in Canterbury.

Marie de Coucy died in the summer of 1285 and was buried in a tomb she had constructed in Newbattle Abbey.



  1. ^ Carrick, J.C.The abbey of S. Mary, Newbottle : a memorial of the royal visit1908. pp47-48.
  2. ^ Marshall, Rosalind K. (2003). Scottish Queens, 1034-1714. Tuckwell Press. p. 20. 
  3. ^ Marshall, Rosalind K. (2003). Scottish Queens, 1034-1714. Tuckwell Press. p. 21. 


  • Ancestral Roots of Certain American Colonists Who Came to America Before 1700, by Frederick Lewis Weis, Line 120-30
  • Joseph Bain (ed) Calendar of documents relating to Scotland, volume 2.
  • Brown, Michael, The Wars of Scotland, 1214-1371, (Edinburgh, 2004)
  • Marshall, Rosalind, Scottish Queens, 1034-1714
  • Richard Oram: "The Kings and Queens of Scotland"
  • Timothy Venning: "The Kings and Queens of Scotland"
  • Mike Ashley: "British Kings and Queens"
  • Elizabeth Ewan, Sue Innes and Sian Reynolds: "The Biographical Dictionary of Scottish Women"
Preceded by
Joan of England
Queen consort of Scotland
Succeeded by
Margaret of England