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Life of The Princess Margaret Queen of Scotland 1070-1093
By Samuel Cowan, J.P. (1911)


PREFACE

The accompanying narrative of the Life of Queen Margaret will be interesting to all students of history as being a subject which seldom attracts the attention of the historian. The Life of Queen Margaret was a wonderful life during the twenty-three years she was Queen of Scotland; but the records of it are meagre and disappointing. We are not altogether surprised at this, as in that primitive age, the eleventh century, both King and people were unable to read or write. These offices were performed by the Monks, until civilization was more developed; but in the meantime Queen Margaretís life and administration have, in the eyes of posterity, greatly suffered for want of material. It is evident that the Queenís was a saintly life, full of benevolent and good deeds, while her knowledge of the Scriptures was conspicuous in many of her administrative acts.

The influence of her example on the people of that turbulent time cannot be overestimated, while she was undoubtedly a great power for good at a dark period of Scottish History. Although superstition was then rampant, we have no record and no incident connecting Queen Margaret with it. We cannot however deny that she had great trouble throughout the whole course of her life. From the day she left Hungary until she married King Malcolm III she had nothing but trials to endure, these being accentuated by the arbitrary conduct of William the Conqueror. Her married life was full of care, anxiety and responsibility, culminating in the tragic death of her husband, and her eldest son, at the Siege of Alnwick Castle. She bestowed great care on the training of her children, and to that care may be said is due the enlightened administrative policy of her three sons, who afterwards succeeded her on the throne. The treatment of her remains after her canonization in 1250 is a subject that cannot be approached without vexation and dismay. The details I have given in Chapter VIII, so far as these can be found recorded or are accessible; but the sum of the whole matter is, that they have gone to the Escurial and cannot now be identified.

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