Fairhair dynasty

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Fairhair dynasty
Coin of Eric Bloodaxe
Country Kingdom of Norway
Titles King
Founder Harald Fairhair
Final sovereign Harald Greycloak
Founding 872
Dissolution 970
Cadet branches Vigen branch
Vestfold branch
Hardrada dynasty
Gille dynasty
Sverre dynasty

The Fairhair dynasty (Norwegian: Hårfagreætta) was a family of kings founded by Harald I of Norway which ruled Norway with few interruptions from 800 to 1387 (the traditional view), or through only three generations of kings (the view of many modern scholars), in the 10th century CE.

Dynasty itself: traditional view vs artificial construct

Kingdom of Norway (red) in 1020, with the territory of Finnmark

The Fairhair Dynasty is traditionally regarded as the first royal dynasty of the united kingdom of Norway. It was founded by Harald I of Norway, known as Haraldr hinn hárfagri (Harald Fairhair or Finehair), the first King of Norway, as opposed to “in Norway”, who defeated the last petty kings who resisted him at the Battle of Hafrsfjord in 872.

According to the traditional view, after Harald Fairhair first unified the kingdom, Norway was inherited by his agnatic (male) descendants. In the 13th century, this was codified in law. Unlike other Scandinavian monarchies and Anglo-Saxon England, Norway was never an elective monarchy.

However, in the first centuries after Harald Fairhair, there were several periods during which the country was effectively ruled not by a king but by one of the Jarls of Lade, (Old Norse Hlaðir), from the northern part of Norway. The first such period was from about 975 to about 995 under Haakon Sigurdsson (Hákon Sigurðarson, often called ‘Jarl Haakon’). Also, although Harald Fairhair’s kingdom was the kernel of a unified Norway, it was still small and his power centre was in Vestfold, in the south. And when he died, the kingdom was divided between his sons. Some historians put emphasis on the actual monarchical control over the country and assert that Olav II (Olav the Stout, who later became St. Olav), who reigned from 1015, was the first king to have control over the entire country. He is generally held to be the driving force behind Norway’s final conversion to Christianity and was later revered as Rex Perpetuum Norvegiæ (Latin: eternal king of Norway).[1][2] Some provinces did not actually come under the rule of the Fairhair kings before the time of Harald III (Harald Hardrada, r. 1046–1066). Either of these may therefore be regarded as further unifiers of Norway. And some of the rulers were nominally or actually vassals of the King of Denmark, including Jarl Haakon.

It is undisputed that later kings, until Magnus IV (Magnus the Blind, r. 1130–1135 and 1137–1139), were descended from Harald Hardrada: the ‘Hardrada dynasty’. However, many modern historians doubt whether Harald III was in fact descended from Harald Fairhair (for example questioning the identification of Halfdan in Hadafylke with the father of Sigurd Syr[3] or Harald Fairhair’s fathering of Sigurd Hrise on a Sami girl called Snæfrid[4]) and whether he in fact made such a claim, or whether this lineage is a construction from the 12th century. Sverre Sigurdsson‘s claim to be the son of Sigurd Munn is also usually considered to be false, which would make Inge II (Inge Bårdsson) the last king of a dynasty.

Kingdom of Norway (green) at its greatest extent, around 1265

Scholars now consider the Fairhair dynasty at least partly the product of medieval invention.[5][6] One motive would be to increase the legitimacy of rulers by giving them a clear royal ancestry dating back to the foundation of the kingdom. Another was to provide pedigrees for other people by connecting them to the royal house. Versions of the royal descent are preserved in various works by Icelandic skalds and historians, some based on now lost works: Þjóðólfr of Hvinir‘s Ynglingatal, in Nóregs konungatal (which preserves information from a lost work by Sæmundr fróði), and at greatest length in Snorri Sturluson‘s Heimskringla (which preserves information from a now lost version of Ari Þorgilsson‘s Íslendingabók). These differ in some respects. Joan Turville-Petre explored the relationship between them and argued that the original aims were to establish a framework of regnal years for dating and to connect Icelandic chieftains to them,[7] and that the Vestfold origin of the dynasty was deliberately altered and they were connected to the Swedish Ynglings rather than the Skjǫldungs to fit Icelandic tradition.[8] Claus Krag argued that an important motive was to establish a hereditary claim to Viken, the region around Oslo, because the area had been paying taxes to the King of Denmark.[9]

Turville-Petre speaks of a “decisive reconstruction of Harald [Hardrada]’s ancestry probably carried out by Icelanders, some two hundred years after his time” which made Halfdan the Black the progenitor of a dynasty which stretched in three branches from Harald Fairhair to Olaf Tryggvason, Olav II and Harald.[10] – in fulfillment of prophetic dreams, according to Heimskringla, in which the genealogy reaches its full form.

One particular point of doubt raised by historians is whether Harald III’s father was actually descended in unbroken male line from a younger (and somewhat obscure) son of Harald Fairhair,[11] and Olav II in another obscure but unbroken male line. It has been suggested[by whom?] that their claims to the throne were bolstered by genealogical invention because although they shared the same mother, Åsta Gudbrandsdatter, the mother’s descent was unimportant in inheritance according to traditional Germanic law.

In this critical view, only three generations of Fairhair kings reigned, from 930 to 1030, for 40 years altogether. The kings Olav Tryggvason and St. Olav, their family ties with the Fairhair dynasty perhaps a 12th-century invention, ruled for 18 years altogether and Harald Hardrada then founded a new dynasty. There may be as many as 6 dynasties altogether subsumed under the title of Fairhair dynasty: Harald Fairhair’s, Olav Tryggvason’s, St. Olav’s, Harald Hardrada’s, Magnus Erlingsson‘s and Sverre‘s.[12]


After Olav II of Norway‘s recognition as a saint, successors of his half-brother, Harald III, were also known as the ‘St. Olav dynasty’.

Sub-dynasties of Fairhair dynasty

The problem points (points of broken genealogy) in the medieval royal lineage in the so-called Fairhair dynasty are:[12]

Each of them came from “nowhere” and won the kingdom, the three latter claiming to be hitherto unknown natural sons of an earlier king.

Olav I is historically known to have claimed male-line descent from Harald I, as grandson of Harald’s alleged son Olav in Vika. And Olav II is known to also have claimed male-line descent from Harald I, as great-grandson of Harald I’s alleged son Bjørn in Vestfold. Opposing sources claim that Viken and its region of Norway, Vestfold, were not parts of Harald I’s dominions but subject to the Danish. The reliability of these two claims depends on the credibility of the Icelandic accounts (in particular Heimskringla) and the sources used to compile them.

Harald III is historically attested to have referred only to his kinship with his maternal half-brother, King Olav II of Norway, whose father in turn, as previously mentioned, is claimed to have descended from Harald I (even that descent is subject to some doubt). Much later legends (sagas authored under the patronage of royal courts of Harald III’s descendants) claim Harald III’s father also to have descended from Harald I (through Harald Fairhair’s alleged son Sigurd Hrise). Based on historical sources, this claimed descent from Harald I is of much later origin than the claims of descent of Olav I and Olav II, which apparently were known to their contemporaries, not made only a century or so later as seems to be the case with Harald III.

Thus, Harald III started the ‘Hardrada dynasty’, a putative branch of the Fairhair dynasty. They also became known as the ‘St. Olav dynasty’ in honor of the founder’s half-brother.

Harald IV arrived in Norway from his native Ireland and claimed to be the natural son of Magnus III, sired during the latter’s Irish expedition. His claim seems, from historical sources, to be based on tales told by his Irish mother and family circle during his youth.

Thus, Harald IV started the ‘Gille’ or ‘Gylle dynasty’ (the “Irish branch”), a putative branch of the alleged ancient dynasty.

The most seriously discredited alleged son, practically regarded as an impostor by many modern academics,[citation needed] was Sverre I, who arrived in Norway from his native Faroe Islands, took up leadership in the embattled and heirless Birkebeiner party of the civil war, and claimed to be the natural son of Sigurd II by Gunhild, Sverre’s attested mother. Sverre was sired during his mother’s marriage with another man, Unas the Combmaker. Only in adulthood, so the claim goes according to legends, did his mother tell Sverre his ‘real’ paternity. Based on historical sources, no one else appears to have given the story credence. During that stage of the civil war, the strife was so intense that genealogical truth had evolved to a relative concept. Many royal pretenders claimed to be sons of King Sigurd II, and that was mostly a political statement – their claims were at best dubious. It may have meant just that the claimant desired to continue the perceived policies of Sigurd and his party, and in that sense were his ‘sons’. Thus, Sverre I started the Sverre dynasty (the “Faroese branch”), a putative branch of the alleged ancient dynasty. The house of Sverre is mentioned in non-Norwegian contexts too; for example, its one female member, Margaret, Maid of Norway, inherited the Crown of Scotland.

Haakon IV was born to a Norwegian peasant girl after the death of King Haakon III. She and the late king’s inner circle affirmed that she had been the king’s lover and that the boy had been sired by him. Of all the last-mentioned four problematic points of descent, this appears, on the face of it, as the most trustworthy.

Thus, Haakon IV, who can be regarded as having started yet another new dynasty, is generally regarded as having continued the ‘Sverre dynasty’ (the “Faroese branch”). However, this itself has uncertain status as a branch of the Fairhair dynasty.

Kings and pretenders in sub-dynasties

Original Fairhair lineage:

Vigen branch:

Vestfold branch, the start of the St. Olav dynasty:

  • Olaf II of Norway Olaf Haraldsson, Olav the Stout, St. Olav (Olav Digre / Sankt Olav / Olav den Hellige) : 1015–1028
  • Magnus I of Norway Magnus the Good (Magnus den Gode) : 1035–1047

Hardrada dynasty:

Gille dynasty:

Philip Simonsson and Skule Baardsson cannot be easily placed into the Fairhair dynasty scheme. Their relation to an earlier Fairhair king was that of a half-brother.

Sverre dynasty:

bastard lineage of Sverre dynasty:

Descendants of sub-dynasties

The doubtful reliability of the medieval accounts of the Fairhair dynasty often leads to the question whether these kings left any other known descent than through impostor sons. The following are some attested lineages from kings of various sub-dynasties:

  • There is a clear line through Ragnhild, a daughter of king Magnus Barefoot, which has descendants through the Swedish royal House of Eric. Magnus IV of Sweden, a descendant of Ragnhild Magnusdottir according to the medieval sources, ascended the Norwegian throne in 1319, after which all of Norway’s kings, except Charles VIII, Charles XIV and Oscar I of Sweden, have similarly been her descendants.
  • In case Sverre is not Sigurd’s son, Harald Gille has recorded descendants through Birgitta Haraldsdottir (who was married to earl Birger Brosa) among Scandinavian nobility and through that lineage, among current European royalty. Charles I of Norway seems to have descended from Birgit, as did also Gustav I of Sweden and thus all his descendants.
  • The Sverre dynasty continues to the present time through Haakon IV, whose father is not fully certain. Haakon IV married Margret Skulisdottir, who descended from earlier Norwegian petty kings and magnate families, and their children continue also that ancestry. From Haakon IV onwards, all Norway’s kings are descended from him except Charles I, Charles III and Oscar I.
  • From St. Olav himself, according to the medieval material there are two main lines of descent: the line of the earls of Orkney through his illegitimate granddaughter, and the line of the Dukes of Saxony through his only legitimate daughter, Ulvhild. Eric II was the first king of Norway to descend from him, and afterwards all Norway’s monarchs have except Charles I, Charles III and Oscar I.

See also


  1. ^ Arno Borst, Medieval Worlds : Barbarians, Heretics, and Artists in the Middle Ages, University of Chicago, 1992, ISBN 0-226-06656-8, p. 132.
  2. ^ The phrase is first recorded in the contemporary Historia NorwegiæKnut Helle, The Cambridge History of Scandinavia Volume 1, Prehistory to 1520, Cambridge University Press, 2003, ISBN 0-521-47299-7, p. 379.
  3. ^ M. Sjöström, “Scandinavian medieval descendants of Charlemagne: A detailed genealogy of the issue of Agnes Haakonsdottir, of the so-called Fairhair dynasty”, Foundations – Journal of the Foundation for Medieval Genealogy vol 2 (2007:4, July), pp. 253-276: “It is very likely that the lord Halvdan, father of kinglet Sigurd Syr, was not identical with a possible Halvdan in Hadafylke, grandson of king Harald”.
  4. ^ Helle, p. 191.
  5. ^ Helle, p. 185.
  6. ^ Birgit and Peter Sawyer, Medieval Scandinavia: from Conversion to Reformation, circa 800-1500, Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1993, ISBN 0-8166-1738-4, p. 61.
  7. ^ Joan Turville-Petre, “The Genealogist and History: Ari to Snorri”, Saga-Book 20 (1978-81), pp. 7-23 (pdf), especially pp. 8, 10: “The numbers suggest that this was a professional genealogical document, made up in sets of ten generations”.
  8. ^ Turville-Petre, pp. 14: “According to Ynglingatal, the first five members were all buried in Vestfold; which implies that this was the centre of their power. Yet Ari entitles the first member Upplendingakonungr. In Icelandic historical tradition the emphasis is on the mountain regions”; 15: “The Skjǫldungs were not in question . . . ; the Ynglings of Sweden were chosen”.
  9. ^ Claus Krag, Ynglingatal og Ynglingasaga: en studie i historiske kilder, Oslo: Universitetsforlaget 1991, OCLC 256562288, pp. 231, 243 (Norwegian)
  10. ^ Turville-Petre, p. 15
  11. ^ Sjöström, for example, regards this as evidence of later invention: “[T]he male-line descent of Sigurd Syr from Harald Fairhair/Schönhaar is very uncertain, redolent of a later, possibly 12th-century, creation in support of the established royal Hardraada dynasty’s legitimacy claims”.
  12. ^ a b Jo Rune Ugulen, “Kongar i dei norske ættetavlene” (Kings in the Norwegian genealogies), Norsk Slektshistorisk Forening 1999/2000, reprinted from Genealogen 99.1, pp. 20-23 (Norwegian Nynorsk)


External links


Royal Houses of Europe


House of Sverre

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House of Sverre
Coat of Arms of Norway (1924) non crown.png
Country Kingdom of Norway and Kingdom of Scotland
Ancestral house Not known
Titles Chieftain of the Birkebeins, King of Norway, Queen of Scots
Founder Sverre Sigurdsson
Current head Extinct, last monarch of this House was Haakon Magnusson
Founding 1184
Cadet branches None, replaced by the House of Bjelbo

A sculpture believed to be of King Haakon V Magnusson as Duke of Oslo, Oppland, Ryfylke, the Faroe Islands, and Shetland.

Burial site of Haakon V Magnusson in Oslo.

The House of Sverre (Norwegian: Sverreætten)[1] was a royal house or dynasty which ruled, at various times in history, the Kingdom of Norway, hereunder the kingdom’s realms, and the Kingdom of Scotland. The house was founded with King Sverre Sigurdsson. It sat on Norway’s throne from 1184 to 1319. The rulers of this house claimed descendance from the House of Fairhair and its old rulers, a claim disputed by many modern scholars.


The house was founded with King Sverre Sigurdsson, who claimed to be an illegitimate son of King Sigurd Munn, when he was made King of Norway. After Sverre’s death, his descendants would expand the influence, wealth, and power of the dynasty. Under his grandson Haakon IV‘s rule, medieval Norway reached its peak.

Also Margaret, Maid of Norway was a member of this family.

The rulers of this house claimed descendance from the House of Fairhair and its old rulers. However, modern historians reject the claim as unlikely and a fabrication in order to gain Norway’s throne.

The house replaced the Gille dynasty, and was again replaced by the House of Bjelbo, which inherited Norway’s throne. They were the last reigning family that claimed patrilineal descent from Harald Fairhair.


It is unlikely that the rulers officially referred to their dynasty as the House of Sverre; this is a term made by modern historians. The Norwegian term is Sverreætten, meaning the Sverre dynasty or the Sverre clan, and also this is likely a construction of newer times.

Coat of arms

See also: Coat of arms of Norway

The main arms of the kings belonging to the House of Sverre, was a golden crowned lion on a red field. The lion was later supplied with a silver axe symbolising Olaf the Holy.

  • Seal of King Haakon V Magnusson, the last king belonging to the House of Sverre.

  • Seal of King Haakon V Magnusson’s daughter, Duchess Ingeborg.

  • Arms of King Haakon V Magnusson’s daughter’s son, King Haakon VI Magnusson, who was of the House of Bjelbo. His coat of arms includes the Sverre arms and the Bjelbo arms.

List of kings

The rulers within the royal house or dynasty would often have a “junior king” along with a “senior king” (three dates show the reign as junior king to the start of reign as senior to the end of their reign). Here is a list of the rulers when the house held the power in Norway:

Name Reign
Sverre Sigurdsson 1184–1202
Haakon III Sverresson 1202–1204
Guttorm Sigurdsson 1204
Rule of Inge Baardson of the Gille branch 1204–1217
Haakon the Old 1217–1263
Haakon Haakonsson the Young 1240–1257
Magnus VI Lagabøte 1257–1263–1280
Eric Magnusson 1273–1280–1299
Haakon Magnusson 1299–1319

Other members

See also


  1. ^ Lunden, Kåre and Mykland, Knut (1976). Norge under Sverreætten 1177-1319. Norges historie 3. Cappelen. ISBN 9788202034535.

Royal Houses of Europe

Margaret, Maid of Norway

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For other Scottish queens and princesses called Margaret, see Margaret of Scotland (disambiguation).
Margaret, Maid of Norway.jpg
Lerwick Town Hall stained glass window depicting “Margaret, queen of Scotland and daughter of Norway”
Queen of Scots
Disputed reign 25 November 1286 – 26 September 1290
Predecessor Alexander III
Successor John Balliol
House House of Sverre (Fairhair dynasty)
Father Eric II of Norway
Mother Margaret of Scotland
Born 9 April 1283
Tønsberg, Norway
Died 26 September 1290 (aged 7)
St Margaret’s Hope, Orkney
Burial Old Cathedral, Bergen
Religion Roman Catholicism

Margaret (Gaelic: Mairead or Maighread) (9 April 1283–26 September 1290) was Queen of Scots and a Norwegian princess, also known as Margaret of Scotland (Norwegian: Margrete av Skottland) and the Maid of Norway (Norwegian: Jomfruen av Norge). Margaret was Queen from 1286 until she died in 1290. Her death while en route to Scotland, sparked off the disputed succession which led to the Wars of Scottish Independence.

She was the daughter of King Eric II of Norway and Margaret, daughter of King Alexander III of Scotland. Margaret was born on 9 April 1283 in Tønsberg. Her mother died in childbirth.[1][2]


When the treaty arranging the marriage of Margaret and Eric was signed at Roxburgh on 25 July 1281, Alexander III’s younger son David had already died in June 1281, leaving the King of Scots with only one legitimate son, Alexander. Consequently, the treaty included a provision for the children of Margaret and Eric to succeed to the kingdom of the Scots:

If it happens that the king of Scotland dies without a lawful son, and any of his sons does not leave lawful issue [not sons] and Margaret has children [not sons] by the king of Norway, she and her children shall succeed to the king of Scotland … or she, even if she is without children, according to Scottish law and custom.[3]

Alexander III made similar provisions when arranging the marriage of his son Alexander to Margaret, daughter of Guy de Dampierre, Count of Flanders, probably also in 1281. The treaty arranging the marriage, signed in December 1281, included a lengthy and complex document setting out the customs and usages which determined the succession. As well as general statement of principles, the annex includes specific examples of the rights of “A and M” and their children in particular cases. The document, while confusing in places, appears to favour primogeniture for male heirs, or their descendants, and proximity of blood for female heirs and their descendants.[4]

When Prince Alexander died on 28 January 1284, leaving only the king’s granddaughter Margaret living out of his descendants, Alexander III summoned all thirteen Earls of Scotland, twenty-four barons and the heads of the three main Gaelic kindreds of the West, Alexander of Argyll, Aonghas Mór of Islay and Alan MacRuari of Garmoran. At Scone on 5 February 1284, the signatories agreed to recognise Margaret as “domina and right heir” if neither Alexander had left a posthumous child and the king had left no children at the time of his death. However, it is unlikely that this was intended to allow Margaret to rule alone as queen regnant, but rather jointly with her future spouse, whoever he might be.[5] While unexceptional in the circumstances, this would appear to show that Alexander III had decided on remarriage. He did remarry, to Yolande de Dreux, but died shortly afterwards as the result of an accident on 19 March 1286 without any children by her.

Lady and Right Heir of Scotland

After King Alexander III was buried at Dunfermline Abbey on 29 March 1286, the magnates and clerics of the realm assembled at Scone in parliament to select the Guardians of Scotland who would keep the kingdom for the right heir. At this time it was thought that Queen Yolande was pregnant, so that Margaret was not yet the obvious successor. It is uncertain what happened to Yolande’s child; most likely she had a miscarriage, although other accounts say that her child was still-born at Clackmannan on St. Catherine’s Day (25 November 1286) with the Guardians in attendance to witness the event,[6] just possibly she had a false pregnancy, and there was even one dubious English claim that she was faking pregnancy.[7]

This, according to the oaths taken, made Margaret the heir at three years of age, but within weeks John Balliol tried to take the crown with the aid of John Comyn, the Red Comyn. The Bruce family captured strongholds in Galloway, and fighting in the name of the Maid of Norway (Margaret), suppressed the rebellion with many important families like the Stewards supporting them. In 1289 the Guardians maintained the peace in Scotland between the competing claims of Margaret, Robert Bruce and John Balliol.

Far from the Scots displaying any desire to bring Margaret to Scotland, it was Margaret’s father Eric who raised the question again. Eric sent official ambassadors to Edward I of England, then in Gascony, in May 1289, with papers referring to Margaret as “queen”. Negotiations from this time onwards were between Edward, who returned to England later in the year, and Eric, and excluded the Scots until Edward met with Robert Bruce and some of the Guardians at Salisbury in October 1289. The Scots were in a weak position since Edward and Eric could arrange Margaret’s marriage to the future Edward II of England, or some other if they chose, without reference to the Guardians. Accordingly the Guardians signed the Treaty of Salisbury, which agreed that Margaret would be sent to Scotland before 1 November 1290, and that any agreement on her future marriage would be deferred until she was in Scotland.[8]

That marriage of Edward, Prince of Wales, was in King Edward’s mind is clear from the fact that a papal dispensation was received from Pope Nicholas IV ten days after the treaty was signed. Thought to show bad faith on Edward’s part, the Papal Bull did not contract a marriage, only permit one should the Scots later agree to it. Edward, like Eric, was now writing of Queen Margaret, anticipating her inauguration and the subsequent marriage to his son.[9]

Edward and the Guardians continued their negotiations, based on the collective assumption that Margaret would be queen and the young Edward king, but all these plans, and those of King Alexander, were brought to nothing by the death of Margaret in the Orkney Islands on 26 September 1290[2] while voyaging to Scotland. Her remains were taken to Bergen and buried beside her mother in the stone wall, on the north side of the choir, in Christ’s Kirk at Bergen.

Her death left no obvious heir to the Scottish throne and the matter of succession was resolved in the Great Cause of 1291-2.

Although derived from a text written more than a century later, it is thought by some historians that the earliest Scots verse written in Scotland dates from this time:

Quhen Alexander our kynge was dede,
That Scotland lede in lauche and le,
Away was sons of alle and brede,
Of wyne and wax, of gamyn and gle.
Our gold was changit into lede.
Christ, born in virgynyte,
Succoure Scotland, and ramede,
That stade is in perplexite.[10]

The ballad Sir Patrick Spens has sometimes been supposed to be connected to Margaret’s ill-fated voyage. Some years later a woman appeared claiming to be her, known as the False Margaret; she was executed by Haakon V, King Eric’s brother and successor, in 1301.

Royal status

As Margaret was never crowned or otherwise inaugurated, and never set foot on what was then Scots soil during her lifetime, there is some doubt about whether she should be regarded as a Queen of Scots. This could ultimately be a matter of interpretation. Most lists of the monarchs of Scotland do include her, but a few do not. Some contemporary documents, including the Treaty of Salisbury (see above) did describe her as “queen,” but it has been argued that she should not properly be considered a monarch.[11]

Due to lack of a clear historical precedent in Scotland’s history as a fully separate country before the Union of the Crowns in 1603, there was only one occasion when a similar situation arose, i.e. on the death of the monarch the heir was outside the country and not available to be crowned more or less immediately. This was when, on the death of Robert III in 1406, his heir, who became James I, was a prisoner in England. James was eventually released and crowned in 1424. In the intervening period official documents simply referred to him as the “heir,” and the Regent Albany issued coins in his own name. Nevertheless, James’s reign is now usually considered to start in 1406, not 1424. If considered to have been queen, Margaret is the first Queen Regnant of the British Isles.


[show]Ancestors of Margaret, Maid of Norway

Cultural references

  • Hendry, Frances Mary, Quest for a Maid. Farrar, Strauss & Giroux, 1988. ISBN 0-374-46155-4

In this book, Margaret survives and escapes (in the care of other, older children) to Scotland, where she eventually becomes an ordinary little girl, in an ordinary family, and is absorbed into ordinary Scottish culture.


  1. ^ Margaret of Scotland
  2. ^ a b Margaret, Maid of Norway
  3. ^ Duncan, p. 166, citing Acts of the Parliament of Scotland, volume I, 422b.
  4. ^ Duncan, pp.166–169.
  5. ^ Macdougall, pp. 12–13; Duncan, pp 169–171.
  6. ^ Duncan, p. 178.
  7. ^ Peter Traquair Freedom’s Sword
  8. ^ Oram, Canmore Kings, p. 109; Duncan, pp 179–183.
  9. ^ Duncan, pp. 182–183.
  10. ^ Duncan, p. 175; Crawford & Imlah, p. 42.
  11. ^ Duncan, pp.182–182; Oram, Canmore Kings, p. 107. The Cambridge Medieval History says the “Regents” declared her queen, VII, 562.


  • Crawford, Robert & Mick Imlach, The New Penguin Book of Scottish Verse. Penguin, London, 2001. ISBN 0-14-058711-X
  • Duncan, A.A.M., The Kingship of the Scots 842–1292: Succession and Independence. Edinburgh University Press, Edinburgh, 2002. ISBN 0-7486-1626-8
  • Macdougall, Norman, “L’Écosse à la fin du XIIIe sieclè: un royaume menacé” in James Laidlaw (ed.) The Auld Alliance: France and Scotland over 700 Years. Edinburgh University, Edinburgh, 1999. ISBN 0-9534945-0-0
  • Oram, Richard (with Michael Penman), The Canmore Kings: Kings and Queens of the Scots, 1040–1290. Tempus, Stroud, 2002. ISBN 0-7524-2325-8
Margaret, Maid of Norway

Born: February/April 1283 Died: September/October 1290

Regnal titles
Preceded by
Alexander III
Queen of Scots

Succeeded by
John Balliol