Margaret of York
Spouses John de Vere

m. 1548

John de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford

Elizabeth de Vere
Mary de Vere

House House of Tudor

House of de Vere

Father Edmund, Duke of York
Mother Isabella of Austria
Born 13 January 1522
York Palace, England
Died 19 June 1568 (aged 46)
Hedingham Castle , Essex
Burial Westminster Abbey
Religion Anglican

Margaret of York (13 January 1522 - 19 June 1568) was the youngest child of Edmund, Duke of York and Isabella of Austria.

Early Life

Margaret was the youngest child of the Duke and Duchess of York, although only she and her elder sister Joan survived infancy. From birth, her uncle began to attempt to use her as a pawn for political alliance. Her father was receptive to her being married to the Duke of Angoulême, but her mother died shortly after the betrothal was made and her father rescinded his approval, wanting to keep Margaret and Joan close to him. In 1525, when Margaret was three years old, Anne Boleyn became her step mother. Her uncle, King Henry VIII still wanted Margaret to marry the Duke of Angoulême, but Edmund still refused. To ease the tension, Anne offered to send her daughter instead and Edmund allowed it. Her younger half-sister, Elizabeth of York, later became Duchess of Orléans.


Much to her father's pleasure, Margaret married an English noble, John de Vere, 16th Earl of Oxford. However, Margaret was unhappy, feeling that she was cheated out of an illustrious marriage and after the birth of her youngest daughter, Mary, she left her husband's home and remained at court as a lady-in-waiting. Her husband wanted her to love him, but Margaret still felt that her marriage was beneath her and confronted her father, accusing him of being selfish for forcing her into a marriage with a mere earl when she could have been a queen of another country. She also accused her step mother of taking advantage of her father and placing her children above Margaret and her sister Joan. Joan, however, was content to remain in England with her father and was horrified by Margaret's accusations.


Margaret became more unpredictable after the birth of her last child and her father began to suspect that his younger daughter by Isabella of Austria had inherited madness from her mother's side of the family. Her maternal grandmother was said to be mad and had spent the majority of her adult life in a convent. Margaret attacked her cousin Mary and was dismissed from court and sent back to her husband. John was eventually forced to lock his wife away in her rooms from 1557.

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