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Posted on 01/20/2014

Photo taken on November  2, 2012

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the royal vault

the royal vault
Holyrood Abbey and Palace, Edinburgh, Scotland

This simple vault was built, after the eastern part of this abbey church, enclosing the Royal tombs, was destroyed by the English army in 1544. Here were placed the coffins of James V, Magdalen his first Queen, and his infant sons by his second marriage to Mary of Guise.
In 1688 the tomb was violated during the riots at the end of James VII's reign and it's contents were left in disorder.
in 1898 Queen Victoria ordained a repair of the vault and the remains of those previously interred here were re-buried in one coffin.
The vault also contains the coffin of Mary of Gueldres, Queen of James II which was removed in 1848 from Trinity Church, Edinburgh.

James V was born 10 April 1512 to James IV of Scotland and his Queen Mary Tudor (sister of Henry VIII). at Linlithgow Castle.
He was christened the following day as Duke of Rothesay and Prince & Grand Steward of Scotland.
9 September 1513, aged only 17 months, his father was killed at the Battle of Flodden Field and he was declared king, being crowned at the chapel Royal in Stirling Castle on 21 September 1513.
Scotland was ruled by a number of regents until 1524 when James dismissed them all having been declared adult by his mother.
Some of his first acts were to besiege and then banish the Douglas family, subdue the border rebels and and the chiefs of the Western Isles.
He surrounded himself with statesman, nobles and professional lawyers. He also tightened control of the Royal estates and coffers.
He resisted the acts of the Reformation by keeping the Abbeys and Monasteries active, but obtained Papal permission to tax them.
By 1541 Mary Tudor had died and James saw no reason to maintain the peace with England, winning the initial Battle of Haddon Rig in August 1542. However, at Louder his nobles were reluctant to invade English borders further and so set about returning to Edinburgh. A month later they lost the Battle of Solway Mass. On 6 December, James fell ill and was on his deathbed at Falkirk Palace when his daughter Mary was born.
He died on Thursday 15 December, in much grief and discomfort.
He was buried at Holyrood in a tomb constructed by David Lindsay. It was carved with lions and an inscription in Roman letters. It measured 18 feet long and was destroyed in 1544 by the English during the burning of Edinburgh.
It was said that during his reign he would often travel around Scotland disguised as a common man and that he was a keen lute player. At court he maintained a band of Italian musicians.
He was a patron of poets and authors. He also encouraged technological advances, especially in Armour creation and maintenance.
He enjoyed spectacle and was personally responsible for the fireworks at the Queens coronation.
He also kept a menagerie of exotic pets including a lion.
As early as 1517 there had been a contract between Scotland and France for a marriage that would unite them. King Francis was not happy with the idea of James marrying his daughter, Madeleine (Magdalen) of Valois, because of her ill health, but the marriage went ahead anyway. They were married on 1 January 1537 at Notre Dame de Paris.
The wedding was a great event with the entertainment lasting for weeks.
The couple returned to Scotland on 19 May 1537, but Madeline became consumptive and died in July 1537.
12 June 1538 he married Mary of Guise by proxy. Both of the sons they produced died in infancy, the second being baby Robert who was eight days old when he died in April 1541.
Their only surviving daughter was 6 days old when her father died - she would become Mary Queen of Scots.

(Magdalene) Madeleine of Valois was born the 10 August 1520 at Saint-Germain-en-laye, France to Francis I of France and Claude, Duchess of Brittany.
Her health had been delicate from birth and as a result she had spent most of her childhood in the warmer Loire Valley, instead of Paris, with her aunt, Marguerite of Navarre. When her father married Eleanor of Austria, she moved to the Queens household, and there at the age of 16 contracted Tuberculosis.
In 1536, with the marriage arrangement long standing, James V traveled to France to complete the contract. Francis was still fearful that the climate of Scotland was not suitable for Madeleine and initially refused, trying instead to convince James to marry a different daughter. James was insistent, and when Madeleine expressed an opinion for herself, Francis reluctantly agreed.
They were married on the 1 January 1537 and returned to Scotland in May, landing at Leith on the 19th at 10 o'clock at night.
She brought with her 11 members of her household, including, her old governess, ladies, secretary, master of the household, butcher, furrier and doctors.
On the 8 June 1537 she wrote to her father with good news that her symptoms had improved and that she was feeling much better.
On the 7 July 1537, still only 16 years old, she died in husbands arms.
She was known as The Summer Queen of Scots.


Mary of Guelders was born in 1434 in Grave, Netherlands, to Arnold, Duke of Guelders and Catherine of Cleves.
She was a great-niece of Philip the Good, Duke of Burgundy, who planned to marry her to Charles, Count of Maine, but her father could not afford the dowry. Instead she stayed at the Burgundian Court and was looked after, including financially, by Philips wife, Isabella of Portugal. At court she became a Lady to Catherine of France, and was given her own retinue of 10 ladies.
Philip set about negotiating a new marriage for her with Scotland, and was successful after he promised to pay her dowry. Isabella arranged and paid for her trosseau.
She arrived in Scotland, in the care of William Crichton, in June 1449 where a crows had gathered to see her arrival.
3 July 1449 she married James II of Scots at Holyrood.
This was followed by sumptuous feasting and gift giving. they had seven children together before James died in 1460 leaving her a regent to their son James III.
During her regency she became involved with the English war of the Roses, through her appointed Chief adviser, Bishop Kennedy, who was a strong Lancastrian supporter.
When Queen Margaret of Anjou fled north seeking refuge, Mary took her and her son, Edward of Westminster, into her household. She gave troops to Margaret's cause and even brokered a deal that meant Prince Edward would marry Princess Margaret in exchange for the border town of Berwick.
But the relationship between the two queens did not last long as the French alliance with the new Edward IV grow stronger and Uncle Philip became involved. He pressured Mary to cancel the marriage contract and even suggested she should consider marrying Edward herself. Mary initially rejected this idea, but later considered it.
She paid Margaret and her troops to leave Scotland, and made peace with Edward.

She was also a great builder, finishing the plans made by James for a castle at Ravenscraig, where she lived whilst it was being constructed until she died. She also built, in 1460, Trinity College Church in memory of her husband. She was buried there when she died on 1 December 1463 aged just 29.
In 1848 Trinity was demolished to make way for Waverley Station, and her body was re-buried in the vault at Holyrood.