History is full of fascinating women. We tend to remember the powerful, sexual, rich and hard done by women. This got me thinking, we have 8 reigning Queens but countless Consort Queens. These women are the baby making, support to a king and it wasn’t always easy to get that right – you just have to look at Henry VIII’s track record.
In recently researching the Post about Grey Friars (https://historianlaura.wordpress.com/2012/05/28/history-inspired-by-the-area-i-work-in-christ-church-greyfriars-newgate-london/) I came a cross a name that sparked an interest in me and I had to know more. It turns outs she was a Scottish Queen Consort and she was called Joan of the Tower.
Joan born on 5 July 1321 in the Tower of London, which was used as a Royal household as well a Prison. Her Parents were Isabella of France, Queen Consort of England and Edward II, King of England. Her maternal grandparents were Joan I, Queen Consort of France and Philip IV, King of France. Her siblings were Edward III, John of Eltham, Earl of Cornwall and Eleanor of Woodstock.
She became Queen Consort when she married David Bruce of
Scotland on 17 July 1328, in Berwick-upon-Tweed. David Bruce was the son of Elizabeth de Burgh and Robert I. Robert I of Scotland died on 7 June 1329 and Joan and her husband ascended to the Scottish throne less than a year after they married and her husband became David II. David and Joan were crowned on 24 November 1331, at Scone which is the traditional place for Scottish coronation.
In July 1333, after the victory at Halidon Hill, Joan and David were sent for safety into France. They were received by Philip VI, King of France on 14 May 1334, at Boulogne. The Château-Gaillard was given to them as their residence.
In October 1339, David was present at the meeting of the English and French armies at Vironfosse. David and Joan returned to Scotland during June 1341.
David II was taken prisoner on 17 October 1346, at the Battle of Neville’s Cross. He remained in England for eleven years.
Joan’s mother, Isabella of France died 22 August 1358, at Hertford Castle. She was buried at Grey Friars’ Church at Newgate. Joan died 4 years late aged just 41, on 7 September 1362, also at Hertford Castle and she too rests with her mother at She was buried at the Grey Friars.
Joan stood by her man and married him to improve relations with England oldest rival Scotland. This woman make small marks on our history and in some case leave v little behind them. I for one will always be fascinated by their life stories.