Chapter 1: Alexander's Marriages
A Green and Pleasant Land
Chapter 1: Alexander’s Marriages
Chapter 1: Alexander’s Marriages
Alexander, King of Scots, of the mighty Dunkeld dynasty looked at his ministers and he wanted to scream. He was one of only two members of the Dunkeld dynasty left alive. His eldest and only surviving son Alexander, Lord of Mann being the other. It was a sharp contrast to how things had been at the beginning of the decade, where he’d had not only Alexander, but also his son David and his daughter Margaret. Something that had more than made up for the loss of his beloved wife Margaret. Now, it was just him and his eldest. That needed to change. He knew what would happen if he and his son died without heirs, there would be chaos and war.
He cleared his throat and began. “My son requires a bride. He is nineteen summers old now, and thus is of the right age to marry. I had asked for you all to come with appropriate candidates in mind and I will hear your choices now.”
John Comyn, Lord of Badenoch and a man Alexander had come to trust spoke first. “Sire, it seems prudent to me that given our trade links with the Low Countries that we arrange a marriage between our Prince and a member of said region. Personally, I would recommend Margaret of Flanders, daughter of Guy, Count of Flanders. She might be young but she comes from an illustrious and fertile family.”
Alexander looked at Comyn, and asked. “When you say she is young, how young exactly is she?” He did not want a child for his son, he remembered what his own marriage had been like as a child and the thought of doing that to his own son repelled him.
“She has only recently turned to eleven, Sire.” Comyn said. “But she is by all accounts a healthy and beautiful child.”
Alexander shook his head. “No, I shall not have that. We need heirs immediately, not in five years’ time.”
James Stewart, High Steward and another man that Alexander trusted spoke. “Sire, I have a suggestion if I might?”
“Go ahead.” Alexander commanded.
“Sire, Berwick is flourishing, but at present there seems to be tension between England and France, we cannot afford to lose out on the valuable trade routes that England provides, therefore I would recommend a marriage between the Prince and Elizabeth of England, the daughter of King Edward.” James Stewart said.
Alexander considered it, he knew his brother by marriage was a good man and good relations between their two nations was important, but still, there was something about another English marriage that did not sit too well with him. “She is also another child, I will say it again, that I do not want another child bride to be wed to the heir of Scotland. We need a bride who will be able to have children as soon as possible.”
“What of Marie of Brittany, then Sire?” Thomas Durward asked. Durward was the son of the man who had mentored Alexander when he was a child, he had displayed a head for numbers and therefore instead of executing him, Alexander had kept him on.
“How old is she?” Alexander asked. Brittany had potential, the Duke was close to Edward, but was not completely in his thrall, furthermore, Brittany was thriving right now, trade links with them would not go amiss.
“She is fifteen, Sire, but she is ready for consummation, according to my friends in the court of the Duke.” Durward said.
Alexander mulled that over, Brittany was wealthy, and if the girl was ready for marriage, that could make things ever more interesting. However, before he could say anything, John Comyn spoke. “Sire, whilst Brittany might provide an interesting marriage, the girl is still young and therefore given to the frailties of childbirth at such a young age. Might I recommend someone slightly older and more likely to survive?”
“Who did you have in mind?” Alexander asked.
“Princess Sancha of Portugal, Sire.” Comyn said. “Her father was one of the wealthiest men in all of Christendom, and Portugal has its own independent trade routes which would not make us reliant on England.”
Alexander thought on that. “Her mother was quite fertile was she not?” He remembered being quite impressed by the number of children the woman had managed to give birth to who had survived.
“Yes, Sire. And her brother has also had a lot of children with his wife.” Comyn said.
Alexander mulled it over and then replied. “Then Portugal it is, send word to our ambassador there, tell him to approach the matter with delicacy.”