Isabella Stewart – Duchess of Brittany

(public domain)

Isabella of Scotland (Stewart) was born in 1426 as the daughter James I of Scotland and Joan of Beaufort. A diplomatic report before her marriage refers to her as “a well-brought-up young lady, schooled to silence and submission.”

She received a proposal of marriage from John V, Duke of Brittany. The marriage contract was signed on 19 July 1441 and ratified on 29 September, but John died on 29 August 1442, before a religious ceremony was performed. She went on the marry John’s son, Francis, now Duke of Brittany. He had been married once before but had been widowed in 1440. They married at Château d’Auray on 30 October 1442. They had two daughters, Margaret and Marie. Her eldest daughter married her cousin Francis and became Duchess consort of Brittany.

Although she commissioned books, it is not known if Isabella herself knew how to read or write. She is described as:

not a strikingly original figure. In both piety and patronages, she could be matched by others in her world. Her life is of interest,  nevertheless, because it provides precious evidence of the tastes of one particular woman, shaped by current fashion in devotion. Beneath the splendid trappings and ceremonial routine appropriate for her rank, Isabella attempted an internal pilgrimage as a private soul, a day by day progress on a path to spiritual enlightenment. 1


  1. Women in Scotland. Edited by Elizabeth Ewan and Maureen M Meikle

About Moniek Bloks 2749 Articles
My name is Moniek and I am from the Netherlands. I began this website in 2013 because I wanted to share these women's amazing stories.

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