Margaret Boyd of Bonshaw

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Margaret Boyd of Bonshaw

Also Known As: "Marion Boyd", "Margot Boyd"
Birthplace: Of Kilmarnock, Renfrew, Scotland
Death: Died in Edinburgh, City of Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom
Immediate Family:

Daughter of Archibald Boyd of Bonshaw and Christian Mure
Wife of John Mure of Rowallan
Partner of James IV of Scotland
Mother of Catherine Stewart, Countess of Morton; Alexander Stewart, Archbishop of St. Andrews; Mary Boyd; Janet Lockhart ; Mungo Mure of Rowallan and 10 others
Sister of Robert Boyd; Lady Pokelly Boyd; Elizabeth Boyd of Bonshaw and Patrick Boyd

Occupation: Mistress of King James IV of Scotland
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Margaret Boyd of Bonshaw

Margaret Boyd was the daughter of Archibald Boyd and Christian Mure. "Marion (sic: see name discussion below) Boyd (fl. late 15th century), also known as Margot or Margaret, was a mistress of King James IV of Scotland, and his first important mistress. They had three children: Alexander, born about 1490, James, who died in childhood, and Catherine, who married James Douglas, 3rd Earl of Morton."

She was related to Thomas Boyd, Earl of Arran, and a niece of the second wife of Archibald Douglas, 5th Earl of Angus. Her relationship with the king was linked with the rise and fall of Angus's influence at the court.

"Archibald’s sister-in-law, Margaret Boyd, his wife’s second younger sister, was in her youth mistress to King James IV, and bore him Alexander Stewart, Archbishop of St Andrews, and Jean (sic: Catherine) countess of Morton. Margaret thus found herself much in favour in court, and in addition she was cousin to Dame Elisabeth Boyd daughter of Thomas Lord Boyd, and to Countess Of Angus, whose husband Archibald, Earl of Angus, (then Chamberlain) had the greatest power in the state."


Children of Margaret Boyd and James IV Stewart, King of Scotland

  1. Catherine Stewart+ d. a 1554
  2. Alexander Stewart b. c 1493, d. 1513

Children of Margaret Boyd and John Mure

  1. Mungo Mure,  b. Abt 1500, of Rowallan, Kilmarnock, Ayr, Scotland ,  d. 10 Sep 1547, Battlefield, Pinkie, Inveresk, Midlothian, Scotland
  2. Alexander Mure,  b. Abt 1509, of, Ormshugh, Ayr, Scotland , 
  3. Patrick Mure,  b. Abt 1511, of Rowallan, Kilmarnock, Ayr, Scotland , 
  4. Adam Mure,  b. Abt 1513, of Rowallan, Kilmarnock, Ayr, Scotland , 
  5. Elizabeth Mure,  b. Abt 1515, of Rowallan, Kilmarnock, Ayr, Scotland , 
  6. Marion Mure,  b. Abt 1517, of Rowallan, Kilmarnock, Ayr, Scotland , 
  7. Margaret Mure,  b. Abt 1519, of Rowallan, Kilmarnock, Ayr, Scotland , 
  8. Marjory Mure,  b. Abt 1520, of Rowallan, Kilmarnock, Ayr, Scotland , 

Dunbar’s paternal grandmother was Janet Mure of Rowallan, whose parents were John Mure of Rowallan, killed at Flodden, and Margaret Boyd, the mistress of James IV. As the daughter of Archibald Boyd of Bonshaw, Margaret Boyd was a grand-daughter of Robert, first Lord Boyd [d. 1482]. See Stirnet mureO1 genealogy. His Boyd descent clearly meant quite a lot to Dunbar, as well it might. They were a major noble family, not least in the southwest, and the Mures of Rowallan remained closely linked to them. If Dunbar is correct about Janet’s first husband, he was a Maxwell of Newark (a castle on the Clyde in what is now Port Glasgow). This is certainly claimed by the poet Sir William Mure of Rowallan on pp.75f. of The Historie and Descent of the House of Rowallane (Glasgow, 1825), who says her second husband was John Lockhart [d.1528] of Bar (in Galston, Ayrshire). Jonet’s younger sister Alison married this man’s son — also called John — who was a fierce Protestant, and who invited John Knox to preach in Barr Castle in 1556 (Knox, History of the Reformation I.250).

"John [Mure] the Sone of Johne & oye to Robert succeided. He maried Margrat Boyd daughter to Archibald Boyd of Bonschaw brother to Thomas master of Boyd who was forefault. He begat vpon her Mongo who succeided, Allexr Mure of Ormshugh, Patrick & Adame. And daughteris the lady Newwark, secondly maried on the laird of Barr, thirdlie vpon the guidman of Baldoone, ane other maried vpon the laird of Barr younger, The youngest vpon the laird of Sorbie in Galloway ….

Marion or Margaret?

Douglas Richardson discusses her name here:

"As to Margaret Boyd being called Marion Boyd in secondary sources, that error seems to have arisen from an unfortunate mistake by George Burnett in Exchequer Rolls of Scotland 12 (1889): xl–xli, in which he naively assumed that Margaret Boyd, the mistress of King James IV, was the same person as a Marion Boyd mentioned in passing in the Exchequer rolls. It apparently didn't trouble him that the given names Margaret and Marion were not interchangeable in this period."

"Burnett's misidentification of Margaret Boyd as being the same person as Marion Boyd was subsequently repeated by Herkless & Hannay, Archbishops of St. Andrews 1 (1907): 219. The error has continued to have life until today. But it was elsewhere rejected by two reliable standard Scottish sources, namely Scots Peerage 1 (1904): 22; 5 (1908): 145–146; 6 (1909): 361 and by Dunbar, Scottish Kings (1906): 220."


  • [S11] Alison Weir, Britain's Royal Family: A Complete Genealogy (London, U.K.: The Bodley Head, 1999), page 239. Hereinafter cited as Britain's Royal Family.
  • [S1322] David Arathoon, "re: Acheson Family and Campbell Family," e-mail message from <e-mail address> (Canada) to Darryl Lundy, 8 April 2005 - 14 July 2006. Hereinafter cited as "re: Acheson Family and Campbell Family".


  1. Sir James Balfour Paul, The Scots Peerage: founded on Wood's edition of Sir Robert Douglas's The Peerage of Scotland (Edinburgh, Scotland: David Douglas, 1904), volume I, page 22. " .... (Margaret Boyd, a daughter of Boyd of Bonshaw) ..."
  2. Sir James Balfour Paul, The Scots Peerage: Founded on Wood's Edition of Sir Robert Douglas's Peerage of Scotland; Containing an Historical and Genealogical Account of the Nobility of that Kingdom, Volume 5 (Google eBook) James Balfour Paul D. Douglas, 1908 - Nobility. Page 145-146


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Margaret Boyd of Bonshaw's Timeline

Renfrew, Scotland
Age 14
Edinburgh, Scotland
Age 16
Edinburgh, City of Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom
Age 18
Kilmaurs, East Ayrshire, United Kingdom
Age 23
Rowallan, Ayr, Scotland
Age 28
United Kingdom
Age 32
Kilmaurs, East Ayrshire, United Kingdom
Age 32
Ayr, South Ayrshire, Scotland, United Kingdom