Cecily of York - Reign of Edward IV

Reign of Edward IV

In 1474, Edward IV contacted a marriage alliance with James III of Scotland, whereby Cecily was betrothed to the future James IV of Scotland. Because of this she was for a time styled Princess of Scots. This agreement was, however, unpopular in the Kingdom of Scotland, and later military conflicts between Edward IV and James III negated the marriage arrangement.

With her older sisters, Cecily was present at the wedding of their brother the Duke of York in 1478. In 1480, Cecily was named a Lady of the Garter, along with her next elder sister Mary.

Edward IV continued to pay the Scottish dowry until on 11 June 1482, Cecily was betrothed by the Treaty of Fotheringhay to Alexander Stewart, Duke of Albany, the exiled younger brother of James III, who had personal ambitions for the Scottish throne. Edward IV sent Albany and Richard, Duke of Gloucester with an army into Scotland. Richard returned with a bond from from the merchants of Edinburgh to repay the dowry, and re-captured the town of Berwick upon Tweed. Edward IV decided to take the money and formally cancel the marriage with Prince James. Albany was killed on 7 August 1485, without a marriage to Cecily having taken place, but the death of Edward IV in 1483 had already changed the marriage prospects for his daughters in any case.

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