Joan of the Tower

Joan of the Tower
Queen consort of Scotland
Tenure 7 June 1329 – 7 September 1362
Coronation November 1331
Born (1321-07-05)5 July 1321
Tower of London, London
Died 7 September 1362(1362-09-07) (aged 41)
Hertford Castle, Hertfordshire
Burial Christ Church Greyfriars, London
Spouse David II
House Plantagenet
Father Edward II
Mother Isabella of France

Joan of England (5 July 1321 – 7 September 1362), known as Joan of the Tower because she was born in the Tower of London, was the first wife and Queen consort of David II of Scotland.


The youngest daughter of Edward II of England and Isabella of France, Joan was born in the Tower of London on 5 July 1321.[1] Her siblings were the future Edward III of England, John of Eltham, Earl of Cornwall and Eleanor of Woodstock.

In accordance with the Treaty of Northampton, Joan was married on 17 July 1328 to David II of Scotland at Berwick-upon-Tweed.[2] She was seven years old, he was only four.[3] Their marriage lasted 34 years, but it was childless and apparently loveless.[4]

On 7 June 1329, Robert I of Scotland died and David became king. He was crowned at Scone Abbey in November 1331.[5]

After the victory of Edward III of England and his protégé Edward Balliol at the Battle of Halidon Hill in July 1333, David and Joan were sent for safety to France. They reached Boulogne-sur-Mer in May 1334, where they were received by Philip VI, her mother's cousin. Little is known about the life of the Scottish King and Queen in France, except that they took up residence at Château Gaillard and Philip treated them with regard.[6]

Meanwhile, David's representatives had obtained the upper hand in Scotland, and David and Joan were thus enabled to return in June 1341, when he took the reins of government into his own hands. David II was taken prisoner at the Battle of Neville's Cross in County Durham on 17 October 1346, and remained imprisoned in England for eleven years. Although Edward III allowed Joan to visit her husband in the Tower of London a few times, she did not become pregnant.[7] After his release in 1357, she decided to remain in England.[7] Joan was close to her mother, whom she nursed during her last days.[8]

Joan died in 1362, aged 41, at Hertford Castle, Hertfordshire. She was buried in Christ Church Greyfriars, London. No trace of her tomb now survives.



  1. Panton (2011), 281
  2. Marshall, (2003), 36
  3. Castor (2011), 313
  4. Ashley (1999), 551
  5. Brown (2004), 321
  6. Marshall (2003), 37
  7. 1 2 Marshall (2003), 38
  8. Mortimer (2008), 338


  • Ashley, Mike. The Mammoth Book of British Kings and Queens. London: Robinson Publishers, 1999. ISBN 1-84119-096-9
  • Brown, Michael. The Wars of Scotland, 1214-1371. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2004. ISBN 978-0748612383
  • Marshall, Rosalind. Scottish Queens 1034–1714. East Linton: Tuckwell Press, 2003. ISBN 978-0859766777
  • Mortimer, Ian. The Perfect King The Life of Edward III, Father of the English Nation. London: Vintage, 2008. ISBN 978-0099527091
  • Panton, James. Historical Dictionary of the British Monarchy. Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press, 2011. ISBN 978-0810857797
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Scottish royalty
Preceded by
Elizabeth de Burgh
Queen consort of Scotland
Succeeded by
Margaret Drummond
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