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Eleanor of Scotland

Eleanor of Scotland (1433 – Innsbruck 20 November 1480) was an Archduchess of Austria by marriage to Sigismund, Archduke of Austria, a noted translator, and regent of Austria in 1455-58 and 1467. She was a daughter of James I of Scotland and Joan Beaufort.

Eleanor of Scotland
Archduchess consort of Austria
Eleanor stewart 1458 80 daugh hi.jpg
Died20 November 1480(1480-11-20) (aged 46–47)
SpouseSigismund, Archduke of Austria
FatherJames I of Scotland
MotherJoan Beaufort

Early lifeEdit

Eleanor was the sixth child of James I of Scotland and Joan Beaufort.[1] James I was known for his great love of literature which he passed on to Eleanor and her sister Margaret.[1]

Starting in 1445, Eleanor lived at the court of Charles VII of France.[2] In 1447, she accompanied Marie of Anjou, Queen of France, on a pilgrimage on Mont Saint-Michel.[3]


In 1448 or 1449 the teenage Eleanor married Sigismund (1427–1496), a Habsburg Duke, then Archduke of Further Austria, and finally ruler of Tyrol (from 1446 to 1490).[1][2]

Sigismund, Archduke of Austria and his betrothed Radegonde of Valois and successive wives Eleanor of Scotland and Catherine, Archduchess of Austria.

Eleanor served as regent for her husband from 1455 to 1458 and again in 1467.[2]

Heinrich Steinhöwel dedicated his translation of Boccaccio's On Famous Women to Eleanor.


Eleanor was a great lover of books and literate in several languages.[2] She translated The History of the King's Son of Galicia, named Pontus, and the beautiful Sydonia (Pontus and Sidonia) from French to German.[2] The French original passed through several editions between 1480 and 1550.[2]

In addition to translating the work, Eleanor also revised it to increase the political power of women.[2] Only the courts with effective female advisors retained their political stability.[2]

Based on the number of printings, it was a popular book.[2] A copy of the German translation, preserved in the library of Gotha, bears the date 1465.[3]

Eleanor and Elisabeth von Nassau-Saarbrücken are credited with introducing the prose novel to German literature.[2]

Sigismund and Eleanor Statues in Stams


Eleanor died in childbirth with her son Wolfgang on 20 November 1480 and was buried in Stams.



  1. ^ a b c Watanabe, Professor Morimichi (28 July 2013). Nicholas of Cusa – A Companion to his Life and his Times. Ashgate Publishing, Ltd. ISBN 9781409482536.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Schaus, Margaret (1 January 2006). Women and Gender in Medieval Europe: An Encyclopedia. Taylor & Francis. ISBN 9780415969444.
  3. ^ a b Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland. Society. 1 January 1862.
  4. ^
  5. ^ McAndrew, Scotland's Historic Heraldry, p 173