Lady Margaret Sackville (1562 – 19 August 1591), formerly Lady Margaret Howard, was the wife of Robert Sackville, 2nd Earl of Dorset.
Margaret was the daughter of Thomas Howard, 4th Duke of Norfolk, and his second wife, the former Margaret Audley. In keeping with family tradition, she was a devout Roman Catholic. Her half-brother, Philip Howard, 13th Earl of Arundel, died while imprisoned by Queen Elizabeth I of England, and was later canonised as a saint in the Catholic Church.
Her mother died when she was still a child, and in 1572 her father was executed, after which she was raised by her uncle Henry Howard. She married Robert Sackville in February 1580, but died prior to his inheriting the earldom of Dorset in 1608, and thus she was never countess.
In 1585, she visited her sister-in-law, the Countess of Arundel, formerly Anne Dacre, in Essex; the countess's movements were restricted because of the earl's imprisonment. Lady Margaret was under instructions from the queen not to remain at the countess's home for more than one night. Both women were heavily pregnant and Lady Margaret went into labour during the visit, giving birth successfully.
The children of Robert and Margaret Sackville included:
Lady Margaret died suddenly on 19 August 1591, aged 29, at Knole, Kent, a property which had been granted to her husband's father by Queen Elizabeth during the 1560s. Robert Southwell's Triumphs over Death (published in 1596, after the poet's execution) was dedicated to her and her surviving children; it was supposedly written and sent to her half-brother, the Earl of Arundel, in prison, to comfort him.
The year after her death, her husband married the twice-widowed Anne, daughter of Sir John Spencer of Althorp. He left instructions in his will that he should be buried at Withyham, "as near to my first dearly beloved wife ... as can be".
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