Margaret Beaufort

Margaret Beaufort

Bletsoe, Bedford Borough, Bedfordshire, England
Death 29 Jun 1509 (aged 66)
Westminster, City of Westminster, Greater London, England
Burial Westminster, City of Westminster, Greater London, England
Plot Chapel of Henry VII
Memorial ID 20906 · View Source
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English Aristocracy. Born the daughter of John Beaufort, Duke of Somerset, the son of John, Earl of Somerset who was himself the son of John of Gaunt by his mistress, Catherine Swynford; a bloodline that would be the basis of the family's tenuous claim to the English throne. While still a child, she was contracted to marry John de la Pole, Duke of Suffolk, but the contract was later dissolved. At the age of about fourteen, she married Edmund Tudor, Earl of Richmond. They had one child, Henry. Margaret was widowed in 1456 and remarried within three years to Sir Henry Stafford, a Lancastrian adherent in the War of the Roses. When the Lancastrian king, Henry VI was overthrown, Henry and his step-father fled to France. Margaret was again widowed in 1481 and then married the Yorkist, Thomas Stanley, Earl of Derby; from whom her confessor wrote, "…she obtained of him licence, and promised to live chaste," in effect taking the religious vows of a nun. After the ascension of Richard III, Margaret became an active conspirator and was implicated in the Buckingham uprising and censured by the crown in January 1484, which passed an act through parliament for the punishment of "Margaret, Countess of Richmond, mother to the King's great rebel and traitor, Henry, Earl of Richmond…to her the great punishment of attainder." Margaret's husband contributed to the fall of Richard III through betrayal on the battlefield. With Richard's death, Margaret's son, Henry took the throne. Margaret had meanwhile conspired with Elizabeth Woodville for her daughter, the illegitimated Elizabeth of York, to marry Henry upon his success. Margaret seldom appeared at her son's court but remained a constant correspondent and one of his advisers. She also founded St John's College, and endowed Christ College, Cambridge, as well as the Lady Margaret Professorship of Divinity, which she founded at Oxford and Cambridge. After the death of her husband, she renewed her religious vows in 1504, but continued to live outside of a convent, although she founded several. She was named as executor of her son's will and for the first ten weeks of the reign of her grandson, Henry VIII, Margaret acted as a regent until he came of age. Margaret survived only for a few months after. She died the following summer at the age of 69.

Bio by: Iola

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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Added: 22 Mar 2001
  • Find a Grave Memorial 20906
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Margaret Beaufort (31 May 1443–29 Jun 1509), Find a Grave Memorial no. 20906, citing Westminster Abbey, Westminster, City of Westminster, Greater London, England ; Maintained by Find A Grave .