House of Beaufort
|House of Beaufort|
Armorial of Beaufort
|Country||Kingdom of England|
|Parent house||House of Plantagenet (legitimised)|
|Founder||John Beaufort, 1st Earl of Somerset|
|Current head||David Somerset, 11th Duke of Beaufort|
The House of Beaufort is an English noble family, which originated in the fourteenth century and played an important role in the Wars of the Roses in the fifteenth century. The name Beaufort refers to the Château de Beaufort in Champagne, France, once the possession of John of Gaunt, 1st Duke of Lancaster, third son of King Edward III.
The family is descended from John Beaufort (1373–1410), John of Gaunt's son by his then-mistress Katherine Swynford. Gaunt married Swynford in 1396, and their children were legitimized by Richard II and Pope Boniface IX. They had three other children, also Beaufort: Henry, Thomas, and Joan.
The Beauforts were a powerful and wealthy family from the start, and rose to greater power after their (half-)brother and uncle became King Henry IV in 1399. However, in 1406, Henry IV decided that although the Beauforts were legitimate, their genetic line could not be used to make any claim to the throne. John Beaufort had already been created Earl of Somerset in 1397. His second son John became the first Duke of Somerset in 1443.
The third son, Henry, became a bishop, Lord Chancellor, and a Cardinal; the fourth son, Thomas, became Duke of Exeter; and the daughter, Joan, married Ralph de Neville, 1st Earl of Westmorland. Joan had the most pedigree, her many descendants including the Dukes of York, Warwick the "Kingmaker", the Dukes of Norfolk, the Dukes of Buckingham, the Earls of Northumberland, and Henry VIII's last queen, Catherine Parr.
Henry VII traced his claim to the English crown through his mother, Margaret Beaufort, granddaughter of John Beaufort, and great-granddaughter of John of Gaunt. (Since all legitimate male line descendants of John of Gaunt were dead, the original exclusion of the Beaufort line was set aside.)
The Beauforts suffered heavily in the Wars of the Roses. Edmund Beaufort, 2nd Duke of Somerset and his three elder sons were killed in the war, leaving no legitimate male heir. The male line was continued through Charles Somerset, 1st Earl of Worcester, illegitimate son of Henry Beaufort, 3rd Duke of Somerset.
Henry Somerset, 3rd Marquess of Worcester (1629–1700) was the great-great-great-great-grandson of Charles Somerset. He assisted in the Restoration to the throne of Charles II. In 1682, Charles created Henry Somerset the first Duke of Beaufort.
- John Beaufort, 1st Earl of Somerset (c. 1371–1410).
- Henry Beaufort, 2nd Earl of Somerset (c. 1401–1418).
- John Beaufort, 1st Duke of Somerset (c. 1404–1444).
- Joan Beaufort, Queen of Scotland (c. 1404–1445)
- Thomas Beaufort, Count of Perche (c. 1405–1431)
- Edmund Beaufort, 2nd Duke of Somerset (c. 1406–1455).
- Margaret Beaufort, Countess of Devon (1409–1449)
- Henry Beaufort (c. 1375–1447), Cardinal Bishop of Winchester
- Thomas Beaufort, Duke of Exeter (c. 1377–1426)
- Joan Beaufort, Countess of Westmorland (c. 1379–1440)
|Blanche of Lancaster|
|John of Gaunt, 1st Duke of Lancaster|
duke of Lancaster
king of England
Earl of Somerset
x Marguerite Holland
bishop of Lincoln
x Margaret Neville
x Ralph Neville
Earl of Westmorne
(1401 † 1418)
Earl of Somerset
(1404 † 1444)
duke of Somerset
x Marguerite Beauchamp
(v.1405 † 1432)
Earl of Perche
(v.1406 † 1445)
x James I of Scotland
king of Scotland
(v.1406 † 1455)
duke of Somerset
x Éléonore Beauchamp
(v. 1409 † 1449)
x Thomas de Courtenay
Earl of Devon
(1443 † 1509)
x Edmund Tudor
(1436 † 1464)
duke of Somerset
(1439 † 1471)
duke of Somerset
|Henry VII Tudor|
(1457 † 1509)
king of England
earls of Worcester
dukes of Beaufort
Coats of Arms
|Henry Bolingbroke, Duke of Hereford and Lancaster
(later King Henry IV)
|1366-1413||As Duke of Hereford:
||Son of: John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster and Blanche of Lancaster.|
|John Beaufort, Earl of Somerset||1373-1410||Per pale, Argent and Azure, over all on a bend Gules three lions passant guardant Or with a label of three points Azure each charges with three fleur de lys Or||Illegitimate Son (legitimated in 1396) of: John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster and Katherine Swynford.
See: House of Beaufort
|Henry Beaufort, Cardinal of St. Eusebius and Bishop of Winchester||1374-1447||Quarterly, 1st and 4th, France ancien, 2nd and 3rd England, within a bordure componée Argent and Azure||Illegitimate Son (legitimated in 1396) of: John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster and Katherine Swynford.|
|Thomas Beaufort, Duke of Exeter||1377-1426||Quarterly, 1st and 4th, France ancien, 2nd and 3rd England, within a bordure componée Azure and Ermine||Illegitimate Son (legitimated in 1396) of: John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster and Katherine Swynford.|
| Colour key|
(Line of descent)
Descendants of John Beaufort, 1st Earl of Somerset
|John Beaufort, Earl of Somerset||1373-1410||Per pale, Argent and Azure, over all on a bend Gules three lions passant guardant Or with a label of three points Azure each charges with three fleur de lys Or||Illegitimate Son (legitimated in 1396) of: John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster and Katherine Swynford.|
|Margaret Holland, Countess of Somerset||1451-1476||Quarterly, 1st and 4th, France ancien, 2nd and 3rd England, within a bordure componée Argent and Azure, impaling, Gules, three lions passant guardant Or, within a bordure Argent||Daughter of: Thomas Holland, Earl of Kent and Alice Holland, Countess of Kent
Married to: John Beaufort, Earl of Somerset; 1399-1410
Married to: Thomas of Lancaster, Duke of Clarence; 1411-1421
|John Beaufort, Duke of Somerset||1403-1444||Quarterly, 1st and 4th, France moderne, 2nd and 3rd England, within a bordure componée Argent and Azure||Son of: John Beaufort, Earl of Somerset and Margaret Holland.|
|Margaret Beauchamp||1406-1482||Quarterly, 1st and 4th, France moderne, 2nd and 3rd England, within a bordure componée Argent and Azure, impaling, Gules, on a fess Or a mullet Sable, between six martlets, three, two and one, of the second (Beauchamp)||Daughter of: John Beauchamp of Bletso and Edith Stourton.
Married to: Sir Oliver St John, of Bletsoe; 1425-1437.
Married to: John Beaufort, Duke of Somerset; 1439-1444.
Married to: Lionel de Welles, Baron Welles; 1447-1461.
|Lady Margaret Beaufort||1443-1509||Quarterly, 1st and 4th, France moderne, 2nd and 3rd England, within a bordure componée Argent and Azure
Quarterly, France moderne and England, a bordure Azure charged alternatively with fleurs de lys and martlets Or, impaling, Quarterly, 1st and 4th, France moderne, 2nd and 3rd England, within a bordure componée Argent and Azure
|Daughter of: John Beaufort, Duke of Somerset and Margaret Beauchamp.
Married to: Edmund Tudor, 1st Earl of Richmond; 1455-1456.
Married to: Sir Henry Stafford; 1462-1471.
Married to: Thomas Stanley, Earl of Derby; 1472-1504.
|Edmund Tudor, Earl of Richmond||1430-1456||Quarterly, France moderne and England, a bordure Azure charged alternatively with fleurs de lys and martlets Or||Son of: Sir Owen Tudor and Catherine of Valois.
Half brother to King Henry VI, legitimated by Parliament in 1453.
|Henry Tudor, Earl of Richmond
(later King Henry VII)
|1457-1509||Quarterly, France moderne and England, a bordure Azure charged alternatively with fleurs de lys and martlets Or||Son of: Edmund Tudor, Earl of Richmond and Lady Margaret Beaufort.
Defeats King Richard III at the Battle of Bosworth Field in 1485, claims the throne as King Henry VII.
See: House of Tudor
|Elizabeth of York||1466-1503||Quarterly, 1st, quarterly, 1st and 4th, France moderne, 2nd and 3rd England, 2nd and 3rd de Burgh, 4th Mortimer||Daughter of: King Edward IV and Elizabeth Woodville.
Married to: King Henry VII; 1486-1503.
Heiress of the House of York.
- Chisholm 1911.
- Pinches, J.H & R.V., p. 86
- Pinches, J.H & R.V., p. 81
- Pinches, J.H & R.V., p. 84
- Pinches, J.H & R.V., p. 85
- Pinches, J.H & R.V., p. 82
- Pinches, J.H & R.V., p. 127
- Pinches, J.H & R.V., p. 132
- Pinches, J.H & R.V., p. 133
- Pinches, J.H & R.V., p. 134
- Ailes, Adrian (1982), The Origins of The Royal Arms of England, Reading: Graduate Center for Medieval Studies, University of Reading, ISBN 0704907763
- Brooke-Little, J.P., FSA (1978) , Boutell's Heraldry (Revised ed.), London: Frederick Warne LTD, ISBN 0-7232-2096-4
- Fox-Davies, Arthur (1978) , Complete Guide to Heraldry (Revised ed.), New York: Bonanza Books, ISBN 1602390010
- Louda, Jiří; Maclagan, Michael (1981), Heraldry of the Royal Families of Europe, United States of America: Clarkson N. Potter, Inc., ISBN 0517545586
- Pinches, John Harvey; Pinches, Rosemary (1974), The Royal Heraldry of England, Heraldry Today, Slough, Buckinghamshire: Hollen Street Press, ISBN 0-900455-25-X