Edmund Beaufort, 1st Duke of Somerset


Edmund Beaufort, 1st Duke of Somerset

Edmund Beaufort, 1st Duke of Somerset (1406 – May 22, 1455), sometimes styled 2nd Duke of Somerset, was an English nobleman and an important figure in the Wars of the Roses and in the Hundred Years' War.

Life

Edmund Beaufort was the fourth son of John Beaufort, 1st Earl of Somerset and Margaret Holland. His paternal grandparents were John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster, and Katherine Swynford. His maternal grandparents were Thomas Holland, 2nd Earl of Kent and Alice Fitzalan. Alice was a daughter of Richard FitzAlan, 10th Earl of Arundel and Eleanor of Lancaster.

As a young man he was taken prisoner at the Battle of Baugé in 1420 and not released until 1427. He became a commander in the English army in France in 1431. After his re-capture of Harfleur he was named a Knight of the Garter in 1436. After subsequent success he was created Earl of Dorset (1442) and the next year Marquess of Dorset. The following year, (1444) he succeeded his brother John as 4th Earl of Somerset in 1444. During the five year truce from 1444 to 1449 he served as Lieutenant of France.

Although head of the greatest family in the land his inheritance was worth only 300 pounds. By contrast his rival, Richard, Duke of York, had a net worth of 5,800 pounds. King Henry's efforts to compensate Somerset with offices worth 3,000 pounds only served to offend many and as his quarrel with York grew more personal the dynastic situation got worse. Another quarrel with Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick, over his right to enter the lordships of Glamorgan and Morgannwg, may have forced the leader of the younger Nevilles into York's camp.

Somerset's military failures left him vulnerable to criticism from the party led by Richard, Duke of York, and after hostilities began again in 1449 Somerset lost even more territory. By the summer of 1450 the bulk of the English possessions in northern France were in French hands and the focus of the war now turned to Gascony, in the south of France. Here the English were no more successful, losing all by 1453. Somerset's defeat at Castillon in 1453 ended his hopes.

Power had rested with Somerset from 1451 and was virtually monopolized by him until the king went insane and York was named Lord Protector. He imprisoned Somerset in the Tower of London and his life was probably saved only by the king's seeming recovery early in the New Year of 1455, which recovery forced York to surrender his office.

By now York was determined to depose Somerset by one means or another, and in May 1455 raised an army. He confronted Somerset and the king in an engagement known as the First Battle of St Albans which marked the beginning of the Wars of the Roses. Somerset was killed in a last wild charge from the house where he had been sheltering.

Family

Edmund Beaufort, 2nd Duke of Somerset married before 1436, Eleanor Beauchamp, widow of Thomas, 8th Lord Ros, daughter of Richard de Beauchamp, 13th Earl of Warwick and his first wife, Elizabeth, daughter and heir of Thomas, Lord Berkeley. Eleanor was an older half-sister of Henry de Beauchamp, 1st Duke of Warwick and Anne Neville, Countess of Warwick.

Their unlicensed marriage was later pardoned on 7 March 1438, and they had the following children:

*Eleanor, who married first James Butler, 5th Earl of Ormonde and secondly Sir Robert Spencer.
*Elizabeth, died before 1472, married Sir Henry Fitz Lewis.
*Henry Beaufort, 3rd Duke of Somerset (1436–1464), his successor
*Margaret Beaufort, Countess of Stafford (bef. 1439–1474) (not to be confused with her cousin Lady Margaret Beaufort), who first married Humphrey Stafford, Earl of Stafford, son of Humphrey Stafford, 1st Duke of Buckingham, by whom she was the mother of Henry Stafford, 2nd Duke of Buckingham, and then married Sir Richard Darell.
*Edmund Beaufort, 4th Duke of Somerset(c. 1439– 4 May 1471) Captured at the Battle of Tewkesbury and killed shortly afterwards.
*Anne Beaufort (c. 1453 – c. 1496), married William Paston, Esq.
*John Beaufort, styled Marquess of Dorset (c. 1455– 4 May 1471); Killed at the Battle of Tewkesbury
*Joan Beaufort died 11 August 1518. Wife firstly of Robert St. Lawrence, by whom she had a son, Nicholas St. Lawrence, and secondly Sir Richard Fry.
*Thomas Beaufort (c. 1455 – c. 1463)

References


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Somerset, Edmund Beaufort, 1st duke of, 1st Earl Of Dorset — ▪ English noble , also called  (1444–48) 4th Earl Of Somerset   born c. 1406 died May 22, 1455, St. Albans, Hertfordshire, Eng.       English nobleman and Lancastrian leader whose quarrel with Richard, duke of York, helped precipitate the Wars of …   Universalium

  • John Beaufort, 1st Earl of Somerset — (1373 ndash; March 16, 1410) was the first of the four illegitimate children of John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster, and his mistress Katherine Swynford, later his wife. Beaufort was born in about 1371 and his surname probably reflects his father s… …   Wikipedia

  • Henry Beaufort, 3rd Duke of Somerset — (26 January 1436 – 15 May 1464) was an important Lancastrian military commander during the English Wars of the Roses. (Some number him 2nd Duke, since the title was re created for his father after his uncle died.)Somerset was the son of Edmund… …   Wikipedia

  • Duke of Somerset — Coat of Arms of the Seymour Dukes of Somerset: Quarterly: 1st and 4th or, on a pile gules, between six fleurs de lys azure, three lions of England (or); 2nd and 3rd, gules, two wings conjoined in lure or (Debrett on line) Duke of Somerset is a… …   Wikipedia

  • Edmund Tudor, 1st Earl of Richmond — ( 1431 ndash; 1 November 1456) was the father of King Henry VII of England.Tudor was born either at Much Hadham Palace in Hertfordshire or at Hadham in Bedfordshire, an older son of Owen Tudor and Catherine of Valois (former wife of King Henry V… …   Wikipedia

  • Charles Seymour, 6th Duke of Somerset — Portrait of Charles Seymour, 6th Duke of Somerset, by Godfrey Kneller, 1703. Charles Seymour, 6th Duke of Somerset (13 August 1662 – 2 December 1748), sometimes referred to as the Proud Duke . The son of Charles Seymour, 2nd Baron Seymour of… …   Wikipedia

  • Humphrey Stafford, 1st Duke of Buckingham — KG (15 August 1402 ndash; 10 July 1460) was best known as a military commander in the Hundred Years War and in the Wars of the Roses. Early life He was born at Stafford, Staffordshire, England, the son of Edmund Stafford, 5th Earl of Stafford and …   Wikipedia

  • Henry FitzRoy, 1st Duke of Richmond and Somerset — The Duke of Richmond and Somerset Born 15 June 1519(1519 06 15) Died 23 July 1536(1536 07 23) (aged 1 …   Wikipedia

  • George Plantagenet, 1st Duke of Clarence — Sir George of York Plantagenet Duke of Clarence Earl of Warwick Earl of Salisbury Spouse Isabella Neville Issue Anne of York Margaret Pole, 8th Countess of Salisbury Edward Plantagenet, 17th Earl of Warwick …   Wikipedia

  • John of Gaunt, 1st Duke of Lancaster — This article is about the historical figure John of Gaunt. For places and organisations named after him, see John O Gaunt. John of Gaunt Duke of Lancaster; Duke of Aquitaine Successor …   Wikipedia


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.