Beaufort, Margaret, Lady
BEAUFORT, MARGARET, LADY
Countess of Richmond and Derby, mother of King Henry VII, and benefactress of cambridge University;b. May 31, 1443; d. 1509. She was the daughter and heiress of John Beaufort, duke of Somerset (d. 1444). Her marriage as a child to the duke of Suffolk's heir was later dissolved, and she became successively wife to Edmund Tudor, Earl of Richmond (d. 1456), by whom she bore Henry VII; to Sir Henry Stafford (d. 1471); and to Thomas Stanley, earl of Derby (d. 1504). She was noted for piety and devotion, and took monastic vows in 1504, but she never retired to a religious house. Under the influence of her confessor, John fisher, she became in later life an active and munificent patron of education. By 1503 she had established the two Lady Margaret professorships in divinity in oxford and Cambridge, and in 1504 she founded the Lady Margaret preachership at Cambridge. She completed Henry VI's foundation of God's House, Cambridge, opened in 1505 as Christ's College, and in 1508 began the foundation of St. John's College, later completed by Fisher. She also endowed a school and chantry in the Beaufort seat of Wimborne Minster, Dorset.
Bibliography: john fisher, The Funeral Sermon of Margaret, Countess of Richmond and Derby, ed. j. hymers (Cambridge, Eng. 1840). c. h. cooper, Memoir of Margaret, Countess of Richmond and Derby, ed. j. e. b. mayor (Cambridge, Eng. 1874). j. b. mullinger, The University of Cambridge, 3 v. (Cambridge, Eng. 1873–1911) 1:434–71. g. e. cokayne, The Complete Peerage, ed. v. gibbs et al. (London 1910-) v. 10.
[c. d. ross]