SSA Gallery

The Society of Scottish Armigers
Home > WA Hundred Years War 1337-1453
Click to view full size image
09a. John Beaufort 2
John Beaufort, KG, Earl of Somerset, Marquess of Dorset

Arms: Quarterly, France and England within a bordure compony argent and azure

The arms shown and blazoned above are those given him after legitimation in 1397.

SOURCE, NOTES & CREDITS: Source for blazon: BGA, edition of 1884, reprint 1989, page 63, column one. Source for text: “Katherine” by Anya Seton, Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston, 1954; “Heraldry of the Royal Families of Europe”, by Louda and MacLagan, Clarkson N. Potter, Inc., Publishers, New York, 1981; “Katherine Swynford, The History of a Medieval Mistress” by Jeannette Lucraft, The History Press, The Mill, Brimscombe Port Stroud, Gloucestershire, 2006, 2010; “Mistress of the Monarchy” by Allison Weir, Ballantine Books, 2009; and various internet sources.

John Beaufort, 1371-1410 was the eldest son born out of wedlock, of John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster ( see his entry) and Lady Katherine Swynford (see her entry). John and Katherine married circa. 14 Jan 1396. After the death of Constance of Castile but before the marriage of Lancaster and Swynford, John of Gaunt had petitioned Pope Bonaface IX for a dispensation to marry Katherine, due to the compaternity of John being godfather to Katherine’s daughter Joan by Hugh Swynford. The Pope gave an oral dispensation and this was followed up afterwards with a written brief, after their marriage, stating their marriage was approved, ratified and confirmed by him, AND that their offspring were legitimate on 1 Sep 1396. Then King Richard II saw to it that John Beaufort and his three siblings were legitimatized by Letters Patent on 6 Feb 1397 and read out in Parliament. Shortly thereafter, in the Parliament chamber, a Mantle Ceremony was held with John and Katherine and the four Beaufort children standing together beneath a mantle known as a “care cloth” when single parents of bastards marry. However, feudal laws prohibited such children from inheriting titles, honours and estates. Uniquely an act was passed whereby the Beaufort children were exempted from these feudal laws.

John Beaufort became a Knight of the Garter in 1396 and Earl of Somerset & Marquess of Dorset in 1397 by Richard II. In 1400 after the removal of Richard II, the new king, Henry IV, who was John’s half brother, deprived John of his marquisate pushing him bacck to his rank of Earl of Somerset, for Beaufort’s support of the former King Richard II. Otherwise John remained in Henry IV’s favor. Henry IV also decreed the Beauforts were not eligible to inherit the throne.

We shall see that this decree was simply disregarded.

John Beaufort married Margaret Holland, daughter to Thomas Holland, 2nd Earl of Kent.
From this union, his second son John, 1st Duke of Somerset who married Margaret Beauchamp,
came a daughter, Margaret Beaufort who married Edmond Tudor, Earl of Richmond, whose son became came Henry VII, etc. of England.

From his daughter, Joan Beaufort, who married to James I of Scotland descend all the monarchs of Scotland down thru Mary Queen of Scots, and her son James VI ( & 1st of England ), etc. on down to Queen Elizabeth II.

To re-cap here: John of Gaunt and Katherine Swynford’s granddaughter Joan Beaufort married James I of Scotland from whom descend all the Stewart/Stuart Monarchs of Scotland.

And their great granddaughter Margaret Beaufort married Edmund Tudor, Earl of Richmond from whom descend all the Monarchs of England from Henry VII onwards…

Of their other two sons:

Henry Beaufort became Cardinal Beaufort and died without issue in 1447 ( see his entry )

And Thomas Beaufort became Duke of Exeter married but died without surviving issue in 1427. (see his entry )

John of Gaunt and Katherine’s Beaufort daughter, Joan married Ralph Neville of Raby, 1st Earl of Westmoreland, they has a goodly number of children amongst whom the youngest was Cecily Neville who married Richard Plantagenet, 3rd Duke of York, he was the great grandson of Edward III via Edmund of Langley, Edward III’s fourth son, and younger brother to John of Gaunt.

Richard and Cecily had numerous children amongst whom was King Edward IV.
Edward IV married Elizabeth Woodville, daughter of a knight by whom he had 10 children.
Their eldest child was Elizabeth of York who married Henry VII of England, thus uniting the Lancasters and the Yorkists.

Edward IV was also father to the two princes in the Tower
Edward V (1470-1483 ) and Richard of Shewsbury (1473-1483)

These two were disappeared (read killed ) for political reasons probably by the order of either
Richard III or Henry VII in circa. 1483.

Richard and Cecily had another son who became King Richard III of England (1452-1483),
killed by Henry Tudor at Bosworth Field in 1483. Henry Tudor thus became King Henry VII.
His son Henry VIII had the blood of both the Lancasters (including that of Katherine Swynford) and the Yorkists running in his veins.

See also entries for John Beaufort 1, Gaunt, Roet and Holland

The artwork is a rendering by John Hamilton Gaylor

2018 1026
Winchester.jpg Lincoln.jpg Beaufort2L.jpg Beaufort1B.jpg RoetKatherine3.jpg
Rate this file (current rating : 0 / 5 with 1 votes)