Margaret Beaufort Facts and Timeline

About a Key Figure in English Tudor History

Margaret Beaufort, Countess of Richmond and Derby
Margaret Beaufort, Countess of Richmond and Derby. Hulton Archive / Getty Images

Also see: Margaret Beaufort Biography 

Margaret Beaufort Facts

Known for: founder of the (British royal) Tudor dynasty through her support for her son’s claim to the throne
Dates: May 31, 1443 – June 29, 1509 (some sources give 1441 as birth year)

Background, Family:

  • Mother: Margaret Beauchamp, an heiress. Her father was John Beauchamp, and her first husband was Oliver St. John.
  • Father: John Beaufort, earl of Somerset (1404 – 1444). His mother was Margaret Holland and his father was John Beaufort, first earl of Somerset.
  • Siblings: Margaret Beaufort had no full siblings. Her mother had six children with her first husband, Oliver St. John

Margaret’s mother, Margaret Beauchamp, was an heiress whose maternal ancestors included Henry III and his son, Edmund Crouchback.  Her father was a grandson of John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster, who was a son of Edward III, and of John’s mistress-turned-wife, Katherine Swynford. After John married Katherine, he had their children, given the patronym Beaufort, legitimized through a papal bull and royal patent.  The patent (but not the bull) specified that the Beauforts and their descendants were excluded from the royal succession.

Margaret’s paternal grandmother, Margaret Holland, was an heiress; Edward I was her paternal ancestor and Henry III her maternal ancestor.

In the wars of succession known as the Wars of the Roses, the York party and the Lancaster party were not completely separate family lines; they were much interconnected by family relationships.  Margaret, though aligned with the Lancaster cause, was the second cousin of both Edward IV and Richard III; the mother of those two York kings, Cecily Neville was the daughter of Joan Beaufort who was the daughter of John of Gaunt and Katherine Swynford. In other words, Joan Beaufort was the sister of Margaret Beaufort's grandfather, John Beaufort.

Marriage, Children:

  1. Contracted marriage with: John de la Pole (1450; dissolved 1453). His father, William de la Pole, was Margaret Beaufort’s guardian. John’s mother, Alice Chaucer, was the granddaughter of the writer Geoffrey Chaucer and his wife, Philippa, who was the sister of Katherine Swynford.  Thus, he was a third cousin of Margaret Beaufort.
  2. Edmund Tudor, Earl of Richmond (married 1455, died 1456). His mother was Catherine of Valois, daughter of King Charles VI of France and widow of Henry V. She married Owen Tudor after Henry V died.  Edmund Tudor was thus a maternal half-brother of Henry VI; Henry VI was also a descendant of John of Gaunt, by his first wife, Blanche of Lancaster.
    • Son: Henry Tudor, born January 28, 1457
  3. Henry Stafford (married 1461, died 1471).  Henry Stafford was her second cousin; his grandmother, Joan Beaufort, was also a child of John of Gaunt and Katherine Swynford.  Henry was a first cousin of Edward IV.
  4. Thomas Stanley, Lord Stanley, later Earl of Derby (married 1472, died 1504)


Note: many details have been left off.  See: Margaret Beaufort biography


Margaret Beaufort born


Father, John Beaufort, died


Marriage contract with John de la Pole


Marriage to Edmund Tudor


Edmund Tudor died


Henry Tudor born


Marriage to Henry Stafford


Edward IV took crown from Henry VI


Guardianship of Henry Tudor given to a Yorkist supporter


Rebellion against Edward IV put Henry VI back on throne


Edward IV again became king, Henry VI and his son both killed


Henry Stafford died of wounds suffered in battle on behalf of the Yorkists


Henry Tudor flees, went to live in Brittany


Married to Thomas Stanley


Margaret’s mother, Margaret Beauchamp, died


Edward IV died, Richard III became king after imprisoning Edward’s two sons


Defeat of Richard III by Henry Tudor, who became King Henry VII

October 1485

Henry VII crowned

January 1486

Henry VII married Elizabeth of York, daughter of Edward IV and Elizabeth Woodville

September 1486

Prince Arthur born to Elizabeth of York and Henry VII, Margaret Beaufort’s first grandchild


Coronation of Elizabeth of York


Princess Margaret born, named for Margaret Beaufort


Prince Henry (future Henry VIII born)


Princess Mary born

1499 – 1506

Margaret Beaufort made her home at Collyweston, Northamptonshire


Arthur married Catherine of Aragon


Arthur died


Elizabeth of York died


Margaret Tudor married James IV of Scotland


Thomas Stanley died

1505 – 1509

Gifts to create Christ’s College at Cambridge


Henry VII died, Henry VIII became king


Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon coronation


Margaret Beaufort died

Next: Margaret Beaufort Biography

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Your Citation
Lewis, Jone Johnson. "Margaret Beaufort Facts and Timeline." ThoughtCo, Aug. 26, 2020, Lewis, Jone Johnson. (2020, August 26). Margaret Beaufort Facts and Timeline. Retrieved from Lewis, Jone Johnson. "Margaret Beaufort Facts and Timeline." ThoughtCo. (accessed February 6, 2023).