Sir Edmund Beaufort, Knight, 2nd Duke of Somerset

Male 1406 - 1455  (~ 49 years)

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  • Name Edmund Beaufort 
    Title Sir 
    Suffix Knight, 2nd Duke of Somerset 
    Born 0___ 1406  Westminster Palace, Westminster, London, Middlesex, England Find all individuals with events at this location  [1, 2, 3, 4
    Gender Male 
    Died 22 May 1455  St. Albans, Hertfordshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location  [2, 3, 4
    • on the battlefield...
    Person ID I43533  The Hennessee Family
    Last Modified 30 Sep 2016 

    Father John Beaufort, III, Knight, 1st Earl of Somerset,   b. 1371-1373, Chateau de Beaufrot, Anjou, France Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 14 Mar 1410, Hospital of St. Katherine's by the Tower, London, England Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 37 years) 
    Mother Margaret Holland, Duchess of Clarence,   b. 0___ 1385, (England) Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 31 Dec 1439  (Age ~ 54 years) 
    Married (England) Find all individuals with events at this location  [2, 5, 6
    Family ID F15808  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Eleanor Beauchamp, Duchess of Somerset,   b. 0Sep 1408, Wedgenock, Warwickshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 6 Mar 1467, Baynard's Castle, London, England Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 58 years) 
    Married 1431-1433  (England) Find all individuals with events at this location  [1, 7, 8
     1. Eleanor Beaufort, Countess of Ormonde,   b. 1431, London, Middlesex, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 16 Aug 1501  (Age 70 years)
     2. Margaret Beaufort, Countess of Stafford,   b. ~ 1437,   d. 0___ 1474  (Age ~ 37 years)
     3. Anne Beaufort,   b. ~ 1453,   d. ~ 1496  (Age ~ 43 years)
    Last Modified 30 Jun 2020 
    Family ID F15807  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsBorn - 0___ 1406 - Westminster Palace, Westminster, London, Middlesex, England Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsMarried - 1431-1433 - (England) Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsDied - 22 May 1455 - St. Albans, Hertfordshire, England Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Earth 

  • Notes 
    • Edmund Beaufort, 2nd Duke of Somerset, KG (1406 – 22 May 1455), sometimes styled 1st Duke of Somerset, was an English nobleman and an important figure in the Wars of the Roses and in the Hundred Years' War. He also succeeded in the title of 4th Earl of Somerset and was created 1st Earl of Dorset and 1st Marquess of Dorset (previously held by his father and later forfeited), and Count of Mortain. He was known for his deadly rivalry with Richard Plantagenet, 3rd Duke of York.

      Early Life

      Edmund Beaufort was the third surviving 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.

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

      His brothers were taken captive at the Battle of Baugâe in 1421, but Edmund was too young at the time to fight. He acquired much military experience while his brothers were prisoners.

      Affair with Catherine of Valois[edit]
      In 1427 it is believed that Edmund embarked on an affair with Catherine of Valois—the widow of Henry V. Evidence is sketchy, however the liaison prompted a parliamentary statute regulating the remarriage of queens of England. The historian G. L. Harriss surmised that it was possible that another of its consequences was Catherine's son Edmund Tudor and that Catherine, to avoid the penalties of breaking the statute of 1427–8, secretly married Owen Tudor. He wrote By its very nature the evidence for Edmund ‘Tudor's’ parentage is less than conclusive, but such facts as can be assembled permit the agreeable possibility that Edmund ‘Tudor’ and Margaret Beaufort were first cousins and that the royal house of ‘Tudor’ sprang in fact from Beauforts on both sides.[1]

      Later Life

      He became a commander in the English army in 1431. After his re-capture of Harfleur, and lifting the Burgundian Siege of Calais (1436), he was named a Knight of the Garter in 1436. After subsequent successes he was created Earl of Dorset (1442) and the next year Marquess of Dorset. During the five-year truce from 1444 to 1449 he served as Lieutenant of France. In March 1448 he was created Duke of Somerset. As the title had previously been held by his brother, he is usually called the second duke.

      Somerset was appointed to replace York as commander in France in 1448. Fighting began in Normandy in August 1449. Somerset's subsequent military failures left him vulnerable to criticism from York's allies. Somerset was supposed to be paid ¹20,000; but little evidence exists that he was. He failed to repulse French attacks, and by the summer of 1450 nearly all the English possessions in northern France were lost. By 1453, all the English possessions in the south of France were lost as well, and the Battle of Castillon ended the Hundred Years War.

      Power had rested with Somerset from 1451 and was virtually monopolized by him until the King went insane and York was named Lord Protector. York imprisoned Somerset in the Tower of London, and his life was probably saved only by the King's seeming recovery late in 1454, which forced York to surrender his office.

      By now York was determined to depose Somerset by one means or another, and in May 1455 he 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. His son, Henry, never forgave Warwick and York for his father's death, and he spent the next nine years attempting to restore his family's honour.


      Edmund Beaufort, 2nd Duke of Somerset married before 1436 [probably, abt 1435], Eleanor, daughter of Richard de Beauchamp, 13th Earl of Warwick and his first wife, Elizabeth, (daughter and heiress of Thomas de Berkeley, 5th Baron Berkeley), and the widow of Thomas de Ros, 9th Baron de Ros. Eleanor was an older half-sister of Henry de Beauchamp, 1st Duke of Warwick and Anne Neville, 16th Countess of Warwick.

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

      Eleanor Beaufort, Countess of Ormonde, married first James Butler, 5th Earl of Ormonde and second Sir Robert Spencer.[2]
      Elizabeth Beaufort (d. before 1472), married Sir Henry FitzLewis.[2]
      Henry Beaufort, 3rd Duke of Somerset (1436–1464)[3]
      Margaret Beaufort, Countess of Stafford (bef. 1439–1474), married first Humphrey, Earl of Stafford and second Sir Richard Darell.[3]
      Edmund Beaufort, 4th Duke of Somerset (c. 1439– 4 May 1471)[3]
      Anne Beaufort (c. 1453 – c. 1496),[2] who married, before 1470, Sir William Paston (1436 – September 1496), a younger son of William Paston (1378-1444), Justice of the Common Pleas.[4]
      John Beaufort, Earl of Dorset (c. 1455– 4 May 1471)[3]
      Lady Joan Beaufort (d. 11 August 1518), married first Robert St Lawrence, 3rd Baron Howth and second Sir Richard Fry, and had issue by her first marriage.[2][5]
      Thomas Beaufort (c. 1455–c. 1463)[2]
      Mary Beaufort (b. between 1431 and 1455)[2] [2]

  • Sources 
    1. [S7454] "Richard de Beauchamp, 13th Earl of Warwick, Count of Aumale, KG (25 or 28 January 1382[1] - 30 April 1439)" biography,.

    2. [S7457] "Edmund Beaufort, 2nd Duke of Somerset, KG (1406 - 22 May 1455)" biography,

    3. [S9759] "Edward Cary" 9-Generation Ahnentafel,

    4. [S10614] "Sir William Cary (1437-1471)" biography, which was abstracted, downloaded and published Thursday, March 9th, 2017 by Da.

    5. [S8795] "John Beaufort, 1st Marquess of Somerset and 1st Marquess of Dorset, later only 1st Earl of Somerset, KG (c. 1373 - 16 M.

    6. [S9266] "Margaret Holland, Duchess of Clarence" biography,,_Duchess_of_Clarence,.

    7. [S8922] "Lady Eleanor Beauchamp (~1407-~1468)" profile,, abstracted January 16, 201.

    8. [S12241] "Eleanor Beauchamp, Duchess of Somerset", Biography,,_Duchess_of_Somerse.