Michael Hicks speaks about the Beaufort family

Michael Hicks contributed this year’s St Cuthberga Annual Lecture on Wednesday 18th September to an audience of over a hundred Friends of Wimborne Minster. The subject was the Beauforts, a subject close to local hearts, since John Beaufort 1st Duke of Somerset (d. 1444) has a fine alabaster tomb in the Minster which was visited in 1496 by his daughter Lady Margaret Beaufort, Countess of Richmond and Derby and mother of Henry VII, who is credited with founding Wimborne grammar school, albeit posthumously. The four original Beauforts, half siblings of King Henry IV, were the only bastards in medieval England to be legitimised both by Church and State in 1396. They were John Earl of Somerset, Joan Countess of Westmorland – ancestress of more or less all the English peerage –  Henry Bishop of Winchester and Thomas Duke of Exeter. Cardinal Beaufort has a splendid chantry in Winchester Cathedral and co-founded) Cross Hospital, The second generation had distinguished careers in France and Edmund, the 2nd duke, started the Wars of the Roses. He was killed in 1455 and all his sons Duke Henry (1464), Duke Edmund II (1471) and John (1471) were killed in later phases of the wars.  

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