The Tudor Society

Celebrating Margaret Beaufort

I find Lady Margaret Beaufort fascinating and it's so frustrating and annoying for me to see her being badly maligned on social media the way she is. Let's celebrate the real Lady Margaret Beaufort with some resources on her.

The books I mentioned were:

  • The House of Beaufort: The Bastard Line That Captured the Crown by Nathen Amin
  • Uncrowned Queen: The Fateful Life of Margaret Beaufort, Tudor Matriarch by Nicola Tallis
  • Margaret Beaufort by Elizabeth Norton

There are 5 comments Go To Comment

  1. M

    Thank you, Claire, for pointing me towards some great resources for Margaret Beaufort. I’m utterly obsessed! Michelle t

  2. R

    I have seen the P.G White Queen and White Princess and whereas some aspects of Lady Margaret Beaufort are correct in the former, she is transformed into some kind of hell cat in the latter.

    Nobody knows who or if anyone killed the Princes but I don’t think it was Margaret although she had a motive. There is some evidence that Margaret cared for Richard, Duke of York as a young child as she joined the service of Elizabeth Woodville and no I just don’t see it. Margaret did think she was more important than Queen Elizabeth of York, but no she wasn’t the mother in law from hell. In fact she was a good influence on the young Queen and the two women were close.

    Nor was Margaret obsessed with Henry becoming King her entire life as he wasn’t likely to become King and the opportunity didn’t arise before 1483.

    Margaret was obsessed with her son and his rightful inheritance which was taken from him when he was four because her family backed the wrong side in the feud between York and Lancaster and Edward iv won the day. The lands of his father, Edmund, Earl of Richmond, were seized by the crown and given to his guardian William Herbert. Margaret lost custody of little Henry and had to work hard to get him back as well as his lands. She saw the perfect opportunity when her third husband died and she married Thomas Lord Stanley.
    Any obsession Margaret had with Jasper Tudor was as a protector, for his military skill and his aid for her son before the pair had to flee into exile in 1471.
    Margaret even served the Yorkist cause in order to bring Henry home and it must have been terrible to be separated from her only child for 14 years like that. She must have been frightened for him.
    I believe Margaret also did what she must for Henry once the opportunity arose in 1483 under King Richard and she committed high treason because of her son. She could have been executed but she wasn’t for a few reasons.
    Richard iii wasn’t Henry Viii and treated noble women with more dignity and according to their status.
    Margaret was the wife of a man whose loyalists could go either way and Richard needed his support.
    Richard refused the Act of Attainment because of her reputation and her importance as a royal woman.
    Margaret was a lady who saw opportunities and knew how to exploit them but for a greater purpose, she wasn’t a scheming minx.
    Margaret suffered very much as a young girl with the birth of Henry and she fought as any mother would. Her piety has not been exaggerated, she was genuinely a deeply religious lady. Whether or not Margaret ever had visions nobody can verify either way. She was an astute and clever lady and we should admire her. She is one of my favourite ladies and I get mad when she is maligned on TV.

    Thanks for these wonderful resources.

  3. D

    Let me throw my two cents in here, Claire, to recommend _The King’s Mother_ by Jones and Underwood, which took a deep dive into the Beaufort papers in the archives of St John’s College at Cambridge, which Margaret Beaufort founded and which received the lion’s share of her papers after she died. While not a chronological history, which makes it a little harder to assimilate, it’s view of her personal life in her later year’s is above and beyond most other works on her.

    1. R

      Highly recommended.

      I have an older version of the book as well as the more up to date paperback.

      Still the benchmark.

    2. M

      Thank you. I will put this on my list. Michelle t

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Celebrating Margaret Beaufort