Henry VIII,the Reign
Lady Margaret Beaufort
31 May 1441/1443 - 29 June 1509
Countess of Richmond and Derby
All styles and titles
1443 -1455: The Lady Margaret Beaufort
1455 -1456: The Countess of Richmond
1456-1458 The Dowager Countess of Richmond
1458 -1471 Lady Stafford
1472-1485 Lady Stanley
1485-1509 The Countess of Richmond and Derby
Profile Lady Margaret Beaufort
Lady Margaret Beaufort, later Countess of Richmond and Derby was the mother of King Henry VII and paternal grandmother of King Henry VIII of England.
She was a significant leader in the Wars of the Roses and an influential matriarch of the House of Tudor and credited with the establishment of two Cambridge colleges, Christ's College in 1505 and beginning the development of St John's College, which was completed by her executors in 1511.
Through her father, Lady Margaret Beaufort was a granddaughter of John Beaufort, 1st Earl of Somerset, a great-granddaughter of John of Gaunt, 1st Duke of Lancaster and his mistress and third wife Katherine Swynford, and a great-great-granddaughter of King Edward III of England.
Following Gaunt's marriage to Katherine, King Richard legitimised their children II but the legitimation carried a condition that their descendants were barred from inheriting the throne.
Lady Margaret's son Henry VII and all sovereigns from her line are descended from Gaunt and Swynford, Henry VII having taken the throne by force of arms.