John Beaufort, 1st Earl of Somerset
John Beaufort, 1st Earl of Somerset
Beaufort, Champagne, France
|Died||16 March 1410|
St Michael's Chapel, Canterbury Cathedral
|Allegiance||Kingdom of England|
|Years of service||1390–1407|
|Commands held||Constable of Wallingford Castle|
Captain of Calais
Constable of Dover Castle & Warden of the Cinque Ports
Northern and Western Fleet
John Beaufort, 1st Marquis of Somerset and 1st Marqis of Dorset, later only 1st Earl of Somerset, KG (c. 1371 – 16 March 1410) was an English nobleman, politician and military commander.
Between May and September 1390, Beaufort saw military service in North Africa in the Barbary Crusade led by Louis II, Duke of Bourbon. In 1394, he was in Lithuania serving with the Teutonic Knights.
John was created Earl of Somerset on 10 February 1397, just a few days after the legitimation of the Beaufort children was recognized by Parliament. The same month, he was also appointed Admiral of the Kings Fleet in Ireland, as well as Constable of Dover Castle and Warden of the Cinque Ports. In May 1387 he was appointed Admiral of the Northern Fleet.
In the summer of 1397, the new earl became one of the noblemen who helped Richard II free himself from the power of the Lords Appellant. As a reward, he was created Marquess of Somerset and Marquess of Dorset on 29 September, and sometime later that year he was made a Knight of the Garter and appointed Lieutenant of Aquitaine on held that office until 1401. In addition, two days before his elevation as a Marquess he married the king's niece, Margaret Holland, sister of Thomas Holland, 1st Duke of Surrey, another of the counter-appellants. John remained in the king's favour even after his older half-brother Henry Bolingbroke (later Henry IV) was banished from England in 1398. In 1397 he was appointed High Admiral of England until 1398
From 1398 until 1399 appointed as Constable of Dover Castle and Warden of the Cinque Ports, In 1398 he was elevated to Admiral of the North and West holding that office until 1399. In 1399 he was made Lord Chamberlain of England for one year. After Richard II was deposed by Henry Bolingbroke in 1399, the new king rescinded the titles that had been given to the counter-appellants, and thus John Beaufort became merely Earl of Somerset again. Nevertheless, he proved loyal to his half-brother's reign, serving in various military commands and on some important diplomatic missions. It was Beaufort who was given the confiscated estates of the Welsh rebel leader Owain Glyndŵr in 1400, although he would not have been able to take possession of these estates unless he had lived until after 1415. F
In 1401 he was appointed Captain of Calais , then 1403 assumed the title of Lieutenant of South Wales . In 1404 he was named Vice Constable of England. From 1406 until 1407 appointed Admiral of the North and West for the second time. In 1407 he was appointed as Constable of Corfe Castle. He served three times as a Privy Councillor of England in 1401, 1404 and 1406.
Appointments and Offices Held
Admiral of the Irish Fleet
|1.||Lieutenant of Aquitaine||1397-1401|
|2.||Constable of Wallingford Castle||1397|
|3.||Admiral of the Irish Fleet||1397-1398|
|4.||Constable of Dover Castle & Warden of the Cinque Ports||1398-1399|
|5.||Admiral of the North and West||1398-9, 1406-7,|
|6.||High Admiral of England||1397-1398|
|7.||Lord Chamberlain of England||1399|
|8.||Privy Councillor of England||1401, 1404, 1406|
|9.||Captain of Calais||1401|
|10.||Lieutenant of South Wales||1403|
|10.||Vice Constable of England||1404|
|11.||Constable of Corfe Castle||1407|
John Beaufort and his wife Margaret Holland, the daughter of Thomas Holland, 2nd Earl of Kent and Alice FitzAlan, had six children. His granddaughter Lady Margaret Beaufort married Edmund Tudor, 1st Earl of Richmond, the son of Dowager Queen Catherine of Valois by Owen Tudor.
His children included the following:
- Henry Beaufort, 2nd Earl of Somerset (1401-25 November 1418)
- John Beaufort, 1st Duke of Somerset (baptized 25 March 1404, 27 May 1444), father of Margaret Beaufort, Countess of Richmond and Derby, grandfather of King Henry VII of England
- Joan Beaufort, Queen of Scotland (1404-15 July 1445) married James I, King of Scots.
- Thomas Beaufort, Count of Perche (1405-3 October 1431)
- Edmund Beaufort, 2nd Duke of Somerset (1406-22 May 1455)
- Margaret Beaufort, Countess of Devon (1409–1449) married Thomas de Courtenay, 13th Earl of Devon.
- Michael K. Jones and Malcolm G. Underwood, The King's Mother: Lady Margaret Beaufort, Countess of Richmond and Derby, (Cambridge University Press, 1995), 19-20.
- G. E. C., ed. Geoffrey F. White. The Complete Peerage. (London: St. Chaterine Press, 1953) Vol. XII, Part 1, p. 40.
- Pollard 158
- Michael K. Jones and Malcolm G. Underwood, The King's Mother: Lady Margaret Beaufort, Countess of Richmond and Derby, 23.