Yesterday I explored the Beauchamp link to the Mortimer family. The Beauchamps allied themselves to the Mortimer claim to the Crown in 1405. Katherine Mortimer’s second son Thomas became the 12th Earl of Warwick. This earl was a Lord Appellant who acted against Richard II. In 1397 he was charged with treason having been lured to London. The Beauchamp Tower gets its name from his incarceration there. It was a bit of a tricky time as he lost his estates, spent a year on the Isle of Man and then returned to the Tower. He was released when Richard II was deposed. Perhaps unsurprisingly he was not a huge fan of Richard and his was one of the voices urging King Henry IV to rid himself permanently of his cousin.
However, I’m supposed to be posting about the earl’s wife. Margaret Ferrers of Groby who came before Richard II on October 13 1397 to plead her husband’s case. The king was at Westminster and it was recorded that he was so incensed that he threatened to have her executed. Margaret’s father, William 3rd Baron Ferrers of Groby, was a descendent of King Edward I and her mother, Margaret d’Ufford, was a daughter and co-heiress of the Earl of Suffolk.
Margaret was not an heiress, she was younger than her husband and they were married by 1380. Her husband became earl because his elder brother Guy predeceased their father. Guy had been married to Philippa de Ferrers.She joined a confraternity at St Albans in that year as the Countess of Warwick. Although the marriage did not bring wealth it did bring closer ties to the Warwickshire gentry. William Lord Groby had consolidated his land holdings in the county. In addition to the benefits of local politics, Margaret was related not only to the earls of Suffolk but through her father’s second marriage to the Percy family. Somewhat ironically, the Ferrers of Groby would be replaced by the Grey family when Elizabeth Ferrers became the heir to the family lands including those at Stebbing in Essex which came into the family with Margaret d’Ufford.
Margaret was widowed in 1401 but did not outlive Thomas by many years, dying in 1407 having provided her husband with a son Richard who inherited his father’s title.