I’m still posting about the children of John Beaufort, Earl of Somerset and his wife Margaret Holland. This particular Margaret Beaufort was born sometime around 1409 and was the couple’s youngest daughter.
She was a little older than her husband Thomas Courtney, 5th Earl of Devon. The couple had five children of whom three were sons. All her sons managed to get themselves either killed or executed during the Wars of the Roses. The oldest son was executed in York following the Battle of Towton in 1461; Harry who did not inherit the earldom thanks to the act of Attainder against his brother was executed in 1469 whilst the youngest son John did inherit the title during the Lancastrian Readeption of 1470. Unfortunately this was a rather short lived Lancastrian period of power. John was killed the following year at the Battle of Tewkesbury which saw the Yorkists victorious.
This left two daughters – Joan and Elizabeth. Joan married Sir Roger Clifford – meaning that Hostspur was his grand father and Elizabeth Mortimer, the daughter of the 3rd Earl of March was his maternal grandmother. Put simply yet another cousin. Clifford’s father had been killed at the Battle of St Albans and his father is better known to history as BlackFaced Clifford who swore vengeance on his father’s killers and was himself killed at Ferrybridge in 1461. Roger followed the Lancastrians into Scotland in the aftermath of Towton. Along with his brother Robert he successfully recaptured Skipton Castle from the Yorkists in 1464 but the victory was only temporary. It became apparent that the House of York was in the ascendent- Robert and Roger came to an accommodation of sorts but then Edward IV died unexpectedly. The pair became involved with the Duke of Buckingham’s rebellion against Richard III in 1483 – more family connections remember. Robert managed to flee the country but Roger was captured and despite a mob attempting to free him he was ultimately executed in 1485 at the Tower of London.
Joan and Roger had a son called Charles and two daughters who fade into the gentry during the Tudor period.
Elizabeth Courtney married Sir Hugh Conway but there were no children from the union.
And that ladies and gentleman takes me as far through the descendants of John of Gaunt as I am going to venture at the moment. Once again it is clear that whilst the family were powerful that their daughters married into the country’s leading families. However, in time of trouble the cadet branches swiftly lost their prestige and married into gentry families meaning that the Plantagenet line becomes disguised.
My next post will return us to the remaining children of Edward III – Edmund of Langley who was created Duke of York in 1385 and married the sister of John of Gaunt’s second wife Constanza of Castile. Isabella of Castile had only three children but there is rather a lot of speculation about the legitimacy of her youngest son.
Weir, Alison. Britain’s Royal Families
Yorke, James. 1640 Union of Honour accessed from Google Books