On this day 575 days ago, Margaret was born at Bletsoe Castle in Bedfordshire, 31st May 1441.
She was the daughter of Margaret Beauchamp of Bletsoe and John Beaufort 1st Duke of Somerset. At the moment of her birth, Margaret’s father was preparing to go to France and lead an important military expedition for King Henry VI! Somerset then negotiated with the king to ensure that in case he should die, the rights to Margaret’s wardship and marriage would belong only to his wife. Somerset fell out with the king after coming back from France and he was banished from the court and about to be charged with treason. He died shortly afterwards. Apparently Somerset died of illness, but it is reported that his death was suicide. Margaret, as his only child, was the heiress to his fortunes.
On Margaret’s first birthday, the king broke the arrangement with Margaret’s father and gave her wardship to William de la Pole, although Margaret remained with her mother. However, Margaret’s mother was pregnant at the time of Somerset’s death and unfortunately the child did not survive, making Margaret the remaining sole heir. Although she was her father’s only legitimate child, Margaret had two half-brothers and three half-sisters from her mother’s first marriage whom she supported after her son’s accession.
She had a total of 4 marriages. Before the annulment of her first marriage, Henry VI chose Margaret as a bride for his half-brother, Edmund Tudor and Margaret was 12 when she married the 24 year old Edmund Tudor on 1 November 1455. When he died of the plague in captivity during the out break of the War of the Roses the following November he left a 13 year old Margaret as a widow, she was seven months pregnant with their child. The Countess then gave birth on 28th January 1457 to her only child, Henry Tudor, the future Henry VII of England. The birth was particularly difficult; at one point, both the Countess and her child were close to death, due to her young age and small size.
The Countess then died in the Deanery of Westminster Abbey 29 June 1509, aged 68.
With love, Charlotte x