Name: Thomas Beaufort Duke of EXETER
Birth: 1377 in Chateau de Beaufort, Anjou, France
Burial: Lady Chapel, Bury St Edmunds Abbey, Bury St Edmunds
Death: 31 DEC 1426 in probably in Suffolk
After the accession of his half-brother Henry IV, Beaufort was made a Knight of the Garter. In the following years he held various
military posts: constable of Ludlow (1402), admiral of the fleet for the northern parts (1403), captain of Calais (1407), and admiral of
the northern and western seas for life (1408/9). His most notable action during this decade was commanding the forces against the
northern rebellion of 1405.
He became Chancellor of England on 31 January 1410, an office he held until 5 January 1412 during a time when King Henry was
having trouble with the clergy, and then returned to military matters. Later in 1412 he was created Earl of Dorset.
On the accession of Henry V Beaufort was appointed Lieutenant of Aquitaine (1413) and then captain of Harfleur (1415). He spent the next years in Normandy, being Lieutenant of Normandy (1416). He was created Duke of Exeter for life, in 1416. Beaufort was back in England in 1417, while the king was in Normandy, but had to deal with problems in Scotland. In 1418 he went back to Normandy with a large force, taking part in the sieges of Evreux, Ivry, and Rouen. After the fall of Rouen in 1419, he was
captain of the city, and conquered more of the smaller Norman cities. Finally in 1419 he took the great fortress of Chateau-Gaillard, midway between Rouen and Paris, after a six month siege.
During this time Henry V had a policy of creating Norman titles for his aristocrats, and thus Beaufort was created Count of Harcourt in 1418.
In 1420 Beaufort helped negotiate the treaty of Troyes. The next year he was captured at the Battle of Baugé where his nephew Thomas of Lancaster, 1st Duke of Clarence was killed.
Beaufort was one of the executors of Henry V's will, and so returned to England in 1422. He served on the governing council for the infant king Henry VI, though it's likely he spent some time in France as well.
Thomas Beaufort was widely known for his highly developed sense of chivalry, his high morals, his Christian piety and his charity to the poor and to travellers. He was impervious to corruption, refusing all gifts and rewards, and he forbade swearing, tale-bearing and lying in his household. It is tempting to wonder if he had felt deeply humiliated by the irregular circumstances of his birth and former bastardy and if all this 'stiff' behaviour was an attempt to compensate for those stigmas.
Father: John "John of Gaunt" Plantagenet of GAUNT , 1st D b: 1340 in St Bavon's Abbey, Ghent, Flanders
Mother: Katherine ROET b: 1350 in Hainaut
Lady Margaret DE NEVILLE b: 1384 in Horneby
- Henry BEAUFORT b: 1413