Beaufort, Margaret, countess of Richmond and Derby


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Beaufort, Margaret, countess of Richmond and Derby

(bō`fərt, där`bē), 1443–1509, English noblewoman, mother of Henry VIIHenry VII,
1457–1509, king of England (1485–1509) and founder of the Tudor dynasty. Claim to the Throne

Henry was the son of Edmund Tudor, earl of Richmond, who died before Henry was born, and Margaret Beaufort, a descendant of Edward III through John
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. She was the daughter and heiress of John, 1st duke of Somerset, and great-granddaughter of John of Gaunt, duke of Lancaster. She was married three times: to Edmund Tudor, earl of Richmond, who was Henry's father; to Henry Stafford; and to Thomas, Lord Stanley, afterward earl of Derby. Renowned for her philanthropy, she endowed professorships of divinity at Oxford and Cambridge and with the help of her confessor, John FisherFisher, John
(Saint John Fisher), c.1469–1535, English prelate, cardinal, bishop of Rochester (1504–34). Known for his scholarship at Cambridge, he was chosen confessor to Margaret Beaufort, mother of Henry VII.
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, founded Christ's College and St. John's College, Cambridge. She was the patron of many religious houses and of William Caxton and Wynkyn de Worde.