Cardinal Henry Beaufort, Bishop of Winchester

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Henry Beaufort, Bishop of Winchester, Chancellor of England

Birthplace: Château de Beaufort, Anjou, France
Death: Died in Winchester, Hampshire, England
Place of Burial: Winchester Catherdal, Winchester, Hampshire, England
Immediate Family:

Son of John of Gaunt, 1st Duke of Lancaster and Katherine Swynford, Duchess of Lancaster
Partner of Alice FitzAlan, Lady Cherleton
Father of Jane [Joan] Stradling
Brother of John Beaufort, 1st Earl of Somerset; Thomas Beaufort, Duke of Exeter and Joan Beaufort, Countess of Westmorland
Half brother of Dorothy Thimelby (Swynford); Blanche Swynford; Sir Thomas Swynford, Sr.; Blanche Plantagenet; Filipa de Lencastre, rainha consorte de Portugal and 8 others

Occupation: Cardinal, Bishop, Cardinal of Winchester
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Cardinal Henry Beaufort, Bishop of Winchester


Henry de Beaufort was born circa 1375 at Château de Beaufort, Montmorency-Beaufort, Champagne, France.1,2,3 

He was the son of John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster and Katherine Roët.

He died on 11 April 1447 at Wolvesey Palace, Winchester, Hampshire, England.1 

He was buried at Winchester Cathedral, Winchester, Hampshire, England.1


Henry de Beaufort held the office of Dean of Wells Cathedral in 1397.1 In February 1397

Parliament legitimised his birth, even though he was born before his parent's marriage.

He was provided to the See of Lincoln on 27 February 1398.1 He held the office of Bishop of Lincoln on 14 July 1398.1 He held the office of Bishop of Winchester on 19 November 1404.1 He held the office of Cardinal-Priest of St. Eusebius on 24 May 1426.1 He has an extensive biographical entry in the Dictionary of National Biography.4


Child of Henry de Beaufort and Alice FitzAlan

   * Joan Beaufort+5 b. c 1402, d. c 1453


  1. [S11] Alison Weir, Britain's Royal Family: A Complete Genealogy (London, U.K.: The Bodley Head, 1999), page 107. Hereinafter cited as Britain's Royal Family.
  2. [S1381] Cheryl Nicol, "re: Long Family," e-mail message to Darryl Lundy, 5 July 2005 to 14 May 2006. Hereinafter cited as "re: Long Family."
  3. [S4396] William Skyvington, "re: Beaufort Family," e-mail message to Darryl Roger LUNDY (101053), 29 December 2009. Hereinafter cited as "re: Beaufort Family."
  4. [S18] Matthew H.C.G., editor, Dictionary of National Biography on CD-ROM (Oxford, U.K.: Oxford University Press, 1995), reference: "Beaufort, HEnry de". Hereinafter cited as Dictionary of National Biography.
  5. [S2] Peter W. Hammond, editor, The Complete Peerage or a History of the House of Lords and All its Members From the Earliest Times, Volume XIV: Addenda & Corrigenda (Stroud, Gloucestershire, U.K.: Sutton Publishing, 1998), page 39. Hereinafter cited as The Complete Peerage, Volume XIV.

Wikipedia, []

Henry Beaufort (c. 1375 - April 11th 1447), was an English clergyman.

The second son of John of Gaunt and his mistress Katherine Swynford, was born in Anjou (France) in about 1374 and educated for a career in the Church. In about 1390 their cousin Richard II of England declared him and his two brothers and one sister legitimate. (There is some confusion on this point; there seems to have been another such procedure in 1397, involving Parliament.) In 1398 Henry Beaufort was consecrated Bishop of Lincoln. When his half-brother deposed Richard and took the throne as Henry IV of England, he was made Bishop Beaufort Chancellor of England in 1403, but he resigned that position the next year to become Bishop of Winchester.

Between 1411 and 1413 Bishop Beaufort was in political disgrace for siding with his nephew, the Prince of Wales, against the king, but then when Henry IV died and the prince became Henry V of England, he made his uncle Chancellor again; however, Beaufort resigned the position in 1417. Pope Martin V offered the Bishop a cardinal's hat, but Henry V would not let him accept it. Henry V died in 1422, shortly after making himself heir to France by marrying the French king's daughter, and their infant son became Henry VI of England. Bishop Beaufort and the baby king's other uncles were regents, and in 1424 Beaufort became Chancellor once more, but was forced to resign again in 1426 because of disputes with the king's other uncles.

The Pope finally made him a cardinal, and in 1427 made him Papal Legate for Germany, Hungary, and Bohemia. Beaufort continued to be active in English politics for years, fighting with the other powerful advisors to the king and always managing to extricate himself from the snares they set for him. He died on April 11, 1447 and was laid to rest in a tomb in Winchester Cathedral. He suffered from delerium on his deathbed and, as he hallucinated, offered Death the whole treasury of England in return for living a while longer (according to legend).

During his youth, most likely while studying at Oxford, Henry had an affair with Alice Fitzalan (1378 - 1415), the daughter of Richard Fitzalan and Elizabeth de Bohun. The union produced an illegtimate daughter, Jane Beaufort, in 1402. In 1424, Jane Beaufort married Edward Stradling.

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Cardinal Henry Beaufort, Bishop of Winchester's Timeline

Château de Beaufort, Anjou, France
- present
Age 22
February 27, 1398
- present
Age 23
July 14, 1398
- present
Age 23
Age 26
Westminster, Middlesex, , England
Age 27
Westminster, London, Middlesex, England
November 19, 1404
- present
Age 29
May 24, 1426
- present
Age 51
April 11, 1447
Age 72
Winchester, Hampshire, England
November 26, 1932
Age 72