Online Encyclopedia

BEAUFORT

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V03, Page 585 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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BEAUFORT, the name of the family descended from the union of John of Gaunt, duke of Lancaster, with Catherine, wife of Sir Hugh Swynford, taken from a castle in Anjou which belonged to John of Gaunt. There were four children of this union—John, created earl of Somerset and marquess of Dorset; Henry, after-wards bishop of Winchester and cardinal (see BEAUFORT, HENRY) ; Thomas, made duke of Exeter and chancellor; and Joan, who married Ralph Neville, first earl of Westmorland, and died in 1440. In 1396, some years after the birth of these children, John of Gaunt and Catherine were married, and in 1397 the Beauforts were declared legitimate by King Richard II. In 1407 this action was confirmed by their half-brother, King Henry IV., but on this occasion they were expressly excluded from the succession to the English throne.
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