Cardinal Henry Beaufort

(c. 1375—1447)

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B. c.1375, 2nd s. of John of Gaunt and Katharine Swynford; d. 11 Apr. 1447; bur. Winchester.

Beaufort was a half-brother of Henry IV, legitimized after his father's marriage to his mistress in 1396. He became one of the greatest of all churchmen, bishop of Lincoln 1398 (aged twenty-three), bishop of Winchester 1404, cardinal 1427. Beaufort served as Chancellor under three kings 1403–5, 1413–17, 1424–6, his own vast wealth enabling him to lend generously to the crown. His influence during the reign of Henry VI was mitigated by a long-running feud with his nephew, Humphrey, duke of Gloucester.

Harriss, G. L., Cardinal Beaufort: A Study of Lancastrian Ascendancy and Decline (1988).

Subjects: British History.

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