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1st duke of Somerset, Edmund Beaufort

(c. 1406—1455)


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Henry Beaufort (c. 1375—1447) bishop of Winchester and cardinal

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3rd duke of York, Richard Plantagenet (1411—1460) magnate and claimant to the English throne

John of Gaunt (1340—1399) prince and steward of England

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(c. 1406–55).

Beaufort was frequently employed in the defence of Lancastrian France, with the backing of his uncle, Cardinal Beaufort. He succeeded to the titles of his elder brother John (d. 1444), but not to his lands. To the chagrin of Richard of York, Somerset was appointed lieutenant‐general of France in 1447; by 1450 all Normandy had been lost to the French. York accused him of treason, but he became the dominant favourite of Henry VI, created duke in 1448. Having alienated the Nevilles by a dispute with Warwick, Somerset gained the support of the earl of Northumberland; both were killed in the first battle of St Albans.

Subjects: Shakespeare Studies and Criticism — British History.


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