Margaret Beaufort could claim to be the matriarch of the Tudor dynasty. She transferred her precious Lancastrian blood to her son, Henry VII, and her descendants still sit on the British throne today.
Her life is a microcosm of the roles of women during the Wars of the Roses – married four times, all for political reasons, her husbands fought and died for both Lancaster and York. Margaret served the Yorkist queens, whilst intriguing with the Lancastrian exiles to put her son, Henry, on the throne.
Margaret was a great heiress, and her lands stretched across the Southern and Midland counties of England. Whilst the focus of the first two-thirds of her life were survival for herself and her son, and the successful pursuit of the English throne, she was also a cultivated and intelligent patron of the new printing press, translating works herself as well as commissioning them.
Having achieved her ambition, Margaret went on to be one of the great patrons of education with the foundation of not one, but two, Colleges at Cambridge University. Her Cambridge Colleges remain as a testament to her vision.
Listen to our editor, Melita Thomas, discussing Lady Margaret Beaufort, with Heather Teysko of the Renaissance English History Podcast.
Our in-depth Profile on Lady Margaret Beaufort is available in paperback and kindle format from Amazon.