Lady Margaret Beaufort

1 portrait on display in Room 3 at the National Portrait Gallery

Lady Margaret Beaufort, by Unknown artist, second half of 16th century - NPG 551 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

Lady Margaret Beaufort

by Unknown artist
oil on panel, second half of 16th century
27 in. x 21 5/8 in. (686 mm x 549 mm)
Transferred from British Museum, 1879
Primary Collection
NPG 551


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The daughter and heiress of John, 1st Duke of Somerset, Margaret married Edmund Tudor, Earl of Richmond, in 1455, who died a year later. Their son would, at the conclusion of the Wars of the Roses, become Henry VII. In 1461 Beaufort married Henry Stafford and subsequently Lord Stanley (afterwards the Earl of Derby). She took an active part in the insurrections of 1484 and 1485 and in planning the marriage of her son Henry to Elizabeth of York. The book that she holds is likely to symbolise her piety but may also refer to her patronage. Beaufort instituted the foundations bearing the name of 'the Lady Margaret' at both Oxford and Cambridge and was an early patron of Caxton and Wynkyn de Worde.

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