Lady Margaret Beaufort was Henry VII’s mother, so in a sense she gave birth to the Tudor Dynasty. And now that I think about it, the birth of Henry Tudor is famous because it was so difficult for her…she was young (too young to be having children, and in the future when marriage negotiations were being made for her grandchildren, she insisted that her granddaughter’s marriage in Scotland not be consummated until she was older). It apparently left her infertile as she never had children after Henry, despite years and years of seemingly happy marriages.
The Tudor Dynasty’s birth wasn’t easy either, coming as it did on the battlefield. So in a sense, the birth of Henry could be seen as a metaphor for the entire Tudor Dynasty. Difficult. Requiring patience and grit.
Lady Margaret has a reputation. She is often seen as this dowdy old lady who worked hard to have her son become King, and then had a hard time taking a back seat to his wife, and others who may have outranked her (Elizabeth Woodville as a former Queen versus Lady Margaret as the Mother of a King, for example. Or her daughter in law, who was Queen.).
A few weeks ago I spoke with the founder of Tudor Times, a leading repository of Tudor and Stuart information, about Margaret, and the picture that emerges is one of a woman with great wit, charm, grace, and love for family. It’s not the picture I’ve had of her, and I’m happy to re-share it here, for your listening enjoyment.
I’ll be doing more episodes in partnership with Tudor Times, so stay tuned! And if the Tudors are your jam, be sure to enter my giveaway for five Tudor historical fiction books!