Margaret Beaufort Countess of Richmond and Derby 1
- Born: 31 May <1443>, Bletsoe Castle, Bletsoe, Bedfordshire, England
- Marriage (1): Thomas Stanley 1st Earl of Derby
- Marriage (2): Edmund Tudor 1st Earl of Richmond on 1 Nov 1455
- Died: 29 Jun 1509, Deanery of Westminster Abbey at age 66
- Buried: Henry VII Lady Chapel, Westminster Abbey
From Wikipedia - Lady Margaret Beaufort :
"Henry [VII] derived his claim to the English throne from his mother Margaret, and England did not bar women from inheriting the kingship, it is arguably she and not her son who should have claimed the crown. Margaret did not contest Henry's right to rule; however, she occasionally used the signature Margaret R, a form limited to queens regnant . (See discussion below.)
Margaret was twelve when she married Edmund on 1 November 1455 . Edmund died the following November, leaving a thirteen year old widow who was seven months pregnant with their child, Henry. Margaret and her son retired to Pembroke when the wars between Lancaster and York broke out and remained there until the Yorkist triumphs of 1461. The readeption of 1470 saw her return to court but her son fled to Brittany with his uncle, Jasper Tudor .
Margaret was to marry twice more after Edmund's death:
Sir Henry Stafford (c. 1447 - 4 October 1471), the son of Humphrey Stafford , 6th Earl of Stafford , 1st Duke of Buckingham
Thomas Stanley, 1st Earl of Derby
She had no children with either, and it has been suggested by historians that the birth of her son Henry when she was only thirteen years old was difficult enough to render her infertile.
[edit ] The King's Mother
Margaret was instrumental in secretly conspiring against King Richard III with the Dowager Queen Consort, Elizabeth Woodville , whose sons, the Princes in the Tower , were presumed murdered. They were aided by the fact that Margaret's third husband, Thomas Stanley, had switched sides because Richard III held captive his eldest son, George Stanley (styled Lord Strange by marriage to the female holder of that hereditary lordship). George was Thomas Stanley's son by his first wife, Eleanor Neville, whose brother, Richard Neville was very active in the Wars of the Roses. Margaret was Thomas Stanley's second wife.
At the end of the Battle of Bosworth Field in 1485, it was Thomas Stanley who placed the crown on his stepson's - Henry VII's - head. Stanley was later made Earl of Derby, which made Margaret Countess of Derby, but she was styled "The Countess of Richmond and Derby."
With her son winning the crown at Bosworth Field, Margaret was now referred to in court as "My Lady the King's Mother." However, Margaret was reluctant to accept a lower status than the dowager queen consort Elizabeth Woodville or even her daughter-in-law, Elizabeth of York , the current queen consort . She wore robes of the same quality as the queen consort and walked only half a pace behind her.
Margaret sometimes signed herself Margaret R, the form of signature used by English queens regnant to indicate the title "Regina," the feminine form of "Rex." This referenced Margaret's own potential claim to the English throne, which would have had precedence over her son's claim, though she never asserted it. Had she successfully done so, she would have been a queen regnant - ruling in her own right, not through marriage - and entitled her to sign documents with the suffix "Regina." (See "Marriages" above for more on Margaret's own right to the English throne.)
Many historians believe the banishment of Woodville in 1487 by Henry VII of England was partly at the behest of his influential mother. Margaret was known for her education and her piety, and her son is said to have been devoted to her."
Margaret married Thomas Stanley 1st Earl of Derby, son of Sir Thomas de Stanley K.G., 1st Baron Stanley, Lord Lt. of Ireland and Joan Goushill. (Thomas Stanley 1st Earl of Derby was born in 1435 and died on 29 Jul 1504 in Lathom (Latham), Ormskirk, Lancashire, England.)
Margaret next married Edmund Tudor 1st Earl of Richmond, son of Sir Owen Meredith Tudor and Catherine of Valois, on 1 Nov 1455. (Edmund Tudor 1st Earl of Richmond was born in 1430 in England, died on 3 Nov 1456 in Carmarthen Castle and was buried in Carmarthen Grey Friars.)