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BEAUCHAMP, A. DE—BEAUFORT FAMILY

striving for reform, and in the latter year he was appointed governor to the king. Under Richard II. he joined the lords appellant in their opposition to the king and his ministers, and was in power with them 1388-1389; treacherously arrested by Richard in 1397, he was imprisoned in the Tower of London (the Beauchamp Tower being called after him), but liberated by Henry IV. on his triumph (1399). In 1401 he was succeeded by his son Earl Richard, a brave and chivalrous warrior, who defeated Owen Glendower, fought the Percys at Shrewsbury, and, after travelling in state through Europe and the Holy Land, was employed against the Lollards and afterwards as lay ambassador from England to the council of Constance (1414). He held command for a time at Calais, and took an active part in the French campaigns of Henry V., who created him earl and count of Aumale in Normandy. He had charge of the education of Henry VI., and in 1437 was appointed lieutenant of France and of Normandy. Dying at Rouen in 1439, he left by Isabel, widow of Richard Beauchamp, earl of Worcester, a son, Earl Henry, who was created duke of Warwick, 1445, and is alleged, but without authority, to have been crowned king of the Isle of Wight by Henry VI. He died, the last of his line, in June 1445. On the death of Anne, his only child, in 1449, his vast inheritance passed to Anne, his sister of the whole blood, wife of Richard Neville, earl of Salisbury (“the Kingmaker”), who thereupon became earl of Warwick.

Of the cadet branches of the house, the oldest was that of Powyke and Alcester, which obtained a barony in 1447 and became extinct in 1496; from it sprang the Beauchamps, Lords St. Amand from 1448, of whom was Richard, bishop of Salisbury, first chancellor of the order of the Garter, and who became extinct in 1508, being the last known male heirs of the race. Another cadet was Sir John Beauchamp of Holt, minister of Richard II., who was created Lord Beauchamp of Kidderminster (the first baron created by patent) 1387, but beheaded 1388; the barony became extinct with his son in 1400. Roger, Lord Beauchamp of Bletsoe, summoned in 1363, is said to have been descended from the Powyke branch; his line ended early in the 15th century. Later cadets were John, brother of the 3rd earl, who carried the standard at Crécy, became captain of Calais, and was summoned as a peer in 1350, but died unmarried; and William, brother of the 4th earl, who was distinguished in the French wars, and succeeding to the lands of the Lords Abergavenny was summoned in that barony 1392; his son was created earl of Worcester in 1420, but died without male issue in 1422; from his daughter, who married Sir Edward Neville, descended the Lords Abergavenny.

The Lords Beauchamp of “Hache” (1299-1361) were so named from their seat of Hatch Beauchamp, Somerset, and were of a wholly distinct family. Their title, “Beauchamp of Hache,” was revived for the Seymours in 1536 and 1559. The title of “Beauchamp of Powyke” was revived as a barony in 1806 for Richard Lygon (descended through females from the Beauchamps of Powyke), who was created Earl Beauchamp in 1815.

See Sir W. Dugdale, Baronage (1675-1676) and Warwickshire (2nd ed., 1730); G. E. C[okayne], Complete Peerage (1887-1898); W. Courthope, Rows Roll (1859); and J. H. Round, Geoffrey de Mandeville (1892).

 (J. H. R.) 


BEAUCHAMP, ALPHONSE DE, French historian and man of letters, was born at Monaco in 1767, and died in 1832. In 1784 he entered a Sardinian regiment of marines, but on the outbreak of war with the French Republic, he refused to fight in what he considered an unjust cause, and was imprisoned for several months. After being liberated he took up his residence in Paris, where he obtained a post in one of the government offices. On the fall of Robespierre, Beauchamp was transferred to the bureau of the minister of police, and charged with the superintendence of the press. This situation opened up to him materials of which he made use in his first and most popular historical work, Histoire de la Vendée et des Chouans, 3 vols., 1806. The book, received with great favour by the people, was displeasing to the authorities. The third edition was confiscated; its writer was deprived of his post, and in 1809 was compelled to leave Paris and take up his abode in Reims. In 1811 he obtained permission to return, and again received a government appointment. This he had to resign on the Restoration, but was rewarded with a small pension, which was continued to his widow after his death.

Beauchamp wrote extensively for the public journals and for the magazines. His biographical and historical works are numerous, and those dealing with contemporary events are valuable, owing to the sources at his disposal. They must, however, be used with great caution. The following are worth mention:—Vie politique, militaire et privée du général Moreau (1814); Catastrophe de Murat, ou Récit de la dernière révolution de Naples (1815); Histoire de la guerre d’Espagne et du Portugal, 1807-1813 (2 vols., 1819); Collection de mémoires relatifs aux révolutions d’Espagne (2 vols., 1824); Histoire de la révolution de Piémont (2 vols., 1821, 1823); Mémoires secrets et inédits pour servir à l’histoire contemporaine (2 vols., 1825). The Mémoires de Fouché have also been ascribed to him, but it seems certain that he only revised and completed a work really composed by Fouché himself.

See an article by Louis Madelin in La Revolution française (1900).


BEAUFORT, the name of the family descended from the union of John of Gaunt, duke of Lancaster, with Catherine, wife of Sir Hugh Swynford, taken from a castle in Anjou which belonged to John of Gaunt. There were four children of this union—John, created earl of Somerset and marquess of Dorset; Henry, afterwards bishop of Winchester and cardinal (see Beaufort, Henry); Thomas, made duke of Exeter and chancellor; and Joan, who married Ralph Neville, first earl of Westmorland, and died in 1440. In 1396, some years after the birth of these children, John of Gaunt and Catherine were married, and in 1397 the Beauforts were declared legitimate by King Richard II. In 1407 this action was confirmed by their half-brother, King Henry IV., but on this occasion they were expressly excluded from the succession to the English throne.

John Beaufort, earl of Somerset (c. 1373-1410), assisted Richard II. in 1397 when the king attacked the lords appellants, and made himself an absolute ruler. For these services he was made marquess of Dorset, but after the deposition of Richard in 1399, he was degraded to his former rank as earl. In 1401, however, he was declared loyal, and appeared later in command of the English fleet. He married Margaret, daughter of Thomas Holland, second earl of Kent, and died in March 1410, leaving three sons, Henry, John, and Edmund, and two daughters, Jane or Joan, who married James I., king of Scotland, and Margaret, who married Thomas Courtenay, earl of Devon.

Thomas Beaufort (d. 1426) held various high offices under Henry IV., and took a leading part in suppressing the rising in the north in 1405. He became chancellor in 1410, but resigned this office in January 1412 and took part in the expedition to France in the same year. He was then created earl of Dorset, and when Henry V. became king in 1413, he was made lieutenant of Aquitaine and took charge of Harfleur when this town passed into the possession of the English. In 1416 he became lieutenant of Normandy, and was created duke of Exeter; and returning to England he compelled the Scots to raise the siege of Roxburgh. Crossing to France in 1418 with reinforcements for Henry V., he took an active part in the subsequent campaign, was made captain of Rouen, and went to the court of France to treat for peace. He was then captured by the French at Baugé, but was soon released and returned to England when he heard of the death of Henry V. in August 1422. He was one of Henry’s executors, and it is probable that the king entrusted his young son, King Henry VI., to his care. However this may be, Exeter did not take a very prominent part in the government, although he was a member of the council of regency. Having again shared in the French war, the duke died at Greenwich about the end of the year 1426. He was buried at Bury St. Edmunds, where his remains were found in good condition 350 years later. He married Margaret, daughter of Sir Thomas Neville of Nornby, but left no issue. The Beaufort family was continued by Henry Beaufort (1401-1419), the eldest son of John Beaufort, earl of Somerset, who was succeeded as earl of Somerset by his brother