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BEAUFORT, L. DE—BEAUGENCY

accepted. He went to France in 1427, and was then appointed papal legate for Germany, Hungary and Bohemia; and proceeding eastwards, he made a bold but futile effort to rally the crusaders at Tachau. Returning to England to raise money for a fresh crusade, he was received with great state in London; but his acceptance of the cardinalate had weakened his position and Gloucester refused to recognize his legatine commission. Beaufort gave way on this question, but an unsuccessful attempt was made in 1429 to deprive him of his see. Having raised some troops he set out for Bohemia; but owing to the disasters which had just attended the English arms in France, he was induced to allow these soldiers to serve in the French war; and in February 1431 the death of Martin V. ended his commission as legate. Meanwhile an attempt on the part of Gloucester to exclude the cardinal from the council had failed, and it was decided that his attendance was required except during the discussion of questions between the king and the papacy. He accompanied King Henry VI. to Normandy in April 1430, and in December 1431 crowned him king of France. About this time Gloucester made another attempt to deprive Beaufort of his see, and it was argued in the council that as a cardinal he could not hold an English bishopric. The general council was not inclined to press the case against him; but the privy council, more clerical and more hostile, sealed writs of praemunire and attachment against him, and some of his jewels were seized. On his return to England he attended the parliament in May 1432, and asked to hear the charges against him. The king declared him loyal, and a statute was passed freeing him from any penalties which he might have incurred under the Statute of Provisors or in other ways. He supported Bedford in his attempts to restore order to the finances. In August 1435 he attended the congress at Arras, but was unable to make peace with France; and after Bedford's death his renewed efforts to this end were again opposed by Gloucester, who favoured a continuance of the war. On two occasions the council advised the king to refuse him permission to leave England, but in 1437 he obtained a full pardon for all his offences. In 1439 and 1440 he went to France on missions of peace, and apparently at his instigation the English council decided to release Charles, duke of Orleans. This step further irritated Gloucester, who drew up and presented to the king a long and serious list of charges against Beaufort; but the council defended the policy of the cardinal and ignored the personal accusations against him. Beaufort, however, gradually retired from public life, and after witnessing the conclusion of the treaty of Troyes died at Wolvesey palace, Winchester, on the 10th of April 1447. The “black despair” which Shakespeare has cast round his dying hours appears to be without historical foundation. He was buried in Winchester cathedral, the building of which he finished. He also refounded and enlarged the hospital of St Cross near Winchester.

Beaufort was a man of considerable wealth, and on several occasions he lent large sums of money to the king. He was the lover of Lady Alice Fitzalan, daughter of Richard, earl of Arundel, by whom he had a daughter, Joan, who married Sir Edward Stradling of St Donat's in Glamorganshire. His interests were secular and he was certainly proud and ambitious; but Stubbs has pictured the fairer side of his character when he observes that Beaufort “was merciful in his political enmities, enlightened in his foreign policy; that he was devotedly faithful, and ready to sacrifice his wealth and labour for the king; that from the moment of his death everything began to go wrong, and went worse and worse until all was lost.”

See Historiae Croylandensis continuatio, translated by H. T. Riley (London, 1854); Proceedings and Ordinances of the Privy Council, edited by N. H. Nicolas (London, 1834–1837); Aeneas Sylvius Piccolomini, Historica Bohemica (Frankfort and Leipzig, 1707); W. Stubbs, Constitutional History, vol. iii. (Oxford, 1895); M. Creighton, A History of the Papacy during the Period of the Reformation (London, 1897); and L. B. Radford, Henry Beaufort (1908).


BEAUFORT, LOUIS DE (d. 1795), French historian, of whose life little is known. In 1738 he published at Utrecht a Dissertation sur l'incertitude des cinq premiers siècles de l'histoire romaine, in which he showed what untrustworthy guides even the historians of highest repute, such as Livy and Dionysius of Halicarnassus, were for that period, and pointed out by what methods and by the aid of what documents truly scientific bases might be given to its history. This was an ingenious plea, bold for its time, against traditional history such as Rollin was writing at that very moment. A German, Christopher Saxius, endeavoured to refute it in a series of articles published in vols. i.-iii. of the Miscellanea Liviensia. Beaufort replied by some brief and ironical Remarques in the appendix to the second edition of his Dissertation (1750). Beaufort also wrote an Histoire de César Gerrnanicus (Leyden, 1761), and La République romaine, ou plan général de l'ancien gouvernement de Rome (The Hague, 1766, 2 vols. quarto). Though not a scholar of the first rank, Beaufort has at least the merit of having been a pioneer in raising the question, afterwards elaborated by Niebuhr, as to the credibility of early Roman history.


BEAUFORT SCALE, a series of numbers from 0 to 12 arranged by Admiral Sir Francis Beaufort (1774–1857) in 1805, to indicate the strength of the wind from a calm, force 0, to a hurricane, force 12, with sailing directions such as “5, smacks shorten sails” for coast purposes, and “royals, &c., ‘full and by’” for the open sea. An exhaustive report was made in 1906 by the Meteorological Office on the relation between the estimates of wind-force according to Beaufort's scale and the velocities recorded by anemometers belonging to the office, from which the following table is taken:—

Beaufort scale. Corresponding wind. Limits of hourly velocity.
Numbers. Miles per hour.
0 Calm Under 2
1–3 Light breeze 2–12
4–5 Moderate wind 13–23
6–7 Strong wind 24–37
8–9 Gale 38–55
10–11 Storm 56–75
12 Hurricane Above 75


BEAUFORT WEST, in Cape province, South Africa, the capital of a division of this name, 339 m. by rail N.E. of Cape Town. Pop. (1904) 5481. The largest town in the western part of the Great Karroo, it lies, at an elevation of 2792 ft., at the foot of the southern slopes of the Nieuwveld mountains. It has several fine public buildings and the streets are lined with avenues of pear trees, while an abundant supply of water, luxuriant orchards, fields and gardens give it the appearance of an oasis in the desert. It is a favourite resort of invalids. The town was founded in 1819, and in its early days was largely resorted to by Griquas and Bechuana for the sale of ivory, skins and cattle. The Beaufort West division has an area of 6374 sq. m. and a pop. (1904) of 10,702, 45% being whites. Sheep-farming is the principal industry.


BEAUGENCY, a town of central France, in the department of Loiret, 16 m. S.W. of Orleans on the Orleans railway, between that city and Blois. Pop. (1906) 2993. It is situated at the foot of vine-clad hills on the right bank of the Loire, to the left bank of which it is united by a bridge of twenty-six arches, many of them dating from the 13th century. The chief buildings are the château, mainly of the 15th century, of which the massive donjon of the 11th century known as the Tour de César is the oldest portion; and the abbey-church of Notre-Dame, a building in the Romanesque style of architecture, frequently restored. Some of the buildings of the Benedictine abbey, to which this church belonged, remain. The hôtel de ville, the façade of which is decorated with armorial bearings of Renaissance carving, and the church of St Étienne, an unblemished example of Romanesque architecture, are of interest. Several old houses, some remains of the medieval ramparts and the Tour de l'Horloge, an ancient gateway, are also preserved. The town carries on trade in grain, and has Hour mills.

The lords of Beaugency attained considerable importance in the 11th, 12th and 13th centuries; at the end of the 13th century the fief was sold to the crown, and afterwards passed to the house of Orleans, then to those of Dunois and Longueville and