Monday, December 10, 2012

Edmund Beaufort, Duke of Somerset

edmund beaufort

Edmund Beaufort, Duke of Somerset was born some time in 1406. In the early 1430s he illegally married Eleanor Beauchamp, daughter of the 13th Earl of Warwick. He was to become a favourite to the king and was created Earl of Dorset in 1442, then Marquess the following year. In 1444, the same year peace was made with France, he inherited the dukedom of Somerset from his brother. In 1449 he was made commander-in-chief in France. The Duke began his appointment by foolishly attacked and capturing the French town of Fougeres, breaking the truce with France and reopening the Hundred Years War.  Normandy was overrun that summer, with Somerset personally surrendering several towns.

In 1454, the Duke of York, Somerset’s predecessor in France became regent and sent the Duke to the Tower. He was released in January the following year but did not live to enjoy his freedom long. York was still determined to depose or kill Somerset and on may 22, 1455 met the royal army in battle at St Albans. Somerset met his death bravely; determined to avoid capture he led a charge out of the Castle Inn and killed several men before he too was slain, possibly by the Earl of Warwick himself.

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