Friday, 3 October 2008

Isabella Beaufort

Yesterday, while reading English Medieval Monasteries 1066-1540 by Roy Midmer (research you know) I found this intriguing snippet under Marrick Priory, Yorkshire: 'In 1536 the rich and beautiful girl, Isabella Beaufort, whom Henry VIII had tried to marry, is said to have obtained sanctuary here for almost 4 years until the house surrendered.'

I am really puzzled by this because as far as I know the last two male Beauforts died at Tewkesbury in 1471, and even if they had a legitimate daughter (which I'm virtually certain they didn't) she would scarcely be a 'girl' in 1536. Their elder brother, Henry, Duke of Somerset, had an illegitimate son, Charles, from whom the present Duke of Beaufort descends, but the surname was and is 'Somerset' not Beaufort.

There's very little about this lady on the internet but that little says she was maid-of-honour to Catherine of Aragon and eventually married her true love. Potential for a novel, maybe, but not for me as I could not bear to write about the ogre Henry VIII. Does anyone know anything about Isabella, particularly who her father was?


Bearded Lady said...

Hi, I don't have an answer for you because I didn't even know an Isabella Beaufort existed but I bet if you post the question at the someone will know. Some of the people on that discussion thread live and breath tudor history. Now you have me curious!

Lady D. said...

Just when you think you have it all sewn up - along comes something like this! It's so frustrating (and fascinating at the same time) to have these little mysteries isn't it? I'm afraid I don't have the answer but I really hope you find it soon ;-)

Brian said...

Thanks. I will try the Tudor history people, when I get a chance.

I wonder if this is one of those local legends that isn't based on fact?

Susan Higginbotham said...

Now that I'm back at home with my books, I looked her up in the various books I have on Henry VIII and found nothing (not that my library about him is that extensive). Surely if he had tried to marry her, there would be more about her somewhere? I wonder if she is misnamed?

Brian said...

The early answers from the Tudor History crowd make me suspect Isabella is a figment of someone's imagination. I suppose the key words in my source are 'is said'. The words 'is said' cover many a heap of mythical junk.