Sunday, October 05, 2008

Question from Brian W. - Isabella Beaufort

The other day I was reading English Medieval Monasteries 1066-1540 by Roy Midmer and came across the following 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.'

As far as I know the last two male Beauforts died at Tewkesbury (1471)and even if one had a legitimate daughter (which I doubt) she would not be a 'girl' in 1536.

Did Isabella exist? If so, who was her father? Any info welcome as this is puzzling me!

Thanks, Brian W

5 comments:

PhD Historian said...

From what I have been able to discover, Edmund Beaufort (d. 1455), 1st Duke of Soemrset, did indeed have a daughter named Isabella, though she apparently died in 1453 and thus is not the Isabella Beaufort referred to by your source. And of course the Beaufort male line became extinct in 1471 following the Battle of Tewkesbury.

I do not find any credible reference (after an admittedly brief search) to an Isabella Beaufort at the court of Henry VIII, but if one existed, she must have been descended from some distant collateral Beaufort line, rather than from "the" Beauforts that included the two Edmunds, dukes of Somerset.

Kathy said...

This story shows up in Curious Tales of Old Yorkshire too. But I'm dubious as to what the contemporary account would have been. I'd like to see a more authoritative source for this.

Max G. said...

The North East Folk singing group 'Fourum' present an interesting song concerning Isabella Beaufort andher escape from the attentions of Henry VIII

Anonymous said...

If it helps and anyone is still reading this post - about 20 years ago I was on a school residential in Yorkshire. I stayed at a place called Marrick Priory where it is said that the body of Isabella Beaufort was laid to rest. The staff at the Priory too believed that she was approached by Henry VIII but fled for fear of death and resided at the Priory as a Nun.

Perhaps someone looking into this part of the History could carry out some investigations there.

Loo27 said...

I also stayed at Marrick Priory and her 'tomb' is in the chapel at the Priory (on the floor is a stone with her name on it) and yes, Fourum do perform a song about her story and how she fled from the advances of the king, she was Catherine of Aragorn's handmaiden. Apparently she dressed as a Page boy and sought safety in Marrick Priory, under Cristabella Cowper's say. The twist to the tale is Isabella's outcome.... I won't spoil the story.......