Sir Henry de Beaumont

Born: c. 1280  

Died: March 10, 1340 (Age c. 60)

Beaumont in History

As a distant relation of Eleanor of Castile, first wife of King Edward I, Henry Beaumont was able to achieve a vast amount of royal favor and, by 1297, was a knight of the king's household and consistently served the king in the Scottish wars. Beaumont's favor continued, to an even greater extent, into the reign of Edward II to the point where he was targeted by the lords ordainder (a group of magnates who were attempting to appeal to the king for more effective governing). Although Beaumont was able to escape unscathed from this situation, he came under fire from the Earl of Lancaster when he attempted to make his brother bishop of Durham. Lancaster ended up imprisoning both brothers as a result. However, Beaumont would have he last laugh as he served in the royal forces at Boroughbridge when Lancaster was defeated and subsequently executed. By 1326, though, Beaumont's loyalties had shifted, and he supported Queen Isabella and Roger Mortimer when they invaded England from France. It is most likely that Beaumont knew Edward II's reign of terror was coming to an end and wanted to be on the winning side. Edward II was deposed and murdered, and Beaumont was rewarded for his change of allegiance.

However, Beaumont once again switched sides and supported various plots against the new regents Isabella and Mortimer, who were ultimately overthrown by King Edward III (1330). Once again in royal favor, Beaumont remained influential in English and Scottish politics, supporting the claim to the Scottish throne of Edward Balliol over King David II. Beaumont served in several Scottish expeditions (in a region where he stood to gain much through right of his wife, a Scottish heiress, if he was successful) and accompanied Edward III to France at the beginning of the Hundred Years War. It was here that Beaumont met his end by unknown means (1340). Though Beaumont is a very minor historical personage, he is a prime example of a man who was able to survive by adapting to the times and switching his allegiances when necessary.

Beaumont in Marlowe

Appears in: Edward II

Henry Beaumont appears in a single scene in Edward II when he is given the task of retrieving Gaveston from his exile in Ireland.


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