Arms of Sir Richard Beauchamp, 13th Earl of Warwick, KG, as depicted on his stall plate at St. George's Chapel
|Born||25 or 28 January 1382|
Salwarpe Court, Worcestershire, England
|Died||30 April 1439 (aged 57)|
Rouen, Normandy, France
|Title||13th Earl of Warwick|
|Tenure||8 April 1401 – 30 April 1439|
|Other titles||Count of Aumale|
|Elizabeth de Berkeley|
Isabel le Despenser
|Issue||With Elizabeth de Berkeley|
Margaret, Countess of Shrewsbury
Eleanor, Duchess of Somerset
Elizabeth, Baroness Latimer
With Isabel le Despenser
Henry, Duke of Warwick
Anne, 16th Countess of Warwick
|Parents||Thomas de Beauchamp, 12th Earl of Warwick|
Beauchamp was born at Salwarpe Court in Salwarpe, Worcestershire, the son of Thomas de Beauchamp, 12th Earl of Warwick and Margaret Ferrers, a daughter of William Ferrers, 3rd Baron Ferrers of Groby. His godfather was King Richard II of England.
Soon after reaching his majority and taking responsibility for the Earldom, he saw military action in Wales, defending against a Welsh rebellion led by Owain Glynd?r. On 22 July 1403, the day after the Battle of Shrewsbury, he was made a Knight of the Garter.
In the summer of 1404, he rode into what is today Monmouthshire at the head of an English force. Warwick engaged Welsh forces at the Battle of Mynydd Cwmdu, near Tretower Castle a few miles northwest of Crickhowell, nearly capturing Owain Glyndwr himself, taking Owain's banner, and forcing the Welsh to flee. The Welsh were chased down the valley of the River Usk where they regrouped and turned the tables on the pursuing English force, attempting an ambush. They chased the English in turn to the town walls of Monmouth after a skirmish at Craig-y-Dorth, a conical hill near Mitchel Troy.
Warwick acquired quite a reputation for chivalry, and when in 1408 he went on pilgrimage to the Holy Land, and was challenged many times to fight in the sporting combat which was then popular. On the return trip he went through Russia and Eastern Europe, not returning to England until 1410.
In 1410, he was appointed a member of the royal council, and two years later he was fighting in command at Calais. Up to this time Warwick's career had been that of the typical knight-errant, but in 1413 he was Lord High Steward at the Prince's coronation as Henry V of England, and became a trusted counsellor to the king. The following year he helped put down the Lollard uprising, and then went to Normandy as Captain of Calais, and represented England at the coronation of Sigismund as King of Germany and the Council of Constance.
Warwick spent much of the next decade fighting the French in the Hundred Years' War. He took a prominent part in the campaigns of 1417-18. Then he joined the king before Rouen, and in October 1418 had charge of the negotiations with the dauphin Louis and with the duke of Burgundy. Next year he was again the chief English spokesman in the conference at Meulan, and afterwards was Henry's representative in arranging the Treaty of Troyes. He held high command at sieges of French towns between 1420 and 1422.
Henry V's will gave Warwick the responsibility for the education of the infant Henry VI of England. This duty required him to travel back and forth between England and Normandy many times, and during these travels he acted as superintendent of the trial of Joan of Arc. In 1437, when the king's minority ended, the Royal Council deemed his duty complete. Despite his age, he loyally accepted an appointment as lieutenant of France and Normandy. Arriving in Normandy on 8 November, he ruled with vigour and remained in France for the remaining two years of his life.
Warwick first married Elizabeth de Berkeley (c. 1386 – 28 December 1422), before 5 October 1397, the daughter of Thomas de Berkeley, 5th Baron Berkeley and Margaret de Lisle, 3rd Baroness de Lisle. Together they had 3 daughters:
Warwick then married Lady Isabel le Despenser (26 July 1400 – 1439), the daughter of Thomas le Despenser, 1st Earl of Gloucester and Constance of York. With Isabel, who was also the widow of his first cousin, Richard de Beauchamp, 1st Earl of Worcester, his children were:
Richard de Beauchamp's will was made at Caversham Castle in Oxfordshire (now Berkshire), one of his favoured residences, in 1437. Most of his property was entailed, but with a portion of the rest the will established a substantial trust. After his debts were paid, the trust endowed the Collegiate Church of St Mary in Warwick, and called for the construction of a new chapel there. It also enlarged the endowment of the chantries at Elmley Castle and Guy's Cliffe, and gave a gift to Tewkesbury Abbey. Beauchamp died in Rouen, Normandy, two years later, on 30 April 1439. After the completion of the chapel, his body was transferred there (in 1475), where his magnificent gilt-bronze monumental effigy may still be seen.
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|Ancestors of Richard Beauchamp, 13th Earl of Warwick|