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Thomas Beauchamp, 12th Earl of Warwick

Thomas de Beauchamp, 12th Earl of Warwick, KG (16 March 1338 – 8 April 1401[1]) was an English medieval nobleman and one of the primary opponents of Richard II.

Thomas de Beauchamp
Sir Thomas de Beauchamp, 12th Earl of Warwick, KG.png
Arms of Sir Thomas Beauchamp, 12th Earl of Warwick, KG. Gules, a fesse between six crosses crosslet or
Born16 March 1338
Died8 April 1401(1401-04-08) (aged 63)
TitleThe Earl of Warwick
PredecessorThomas de Beauchamp, 11th Earl of Warwick
SuccessorRichard de Beauchamp, 13th Earl of Warwick
Spouse(s)Margaret Ferrers
IssueRichard Beauchamp, 13th Earl of Warwick[1]
Lady Katherine Beauchamp[1]
Lady Margaret Beauchamp[1]


Birth and MarriageEdit

He was the son of Thomas de Beauchamp, 11th Earl of Warwick and Katherine Mortimer,[2] a daughter of Roger Mortimer, 1st Earl of March, and succeeded his father in 1369. He married Margaret Ferrers, daughter of Sir William Ferrers, 3rd Baron Ferrers of Groby and Margaret d'Ufford, daughter of Robert d'Ufford, 1st Earl of Suffolk.[3]

Royal ServiceEdit

Seal of Thomas de Beauchamp, 12th Earl of Warwick

Knighted around 1355,[2] Beauchamp accompanied John of Gaunt in campaigns in France in 1373, and around that time was made a Knight of the Garter. In the parliaments of 1376 and 1377 he was one of those appointed to supervise reform of King Richard II's government. When these were not as effective as hoped, Beauchamp was made Governor over the King.[4] In 1377, or 1378, he granted the manors of Croome Adam (now Earls Croome) in Worcestershire and Grafton Flyford in Warwickshire to Henry de Ardern for a red rose.[5] Between 1377 and 1378 he was appointed Admiral of the North. Beauchamp brought a large contingent of soldiers and archers to King Richard's Scottish campaign of 1385.

Conflict with King Richard IIEdit

In 1387 he was one of the Lords Appellant, who endeavored to separate Richard from his favorites. After Richard regained power, Beauchamp retired to his estates, but was invited to London on a ruse in 1397 and charged with high treason, supposedly as a part of the Earl of Arundel's alleged conspiracy. He was imprisoned in the Tower of London (in what is now known as the "Beauchamp Tower"), pleaded guilty and threw himself on the mercy of the king. He forfeited his estates and titles, and was sentenced to life imprisonment on the Isle of Man. The next year, however, he was moved back to the Tower, until he was released in August 1399 after Henry Bolingbroke's initial victories over King Richard II.[4]

Restored by Henry IVEdit

After Bolingbroke deposed Richard and became king as Henry IV, Beauchamp was restored to his titles and estates. He was one of those who urged the new King to murder Richard[citation needed], and accompanied King Henry against the rebellion of 1400.


Monumental effigies of Thomas de Beauchamp, 12th Earl of Warwick, and his wife

Beauchamp died in 1401 (sources differ as to whether on 8 April[6] or 8 August).[7]


He was succeeded by his son, Richard de Beauchamp, 13th Earl of Warwick.



  1. ^ a b c d Douglas Richardson. Plantagenet Ancestry: A Study In Colonial And Medieval Families, 2nd Edition, 2011. pg 197-8.
  2. ^ a b Goodman 1971, p. 1.
  3. ^ Gundy 2013, p. 41.
  4. ^ a b Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Warwick, Earls of" . Encyclopædia Britannica. 28 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 338.
  5. ^ Driver, J. T. Worcestershire Knights of the Shire 1377-1421 Transactions of the Worcestershire Archaeological Society. Third Series Vol 4 1974 p19
  6. ^ Goodman 1971, p. 72.
  7. ^ 'Calendar Inquisitions Post Mortem' ed. JL Kirkby, XVIII, pp.159-167 (HMSO, 1987).


External linksEdit