Who Was … Jasper Tudor, 1st Duke of Bedford?

Jasper Tudor was brother-in-law to Margaret Beaufort, and thus uncle to Henry VII, founder of the Tudor dynasty. He was the son of Catherine of Valois and her second husband, Owen Tudor. It has been suggested that Jasper was in fact in love with his sister-in-law, Margaret, and would have liked to marry her after his brother’s death. Jasper accompanied Henry VII into exile in France in 1471 after Henry VI’s death and Edward IV’s seizure of the throne.

Name: Jasper Tudor

Title/s: Earl of Pembroke / Duke of Bedford

Birth: c. November 1431 at Hatfield, Hertfordshire, England

Death: 21 December 1495 at Thornbury Castle, Gloucestershire, England

Buried: Keynsham Abbey, Somerset, England

Spouse: Catherine Woodville c.1458-1497

Children: None

Parents: Owen Tudor c.1400-1461 & Catherine of Valois 1401-1437

Siblings: Edmund Earl of Richmond 1430-1456 / Edward ?-?

Noble Connections: Jasper Tudor was a half-brother to Henry VI, as a son of Catherine of Valois from her second marriage, as well as being uncle to Henry VII, and brother-in-law to Margaret Beaufort. His mother-in-law was Jacquetta of Luxembourg and his sister-in-law was Elizabeth Woodville.

Controversy: It has been suggested that Jasper Tudor and Margaret Beaufort (his sister-in-law) were in love with each other, and this concept is used in the likes of Philippa Gregory’s The Red Queen and The White Princess.

Works of Fiction:

  • Judith Arnopp, The Beaufort Bride (2015)
  • Philippa Gregory, The Red Queen (2010)
  • Tony Riches, Jasper (2016)

Portrayals on Screen:

  • Brian Badcoe, The Shadow of the Tower, 1972, 5 episodes
  • Rob Edwards, The Life of Henry the Fifth, 1979, directed by David Giles
  • Tom McKay, The White Queen, 2013, 8 episodes
  • Vincent Regan, The White Princess, 2017, 6 episodes

Further Reading:

  • Debra Bayani, Jasper Tudor: Godfather to the Tudor Dynasty (2015)
  • Terry Breverton, Jasper Tudor: Dynasty Maker (2015)
  • Joanna Hickson, First of the Tudors (2016)
  • Sara Elin Roberts, Jasper: the Tudor Kingmaker (2015)
  • Arms of Jasper Tudor

3 thoughts on “Who Was … Jasper Tudor, 1st Duke of Bedford?

  1. How fascinating I have often wondered about the early Tudors. I must get my history books out and have a good study. Thanks for posting. Inspiring!


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