1374 – Birth of Henry Beaufort, the cardinal and bishop of Winchester and a dominant figure in English politics throughout the first 43 years of the 15th century.
1397-1398 – During the reign of his cousin King Richard II, he became chancellor of Oxford University and bishop of Lincoln.
1403 – He became chancellor of England and a royal councilor.
1404 – He resigned and was appointed bishop of Winchester, one of the richest sees in the country.
1411-1412 – Bishop Beaufort was in political disgrace for siding with his nephew, the Prince of Wales.
1413 – When Beaufort’s nephew and political ally became king as Henry V, Beaufort again received the chancellorship.
1417 – Pope Martin V made him a cardinal and papal legate, but the king, fearing that Beaufort would be an all too effective spokesman for papal policies, soon forced him to resign these ecclesiastical offices.
1422 – Beaufort’s talents were allowed to flourish. Already wealthy, he enriched himself further by lending money to the insolvent crown at high interest rates. Beaufort’s financing of the state solidifed his power.
1426 – Beaufort was made cardinal of St. Eusebius and papal legate, a move for which he was continually attacked by his uncle, Humphrey, duke of Gloucester, who criticized him for simultaneously holding high positions in church and state.
– He was forced to resign as chancellor.
1427 – Pope made him a cardinal and made him Papal Legate for Germany, Hungary, and Bohemia.
1435 – He controlled the government of the weak King Henry VI.
– He attempted without success to negotiate an end to the Hundred Years’ War between England and France.
1443 – He retired from politics.
1447 – Died on April 11th in Winchester, Hampshire, England.
– Beaufort was arrogant, self-serving, and greedy to the point of rapacity, but his political and financial acumen were unrivaled in the England of his time.