Commemoration Event


Celebrating the Life of Lady Margaret Beaufort

Foundress of Christ’s College,

Saturday 27 June 2009  

On 27 June 2009 Christ’s College celebrated the life and generosity of Lady Margaret Beaufort, who died 500 years ago, almost to the day. Her extraordinary life, spanning seven decades of the most turbulent period of late medieval English history, culminated in the accession of her son as Henry VII , the first of the Tudor monarchs. Her great personal wealth was then put to good use – founding professorships in both
, supporting the development of printing, newly arrived in
and, in 1505, re-founding the impoverished God’s House as Christ’s College. Her generosity laid the foundation for the continuing success of our College, helping it to maintain and develop the quality and range of its education.

We were delighted to welcome Dr David Starkey, Dr Francis Woodman, Professor Lisa Jardine, Dr Charles Saumarez Smith, Miss Penelope Keith, Professor Quentin Skinner, Professor
David Reynolds and Professor Geoffrey Martin, on this day of celebration. These experts talked about Lady Margaret’s family background, her portraits, her political significance, her sponsorship of printing, the founding of the College, her gifts and benefactions and her personal writings and beliefs. There were displays of period plate, archives and rare books, as well as tours of the older College buildings and entertainment with period music and readings.

 After the exciting programme of talks, tours and performance, guests were invited to join members of College and others at a Solemn Evensong and Liturgy of Commemoration in the Chapel where the preacher was Professor Eamon Duffy. A commemorative banquet followed in the Great Hall, where guests were delighted to hear Quentin Skinner speak, and more wonderful music from the Chapel Choir.

In the spirit of Lady Margaret’s foundation, and of the many subsequent benefactors who have enabled the College to survive and flourish, guests were invited to follow in her generous footsteps by supporting a fund for a College teaching fellowship in history. I am pleased to report that to date over £31,000 has been raised towards this endowment. This is a promising start indeed, and the fund remains open. For more information on how to make a contribution, please contact Alex Cullen in the Development Office.

We have kept a photographic record of this special day, and audio recordings of the events in the theatre which provide a permanent resource for students interested in early Tudor history. 



Maintained by Alan Winter | Last updated Fri, 5 Jul 2013 - 3:23pm