Royal_Coat_of_Arms_of_England_(1399-1603

Kings & Queens of England

1485-1707

The Tudors descended in the female line from John Beaufort, one of the illegitimate children of John of Gaunt (third surviving son of Edward III), by Gaunt's long-term mistress Katherine Swynford.

 

Those descended from English monarchs only through an illegitimate child would normally have no claim on the throne, but the situation was complicated when Gaunt & Swynford eventually married in 1396 (25 years after John Beaufort's birth). In view of the marriage, the church retroactively declared the Beauforts legitimate via a papal bull the same year, & Parliament did the same in an Act in 1397. A s