Thomas de Beauchamp, 11th Earl of Warwick

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Thomas de Beauchamp, 11th Earl of Warwick, KG, third founder knight of the Order of the Garter, shown wearing his garter robes over his tunic showing the arms of Beauchamp quartering Newburgh. Illustration from the 1430 Bruges Garter Book made by William Bruges (1375–1450), first Garter King of Arms
Left: Arms of Beauchamp: Gules, a fesse between six crosses crosslet or; right: arms of Newburgh Earls of Warwick: Checky azure and or a chevron ermine

Thomas de Beauchamp, 11th Earl of Warwick, KG (c. 14 February 1313 – 13 November 1369) was an English nobleman and military commander during the Hundred Years' War. In 1348 he became one of the founders and the third Knight of the Order of the Garter.

Early life[edit]

Thomas de Beauchamp, 11th Earl of Warwick depicted in 1347 as one of the 8 mourners attached to the monumental brass of Sir Hugh Hastings (d. 1347) at St Mary's Church, Elsing, Norfolk. He displays the arms of Beauchamp on his tunic

Thomas de Beauchamp was born at Warwick Castle, Warwickshire, England to Guy de Beauchamp, 10th Earl of Warwick and Alice de Toeni. He served in Scotland frequently during the 1330s, being captain of the army against the Scots in 1337. He was hereditary High Sheriff of Worcestershire from 1333 until his death (in 1369). In 1344 he was also made High Sheriff of Warwickshire and Leicestershire for life.[citation needed]

Victor at Crécy and Poitiers[edit]

Left:Seal (obverse) of Thomas de Beauchamp, 11th Earl of Warwick, dated 1344: S(IGILLUM) THO(M)E COMITIS WARRWYCHIE ANNO REGNI REGIS E(DWARDII) TE(RT)II...(continued on counter-seal) ("Seal of Thomas, Count (Earl) of Warwick in the year of the reign of King Edward the Third..."). He displays on his surcoat, shield and horse's caparison the arms of Beauchamp, and carries on his helm as crest a swan's head and neck; right: Counter-seal/reverse: (legend continued from face of seal) ...POST CO(N)QUESTU(M) ANGLIE SEPTI(M)O DECIM(0) ET REGNI SUI FRANCIE QUARTO ("...after the Conquest of England the seventeenth and of his reign of the Kingdom of France the fourth"). This dates the seal to 1344. The arms are those of de Newburgh, the family of the Beaumont Earls of Warwick: Checky azure and or, a chevron ermine. This same display of double arms was used on the seal of his father Guy de Beauchamp, 10th Earl of Warwick on his seal affixed to the Barons' Letter, 1301

Warwick was Marshall of England from 1343/4 until 1369, and was one of the commanders at the great English victories at Crécy and Poitiers.

Thomas de Beauchamp fought in all the French wars of King Edward III; he commanded the center at the Battle of Crecy (where many of his relatives were killed including his younger half-brother Alan la Zouche de Mortimer). He was trusted to be guardian of the sixteen-year-old Black Prince. Beauchamp fought at Poitiers in 1356 and at the Siege of Calais (1346).

He began the rebuilding of the Collegiate Church of Saint Mary in Warwick using money received from the ransom of a French Archbishop. He died of plague in Calais on 13 November 1369 and was entombed in the Beauchamp Chapel. The chapel contains the finest example of the use of brisures for cadency in medieval heraldry -- seven different Beauchamp coats of arms.

Marriage and children[edit]

He married Katherine Mortimer, daughter of Roger Mortimer, 1st Earl of March. They had five sons and ten daughters:[1]

  • Thomas b. 16 Mar 1338 d. 8 Aug 1401, who married Margaret Ferrers and had descendants. His son Richard succeeded him as Earl and inherited most of his property.
  • Guy (d. 28 April 1360). He had two daughters who by entail were excluded from their grandfather's inheritance: Elizabeth (d. c.1369), and Katherine, who became a nun.
  • Reinbrun, (d. 1361); he was named for a character in Guy of Warwick.
  • William (c. 1343–1411), who inherited the honour of Abergavenny. Married Joan FitzAlan.
  • Roger (d. 1361)
  • Maud (d. 1403), who married Roger de Clifford, 5th Baron de Clifford.
  • Philippa de Beauchamp who married Hugh de Stafford, 2nd Earl of Stafford.
  • Alice (d. 1383), who married first John Beauchamp, 3rd Baron Beauchamp and then Sir Matthew Gournay.
  • Joan, who married Ralph Basset, 4th Baron Basset de Drayton.
  • Isabell (d. 1416) who married first John le Strange, 5th Baron Strange, and then to William de Ufford, 2nd Earl of Suffolk. After the latter's death she became a nun.
  • Margaret, who married Guy de Montfort and after his death became a nun.
  • Elizabeth, married Thomas de Ufford, KG
  • Anne, married Walter de Cokesey
  • Juliana
  • Katherine, became a nun at Shouldham

Catherine Montacute, Countess of Salisbury was not his daughter, although she is presented as such in William Painter's Palace of Pleasure and in the Elizabethan play, Edward III that may be by William Shakespeare.


Left: Thomas de Beauchamp, 11th Earl of Warwick & Katherine Mortimer effigies in Warwick St. Mary’s church; right: Drawing of effigies of Thomas de Beauchamp, 11th Earl of Warwick & Katherine Mortimer in Warwick St. Mary’s church
The stained glass at the Beauchamp Chapel at the College Church of St. Marys displays seven different Beauchamp coats of arms. Note the banner with Warwick's arms partially in view on the right.


  1. ^ Douglas Richardson, Kimball G. Everingham, Magna Carta Ancestry: A Study in Colonial and Medieval Families, p. 56


  • Tuck, Anthony (2004). "Beauchamp, Thomas de, eleventh earl of Warwick (1313/14–1369)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Press. 

External links[edit]

Peerage of England
Preceded by
Guy de Beauchamp
Earl of Warwick
Succeeded by
Thomas de Beauchamp