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Margaret Beaufort

1443-1509. English patroness of learning. Countess of Richmond and Derby, she was born at Bletsoe, daughter of the duke of Somerset, and was married four times. She helped Henry VII gain the throne and arranged his marriage. Guided by her confessor, John Fisher, she founded the Lady Margaret professorships of divinity in Oxford (1502) and Cambridge (1503), a preachership at Cambridge, and Christ's and St. John's Colleges, Cambridge.