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David Ford, History EditorTours > Winchester Cathedral

Tour the Winchester Cathedral
by David Nash Ford BA, Editor, History on Britannia

Cardinal Beaufort's Chantry

Cardinal Beaufort was one of the most powerful of the Bishops of Winchester. Appointed in 1404, he held the See until his death at Old Wolsey Castle, forty-three years later. During this time he was highly embroiled in the political infighting during the reigns of three English monarchs. He was a favourite advisor of his half-nephew, King Henry V; but during the rule of the latter's young son, he was continually at logger heads with the Duke of Gloucester. He was able, however, to wield power four number of times as Lord Chancellor of England.

Upon his death, Beaufort was buried in a fine, many-pinnacled chantry chapel in the retrochoir of Winchester Cathedral. He left great sums of money to this church which was used to build the great screen behind the high altar. Even after death, his influence was so great that St. Swithun's Shrine was moved to a place adjoining his final resting-place. One of Beaufort's claims to fame is for his condemnation to death of Joan of Arc. After her canonization in 1923, a statue of her was placed opposite his tomb.

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