Joan (Beaufort) de Neville LG

Joan (Beaufort) de Neville LG (1379 - 1440)

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Joan "Countess of Westmorland" de Neville LG formerly Beaufort aka de Ferrers
Born [location unknown]
Ancestors ancestors
Wife of — married before [location unknown]
Wife of — married before [location unknown]
Descendants descendants
Died in Howden, Humberside, East Riding, Yorkshire, Englandmap
Profile last modified | Created 22 Feb 2010
This page has been accessed 20,443 times.
British Aristocracy
Joan (Beaufort) de Neville LG was a member of aristocracy in the British Isles.
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Joan Beaufort, Countess of Westmorland (c. 1379 – 13 November 1440) was the fourth of the four illegitimate children (and only daughter) of John of Gaunt, 1st Duke of Lancaster, and his mistress, later wife, Katherine Swynford; and, in her widowhood, a powerful landowner in the North of England.

Early life and marriages

She was probably born at the Swynford manor of Kettlethorpe in Lincolnshire. Her surname probably reflects her father's lordship of Beaufort in Champagne, France, where she might also have been born. In 1391, at the age of twelve, Joan married at Beaufort-en-Vallée, Anjou, Robert Ferrers, 5th Baron Boteler of Wem, and they had two daughters before he died in about 1395.


Along with her three brothers, Joan had been privately declared legitimate by their cousin Richard II of England in 1390. Her parents were married in Lincoln Cathedral in February 1396. Joan was already an adult when she was legitimized by the marriage of her mother and father with papal approval. The Beauforts were later barred from inheriting the throne by a clause inserted into the legitimation act by their half-brother, Henry IV of England, although it is not clear that Henry IV possessed sufficient authority to alter an existing parliamentary statute by himself, without the further approval of Parliament. Soon after the legitimation, on 3 February 1397, when she was eighteen, Joan married Ralph de Neville, 1st Earl of Westmorland, who had also been married once before.


When Ralph de Neville died in 1425, his lands and titles should, by law of rights, have passed on to his grandson through his first marriage, another Ralph Neville. Instead, while the title of Earl of Westmorland and several manors were passed to Ralph, the bulk of his rich estate went to his wife, Joan Beaufort. Although this may have been done to ensure that his widow was well provided for, by doing this Ralph essentially split his family into two and the result was years of bitter conflict between Joan and her stepchildren who fiercely contested her acquisition of their father's lands. Joan however, with her royal blood and connections, was far too powerful to be called to account, and the senior branch of the Nevilles received little redress for their grievances. Inevitably, when Joan died, the lands would be inherited by her own children.


Death: Joan died on 13 November 1440 at Howden in Yorkshire. [1]


Rather than be buried with her husband Ralph (who was not buried with his first wife, though his monument has effigies of himself and his two wives) she was entombed next to her mother in the magnificent sanctuary of Lincoln Cathedral, Lincolnshire - known in full as The Cathedral Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Lincoln or sometimes St. Mary's Cathedral. Joan's is the smaller of the two tombs; both were decorated with brass plates – full-length representations of them on the tops, and small shields bearing coats of arms around the sides — but those were damaged or destroyed in 1644 by Roundheads during the English Civil War. A 1640 drawing of them survives, showing what the tombs looked like when they were intact, and side-by-side instead of end-to-end, as they are now.

Source: Wikipedia


  1. Magna Carta Ancestry: A Study in Colonial and Medieval Families, vol III, page 246
  • Royal Ancestry 2013 D. Richardson Vol. III p. 492, 500
  • Royal Ancestry 2013 D. Richardson Vol. IV p. 233
  • Magna Carta Ancestry 2011 2nd ed. Vol. III p. 246-247
  • Royal Ancestry by Douglas Richardson Vol. V. page 340
See also:
  • Royalty for Commoners, Roderick W. Stuart, Royalty for Commoners: The Complete Known Lineage of John of Gaunt, Son of Edward III, King of England, and Queen Phillipa, fourth edition (Baltimore, Maryland: Genealogical Publishing Company, 2002), .
  • Americans of Royal Descent by Charles H. Browning, Page 668 1891, Porter & Coates, Philadelphia, PA

Note: Profile for Havisia (Neville) Heslarton was detached as her daughter (by Ralph) for lack of support.

This page has been edited according to January 2014 Style Standards.
See the Changes tab for descriptions of imported gedcoms.

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It may be possible to confirm family relationships with Joan by comparing test results with other carriers of her mitochondrial DNA. Mitochondrial DNA test-takers in the direct maternal line:

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Images: 2
Joan Neville's Tomb
Joan Neville's Tomb

Joan de Neville Image 2
Joan de Neville Image 2


On 10 Dec 2017 at 04:26 GMT David Clounch wrote:

According to wikitree "Joan is the 18th great grandmother of David" (me).

My gedmatch kit is M333884 if anybody would like to compare au just for grins. I have found 10 people in this trail that I share small amounts of au DNA with. People say DNA only matches 3 generations back, but they are not talking about triangulation within genealogical time. It is worth looking at matches just to gather data on triangulation within family groups. Please message me upon findig anything interesting. Thanks.

On 5 Apr 2017 at 00:41 GMT Andrea (Stawski) Pack wrote:

Joan is my Walter Pack-530 18th great great grandmother

On 4 Mar 2016 at 07:46 GMT L Randolph wrote:

She's my 20th great great grandma

On 13 Mar 2015 at 02:01 GMT Linda Plummer wrote:

Joan Neville is my 17th ggm

On 1 Jul 2014 at 23:58 GMT Darrell Parker wrote:

Beaufort-1 and Beaufort-290 appear to represent the same person because: same dob, death, spouse

On 28 Sep 2013 at 20:44 GMT Mark Gash wrote:

Joan Neville is the great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-grandmother of Mark Gash.

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Joan is 13 degrees from Meriwether Lewis, 19 degrees from Alex Stronach and 4 degrees from Henry VIII of England on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.

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