The Cambridge Queen: Lady Margaret Beaufort, Countess of Richmond and Derby.
Lady Margaret Beaufort, mother of King Henry VII, was an ardent supporter of education. She founded two colleges in Cambridge: in 1505, the former Godshouse College was refounded and enlarged as Christ´s College, and in 1511, St. John´s College was completed after her death. In both Cambridge and Oxford she established the “Lady Margaret Professorship of Divinity.” It is the oldest professorship at the University of Cambridge. Lady Margaret Hall, the first women’s college in Oxford (founded 1878), was named after her in recognition of her legacy in education.
The figurine of Lady Margaret in the Oxbridge Chess Set references a statue located in the first courtyard of St. John´s College above the west gate. St. John´s is the 13th oldest college in Cambridge, built on the site of the ancient 13th century Hospital of St John. The chapel on the north side of the first court, finished 1869, is the tallest building in Cambridge (50m/163ft).
Several Nobel Prize winners, Prime ministers, and archbishops have been educated at St. John´s. It is also one of the three “royal” colleges in Cambridge; most recently Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, attended St. John´s in 2014.
The reference photo of the original statue of Lady Margaret is used by permission of the Master and Fellows of St John’s College, Cambridge.