In an early book on Lydgate, Derek Pearsall was dismissive of Lydgate’s verse legend of Saint Margaret of Antioch. While perhaps of limited literary interest, the poem merits some claim to attention in its occurrence in the Devonshire Chaucer (New Haven, Yale Beinecke Library MS Takamiya 24). There it is paired with the Canterbury Tales in a context that has led to the suggestion that the manuscript might be the Canterbury Tales bequeathed by Lady Margaret Beaufort (1443–1509), Countess of Richmond and Derby, and mother of Henry VII, to her nephew of the half-blood, John St. John. This article refines the argument and offers an explanation for its early provenance in the Knyvett family. It explores the circumstances of the commissioning of Lydgate’s poem, and the context in which it might have circulated singly and been selected for adding to a manuscript of the Canterbury Tales, a context that reveals a network of family connections—Staffords, Hollands, Beauchamps, Beauforts, Knyvetts, and Bourchiers.

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