Jasper Tudor was born around November 1431 at the Bishop of Ely’s manor in Hatfield, Hertfordshire, second son of Owen Tudor and Catherine of Valois (widow of Henry V of England), and half-brother of Henry VI.
Following his mother’s death in January 1437 and the subsequent imprisonment of his father, Jasper was placed along with his elder brother Edmund in the care of Katherine de la Pole, a nun and sister of William de la Pole, 1st Duke of Suffolk, and this is where they stayed until 1442, when Henry VI started to take an interest in their upbringing.
Shortly after March 1442, both Jasper and Edmund were moved to live at court, where Henry oversaw both their education and military training.
Henry bestowed earldoms on each of the brothers, Jasper became the Earl of Pembroke in 1452 and a Knight of the Garter, and Edmund became the Earl of Richmond and they both swore steadfast loyalty to Henry VI.
Edmund married Margaret Beaufort in 1455, and following his death in November 1456, Jasper undertook the care of his thirteen year-old sister-in-law and her child (the future Henry VII) who was born shortly after at Pembroke Castle.
Jasper tried hard to unite the warring families of the Plantagenet dynasty, York and Lancaster, but his support and ties were with Henry VI and the family of Lancaster and living at Pembroke, he spent his time maintaining Lancastrian support in Wales.
Edward IV came to the throne in 1461, forcing Jasper into exile abroad. His lands were confiscated and passed to William Herbert, who also took the title of Earl of Pembroke along with the care of Margaret Beaufort and her son Henry.
Jasper’s loyalty to the Lancastrian cause continued and after returning from exile in 1468 he fought for Henry VI’s son, Edward of Lancaster to take the throne, however Edward of Lancaster died at the Battle of Tewkesbury in 1471.
Jasper was forced into exile again, but this time he took his nephew Henry Tudor with him.
Edward IV died in 1483 and was succeeded by his son Edward V. He was then deposed by his uncle who became Richard III.
Jasper Tudor returned from exile along with his nephew Henry Tudor, and they fought Richard III’s forces at the Battle of Bosworth Field in 1485, resulting in the death of Richard III. Henry Tudor now became Henry VII, largely due to his uncle Jasper.
Jasper was now restored to his lands and titles. He was also named Duke of Bedford.
Following the Battle of Bosworth Field, Jasper married Catherine Woodville on 7 November 1485.
Catherine outlived her husband, who died in December 1495. He is buried at Keynsham Abbey in Somerset.