The sermon which John Fisher preached at the month's mind of Lady Margaret Beaufort, on 29 July 1509, compared her with Martha, traditionally the woman of action and counterpart of Mary, the woman of contemplation. The virtues he stressed, in addition to nobility of character and lineage, were those of good order: the disciplining of Lady Margaret's body and manner of life through prayer and abstinence, her hospitality and charitable dealings with her neigh-bours. The bishop saw discipline also as the mark of her household: statutes for its government were read four times a year, her servants well cared for, her almsfolk regularly supported. Whenever factions arose among her servants she applied herself with great skill to keeping the peace and finding a solution to controversy. Fisher's account has recently been compared by Retha Warnicke with other memories of her household recorded by Henry Parker, Lord Morley. The same elements are found in both descriptions, but Morley complements Fisher's portrait of charity and able household management with a spectacle of splendid conviviality worthy of the great ladies of the past, Queen Elfleda and Matilda, wife of Henry 1. Morley's memories of the household he entered in the early 1490s are not all contemporary with Fisher's who did not become Lady Margaret's confessor until 1498 or later, and the bishop allocates more of her day to religious observance. But whether her piety grew more exacting and intense in her last decade, or was simply more closely observed by her confessor, she remained until her death the centre of a network of patronage and influence in which she took an active part. Her household was a society with many facets, defined not merely by the austere and charitable practices of its head, but by her importance as a tenant-in-chief of the Crown and mother of the king. It was the combination of all these elements that placed her so high in contemporary estimation. This article explores the life of her household not only as the home of works of charity and a pattern of worship whose special feature was devotion to the Name of Jesus, but also as a centre of justice and regional influence and as a source of support for the activities of the Crown.