The Medieval Combat Society

Home Events Join Us Book Us About
Gallery History Heraldry Links For Kids

Historical Information

Isabel Plantagenet, Countess of Bedford 1332-1379

Also known as Isabelle

Born: 16 June 1332, Woodstock Palace, Oxfordshire, England

Died: 4 May 1379, Newgate, Middlesex, England

Buried: Greyfriars Church, Newgate, London, Middlesex, England

Parents: Edward III (born 13 November 1312, Windsor Castle, Berkshire, christened 16 November 1312, Royal Chapel Windsor, Windsor Castle, Berkshire, died 21 June 1377, Sheen Palace, Richmond, Surrey, buried Westminster Abbey, Middlesex) married (24 January 1328 at York Minster, Yorkshire) Phillipa of Hainault (born 24 June 1311, Valenciennes, died 14 August 1369, Windsor Castle, Windsor, Berkshire, England. Died of the Plague, buried Westminster Abbey, London)


Prince Edward "The Black Prince" Plantagenet of Wales (15 June 1330, Woodstock Palace, Oxfordshire, 8 June 1376, Westminster Palace, Middlesex, 29 September 1376, Canterbury Cathedral, Kent) married: (10 October 1361 at the Royal Chapel of St George at Windsor Castle, Berkshire) Joan "Fair Maid of Kent" (Born 29 September 1328, died 8 August 1385, Wallingford Castle, Buried Stamford, Lincolnshire, buried Grey Friars Minor, Stamford, Lincolnshire) Joan had previously married 1: William Montacute Earl of Salisbury (born 20 June 1328, Donyatt, Somerset, died 3 June1397) Joan had previously married 2: Thomas de Holland Earl of Kent (born 1314, died 26 December 1360, Normandy)

Joan (Joanna) Plantagenet of England (born February 1335 Woodstock Palace, Oxfordshire, England, died 2 September 1348 Bordeaux, Aquitaine, France, died of the Bubonic Plague, buried Bayonne Cathedral, Gascony, France) Never married

William Plantagenet (born 16 February 1336 Hatfield, Hertfordshire, England, died before 3 March 1337, buried York Minster, York, England)

Lionel "Of Antwerp" Plantagenet Duke of Clarence (born 29 November 1338 Antwerp, Antwerp Belgium, died 17 October 1368 Alba, Cuneo, Italy, buried in Clare, Suffolk, England) married 1: (15 August 1342 / 9 Sep 1342, Tower of London, London, Middlesex, England) Elizabeth de Burgh Countess of Ulster (born 7 June 1332, Carrickfergus, Ulster, died 12 October 1363, Dublin, Ireland, buried Clare Priory, Essex), daughter of William de Burgh Earl of Ulster (born 1312, died 1333, Murdered at Le Ford, Belfast) married Maud (died 1377, Bruisyard Abbey, Suffolk) she later married Ralph de Ufford (died 9 April 1346, Kilmainham, Ireland) married 2: (28 May/5 June 1368, Church of St Maria Maggiore, Milano, Italy) Violante Visconti (born 1353, Milano, Italy, died November 1382/6, Pavia, Italy)

Prince John "Of Gaunt" Plantagenet Earl of Richmond, 1st Duke of Lancaster (born 24 June 1340 St Bavon Abbey, Gand (Ghent), Flandre-Orientale (Belgium), died 3 February 1398 Leicester Castle, England, buried 15 March 1399 St. Paul's Cathedral, London, Middlesex, England) married 1: (19 May 1359) Blanche Plantagenet daughter of Henry Plantagenet (born March 25 1345, died 12 September 1369 married 2: Constance, elder daughter of Pedro the Cruel, King of Castile and Leon. (died 1394) married 3: Catherine Roet, daughter of Sir Payne Roet and widow of Sir Hugh Swynford

Edmund Plantagenet Duke of York (born 5 June 1341 King's Langley, Hertfordshire, England, died 1 August 1402 Langley, Hertfordshire, England) married 1: (1 January 1370/1371) Isabel Perez married 2: (4 November 1393) Joan Holland

Blanche Plantagenet (born March 1342 Tower Of London, London, Middlesex, England, died March 1342 Tower of London)

Mary Plantagenet, Duchess of Brittany (born 10 October 1344 Bishops Waltham, Hampshire, England, died 1361/62, buried Abingdon Abbey, Berkshire, England) married (1361, Woodstock Palace, Oxfordshire, England) Jean Montfort. Duke of Brittany

Margaret Plantagenet Countess Of Pembroke (born 20 July 1346 Windsor Castle, Berkshire, England, died after 1 October 1361, buried Abingdon Abbey, Abingdon, Berkshire, England) married (19 May 1359 Reading Abbey, Reading, Berkshire, England) John Hastings (born 29 August 1347, Sutton Valence, died 16 April 1375, Picardy, France, buried 28 April 1376 Friars Preachers, Hereford, Herefordshire, England)

Thomas Plantagenet (born 1347)

William Plantagenet (born before 24 June 1348 Windsor Castle, Berkshire, England, buried 5 September 1348)

Thomas Plantagenet Duke Of Gloucester (born about 7 January 1354 Palace, Woodstock, Oxfordshire, England, died (murdered) 9 September 1397 Calais, Pas-De-Calais, France, buried St Edmund's, Westminster, Middlesex, England) married (24 August 1376) Eleanor de Bohun (Alianore), Duchess of Gloucester, (born 1366, died 3 October 1399, Minories Convent, Aldgate, London) daughter of Humphrey de Bohun Earl of Hereford (born 1342, died 1373) married Joan FitzAlan (died 1419)

Joan Plantagenet

Associated with: Alice Perrers

John De Southeray (born about 1364, Acceded 1377, died after 1383) married Matilda Percy

Joan Plantagenet married Robert Skerne

Jane Plantagenet married Richard Northland

Associated with: Unknown

Nicholas Lytlington, Abbot of Westminster (died 1386) Never claimed to be a kings son

Married: 27 July 1365, Windsor Castle, Windsor, Berkshire, England

Spouse: Enguerrand/Engeran Le Brun VII De Coucy, 7th Earl of Bedford. (born 1339, died 18 February 1397, Bursa, Anatolia)


Isabel de Coucy (died 1411)

Mary/Marie de Couci (born April 1366 Coucy-Le-Chateau, Aisne, France, died 1404) married Robert (Henry) De Barr, Marquess Pont-â-Mousson, Duke of Bar

Phillippa de Couci (born before 18 April 1367 Eltham, Kent, England, died October 1411) married Robert de Vere Earl of Oxford, Duke of Ireland, Marquess of Dublin (born 16 January 1362, died 1392), Robert divorced Phillippa and later married his mistress Agnes de Lancerone

Heraldic Coat of Arms:

Lady of the Garter 1376

Princess Isabella was described as over-indulged, wilfull and wildly extravagant. As a baby she had a gilded and crested cradle lined with taffeta, and a cover made of 670 skins. Her governess at an early age was the Lady Elizabeth, wife of William Saint-Omer, Steward of the Prince's household, and Joanna Gaunbun a personal rocker, who was paid the huge sum of £10 per year. For her first reception after her birth she was made a robe of Lucca silk with 4 rows of garnitures edged with fur. At the age of 3 Isabel was betrothed to Pedro of Castile, later Pedro the Cruel, but negotiations fell through later her sister Joanna was betrothed to Pedro, but died of the plague on her way to marry him at Bordeaux in 1348. Isabella and her sister Joanna were led of their Palfreys by valets at the bridle from London to Westminster where their almoners walked alongside distributing alms to the poor. When Isabella was 10 and Joanna 9 they attended a tournament and for 9 days 18 workmen were employed to embroider their robes using 11 ounces of gold leaf. At the age of 12 Isabella had 7 ladies in waiting and Joanna 3.

Edward negotiated for Isabella next to marry the son of the Duke of Brabant but this fell through. In early March 1347 Edward III wanted an alliance with Flanders, and traveled with with Phillipa and Isabel from England to Calais and then to Flanders where Isabel was betrothed to the 15 year old Count Louis de Male of Flanders, and the marriage date was set at the 1st week in April. However the bridegroom did not want the marriage, his father having been killed by the English at Crécy, and he was held in 'Courteous Prison' until he agreed to the marriage. Louis fled while out hawking, the week before the marriage and went straight to king Philip IV of France, who was overjoyed to see him and had him immediately engaged to marry Margaret of Brabant, daughter of the Duke of Brabant. According to Jean de Venette a song was written and sung across France "j'ay failli à celai à qui je estoie donée par amour" (I have lost him whose love I was given to be). In 1349 Edward III attempted but failed to bring a match for Isabella with Charles IV of Bohemia who was a widower and had been elected but not yet consecrated emperor.

In 1349 Isabella and her 7 ladies in waiting traveled to a tournament at Canterbury and because of the plague they wore masks. However Lady de Throxford the favourite lady in waiting of Isabella died of the plague. Isabel was at the Order of the Garter celebrations on 23 April 1349, although the black death was sweeping through England. In 1349 she was betrothed to Charles IV of Bohemia but the marriage did not take place and in 1351, at the age of 19 it was arranged on 1 May 1351 for her to marry Bernard d'Albret, son of Bernard-Ezii, Sire d'Albret, a lord of Gascony and Edward's lieutenant there. For the marriage Edward granted her an annual revenue of £1000. Among the trousseau (possessions, such as clothing and linens, that a bride assembles for her marriage), were a mantle of Indian silk lined in ermine and embroidered all over with leaves, doves, bears and other devices in silver and gold, robes of cloth and gold and Tripoli silk and a crimson velvet robe that took 13 days work from 20 men and 9 women. Gifts included 119 Chaplets (wreath or garland for the head) made of silk entwined with pearls and surmounted by a golden Agnus Dei standing on a green velvet band wrought with flowers and leaves. On 15 November 1351, 5 ships were ready to take her to Gascony but she changed her mind before boarding ship and returned to London.

Edward III gave Isabella many gifts and when she fell into debt, paid of all her owed money. In 1355 Edward III granted Isabella the custody of the Priory at Burstall, Yorkshire and in 1358 gave her an income of 1000 marks per year. In 1364 Edward III gave Isabella the wardship of Edmund Mortimer, Earl of March which she sold back to the Earl's mother for £1000 per year. Isabel finally married in 1365 Enguerrand d'Coucy. On her wedding day she wore jewels given to her by the royal family which cost £2,370 13s 4d. Her dowry was increased to an annual sum of £4,000. In November 1365 they travelled to France, and Isabella was pregnant with their first child, who was born in Coucy in April 1365. Isabella travelled back to England in May 1365. On 11 May 1366 Edward III announced thrugh the Chancellor in Parliament that he granted Enguerrand the title Earl of Bedford, and Isabella became the Countess of Bedford. Around this time Isabella was granted an additional annual income of £200. Edward III also paid for some of her debts she had accumulated. Isabella returned to France with her husband and 2 daughters in July 1367.

Enguerrand attended on 19 June 1369 in Ghent the marriage of Philip, the son of Charles V, king of Marguerite of Flanders, daughter of Louis de Male Count of Flanders, who had run away from marriage to Isabella in 1347. Enguerrand entered Alsace in September 1369 with a small body of knights and around this time Isabella returned to England, her mother Queen Philippa of Hainault having died on 14 August 1369 from the plague.

In December 1375 Isabella had her expenses and debts paid by Edward III. Isabella also asked for the pardon of 3 criminals, one whom jad been arrested for breach of the peace in killing the servant of another man. Edward III gave Isabella a scarlet hooded robe in the style of the Order of the Garter, with fur on the hood and sleeves and turned up with ermine.Isabella was given another for St Georges day as well as her daughter Philippa. 8 year old Philippa had been betrothed at the age of 4 to Robert de Vere, 9th Earl of Oxford, and she had been given the title Countess of Oxford. At the end of December 1375 Edward III gave his daughter a set of chapel furnishings and a red velvet saddle embroided with gold violets, and a second ornamented with suns of gold and copper. Isabella hunted at Windsor and took part in archery with 12 ladies, and each was given an ornamental bow by Edward III. Isabella returned to France in January 1376 when Enguerrand returned from Aargau.

In April 1376 Enguerrand and Isabella returned to England. Enguerrand returned to France in the Summer or Autumn of 1376 and around this time Isabella's daughter Marie joined the dauphin at the French court and had her education under the Frech Queen. In April 1377 Isabella was summoned by cousins on business of extreme urgency to return to England and was said to be at her fathers side when he died.

On August 26 Enguerrand wrote to Richard II stating that he would be serving under the king of France and that he was stepping down from The order of the Garter. As a result he lost his English estates, a trustee being appointed to look after them. It also meant a split with his wife Isabella who returned to England to live with her daughter Philippa who was already in England, the eldest, Marie remained in France.

Isabella died in unknown cicumstances in April 1379 and all her lands and her husband Enguerrand's lands in England passed to their daughter Phillipa.

Medieval Combat Society re-enactment©2003 The Medieval Combat Society

Home EventsJoin UsBook UsAboutGalleryHistoryHeraldryLinksFor Kids Mediaeval Combat Society