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John Plantagenet of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster, Earl of Richmond, Earl of Derby, King of Castille and Leon, Sheriff of Lancashire, 1340-1399

Born: March 1340, St Bavon's Abbey, Ghent, Flanders

Died: 3 February 1399, Leicester Castle, Leicestershire, England

Buried: 15 March 1399, Old St.Paul's Cathedral, London, 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)

Siblings:

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)

Princess Isabel Plantagenet of England, Countess of Bedford, (born 16 June 1332 Palace,Woodstock, Oxfordshire, England, died before 4 May 1379 Grey Friars, Newgate, Middlesex, England. buried Grey Friars, Newgate, Middlesex, England) married: (27 July 1365, Windsor Castle, Windsor, Berkshire, England) Enguerrand Le Brun VII De Coucy, 7th Earl of Bedford. (born 1339, died 18 February 1397, Bursa, Anatolia)

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)

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

 

Associated with: Marie De St. Hilaire (born 1341)

Offspring:

1. Blanche Plantagenet (born 1360, died 1388-1389)

Married 1: 13 May 1359, Queen Chapel, Reading Abbey, Reading, Berkshire, England

Spouse 1: Blanche (born 25 March 1342, died 12 September 1368, Bolingbroke Castle)

Offspring:

2. Phillippa Plantagenet (Queen of Portugal) (born 31 March 1360, died 19 July 1415)

3. John Plantagenet (born 1362 - 1364)

4. Elizabeth Plantagenet (Duchess of Exeter) (born 21 February 1363, died 24 November 1426) married 1: John Hastings, 5th Lord Hastings (died 30 December 1389) married 2: John Holand, Duke of Exeter (died 1400) married 3: John Cornwall

5. Edward Plantagenet (born 1365, died 1365)

6. Henry IV Plantagenet (King of England) (born 3 April 1366, Bolingbroke, Lincolnshire, died 20 March 1413, Westminster, buried Canterbury) married (27 July 1380) Mary De Bohun (born 30 May 1366 Bolingbroke, Clinics, died 20 March 1413 Westminster, buried Canterbury)

7. John Plantagenet (born before 4 May 1366)

8. Isabella Plantagenet (born 1368)

Married 2: 21 Sep 1371, Roquefort Sur Me, Guienne, Charente Maritim, France

Spouse 2: Constanza (Constance) of Castilla and Leon (born 1354, died 24 Mar 1394, buried St Mary, Leicester, Leicestershire, England)

Offspring:

9. Katherine Plantagenet (Queen of Castilla) (born 6 June 1372-31 Mar 1373, died 2 June 1418)

10. John Plantagenet (born 1374, died 1375)

Married 3: 13 January 1396 at Lincoln, Lincolnshire, England

Spouse 3: Katherine Catherine De Roet Swynford (born 25 November 1350, Picardy, Somme, France, died 10 May 1403, buried Lincoln Cathedral, Lincolnshire, England) widow of a knight killed in Aquitaine

Offspring:

11. John Beaufort, Fairborn, 1st Earl of Somerset (born 1371-1373, Chateau De Beaufort, Maine-Et-Loire, France, died 16 March 1409/10, St. Catherine By The Tower Hospital, London, Middlesex, England, buried Canterbury Cathedral, Kent, England)

12. Henry Beaufort (Cardinal) (born 1375 Chateau De Beaufort, Maine-Et-Loire, France, died 11 Apr 1447, buried Winchester Cathedral, Winchester, Hampshire, England)

13. Thomas Beaufort Duke of Exeter (born January 1377, Chateau De Beaufort, Maine-Et-Loire, France, died 27 December 1426, Greenwich Manor, East Greenwich, Kent, England, buried Abbey, Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk, England ) married Margaret Neville (born about 1375, died 1400) daughter of Thomas "of Horneby" Neville

14. Joan Beaufort Countess of Westmoreland (born 1379, Chateau De Beaufort, Maine-Et-Loire, France, died 13 November 1440, Howden, Yorkshire, England, buried Lincoln Cathedral, Lincolnshire, England) married (29 November 1396 Chateau De Beaufort, Meuse-et-Loire, France) Ralph De Neville (born about 1364 Raby, Durham, England, died 21 October 1425 Raby Castle, Durham, England)

Heraldic Coat of Arms: Quarterly, 1st and 4th Azure semee-de-lis Or (France Ancient); 2nd and 3rd Gules three Lions passant guardant Or (England); A Label of three points Ermine for difference. Described by George Beltz as Quarterly, Castille and Leon , impaling quarterly France and England, differentiated by a label of three points Ermine.

 

Heraldic Crest: Upon a Chapeau Gules turned up Ermine a Lion statant guardant crowned Or with a Label of three points Ermine about his neck.

Heraldic Devices: Three ermine ostrich feathers with gold quills and scrolls on a black background. An eagle or falcon with a padlock in its beak. An eagle standing on a fetterlock. Described by George Beltz as An eagle standing upon and essaying to open a padlock. This badge appears upon a seal, impressions of which are remaing in the office of the duchy of Lancaster.

May have also used for the duchy of Lancaster, France and England quartered with a blue label charged with nine gold fleurs-de-lys

Knight of the Garter 1360, Stall 14, became a member of the order of the garter after the death of Thomas Holland, then transferred to Stall 2 in 1377Seal of John of Gaunt

 

John was One of the most powerful men in England during Edward III's reign and later. A Plantagenet, this name originating as a nick-name for "Geoffrey the Fair" Count of Anjou who wore a sprig of broom in his hat [Fr: genet=broom]. John gained the title of Earl of Richmond on 20 September 1342, aged 2. He was granted by his father, Edward III, the title 5th Earl of Lancaster & 2nd Duke of Lancaster, thus holding the vast Duchy of Lancaster and Pontefract castle. In fact there is a place named after him "John of Gaunt's" about 5 miles north of Wakefield. The ownership of the Duchy made him the overlord of the knight's fees of the Honour of Pontefract and would indicate that the Midgley families in West Yorkshire were of these, William de Miggeley (born about 1280) being one, who as a Parliamentary knight and Yorkshire Court Lawyer, had likely invested heavily in the wool trade. John of Gaunt was part of the 'Lancastrian Line' whilst his brother Edmund of Langley 1st Duke of York was the progenitor of the Yorkists. The name Plantagenet was not used by either family from Richard I to Richard II but thereafter was employed as a form of superiority.

John married Blanche, heiress of Lancaster and the Mayor of London ordered Jousts in celebration in May 1359 which he took part in, and in October 1359 John accompanied Edward III to France. Through his wife Blanche, he became Earl of Derby 21 July 1361 and Lord of Beaufort and Nogent on 14 August 1361. John succeeded to the title of Earl of Lincoln on 10 April 1362, the Earl of Leicester on 10 April 1362 and the Earl of Derby also on 10 April 1362. He gained the title of Duke of Lancaster on 13 November 1362. In 1362 John was made the High Sheriff of Lancashire, which he also held until his death. The Lancaster holdings made John the wealthiest and one of the most influential nobles in England. He served under his brother, Prince Edward in the Hundred Years War and went (1367) on his campaign to aid Peter the Cruel of Castile. and fought at the battle of Najera on 3 April 1367. He gained the title of Lord de Bergerac et Roche-sur-Yon on 8 October 1370. He fought at the recapture of Limoges in 1370. After the death of Blanche he married in 1371 Peter’s daughter, Constance, and thus gained a claim to the Castilian throne. Through his marriage, John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster gained the title of Rey John de Castilla before 6 October 1372. When Prince Edward became ill during the French campaign of 1370–1, John took chief command. John recovered many of the Lancaster possessions that had been lost in 1322. He also made valuable additions to the Duchy, including the Honors of Tickhill, Knaresborough, Pevensey (in 1372), and High Peak, which he received in exchange for surrendering the Earldom of Richmond in North Yorkshire to his father on 5 June 1372. In 1372 Edward III granted John the Manor of Aylsham.

In July 1373 John led an army from Calais to Bordeaux, but the expedition accomplished little taking a very long route south of Paris covering nearly 1000 miles in 5 months. After a truce was reached in 1375 he returned to England, where he allied himself with the corrupt court party led by Alice Perrers, mistress of the aging Edward III. In 1369 Geoffrey Chaucer wrote a long poem of courtly love 'The book of the Duchess', written in English and was an elegy for John of Gaunts first wife Blanche. For a short time John of Gaunt in effect ruled England. His party was temporarily dislodged from power by the Good Parliament of 1376. The death of Prince Edward on 8 June 1376 was a great blow to the Commons. John of Gaunt was able, on Parliament's dismissal, to declare the good parliament void and to recall the impeached ministers, and by Edward's wish have Alice Perrers returned. Sir Peter de la Mare was imprisoned without trial and Bishop William of Wykeham was banished from court and his properties seized. The struggle between the anti-ecclesiastical party, led by John of Gaunt, in alliance with John Wyclif, and the clergy, led by William of Wykeham, were due to Edward's neglect of the affairs of his kingdom. In january 1377 A new Parliament was formed and elected John of Gaunts own speaker and granted subsidies.

In February 1377 Wyclif was summoned by Archbishop Sudbury and Bishop Courtenay of London and was asked to answer for his geretical teachings. At St Pauls Cathedral anger arose against John of Gaunt who supported Wyclif. A mob headed for the Savoy Palace, owned by John of Gaunt, and on their way killed a priest who spoke ill of Sir Peter de la Mere. John of Gaunt and Percy escaped by boat down the river Thames. The mob rather than loot the Savoy Palace, went through it destoying everything they could. Bishop Courtenay persuaded the mob to disperse, and Sir Peter de la Mere was freed.

On 28 February 1377, Edward III recreated the Palatinate for John's lifetime. In 1390, this grant was extended to include John's heirs. The Duke of Lancaster had become one of the most important figures in the country. Hostility to the strong clerical party, led by William of Wykeham, caused him to support the movement of John Wyclif. After the accession (1377) of his nephew, Richard II, John remained the most powerful figure in the government, but he devoted himself primarily to military matters. During the Peasants revolt of 1381, his Savoy Palace was destroyed. In 1386, allied with John I of Portugal, who married one of his daughters, he led an expedition to make good his Castilian claims against John I of Castile. John of Gaunt finally agreed to peace in 1388, transferred his claims to his daughter by Constance of Castile, and married her to the future Henry III of Castile. He returned to England in 1389, was made duke of Aquitaine on 2 March 1390, and helped to restore peace between Richard II and the hostile barons led by Thomas of Woodstock, Duke of Gloucester. In 1396, John of Gaunt married Catherine Swynford, many years his mistress, and had his children by her, under the name of Beaufort, declared legitimate. He died soon after the king had exiled his eldest son, the duke of Hereford (later Henry IV, first of the royal line of Lancaster). John is also remembered as the patron of the poet Geoffrey Chaucer.

Last Will and Testament

I, John, son of the King of England, Duke of Lancaster, February 3d, 1397. My body to be buried in the Cathedral Church of St. Paul, of London, near the principal altar, beside my most dear late wife Blanch, who is there interred. If I die out of London I desire that the night my body arrives there, that it be carried direct to the Friars Carmelites in Fleet Street, and the next day taken strait to St. Paul's, and that it be not buried for forty days, during which I charge my executors that there be no cering or embalming my corpse; I will that my executors pay all my debts, excepting the debts for the army, which my beloved brother the Duke of York incurred in Portugal, of which before God and all the world I hold myself free; I desire that chauntries and obits be founded for the souls of my late dear wives Blanch and Constance, whom God pardon; to the said altar of St. Paul's my vestment of satin embroidered, which I bought of Courtnay, embroider at London, certain lands and tenements in London, of which the reversion is purchased, rendering xx marks a year to Dame Katherine del Staple for her life, and I desire that during her life she be paid out of the rents of the Manor of Bernoldwyk, in the county of York; to the prisons of Newgate and Ludgate, in London C marks, to be divided between them; to my most dear wife Katherine, my two best nouches which I have, excepting that which I have allowed to my Lord and nephew the King, and my large cup of gold which the Earl of Wilts gave to the King my Lord, and which he gave me on my going into Guienne, together with all the buckles, rings, diamonds, rubies, and other things, that will be found in a little box of cypress wood, of which I carry the key myself, and all the robes which I bought of my dear cousin the Duchess of Norfolk, also my large bed of black velvet, embroidered with a circle of fetter-locks, and garters, all the beds made for my body called in England "trussing beds," my best stay with a good ruby, my best collar, all which my said wife had before her marriage with me, also all the goods and jewels which I had given her since my marriage; to my Lord and nephew the King the best nouche which I have on the day of my death, my best cup of gold which my dear wife Katherine gave me on New Year's Day last, my gold saltcellar with a garter, and the piece of arras which the Duke of Bourgoyne gave me when I was at Calais; to my dear brother the Duke of York, a gold cup and cover; to my dear son Henry, Duke of Hereford, Earl of Derby, two of the best pieces of arras, one of which was given me by my Lord and nephew the King, and the other by my dear brother the Duke of Gloucester, whom God pardon, when I lately returned from Spain, also a chain of gold of the old manner, with the name of God in each part, which my most honored Lady and mother the Queen, whom God pardon, gave me, commanding me to preserve it, with her blessing, and I desire that he will keep it with the blessing of God and mine; to my dear daughter Philippa, Queen of Portugal, my second best stay of gold, and a gold cup and cover; to my dear daughter Katherine, Queen of Castile and Leon, a gold cup and cover; to my dear daughter Elizabeth, Duchess of Exeter, my white bed of silk, with blue eagles displayed, and my best nouche after those before given; to my dear son John Beaufort, Marquis of Dorset, a dozen saucers, &c.; to the Reverend Father in God and my dear son the Bishop of Lincoln, a dozen saucers, &c. and my missal, and my portheus, which belonged to my Lord and brother the Prince of Wales, whom God preserve; to my dear son Thomas Beaufort, their brother, a dozen saucers, &c.; to my dear daughter, their sister, Countess of Westmoreland and Lady of Nevil, a silk bed, and a cup and cover of gold; to my dear Henry, eldest son of my dear son the Duke of Hereford, a gold cup; to my dear son John, brother to the said Henry, a gold cup; after all my debts are paid, and restitution made to all who have been injured by me or my servants, on my account, I desire that my executor pay to the Minister of Bury one thousand pounds; to my said wife Katherine two thousand pounds; to my said son the Duke of Hereford one thousand pounds; to my said son the Marquis one thousand pounds; to my said son Thomas Beaufort one thousand marks; "a mon tres chere bachelier" Monsr. Thomas Swyneford, C marks; to Monsr Walter Blount, Monsr Chamberlain, C marks; to Monsr Hugh Shirley Cmarks; to Monsr Richard Aberbury, the sons, L marks; to Monsr William Par L marks; I will that a chauntry be founded at the New Church of our Lady of Leicester, for the soul of my late wife Dame Constance, who is there buried, and for ever to keep an obit for her soul on the 24th day of March; and as for the annuity or annual pension of forty-thousand franks, which my dear son the King of Castile and Leon is bound to me, a certain part of which is unpaid, I devise to the King one third part of what may, by his assistance, be recovered of the arrears now due. And I constitute and appoint the Reverend Fathers in God Richard Bishop of Salisbury; John Bishop of Worcester; my very dear and loving cousins and companions Thomas Earl of Worcester, Steward of the Household of my Lord the King; and William Earl of Wilts, Treasurer of England; my son Ralph Earl of Westmoreland; Monsr Walter Blount; Monsr John Dabruggecourt; Monsr William Par; Monsr Hugh War'ton; Monsr Thomas Skelton; and Cokeyn, Chief Steward of my Lands; Sir Robert Qwytby, my Attorney General; Piers Melburn; William Ketyring; Robert Haylfield, Comptroller of my Household; Sir John Leyburn, my Receiver General; and Thomas Longley, Clerk, my executors. And I ordain my most dear and entirely beloved brother Edmond Duke of York; my most dear and entirely beloved nephew Edward Duke of Aumerle; the Reverend Fathers in God Roger Archbishop of Canterbury; Richard Archbishop of York; and the Bishop of Lincoln, my dear son, supervisors of this my last will, whom, with my Lord the King, I pray to be faithful surveyors of the same. In faith of which I have placed hereto the seal of my arms, and also my own signet, which I always carry myself, in the presence of the following witnesses: Maistre John Kenyngham, Doctor in Theology; Sir John Newton, Parson of the Church of Burbach; Sir Walter Piers, Parson of the Church of Wymondham; William Harpeden, and Robert Symeon, Esquires; and by John de Bynbrok, of the Diocese of Lincoln, Notary.

CODICIL TO THE SAID WILL

Item. John, son of the King of England, Duke of Lancaster, whereas I have purchased divers manors, &c. before my marriage with my dear wife Catherine, to whom I have given several parts for her life, and I have enfeoffed my dear son John Beaufort, Marquis of Dorset, with certain other parts, &c. to my dear son Thomas Beaufort, brother of the aforesaid John, manors which belonged to Edward de Kendale, the reversion of which I have bought of Dame Elizabeth Crosier, also the lordships, &c. of which Dame Elizabeth Barry held for the term of her life, to him and the heirs of his body; in default of which to my said son John, and the heirs of his body; failing which to my dear daughter Joan, their sister, Countess of Westmoreland; I will that my dear bachelier Monsr Robert Nevil, William Gascoigne, my dear esquires, Thomas de Radclyf, and William Kat'yng, and my dear clerk Thomas de Langley, who, according to my directions, are enfeoffed in the Manor of Bernolswyk, in the County of York, pay annually to my executors for Dame Katherine del Staple xx marks for her life; and touching the wapentakes of Hangest, Hangwest, and Halykeld, in Richmondshire, which I have before granted to my dear son-in-law Ralph Earl of Westmoreland, and to my daughter Joan, his wife, for their lives, I will, &c.

Memorials Of The Most Noble Order Of The Garter From Its Foundation To The Present Time, George Beltz, 1841

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