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Phillipa of Hainault Avesnes Countess of Holland & Hainault 1311-1369

Born: 24 June 1311, Valenciennes

Died: 14 August 1369, Windsor Castle, Windsor, Berkshire, England. Died of the Plague

Buried: Westminster Abbey, London

Parents: Guillaume V, Count of Holland & Hainault (born about 1280, Avesnes, Pas-de-Calais, France, died 7 June 1337 Valenciennes, Nord, France) married (19 May 1305 Chanay, Ain, France) Jeanne de Valois (born about 1295 Fontainbleau, Seine-et-Marne, France, died 7 March 1341/1342 Fontenelle, Yonne, France)


Married: 24 January 1328, York Minster, York, Yorkshire, England

Spouse: Edward III


1). 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)

2). 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)

3). 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

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

5). 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)

6). 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

7). 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

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

9). 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

10). 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)

11). Thomas Plantagenet (born 1347)

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

13). 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)

14). Joan Plantagenet

Heraldic Coat of Arms:

Lady Of the Garter 1358

Philippa was the daughter of William of Hainault, a lord in part of what is now Belgium. When she was nine the King of England, Edward II, decided his son, the future Edward III, would be married to her, and sent Bishop Stapeldon, to look at her. He described her thus:

"The lady whom we saw has not uncomely hair, betwixt blue-black and brown. Her head is cleaned shaped; her forehead high and broad, and standing somewhat forward. Her face narrows between the eyes, and the lower part of her face is still more narrow and slender than the forehead. Her eyes are blackish brown and deep. Her nose is fairly smooth and even, save that is somewhat broad at the tip and flattened, yet it is no snub nose. Her nostrils are also broad, her mouth fairly wide. Her lips somewhat full and especially the lower lip…all her limbs are well set and unmaimed, and nought is amiss so far as a man may see. Moreover, she is brown of skin all over, and much like her father, and in all things she is pleasant enough, as it seems to us."

Four years later Prince Edward went to visit his bride-to-be and her family, and fell in live with her. She was betrothed to him and in 1327, when she was only 14, she arrived in England escorted by her uncle, Sir John of Hainault. They married on Sunday 24 January 1328 in York Minister by Archbishop Melton when she was 15, and were crowned King and Queen in 1330 when she was 5 months pregnant with her first child and only 17. Her postponed coronation is attributed to the refusal of Isabella who refused to relinquish her Crown. When her daughter princess Isabella was born she wore at the first reception a robe of red and purple velvet embroidered with pearls and reclined on a state bed with a huge spread of green velvet which was 7.5 x 8 ells (1 Flemmish ell is 27 inches so would have been 17x18 foot, 1 English ell is 45 inches so would have been 28x30 foot), this was embroidered with the pattern of a merman and merlady holding the shields of England and Hainault.

Philippa was very wise and was known and loved by the English for her kindliness and restraint. When the King was abroad she ruled in his absence. Queen's College in Oxford University was founded under her direction by her chaplain, Robert de Eglesfield in 1341 when she was 28. She brought many artists and scholars from Hainault who contributed to English culture. In 1360 Jean Froissart traveled to England to present the Queen with an account of the battle of Poitiers, and gain patronage. She was a good wife to Edward, always sweet of temperament and Edward was supposedly very fond of his 'Douce Couer', as he would call her. She was reputed not to be a great beauty, but very warm hearted and loyal. She would bore 12 children and had a good relationship with them. It said the peace between Edward's Children as opposed to Henry II's children would be due to Philippa's loving care. Edward himself, would value her not only as his wife, but as a valuable adviser. She would travel with her husband on his campaigns and take her children as well. During one of the expeditions to Calais where she would stop Edward from executing the famous Burghers of Calais.

Their marriage was happy in on the whole, however, this did not stop Edward from sharing his bed with other women, notably Alice Perrers, once one of Phillipa's lady in waiting. It is not known how Philippa felt at her husband's obvious indiscretions. It is known that at her death she provided for her many ladies with the exception of Alice, who she probably resented for the affair with her husband.

Philippa died in August 1369 only accompanied by 2 of her children, Prince Edward and Thomas. Her death was deeply felt by all especially the King who lost a great and wise adviser and he never really recovered, and she was much mourned by him and the country. King Edward had a beautiful sculpture made for her tomb which cab be seen today at Westminster Abbey. Edward spent 300 pounds on his wife Philippa's tomb, making the monument one of the most expensive in the Abbey.

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