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Sunday, August 9, 2020

Duke John of Gaunt & Katherine de Roet

 738712. Duke John of Gaunt & 738713. Katherine de Roet

3/1340, John, born in St Bavon’s Abbey, Ghent, Flanders, 4th s/o 1477424. King Edward III & 1477425. Queen Philippa of Hainault.

1341, Blanch Plantagenet born in England, d/o Duke Henry, s/o Earl Henry of Lancaster & Maud de Chaworth.

11/20/1342, “Lord John” named Earl of Richmond after the death of John, Duke of Brittany and Earl of Richmond. [This brought 2-year-old John 2000 marks annually.]

7/11/1344, John, the king’s son, granted the market at Babraham, Cambridgeshire [previously held by the Duke of Brittany.] (S) Gazetteer of Markets and Fairs to 1516.

2/1346, John’s nurse given a pension, and he was assigned a male governor.

~1350, Katherine, born in Hainault [Belgium], d/o 1477426. Sir Paon de Roët. [Froissart identified her as “the daughter of a Hainault knight, called sir Paon de Ruet; he had formerly been one of the knights to the good and noble queen Philippa of England”.]

3/1/1350, John went to live with his older brother, the Black Prince. [Where he would live 5 years.]

8/29/1350, John present at the sea battle with the Spanish near Winchelsea. Their ship was rammed, and sinking, when they were rescued by Henry, Duke of Lancaster [father of future wife Blanche.]

12/1351, Katherine arrived in England with her father, then in the service of Countess Margaret of Hainault.

1352, Katherine placed in the royal court under the care of Queen Philippa. Agnes Bonsergeant was assigned to care for Katherine. [Her companions at court would include 2 princesses, Mary and Margaret, prince Thomas of Woodstock, and Blanche of Lancaster – 1st wife of John of Gaunt.]

7/1355, John knighted with 26 others by the king and the Duke of Lancaster.

11/1355, John with the King on an invasion of France. Landing in Calais the previous month, the army proceeded to raid Pas de Calais, Artois, and Picardy. King Edward returned the army to England by the 15th of November.

12/1355, John with his father in Scotland in what would be called “Burnt Candlemas”, taking Berwick, Roxburgh, the Scottish crown from Balliol with his private estates, then on the way to Edinburgh, buring every town, village and hamlet in their way.

1357, The Scots proposed John as a successor to childless King David II. [Was not accepted.]

6/7/1358, King Edward III petitioned the pope for dispensation for John to marry his cousin Blanche, the greatest unmarried heiress in England. [Granted 1/8/1359.]

6/1358, In a triple ceremony performed in the queen’s chapel, daughter Margaret (age 12) promised to John Hastings (age 11); Prince Lionel’s daughter Philippa (age 3) promised to Edmund Mortimer (age 6), and son John of Gaunt (age 18) promised to Blanche Plantagenet (age 12).

[––John & Blanche––]

5/19/1359 in Berkshire at Reading abbey, John married Blanche. The poet Chaucer was present.

10/8/1359, John, earl of Richmond, the king’s son, in the great invasion of France; with 2 bannerets, 35 knights, paid 2s a day, 162 esquires, paid 1 s a day, and 40 mounted archers, paid 6d a day. (S) Hist. of the Family of Wrottesley, V1, 1903, P130. [Blanche was pregnant. John was gifted £500 by his father to cover his expenses.]

10/1359, King Edward, sailing from Sandwich to Calais with 1,100 ships, again invaded France, eventually taking Saint-Florentin and Tonnerre. Edward reached Paris, setting the suburbs on fire, before turning back to Brittany [Edward decided a siege of Paris was not feasible.]

10/18/1359, John present at the signing of the Peace of Bretigny.

5/18/1360, John returned home to meet his new daughter. John was awarded the honor and castle of Hertford by his father, formerly the home of his grandmother Queen Isabella. [who died 2 years earlier.]

11/20/1360, John 1st summoned to parliament as Earl of Richmond.

3/25/1361, John granted temporary custody of all of Duke Henry’s lands [Henry had died 2 days earlier.]

4/1361, John created Knight of the Garter on the death of Thomas Holland, earl of Kent.

7/21/1361, John, Earl of Lancaster, Lincoln and Derby [by right of his wife, Blanche and her sister Matilda the heirs. About this time John became the patron of Geoffrey Chaucer, the poet, who had served his older brother Lionel and his father, and was known to be as associate of Blanche.]

[––Katherine & Hugh Swinford––]

1362-64, Katherine married Sir Hugh Swynford, knt. of Lincolnshire, Lord of Coleby and Kettlethorp. Hugh was knight in the retinue of John of Gaunt.

4/10/1362, John succeeded to the title of Earl of Leicester. [Blanche’s older sister Margaret had died the previous day.] John now owned a third of England, with an annual income estimated at £12,803. John also inherited the Savoy, the grandest palace in London, on the Strand, the furnishings alone valued at £10,000.

11/13/1362, John created Duke of Lancaster on his father’s 50th birthday.

10/8/1363, John became the 1st person to open Parliament in the English language.

1/24/1365, Katherine “Swynford” maidservant of the household of Blanche.

By 1366, Katherine appointed governess for John of Gaunt’s 2 eldest daughters.

2/22/1326, King Edward granted his esquire Geoffrey Chaucer safe conduct to Navarre in Spain. [It is thought he was an envoy to set up John’s travel and eventual invasion of Spain.]

9/1366, John arrived in Bayonne, Gascony with 1000 archers and men at arms. [Sir Hugh Swynford joined up with the army in November.]

By 2/24/1367, Katherine had moved to Lincoln where son Thomas was baptized; Blanche had moved to Bolingbroke castle, also pregnant.

4/3/1367, John and his forces, having joined up with the Black Prince and his forces, and crossed the Pyrenees mountains in winter, won the battle of Najara, Spain. John was the commander of the vanguard forces. The English were supporting Pedro the Cruel of Castile, who was returned to the throne. An estimated 16,000 soldiers died in the battle. [Pedro defaulted on his promised payment for help and his daughters Constance and Isabel were held as hostages at Bordeaux.]

9/12/1368, Blanche died of the plague at Tutbury castle, Staffordshire; buried at St. Paul’s Cathedral. John was present at her death and immediately wrote the Bishop of Carlisle to order masses for her soul. [Chaucer and elegy to Blanche after her death.]

10/17/1368, John’s older brother, Lionel of Antwerp, died.

11/28/1368, The fair at Holt, near Wimborne Minster, Dorset, granted to John, Duke of Lancaster, the king’s son. (S) Gazetteer of Markets and Fairs to 1516.

3/1369, Due to an outbreak of the plague in London, the royal court was moved to Windsor.

7/26/1369, After Charles V of France rejected the Treaty of Bretigny, John landed at Calais; the 1st time he was given independent command of an English army. [Geoffrey Chaucer was in John’s retinue.]

8/1369, at Tournehem, John learned of his mother’s death.

1369, John won the battle of Balingham Hill, but met with little other success due to the weather, dwindling supplies, and the plague.

8/14/1369, John’s mother died of the plague at Windsor castle.

10/1369, John gave up his expedition into France.

12/1369, John celebrated Christmas at Langley, Hertfordshire with his father.

1370, John stood as godfather to Katherine and Hugh’s daughter Blanche.

6/1370, John sailed with forces for France to join his brother in Cognac.

9/18/1370, John with the Black Prince at the taking of Limoges, France. The city had surrendered itself to the French a month earlier. The Black Prince order the killing of all, sparing none [as they had committed treason. It is estimated 3,000 were killed in a 2-day period.]

10/8/1370, The Black Prince, already extremely ill, created John as Lord of Bergerac and Roche-sur-Yon, and then returned to Bordeaux, leaving John as his lieutenant.

By 1371, John was a patron of John Wycliffe, Oxford doctor, theologian, and philosopher, notorious for his belief that Christians should live by the rules as set down in the Gospels, and not by regulations laid down by the church.

8/10/1371, John took up residence at Ombriere Palace in Bordeaux [his brother the Black Prince having returned to England gravely ill.]

[––John & Constance––]

9/21/1371 at Roquefort-sur-Soulzon, John married Queen Constanza of Castile and Leon, elder d/o Pedro the Cruel & Maria de Padilla, assuming the title of King of Castile and Leon. [A strictly political marriage, Constance had become Queen on the death of her father, and was living in exile.]

9/25/1371, John and his Duchess sailed from La Rochelle for England.

11/13/1371, Hugh Swynford died “beyond the seas” in Aquitaine.

1/1372 at Westminster, The Council gave formal approval to John being titled “King of Castile and Léon”.

1/1372, Prince Edward hosted a tournament at Cheapside in celebration of his brother John’s wedding.

[John & Katherine]

John started a romantic relationship with Katherine [Roet] Swynford, wife of deceased Sir Hugh Swynford. [There is substantial evidence that this affair did not start earlier. Katherine’s sister Philippa married Geoffrey Chaucer in 1367.]

6/1372, John surrendered the earldom of Richmond to John de Montfort, Duke of Brittany, in exchange for other lands.

6/26/1372, Katherine was assigned her dower, which gave her Kettlethorp during the minority of her son.

8/31/1372, John, King Edward, and the Black Prince sailed from Sandwich for Gascony. [Storms prevented the ships form reaching their destinations.]

9/12/1372, Katherine granted the remaining 2/3rds of Coleby, and the marriage of her son until he reached 21.

3/1373, Widow Katherine was a demoiselle to the Duchess of Lancaster.

6/12/1373, John, appointed Captain-Gerneral in France, led an expedition into France. John lost many soldiers in the mountains of Auvergne; and most of Guienne and Gascony were lost to the French, but he held the lands from Bordeaux to Bayonne, and Calais.

12/1373, John and Constanza were at Christmas court with his father at Woodstock.

4/6/1374, John sailed for England. [Soon after returning John granted Chaucer a pitcher of wine every day for life and arranged for him to have a rent-free house in London.]

1/1/1375, John granted Katherine Swynford the wardship of the heir of Sir Robert Deyncourt, and the marriage of that heir for her daughter Blanche.

3/9/1375, John from Dover sailed for France to negotiate a peace treaty at Bruges for his father.

3/1375-6/1375, John at Bruges where a 1-year peace agreement was signed.

7/15/1375, John back in England.

1375-76, William Ferour, Mayor of Leicester, sent a gift of wine to “the Lady Katherine Swynford, mistress of the Duke of Lancaster.”

10/1375, John and Constance, who was pregnant, sailed for Bruges, France for another peace meeting.

1/1376, King Edward summoned the “Good Parliament”. During the parliament, his mistress Alice’s secret marriage to William Windsor was revealed. King Edward swore an oath by the Virgin Mary that he did not know she was married [This made the king and adulterer].  King Edward effectively turned over control of the government to his son, John of Gaunt.

4/28/1376–7/6/1376, John took the brunt of the criticism at the Good Parliament. The House of Commons claiming that poverty in England was being caused by the frauds and shameful practices of the aristocracy. Immediately after the parliament, John by authority of his father, dismissed the additional members of the council, recalled to office the impeached lords, and nullified all 140 petitions of the House of Commons.

6/8/1376, John’s older brother, the Black Prince, died. [Likely of illness contracted in Spain.]

10/7/1376, John, King of Castile and Leon and Duke of Lancaster appointed an executor of the will of Edward III. (S) Testamenta Vetusta, V1, 1826, P11.

2/28/1377, King Edward granted John palatinate powers in Lancaster [complete authority without interference by officers of the crown.]

4/23/1377, John at Westminster for the annual feast of the Knights of the Garter.

6/21/1377, King Edward III died, leaving John’s nephew, 10-year-old Richard II, s/o the Black Prince as heir; and John as the most powerful man in England. [There are records from the previous April and May indicating the Chaucer had often been abroad in the king’s service “on secret business.”]

7/16/1377, John attended the coronation of King Richard II at Westminster Abbey.

8/1378, John commanded an unsuccessful naval siege on St. Malo, Brittany.

7/28/1380, John paid King Richard 5,000 marks for the marriage of Mary de Bohun [who would be married to his son Henry.]

5/1381, John took command of the Scottish border and left for Knaresborough.

6/1381, while John was on the Scottish border, John’s home, the palace of Savoy, was burnt during the Peasant’s Revolt. [Katherine and her family members went into hiding.]

1381 in Edinburgh, John publically confessed to the sin of lechery with Katherine and many others in his wife’s household.

1381, Katherine leased a house on the Chancery, in Minster Yard [the cathedral close], in Lincoln, where she would liver for 12 years.

1382, Recalled by King Richard from the border, John attended parliament.

7/1383, John sent for Constance and met up with her at Northallerton.

4/1384, Richard II called John to parliament at Salisbury. The parliament refused to ratify the draft Anglo-French treaty.

7/1384, John with his brother the earl of Buckingham spent much of the summer on the continent trying to work out a peace formula acceptable to both sides. All they could achieve was an extension of the truce until 5/1/1385. (S) Parliamentary Rolls, Richard II, 2005.

1384-5, John commanding forces in the Scottish border.

2/24/1385 at Sheen, John, with an armed escort, approached King Richard about an organized attempt to have him killed at at tournament [the 2nd attempt by Richard’s favorites.]

8/1385, John, duke of Lancaster, led an expedition into Scotland attacking Edinburgh. [A French force of about 1500 was known to have landed in Scotland.] With the Scots avoiding a confrontation against a large army, they pillaged the area and found Edinburgh deserted.

6/16/1386 at the palace of John of Gaunt, King of Castile and Leon, John arbritrated a commission into the right to carry the arms ‘Azure, a bend Or’ between Richard le Scrope and Sir Robert Grosvenor. [Chaucer would be an MP for Kent the following October when the trial was conducted in parliament.]

7/9/1386, John left England with a force to win the Spanish crown, landing at Corunna. John then conquered Galica and Compostela.

1387, John invaded Castile with little success.

4/1387, King Richard II created Katherine Swynford a Lady of the Garter. [The highest English honor a woman could receive .]

7/1387, John gave up his claim to Castile at the treaty of Bayonne. His claim would go to his daughter Catalina, who would marry the King’s heir. John and Constance would receive a payment of £100,000 and an annual pension of £6666.

8/1387, John and Constance returned to England.

5/26/1388, John again appointed King’s Lieutenant in Aquitaine, where he would spend 18 months.

12/1388, Katherine, now working in the household of Henry of Derby, spent Christmas with the family.

4/1389, Richard II issued Katherine her Garter robes for the annual gathering.

11/19/1389, John, recalled by the King, returned to England, arriving at Plymouth, and very wealthy. [But also apparently in poor health – called by a French councilor “an old black boar.”]

12/1189, Richard II rode out to Devon to meet his uncle John and to give him the kiss of peace. [Young King Richard needed his powerful uncle’s support.]

1/21/1390, John and his brother Thomas appointed to the Privy Council.

2/16/1390, Richard II entailed the palatinate powers of the Duchy of Lancaster on John and his heirs.

3/2/1390, John, created Duke of Acquitaine [for life], now called “Monseigneur de Guienne”.

1391, John, not rebuilding the Savoy, leased Ely Place in London from John Fordham, Bishop of Ely.

1391-92, All 4 Beaufort children and Katherine appear on John’s household rolls in London. [However, Katherine still maintained her residence at the Chancery in Lincoln.]

10/1392, Brothers John of Gaunt – Duke of Acquitaine , Thomas of Woodstock – Duke of Gloucester, and Edmund of Langley – Duke of York, met at John’s house in London.

12/1393, John and Constantza were joined at Hertford by multiple children and “Dame Katherine Swynford” for Christmas festivities.

3/24/1394, Princes Constanza died at Leicester. [Buried in July in the collegiate church of St. Mary in Newark.]

3/27/1394, John, in Leuleighen, France, concluded a 4-year truce with the French.

6/1394, Katherine at Lincoln to testifiy in her son Thomas Swynford’s “proof of age” inquisition.

10/1394, John sailed from Plymouth for Guienne to look after his interests in the duchy.

12/4/1395, Katherine presented a new rector to the parish of Kettlethorpe.

12/1395, John recalled to England, sailing from Calais.

[––John & Katherine––]

1/1396 at Lincoln Cathedral, having received dispensation by Pope Boniface, John married 3rd Katherine. [In the absence of a Queen, Katherine, a mistress of humble birth, became the most important Lady in England – and the most hated by the other ranking ladies.] John and Katherine then traveled north visiting Pontrefract, Rothwell castle, and Coventry.

1396, John opposed parliament’s proposal to burn John Wycliffe’s English version of the Bible – “other nations have God’s law in their own mother tongue, and we will have ours in English.”

2/6/1397, Richard II, by letters patent, legitimized John and Katherine’s children – a unique act in English history. [The children were barred from royal succession.]

1397, John, Duke of Guyenne and Lancaster requests licence by the King's letters patent to grant … [Edward III], King of England; …; Henry [Bolingbroke], Earl of Derby; …; Katherine [de Roet], wife of the petitioner. (S) UKNA. [John settled estates in Lancanshire on Katherine for her life, reverting to the heirs of the Dukes body.]

9/1/1397, The Pope legitimized John and Katherine’s children.

9/21/1397, John presided at the trial of the Earl of Arundel and pronounced his death sentence.

10/28/1397, John and Katherine attended the wedding of Richard II near Calais, France. Katherine became a companion of the royal child bride [almost 7 years old], a role in which she had plenty of experience.

8/1398, John, aging and ill, relinquished his Duchy of Aquitaine.

2/3/1399, John had a detailed will written. Katherine was left lands, many items, and £2000. The same day, John, Duke of Guienne and Lancaster, died in Leicester castle.


3/16/1399, John buried in Old St Paul’s Cathedral, London with Blanche, as requested in his will.

3/18/1399, Richard II extended Henry of Derby’s exile for life, declared the Lancastrian inheritiance forfeit, and distributed its lands among his favorites. Richard allowed Katherine to keep her dower lands.

7/1399–10/1399, Katherine’s stepson Henry invaded England and captured Richard II who abdicated. Henry was then crowned King Henry IV [the nearest heir, Edmund Mortimer, was only 8 years old.]

11/9/1399, in a grant to Katherine, King Henry called her “the King’s mother.”

By 1400, Widow Katherine had rented a house in Minster Yard, Lincoln.

5/10/1403, Katherine died; buried in Lincoln Cathedral.

(S) The Royal Lineage of Our Noble and Gentle Families, 1883, Foster, P21. (S) The Last Knight, Cantor, 2004. (S) Magna Carta Ancestry, P486. (S) Mistress of the Monarchy, Weir, 2007.

Family notes:

·         9/1/1396, Pope Boniface wrote a letter about previously consenting [“by word of mouth”] to John’s marriage with Katherine. [A dispensation had been required because John had been godfather to one of Katherine’s children.] The letter was needed by John and Katherine to prove that the Pope had provided dispensation because of widespread opposition to the marriage.

Children of John and Marie de St. Hilaire:

i. Blanche of Lancaster, born bef. 1360 in England.

Children of John and Blanche:

i. Queen Philippa of Lancaster, born 3/31/1360 in Leicester castle, England.

2/1387 in Orpoto Cathedral, Philippa, 27 years old, married King João I of Portugal. [8 children.]

Children: Henry the Navigator, born 3/4/1394 in Portugal. [3rd child]

ii. Elizabeth of Lancaster, born 2/21/1363 in England.

6/24/1380 at Kenilworth, Elizabeth married to 8-year-old John Hastings, 3rd earl of Pembroke. [Annulled.]

6/24/1386, Elizabeth, pregnant, married the father John Holland, Duke of Exeter, half-brother to King Richard II.

1400, John Holland was captured and executed for treason at Pleshy by the Countess of Hereford.

By 12/12/1400, Elizabeth married Sir John Cornwall, Lord Fanhope.

iii. King Henry IV, born 4/3/1367 in England.

4/23/1377, With future King Richard II, Henry created a Knight of the Garter.

6/24/1380 at Rothford Hall, Essex, Henry of Derby married Mary de Bohun, coheriess & d/o Earl Humphrey de Bohun & Joan Fitzalan.

1387, Henry defeated Robert de Vere, Earl of oxford, and favorite of King Richard II at the battle of Radcot Bridge, Oxfordshire. (S) The Wars of the Roses, Weir, 1995, P32.

4/1388, Mary created a Lady of the Garter.

9/1389, Richard II named Henry to the Privy Council.

1390, Henry at the Jousts of Saint Inglevert, near Calais, France.

5/1390, Henry joined a Teutonic Knight crusade in eastern Europe.

1392, Henry joined a crusade into Prussia.

1394, Mary died.

Henry and Thomas de Mowbray, Duke of Norfolk, became embroiled in a mutual claim of treason.

9/16/1398, Henry and Thomas met at Coventry to settle their quarrel. Richard II stop the match and banished both men. (S) Shakespeare’s Richard II.

2/3/1399, Henry left £1000 in the will of his father.

3/18/1399, Richard II disinherited Henry’s lands while he was in exile.

7/4/1399, Henry landed at Ravenspur; then proceeded through the Lancastrian lands in the north and took York. [Henry invaded while Richard II was in Ireland.]

9/29/1399, Richard II, a prisoner in the Tower, abdicated his crown to Henry.

10/13/1399, Henry “Bolingbroke” was crowned King Henry IV. Henry instituted the new Order of the Bath, making his 4 sons its first members. [Charles IV of France refused to recognize Henry as king of England.]

1402, Henry married Joan of Navarre.

1/21/1408 at the manor of Greenwhich, Henry wrote his will. (S) Testamenta Vetusta, V1, 1826, P18.

3/1413, Henry died [of some disease of much debate].

Children of Hugh and Katherine:

i. Thomas Swynford, born 1368 in England.

Thomas married Joan Crophill.                           

2/3/1399, Thomas ‘his most dear bachelor’ left 100 marks in the will of John, duke of Lancaster.

10/5/1411, Thomas’ legitimacy established by letters patent.

Children of John and Constance:

i. Queen Catherine of Hertford, born 1372 in England.

9/1388, Catalina married Henri, Prince of Asturias [later King Henri III of Castile and Leon.]

[Their descendants ruled Spain until 1700.]

Children of John and Katherine:

[The issue of Katherine were surnamed Beaufort after John of Gaunt’s French lordship in Champagne.]

i. John Beaufort (369356), born 2/1373 in Lincoln castle, England.

ii. Henry Beaufort, born ~1374 in England.

1398, Henry made Bishop of Lincoln.

4/1399, Henry appointed Chancellor of Oxford University.

1403, 1413, 1424, Henry appointed Chancellor of England.

1404, Henry named Bishop of Winchester.

1426, Henry created Cardinal-priest of St. Eusebius, and became the papal legate for Germany, Hungary and Bohemia.

5/1431 at Rouen, Henry present at the burning of Joan of Arc.

12/16/1431, Henry crowned Henry VI as King of France at the Cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris.

Henry completed the building of Winchester Cathedral.

4/11/1447, Henry died; buried in Winchester Cathedral.

iii. Thomas Beaufort, born ~1375 in England.

2/3/1399, Thomas left 1000 marks in the will of his father.

Thomas married Margaret, d/o Sir Thomas Neville of Horneby. [No surviving children.]

1/31/1410, Thomas named Chancellor of England.

1412, Thomas created Earl of Dorset.

1416, Thomas created Duke of Exeter for life.

1418, Thomas created Count of Harcourt in Normandy.

1420, Thomas captured at the battle of Bauge; released shortly afterwards.

1422, Thomas an executor of the will of King Henry V.

12/31/1426, Thomas died in England. [No surviving children.]

iv. Joan Beaufort (3802861), born 1377 in Pleshy castle, England.

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