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08b. Blanche of Lancaster
Marital arms of Blanche, Duchess of Lancaster, John of Gaunt's first wife.

SOURCE, NOTES & CREDITS: Source for blazon: BGA, edition of 1884, reprint 1989, page 63, column one. Source for text: “Katherine” by Anya Seton, Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston, 1954; “Heraldry of the Royal Families of Europe”, by Louda and MacLagan, Clarkson N. Potter, Inc., Publishers, New York, 1981; “Katherine Swynford, The History of a Medieval Mistress” by Jeannette Lucraft, The History Press, The Mill, Brimscombe Port Stroud, Gloucestershire, 2006, 2010; “Mistress of the Monarchy” by Allison Weir, Ballantine Books, 2009; and various internet sources.

John of Gaunt married Blanche of Lancaster (1342-1368) on 19 May 1359 and
by whom he had seven children of whom three survived to adulthood:

Philippa (1360-1415) (see her entry )
Elizabeth (1364-1426) (see her entry )
Henry of Bolingbroke (1367-1413), Earl of Derby, later Henry IV, who married Mary de Bohun from whom came Henry V ( see his entry ).

The Order of the Knights of the Garter was founded by John’s father, Edward III in 1348, John was made a Knight in April 1361 as #36 in the Wikipedia List of Knights of the Order.

When Blanche’s father Henry, the first Duke of Lancaster ( 1st creation ), died on 23 March 1361 his estates were divided between Blanche and her sister Matilda, co-heiresses, by mutual consent. John was granted temporary custody of all these estates until the division could be made. Then Matilda died on 9 Apr 1362, so then everything went to Blanche and thus to John making him the richest man in England after the king. He would now own about one third of all England…

On Edward III’s 50th birthday, 13 Nov 1362, John, was created Duke of Lancaster ( 2nd Creation ). His duchy lands and property extended primarily over the Midlands, the North and the Marches of Wales, hundreds of manors, an administration in place with vast revenues with many castles, houses and estates. His income has been estimated from circa. 1370 at £500,000 annually which today would be about £2,500,000,000 ( 2.5 billion pounds) or approx $3,287,150,000 US per annum, a tidy sum indeed.

The artwork is a rendition of John Hamilton Gaylor

2018 1014
GauntRoet.jpg GauntCastile.jpg GauntBlanche.jpg Crouchback_2.jpg Gaunt_01.jpg
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