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18. Chaucer
Geoffrey Chaucer, Esquire

Arms: Per pale, Argent and Gules, a bend counterchanged

SOURCE/NOTES & CREDITS: Source for blazon: "The Double Tressure", 2004, pages 40 & 44, and "BGA", 1884, Reprint 1989, page 187. Internet source & articles: The Scrope-Grosvenor Trial (1385-1390) Wikipedia articles: Geoffrey Chaucer & Philippa de Roet. Books: “Mistress of the Monarchy” by Allson Weir & “Katherine” by Anya Seton. Illustration by J.H. Gaylor and text adapted and developed by D.Q. Wedvick

Geoffrey Chaucer of Woodstock, Esquire, born circa. 1340/44-1400, was an armiger in his own right, as his father didn’t have arms.

In 1359 Edward III invaded France and Chaucer traveled in the train of Lionel of Antwerp, Duke of Clarence as part of the English army. He was captured in 1360 during the siege of Rheims. The king paid his ransom of £16 ( a considerable sum in those days ) and was Chaucer was released.

He served as a witness in the Scrope vs Grosvenor Trial of 1385-1390 indicating he knew Scrope’s arms from the battlefield and had seen them on a sign at an inn in London too. It was also stated in his deposition that he was then age 40 and an esquire.…He was the son and grandson of London Vintners.

Chaucer is considered the father of English Poetry, however he is best remembered today for “The Canterbury Tales”.

Chaucer married Philippa de Roet, born circa. 1351/52 - died in 1387, sister to Katherine Swynford, 3rd wife to John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster, on 12 Sep 1366. They had five children, the second of whom, Thomas Chaucer had a daughter Alice whose third marriage was to the Wm. De la Pole, Duke of Suffock, whose son John became Duke after him and whose son John, Circa. 1462-1487, became the Earl of Lincoln was named heir to the throne by Richard III… So our Chaucer had some very noble descendants. And he also became brother-in-law to John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster and they were good friends which didn’t hurt when Chaucer needed help.

Anyhow, Chaucer was also a trusted civil servant and diplomat. He died of unknown causes on 25 October 1400. dqw 2018 0526

The artwork is a rendering by John Hamilton Gaylor.

This entry of Chaucer is the first in the series on Katherine Swynford and John of Gaunt, their family & relatives and certain others. Keep watching. dqw

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