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08. John of Gaunt
John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster

ARMS: Quarterly, azure semée de lis or, and gules three lions passant guardant in
pale or; overall a label of three points ermine.

John of Gaunt (1340-1399 ) was the third son to Edward III of England, 1312-1377,
a Plantagenet, and his spouse Philippa of Hainault (1311-1369

Edward III and Philippa's eldest son was Edward of Woodstock, the Black Prince (1330-1376 )
and their second son was Lionel of Antwerp, Duke of Clarence (1338-1368 )

John got the name Gaunt from his birthplace, St. Bavon’s Abbey in Ghent, Flanders, circa. March 1340, Gaunt being the English corruption of Ghent.

First, 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, 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. 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.

Second, married Constance of Castile (1354-1394 ) on 21 Sep 1371, daughter of
Pedro the Cruel, King of Castile and Leon ( 1334-1369 ),who reigned 1350-1366.

John and Constance had one daughter, Catalina, (1372-1418 ) who married Enrique III of Castile (1379-1406 ) from whom followed the royal line of Spain.

Interlude from 1372 to 1382 when Lady Katherine Swynford was John of Gaunt’s mistress. They had four children known as the Beauforts:

John Beaufort (circa 1373-1410 ) from whom all the sovereigns of England, starting
with Henry VII and in the Kingdom of Scotland all the monarchs starting with James V
ALL descend right down to today to include Queen Elizabeth II. ( see his entry )
Henry Beaufort (circa. 1375-1447 ( see his entry as Cardinal Beaufort )
Jean Beaufort ( circa.1377-1440 ) ( see her entry )
Thomas Beaufort ( circa. 1381-1426 ) (see his entry )

Third, married Katherine de Roet Swynford circa. 14 Jan 1396. This was John of Gaunt’s third marriage as the second husband to Lady Katherine Swynford ( circa 1350-1403), daughter of Sir Payn de Roet and who had married firstly Sir Hugh Swynford. ( circa 1340-1371) They did not have more children.

An interesting anecdote regarding John requires a "fast forward" to the 18th century. British General "Gentleman Johnny" Burgoyne, who lost the Battle of Saratoga (and perhaps the American Colonies) during the Revolution, was quite proud of his lineage. He said that his lands came to his family from the Duke of Lancaster using the following locution, "I, John of Gaunt, do give and graunt (grant), to Roger Burgoyne and the heirs of his loyne (loin), all Sotten and Potten, until the world's rotten."

dqw 2018 0812

The artwork is a rendering by John Hamilton Gaylor.
Beaufort2L.jpg Grailly_01.jpg Gaunt_01.jpg [3]_SwinfordRoet.jpg [1]_Swinford.jpg
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