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Name: John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster Determine relationship to Elizabeth de Neville
Birth: 24 JUN 1340 Ghent, Oost-Vlaanderen, Belgium Father: Edward III, King of England Mother:Philippa d'Avesnes, Countess of Hainault
Married: Blanche Plantagenet 19 MAY 1359 Reading Abbey, Berkshire, England
Children Born Died
Philippa Plantagenet 1360 1415
Elizabeth of Lancaster Plantagenet 1365 Burford, Shropshire, England 1426
Henry IV Bolingbroke, King of England APR 1367 Bolingbroke, Lincolnshire, England 20 MAR 1414 London, Greater London, England
Married: Katheryn de Roët Swynford 13 JAN 1396 Lincoln Cathedral, Lincolnshire, England
Children Born Died
John de Beaufort, Earl of Somerset 1373 Beaufort Castle, Anjou, Rhône-Alpes, France 21 APR 1410 Hospital of St. Katherine-by-the-Tower, The City, London, England
Married: Constanza (Constance), Queen of Castile 21 SEP 1371 Roquefort, Guienne, France
Children Born Died
Catherine Plantagenet 1374 Hereford, Herefordshire, England 2 JUN 1418 Valladolid, Castilla y Leon, Spain
Married: Katheryn de Roët Swynford 13 JAN 1396 Lincoln Cathedral, Lincolnshire, England
Children Born Died
Henry Beaufort, Bishop of Winchester 1375 Beaufort Castle, Anjou, Rhône-Alpes, France 11 APR 1447 Wolvesey Palace, Winchester, Hampshire, England
Thomas de Beaufort, Duke of Exeter 1377 27 DEC 1426 East Greenwich, Kent, England
Joan de Beaufort ABT 1379 Chateau de Beaufort, Maine-et-Loire, France 13 NOV 1440 Howden, Yorkshire, England
Death: 3 FEB 1399 Leicester Castle, Leicestershire, England
Burial: Saint Paul's Cathedral, London, England
Remarks: BIOGRAPHICAL: claimant King of Castile; titular Duke of Aquitaine; dominated England during last years of King Edward III 's life.

John of Gaunt's armor in the Tower of London show his height as 6' 7". He played an important part in the wars of the period between England and France and between England and Spain. He commanded a division of the English army, led by the Black Prince, that defeated the army of Henry (later Henry II, king of Castile and León) at Najera in 1367.

As a result of his second marriage, to Constance, daughter of Pedro III the Cruel (king of Castile and León), John laid claim to the throne of Castile. During the Hundred Years' War, he aided (1370-71) the Black Prince against France and established English rule over most of southern France.

After a severe illness forced the return of the Black Prince to England, John took command of the English armies; by 1380 he had lost much of the territory the English had previously won. In 1386 John invaded Castile, but was defeated by John I, king of Castile and León. John of Gaunt gave up his claim to Castile and León in 1387, when his daughter married Henry, later Henry III, king of Castile and León.

John of Gaunt was also prominent in English affairs. Together with Alice Perrers (d. 1400), his father's mistress, John dominated the English government. His rule was opposed by Parliament and by the Black Prince.

In 1376 Parliament banished Alice Perrers and curtailed John's powers. The death of the Black Prince that year and the dissolution of Parliament, however, enabled John to regain his power. In 1377, on the death of Edward III and the accession of Richard II (John's nephew and son of the Black Prince), John gave up his control of the government and thereafter played the role of peacemaker; he also supported the king, by whom he was made (1390) duke of Aquitaine.

In 1396, after the death of his second wife, John married his mistress Catherine Swynford and Richard legitimized their children the following year. Saddened by the exile (1398) of his son, Henry of Lancaster (later King Henry IV of England), John died.

Database: stanwardine   Bridge Family Tree
Contact: William Bridge