A post about some of the grandchildren of Henry, earl of Lancaster (1280/81 - 22 September 1345), who was Edward II's first cousin, Isabella of France's uncle, Earl Thomas's younger brother and heir, Blanche of Artois's son, grandson and nephew of kings of England, great-grandson, brother-in-law and uncle of kings of France, half-brother of the queen of Navarre, and also descended from kings of Castile, Aragon and Germany and the Holy Roman and Byzantine emperors. Henry and his wife Maud Chaworth (2 February 1282 - 1321/22), niece of the earl of Warwick who died in 1315 and elder half-sister of Hugh Despenser the Younger, had six daughters and a son: Blanche, died 1380, married Thomas, Lord Wake; Isabella, d. 1349, prioress of Amesbury; Maud, d. 1377, m. William de Burgh, earl of Ulster, and Sir Ralph Ufford; Henry, first duke of Lancaster, d. 1361, m. Isabella Beaumont; Joan, d. 1343/44, m. John, Lord Mowbray; Eleanor, d. 1372, m. John, Lord Beaumont, and Richard Fitzalan, earl of Arundel; Mary, d. 1362, m. Henry, Lord Percy. Five of Henry of Lancaster and Maud Chaworth's seven children had children, the exceptions being Isabella (obviously) and Blanche Wake. Kenneth Fowler, biographer of Henry and Maud's son Duke Henry, states that Henry's daughters continued to live with him most of the time even after marriage, and the siblings and in-laws often travelled around the country and spent time together. This gives an impression of a family which was close-knit and enjoyed each other's company.
In no particular order, here are some of Henry of Lancaster and Maud Chaworth's grandchildren.
- Elizabeth de Burgh, duchess of Clarence and countess of Ulster (6 July 1332 - 10 December 1363)
The only child of Henry's third or fourth daughter Maud and her first husband William Donn de Burgh, earl of Ulster (17 September 1312 - 6 June 1333), Elizabeth was heir to a large inheritance: the earldom of Ulster, and her paternal grandmother Elizabeth de Clare's third of her brother the earl of Gloucester's lands. Edward III snapped up the rich heiress for his second son Lionel of Antwerp, who was more than six years Elizabeth's junior (b. 29 November 1338), and the couple had one child, Philippa, born in 1355, who married Edmund Mortimer, earl of March. This marriage ultimately led to the Mortimers, and their heirs the Yorkists, claiming the English throne in the fifteenth century as the descendants of Edward III's second son Lionel of Clarence, whereas the Lancastrians descended from the third son John of Gaunt.
- Blanche of Lancaster, duchess of Lancaster and countess of Leicester and Derby (25 March 1345 - 12 September 1368)
The only surviving child of Henry's only son Duke Henry, sole heir to the vast Lancastrian inheritance and, like her cousin Elizabeth de Burgh, married to a son of Edward III, in this case John of Gaunt (b. 1340). Geoffrey Chaucer immortalised Blanche, who (again, like her cousin Elizabeth) died very young, in his Book of the Duchess, praising her great beauty and kindness. Blanche's children included Henry IV, king of England and Philippa, queen of Portugal, the mother of the 'Illustrious Generation' who included the powerful Isabel of Portugal, duchess of Burgundy, Henry the Navigator and Ferdinand the Saint Prince.
- Henry Percy, first earl of Northumberland (10 November 1341 - 20 February 1408)
Son of Henry of Lancaster's youngest child Mary and Henry, Lord Percy, both of whom were born around 1320/21. Henry's paternal grandmother was Idonea, daughter of Robert, Lord Clifford killed at Bannockburn in 1314, and he was also descended from the Fitzalans and de Clares. He married Margaret Nevill, daughter of Ralph Nevill, lord of Raby and Alice Audley, and one of their children was the famous Harry Hotspur, killed at the battle of Shrewsbury in 1403. Henry was made earl of Northumberland soon after the coronation of Richard II in 1377, and is probably most famous nowadays for his important role in Shakespeare's plays about Richard II and Henry IV. He was killed at the battle of Bramham Moor in 1408 in rebellion against Henry IV, whom he had helped so much to become king in 1399.
- Richard Fitzalan, earl of Arundel (c. 1346 - 21 September 1397)
Henry of Lancaster's fifth daughter Eleanor (c. 1318-1372) had a son, Henry, by her first husband John, Lord Beaumont, who was killed jousting in 1342; Henry died in 1369. Richard, born probably in 1346, was her eldest child by her second husband Richard Fitzalan, earl of Arundel (c. 1313-1376), who had previously been married to Hugh Despenser the Younger's daughter Isabel and who disinherited their son Edmund when he had their marriage annulled in 1344. To Edmund's disgust, his much younger half-brother Richard succeeded their father, the richest man in England, on his death in 1376. (I really don't like the elder Richard. Anyone who can refer to his own child as 'that certain Edmund who claims himself to be my son' and totally ignore him and his (Edmund's) daughters in his will is beyond the pale, in my opinion.) The younger Richard married firstly Elizabeth, daughter of Edward II's nephew William de Bohun, earl of Northampton, with whom he had six or seven children. His heir was his son Thomas, who married Beatrice, illegitimate daughter of King João I of Portugal (Beatrice was thus the half-sister of the Illustrious Generation mentioned above). Richard married secondly the much younger Philippa Mortimer, daughter of Edmund Mortimer and Lionel of Clarence's daughter and heir Philippa, and the widow of John Hastings, earl of Pembroke, killed while jousting at the age of seventeen in 1389. Richard was an Appellant and enemy of Richard II, who had him beheaded in 1397.
- Maud de Vere née Ufford, countess of Oxford (1345/46 - 25 January 1413)
Daughter of Maud of Lancaster and her second husband Sir Ralph Ufford, justiciar of Ireland and brother of the earl of Suffolk, and thus the half-sister of Elizabeth de Burgh, duchess of Clarence. Ralph died when Maud was a baby, or perhaps still in utero, on 9 April 1346. She married Thomas de Vere, earl of Oxford and was the mother of the notorious Robert de Vere (1362-1392), also earl of Oxford, Richard II's favourite. Maud outlived her son Robert by more than twenty years; Robert's childless death meant that his uncle Aubrey, Thomas de Vere's brother, succeeded him as earl. As the mother of Richard II's beloved, it's hardly surprising that Maud was extremely hostile to Henry IV, to the extent of leading a rebellion against him in 1404 which would have involved an invasion of England by the duke of Orléans and the count of St Pol (see Ian Mortimer's biography of Henry IV for more details).
- Sir John Arundel, marshal of England (c. 1348 - 16 December 1379)
Second son of Eleanor of Lancaster and Richard Fitzalan, earl of Arundel. In February 1358 when he was only about nine or ten, John married a girl about three years his senior, Eleanor Maltravers, granddaughter and ultimately sole heir of John Maltravers (d. 1364), one of Edward of Caernarfon's custodians at Berkeley Castle in 1327. John and Eleanor's eldest son and heir John, born on 30 November 1364 when John was probably only sixteen, married Elizabeth Despenser, great-granddaughter of Hugh the Younger and sister of Thomas Despenser, earl of Gloucester. John (the elder) was appointed marshal of England by the new king Richard II in 1377, and drowned off the coast of Ireland two years later. Chronicler Thomas Walsingham accuses John and his men, whether correctly or not, of raping and assaulting nuns in a convent near Southampton and of ransacking the countryside nearby, and of carrying off widows and young girls taking refuge in the convent.
- Thomas Percy, earl of Worcester (1343 - 23 July 1403)
Brother of Henry Percy, earl of Northumberland, and steward of Richard II's household. Thomas took part in the rebellion of Henry and his (Henry's) son Harry Hotspur against Henry IV, and was captured at the battle of Shrewsbury in 1403 where his nephew Hotspur was killed. He was publicly beheaded in the town two days later. Oddly enough, Thomas never married.
- Joan de Bohun née Fitzalan (or Arundel), countess of Hereford, Essex and Northampton (c. 1350 - 17 April 1419)
One of the two daughters of Eleanor of Lancaster and Richard Fitzalan, earl of Arundel. Joan married Humphrey de Bohun, son and heir of William de Bohun, earl of Northampton, and also heir of his uncle Humphrey de Bohun, earl of Hereford and Essex; her brother Earl Richard married Humphrey's sister Elizabeth. Joan and Humphrey had two daughters: Eleanor, who married Edward III's fifth and youngest son Thomas of Woodstock, duke of Gloucester, and Mary, who married Thomas's nephew Henry of Lancaster, the future Henry IV. They were thus the grandparents of Henry V. Humphrey died on 25 March 1372, leaving Joan, then only in her early twenties at most, a widow with two young children. She lived as a widow for nearly fifty years, dying in 1419; I think she was the last surviving of Henry of Lancaster's grandchildren. Richard II's half-brother John Holland, earl of Huntingdon, came into her custody following the unsuccessful Epiphany Rising of January 1400, and Joan, a loyal supporter of her son-in-law Henry IV, had him beheaded.
- Alice Holland née Fitzalan (or Arundel), countess of Kent (c. 1352 - 17 March 1416)
Sister of Richard, earl of Arundel, Sir John Arundel and Joan, countess of Hereford. Alice married Sir Thomas Holland, earl of Kent, elder son of Sir Thomas Holland (d. 1360) and Joan of Kent, granddaughter of Edward I and mother of Richard II by her second marriage to Edward III's eldest son Edward of Woodstock, prince of Wales. Alice's elder son, yet another Thomas Holland, earl of Kent and formerly duke of Surrey, was beheaded in early January 1400 for attempting to restore his half-uncle Richard II to the throne during the Epiphany Rising. His uncle John Holland was also beheaded, while in the custody of Alice's sister Joan (see above), as were several other men including the earl of Salisbury and Thomas Despenser, formerly earl of Gloucester, great-grandson of Hugh the Younger. In the early 1400s Alice's second son Edmund, earl of Kent had an illegitimate daughter named Eleanor by the older and very highly-born Constance of York, Thomas Despenser's widow, daughter of Edward III's fourth son Edmund of Langley, duke of York and granddaughter of Pedro the Cruel, king of Castile. (You can read about Constance and her amazing life, and many of the other people mentioned here, in Brian Wainwright's wonderful novel Within the Fetterlock.) Alice and Thomas Holland also had five daughters: Joan, who married the decades-older Edmund of Langley, duke of York as his second wife; Margaret, who married John of Gaunt and Katherine Swynford's eldest child John Beaufort, marquess of Dorset, and secondly Henry IV's second son Thomas, duke of Clarence; Elizabeth, who married Sir John Nevill (eldest son of Ralph Nevill, earl of Westmorland by his first wife and much older half-brother of Edward IV's mother Cecily Nevill); Eleanor, who married Roger Mortimer (d. 1398), earl of March; another Eleanor, who married Thomas Montacute, earl of Salisbury.
- John, Lord Mowbray (25 June 1340 - c. 9 October 1368)
Only son of Henry of Lancaster's third or fourth daughter Joan and John, Lord Mowbray, b. 1310, son and heir of the John, Lord Mowbray - they really weren't imaginative with names - born in 1286 and executed by Edward II in 1322. John born in 1340 married Elizabeth Segrave, born on 25 October 1338 as one of the two daughters and co-heirs of Edward II's niece Margaret Marshal (d. 1399), much later duchess of Norfolk in her own right (the other daughter was Anne Manny, born 1355, who married the earl of Pembroke). John died in his late twenties on crusade near Constantinople, leaving his elder son John who died as a teenager in 1379, a younger son Thomas born in 1366, and four daughters, one of whom was abbess of Barking. Thomas Mowbray, ultimately his father's heir, was perpetually banished from England by Richard II in 1398, and died in Venice the following year. He married Elizabeth, daughter of the earl of Arundel executed in 1397, and his descendants were dukes of Norfolk. (The extremely yummy James Purefoy played Thomas Mowbray in the BBC's fantastic recent production of Shakespeare's Richard II, first part of their Hollow Crown series.)
- Thomas Arundel, archbishop of York, archbishop of Canterbury, chancellor of England (c. 1353 - 19 February 1414)
Third and youngest son of Eleanor of Lancaster and Richard Fitzalan, Thomas became bishop of Ely in 1373 when he was about twenty. Archbishop of York in 1388 then of Canterbury in 1396, he was exiled from England in 1397 by Richard II after the king's execution of his brother the earl of Arundel, and invaded England with Henry of Lancaster in 1399.