13 August, 2021

Edward II's Grandchildren

In birth order, here's a list of Edward II's fourteen grandchildren, the seven sons and five daughters of his son Edward III (1312-77), and the two sons of his elder daughter Eleanor of Woodstock (1318-55), duchess of Guelders. Edward's younger son John of Eltham (1316-36), earl of Cornwall, his younger daughter Joan of the Tower (1321-62), queen of Scotland, and his illegitimate son Adam (c. 1305/10-22) had no children.

Edward of Woodstock, prince of Wales and Aquitaine, first duke of Cornwall, earl of Chester, b. 15 June 1330, d. 8 June 1376. The eldest child of Edward III and Philippa of Hainault, born as heir to his teenage father's throne but died a year before the king; the father of Richard II (b. 1367).

Isabella of Woodstock, countess of Bedford and Soissons, Lady Coucy, b. c. 16 June 1332, d. 5 October 1382 (not, as often stated, in 1379). The eldest daughter of Edward III and Queen Philippa; married the French nobleman Enguerrand de Coucy (b. c. 1340) at the age of 33 in July 1365 and mother of Marie (b. 1366) and Philippa (b. 1367) de Coucy. Isabella was the only one of the king and queen's five daughters who had children.

Reynald III, duke of Guelders and count of Zutphen, b. 13 May 1333; the elder son of Eleanor of Woodstock, born the month before his mother's fifteenth birthday. He succeeded his father Duke Reynald II as a ten-year-old in October 1343, and died in December 1371 leaving no children from his marriage to Marie of Brabant, though did have at least two illegitimate children.

Joan of Woodstock, b. c. January 1334 or possibly at the end of 1333, second daughter of Edward III and Queen Philippa; died of plague in the summer of 1348 on her way to marry Pedro (b. August 1334), heir to the throne of Castile and Leon, later known as Pedro 'the Cruel'.

Eduard I, duke of Guelders and count of Zutphen, b. 12 March 1336, the younger son of Eleanor of Woodstock and named after his maternal grandfather Edward II. Deadly enemy of his older brother Reynald, with whom he battled for control of the duchy of Guelders, and died some months before Reynald in August 1371. Betrothed but never married to Katharina of Bavaria (a granddaughter of Queen Philippa's eldest sister Margareta of Hainault, Holy Roman Empress), and left no children.

William of Hatfield, b. c. early January 1337, d. in or before early February 1337; the second son of Edward III and Philippa. Named after his maternal grandfather William or Willem, count of Hainault and Holland.

Lionel of Antwerp, first duke of Clarence, earl of Ulster, b. 29 November 1338 in modern-day Belgium; third son of Edward and Philippa but the second eldest to live into adulthood. He married Elizabeth de Burgh on 15 August 1342 when he was still only three years old and she, born on 6 July 1332, was ten, and became a father on 16 August 1355 when he was sixteen. Lionel married his second wife Violante Visconti of Milan a few months before his death on 17 October 1368, aged twenty-nine.

John of Gaunt, titular king of Castile and Leon, second duke of Lancaster, earl of Richmond, Lincoln, Leicester and Derby, b. 6 March 1340 in Ghent in modern-day Belgium, and the third eldest royal son to live into adulthood. John married Blanche of Lancaster in May 1359, Pedro the Cruel's daughter and heir Constanza of Castile in September 1371, and his long-term lover Katherine Swynford in February 1396. John was the father of King Henry IV and grandfather of Henry V, and died on 3 February 1399 a month before his fifty-ninth birthday. Four sons and four daughters outlived him, including the queens of Portugal and Castile.

Edmund of Langley, first duke of York, earl of Cambridge, b. c. 5 June 1341, d. 1 August 1402; the fourth son in a row borne by Queen Philippa. Edmund was the last survivor of Edward III's children, and was the only one to live past 1400. He married Isabel of Castile, younger daughter of Pedro the Cruel, in July 1372, and the decades-younger Joan Holland, daughter of the earl of Kent, in c. November 1393. Edmund had two sons and a daughter from his first marriage.

Blanche of the Tower, b. either March or June 1342, d. in infancy in 1342. If she was born in March 1342, Queen Philippa's pregnancy, given that Edmund was born in June 1341, cannot have gone to term. Blanche was buried in Westminster Abbey in early 1343. Her eldest brother Edward of Woodstock referred to her, in a letter about her burial, as dame Blaunche nostre tres amee soer, 'Lady Blanche, our much loved sister'.

Mary of Waltham, b. 10 October 1344, d. after 1 October 1361; married John of Brittany (b. 1339), later Duke John IV of Brittany, but left no children.

Margaret of Windsor, b. 20 July 1346, d. after 1 October 1361; married John Hastings (b. 29 August 1347), heir to the earldom of Pembroke, but left no children.

William of Windsor, b. c. mid or late May 1348, d. before 5 September 1348; godson of his eldest brother Edward of Woodstock. 

Thomas of Woodstock, first duke of Gloucester, earl of Buckingham and Essex, b. 7 January 1355, d. c. 8 September 1397; the seventh son and the twelfth and youngest child of Edward and Philippa, many years younger than his siblings (after his sisters Mary and Margaret died when he was six or seven, the sibling closest to him in age was Edmund of Langley, thirteen and a half years his senior). Thomas married Eleanor de Bohun (b. 1366) in c. 1374 and had a son and three daughters; his son Humphrey died at the age of seventeen in 1399, and Thomas's sole heir was ultimately his eldest daughter Anne, countess of Stafford (1383-1438). Thomas was murdered in Calais on the orders of his nephew Richard II, most probably on or around 8 September 1397.

Incidentally, 'Thomas of Windsor', another son sometimes assigned to King Edward and Queen Philippa by modern writers, who was supposedly born in the summer of 1347 and died in the same year as his slightly younger brother William of Windsor, did not exist. The 1399 will of Thomas of Woodstock's widow Eleanor de Bohun specifically names her late husband as Edward III's seventh son, and if 'Thomas of Windsor' had ever existed, Woodstock would actually have been the eighth. The invented 'Thomas' has been given the birthplace of William of Windsor, the name of Thomas of Woodstock, and the burial place of Edmund of Langley (Langley Priory in Hertfordshire), and is thus a fictional composite of King Edward and Queen Philippa's three youngest sons.


Anonymous said...

Hope things are getting better for you. Is it just my imagination, or is there an unusual number born at Woodstock? Any idea why that place would be a preferred spot for giving birth?


Kathryn Warner said...

Thanks, Esther! I think it just means that Queen Philippa liked Woodstock.