30 December, 2019

The Children of Richard, Earl of Arundel (d. 1376) and Eleanor of Lancaster (d. 1372)

A post about the five children of Richard (Fitzalan), earl of Arundel (c. 1313-76) and his second wife Eleanor of Lancaster (c. 1316/18-72), fifth of the six daughters of Edward II's first cousin and Queen Isabella's uncle Henry, earl of Lancaster and Leicester (c. 1280-1345). Richard was married firstly in early 1321, when they were both young children, to Edward II's great-niece Isabella Despenser, eldest daughter of Hugh Despenser the Younger and Eleanor de Clare. He had their marriage annulled in 1344 a few weeks before he married Eleanor of Lancaster in early 1345, and their son Edmund Arundel was thereby made illegitimate. Eleanor had also been married before; she was the widow of John, Lord Beaumont, who was killed jousting in the spring of 1342, and was the mother of John's heir Henry Beaumont, born in late 1339 or the beginning of 1340.

An entry on the Fine Roll in July 1416 lists Earl Richard's "issue by Eleanor, lawfully begotten" in what must be birth order: Joan, countess of Hereford; Richard the younger, earl of Arundel; Alice, countess of Kent; John, marshal of England; Thomas, archbishop of Canterbury. [1] If that is not their birth order, it would be an odd way in which to list Richard and Eleanor's children. Joan, countess of Hereford, was still alive in July 1416 and her younger sister Alice, countess of Kent, had died only months before, so it seems probable that the information was correct. Eleanor of Lancaster was probably already pregnant with her eldest Arundel child in July 1345, when she and Richard asked Pope Clement VI for "the legitimation of their offspring present and future". [2]

This pregnancy would seem highly likely to be Joan, named as Richard and Eleanor's eldest child in 1416, who married Edward I's great-grandson Humphrey de Bohun (1342-73), earl of Hereford, Essex and Northampton. Joan and Humphrey had two daughters, Eleanor, duchess of Gloucester and countess of Buckingham, and Mary, countess of Derby, who were joint heirs to the large de Bohun inheritance and to three earldoms; I'll look at the two women in a future post. Joan, countess of Hereford, Essex and Northampton, was a formidable and fascinating woman. She was widowed in early 1373 when she was probably only twenty-seven, never remarried, lived until April 1419 when she was well past seventy, and is probably most famous for having Richard II's half-brother John Holland, earl of Huntingdon, executed without a trial in early 1400 after he joined the Epiphany Rising against her son-in-law Henry IV. Joan was the last surviving child of the earl and countess of Arundel, the last surviving grandchild of Henry, earl of Lancaster (d. 1345) and Maud Chaworth (d. 1322), and the maternal grandmother of Henry V.

Until recently, I thought that the second child Richard (d. 1397), his father's namesake and heir, earl of Arundel and Surrey, first appeared on record on 1 March 1347. [3] Having re-read the relevant entry on the Patent Roll, that's actually not the case. On that date, Earl Richard the elder (d. 1376) granted his lands to his wife Eleanor of Lancaster to hold after his death (though in the end he outlived her by four years), and after her own death, the lands "shall remain to the heirs male of the earl begotten of the body of Eleanor or in default of such to Richard de Arundell the younger and the heirs male of his body, with reversion to the right heirs of the earl." This is repeated in the July 1416 entry on the Fine Roll cited above: "...with remainder to the heirs male of the said earl by Eleanor, daughter of Henry de Lancastre the elder [d. 1345], late earl of Lancaster, remainder in default of such heir male by Eleanor to Richard de Arundell the younger, and the heirs male of his body, and the remainder to the right heirs of the said then earl."

At first I assumed that 'Richard de Arundell the younger' must mean Richard, earl of Arundel, the one beheaded on the orders of Richard II in September 1397, the one who had a large family with Elizabeth de Bohun (d. 1385). But re-reading it, it seems clear that Earl Richard the elder (d. 1376) still had no sons with Eleanor of Lancaster on 1 March 1347, as it talks of the possible 'default' of his 'heirs male...begotten of the body of Eleanor'. At any rate, the earl of Arundel obviously deemed it important to ensure that his inheritance fell to his sons with Eleanor of Lancaster and not to the unfortunate and callously-treated Edmund Arundel, his cast-off son from his first marriage to Isabella Despenser, born c. 1326 when the couple were still only at the start of their teens. I don't know who  'Richard de Arundell the younger' actually is, and Richard, earl of Arundel the younger (d. 1397), eldest of Richard the elder's three sons with Eleanor of Lancaster, must have been born sometime after 1 March 1347. This Richard's second eldest daughter Elizabeth Mowbray (b. c. mid or late 1360s), countess of Nottingham and later duchess of Norfolk, gave birth to her first son and her father's eldest grandchild Thomas Mowbray in September 1385, and Earl Richard was a young grandfather, still only in his thirties. His only surviving son and heir Thomas, earl of Arundel (1381-1415) had no legitimate children, but several of his daughters left plenty of descendants. Richard was probably in his late forties, close to fifty years old, when he was beheaded in London in September 1397. His first wife Elizabeth de Bohun was the sister of his elder sister Joan's husband Humphrey de Bohun; his second wife Philippa Mortimer, daughter and sister of earls of March and a great-granddaughter of Edward III, was born in 1375 and was decades his junior.

Alice appears next in the list of Arundel/Lancaster children and was the third child and second daughter, and may have been born in 1348 or 1349. She was, therefore, likely to have been a bit older than her husband Thomas Holland, earl of Kent and Lord Wake, the eldest son and heir of Joan of Kent, later princess of Wales and mother of King Richard II. Thomas was said to be either nine or ten years old in the inquisition post mortem held after his father Thomas Holland the elder died at the end of 1360, and therefore was born in 1350 or 1351. [4] Alice had originally been betrothed to Edmund Mortimer, future earl of March (born in early 1352 and also somewhat her junior) on 6 November 1354, but this did not work out, and Edmund married Edward III's granddaughter Philippa of Clarence instead. [5] Alice's marriage to Thomas Holland had either already taken place or was shortly to take place on 10 April 1364. [6]

Alice and Thomas had two sons and five daughters who lived into adulthood. Both sons were married but left no legitimate children, though their second son Edmund, earl of Kent (1383-1408), had an illegitimate daughter named Alianore Holland with Edward III's granddaughter Constance, Lady Despenser, who had descendants. Four of their five daughters had children, and Alice and Thomas were and are the ancestors of pretty well everyone. They were the grandparents of, among many others, Joan Beaufort, queen-consort of Scotland, Edmund Beaufort, duke of Somerset, Edmund Mortimer, earl of March and Ulster (also the grandson of Alice's former betrothed Edmund Mortimer), Ralph Neville, earl of Westmorland, and Alice Montacute, countess of Salisbury. Thomas's will of 1397, written in English, talks movingly of the "love and trust that hath been between" himself and his wife. Alice outlived him by nineteen years and died in March 1416.

John Arundel, second son and fourth child, was betrothed to the heiress Eleanor Maltravers by 4 August 1357, when an entry on the Patent Roll talks of lands to be granted to "John son of the said earl [of Arundel], and Eleanor daughter of John son of the said John Mautravers and the heirs begotten by the said John [Arundel] of the body of the said Eleanor." Despite John's youth, he had been married to Eleanor by 9 February 1359. [7] In 1364 Eleanor was named as co-heir, with her elder sister Joan, to their grandfather John, Lord Maltravers, one of Edward II's custodians at Berkeley Castle in 1327 (John's only son John, Eleanor's father, died in 1349, and Eleanor's brother Henry, born c. 1 January 1348, died young). Eleanor was said to be nineteen in her grandfather's IPM of early 1364, and was therefore born around 1344/45, making her a few years older than her husband. [8]

John and Eleanor's first son, inevitably also named John Arundel, was, according to the elder John's inquisition post mortem in early 1380, born on 30 November 1364. [9] The elder John, therefore, must have been a very young father. Assuming he had to have been fourteen when he and Eleanor were allowed to consummate their marriage, and given that they must have consummated it by April/May 1364 at the latest as they had a child born at the end of November 1364, John can't have been born later than April/May 1350. Possibly he was a younger twin of his sister Alice, and was born in 1348/49? I'm only speculating, though. I suppose it's certainly possible that he became a father at fourteen. His wife Eleanor was probably twenty by late 1364 when she bore her first child.

As well as their eldest son John (b. 1364), who married Edward, Lord Despenser's daughter Elizabeth (d. 1408) in or before 1380, John Arundel and Eleanor Maltravers had four younger sons, William, Richard, Henry and Edward - the latter two are only known because they were named in their grandfather the earl of Arundel's will of 1375 and probably died young - and two daughters, Joan and Margaret. Sir John Arundel drowned in the Irish Sea in December 1379, possibly not yet thirty or only recently turned thirty, leaving his fifteen-year-old eldest son John as his heir. His widow Eleanor Maltravers married her second husband Sir Reynold or Reginald Cobham in 1380 and had more children with him. She died in 1404, and her grandson John Arundel (1385-1421), eldest son of her eldest son John Arundel (1364-90), was her heir. When Thomas, earl of Arundel died in 1415 leaving no legitimate children from his marriage to Beatriz of Portugal, and leaving no surviving brothers or nephews either, this branch of the family became earls of Arundel.

Incidentally, there's a new book about John Maltravers (d. 1364) by Caroleen McClure, published in 2019, which looks great.

Thomas Arundel was evidently the youngest child of Richard, earl of Arundel and Eleanor of Lancaster, and made an excellent career in the Church: he became bishop of Ely, then archbishop of York, then archbishop of Canterbury. His entry in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography states that he was twenty when he became bishop of Ely in August 1373, so he must have been born between September 1352 and August 1353. Thomas's career was a fascinating one, not least because he was banished by a vengeful Richard II in 1397 when his elder brother the earl was executed, and returned to England in 1399 with Henry of Lancaster, soon to become Henry IV. Archbishop Arundel died in 1414, outlived by his sisters Joan, dowager countess of Hereford and Alice, dowager countess of Kent.


1) Calendar of Fine Rolls 1413-22, pp. 166-67.
2) Petitions to the Pope 1342-1419, p. 99.
3) Calendar of Patent Rolls 1345-48, pp. 328-29.
4) Calendar of Inquisitions Post Mortem 1352-60, no. 657.
5) Calendar of Close Rolls 1354-60, pp. 92-94 ("witnessing that the earl of la Marche has granted that Edmund his son and heir shall marry Alice daughter of the said earl of Arundel").
6) CPR 1361-64, p. 480.
7) CPR 1354-58, p. 595; Feet of Fines, P 25/1/288/47, no. 637, which talks of "John, son of Richard, earl of Arundel, and Eleanor, his wife."
8) CIPM 1347-52, no. 190: Henry Maltravers was "aged one of the feast at the Circumcision last" in April 1349. CIPM 1361-65, no. 592.
9) CIPM 1377-84, nos. 179-89, "aged 15 years at the feast of St Andrew last" in February 1380.l o

22 December, 2019

Merry Christmas 2019

This blog has now been running for just over fourteen years, since 3 December 2005! It's yet another festive season, and here's a festive wish to you from me.

I have an article about Philippa of Hainault, Edward III's queen, in the new issue of BBC History Magazine (the January 2020 issue). I have my copy of it already, though I'm not sure if it's in the shops yet. If not, it surely will be soon.

Philippa of Hainault arrived in England at Christmas 1327, just days after the funeral of her father-in-law Edward II, whom she never met, in Gloucester on 20 December. She was most probably just thirteen years old; according to the chronicler Jean Froissart, she was 'almost fourteen' when she married Edward III on or around 25 January 1328, and if he was correct on this point, this would place Philippa's date of birth around February 1314. Contrary to popular modern belief - based on the statement by Froissart that she and her sisters were 'Margerite, Phelippe, Jehanne and Ysabiel' - Philippa was not the second daughter of her parents, but the third. Johanna of Hainault had married the future count of Jülich as far back as February 1324, was already a mother by late 1327, and was certainly older than Queen Philippa. Also contrary to popular modern belief, there is no reason to suppose that Philippa was born on 24 June 1314. Her eldest sister Margaretha, Holy Roman Empress, queen of Germany and Italy, and duchess of Bavaria, was born on (or close to) 24 June 1310, and her date of birth has often been assigned to her sister on no real evidence whatsoever.

The Hainault sisters' mother Jeanne de Valois, countess of Hainault and Holland, gave birth to her youngest child Jan sometime in late 1327 not long before Philippa moved to England, but he died soon after birth. Their brother Louis or Lodewijk (b. 1325) also died in or shortly before October 1327. (Some of Jeanne's grandchildren were older than or the same age as her own youngest children.) The end of 1327 was, therefore, a sad time for Countess Jeanne; she lost two of her sons, the two youngest of her nine or more children, and her third daughter Philippa moved permanently to England. Jeanne's household accounts show that a succession of ladies and 'young ladies' attended the Hainault court at Christmas 1327, 'to visit and console Madame'. And although Philippa of Hainault was to form a very happy and successful, and very long, marriage to Edward III, her situation in her new home was to be a very difficult one for the first few years, with her mother-in-law Isabella of France and Isabella's chief ally Roger Mortimer dominating the government. It would be most interesting to know what young Philippa was thinking when she arrived in her new country, almost exactly 692 years ago.

08 December, 2019

Thomas Romeyn (d. 1312/13) And His Daughter Rohese Burford (d. 1329)

Thomas Romeyn or Romayn was a wealthy pepperer, i.e. spice-trader, in London late in the reign of Edward I and early in the reign of Edward II. His last name is believed to indicate Italian birth or ancestry, i.e. 'Roman', and indeed many pepperers in London in the early fourteenth century were Italian or of Italian origin. Thomas was sheriff of London in 1290/91, mayor in 1309/10, and one of the city aldermen from 1294 until his death in or a little after late 1312. He made his will on 21 December 1312 and probably died soon afterwards, and certainly before 19 May 1313.

Sometime in or before the mid-1280s, Thomas Romeyn married Juliana Hauteyn, sister of Philip Hauteyn (d. 1304), also a pepperer from London. The couple had four daughters: Rohese (or Roesia or Rose), Margery, Alice, and Joan. Alice and Joan both became nuns at Holywell Priory in Shoreditch. Rohese Romeyn was born around 1286 and her sister Margery around 1290; they were said to be forty and thirty-six years old respectively in their mother Juliana's inquisition post mortem of June 1326. Rohese married John Burford, a pepperer originally from Southampton, and Margery married Robert Upton, sometime before 21 December 1312 when their father mentioned his two sons-in-law in his will. Margery Upton née Romeyn was widowed and married her second husband William Weston sometime before June 1326. Thomas Romeyn's will also mentions another member of the family, his daughters' aunt, 'Dame Cristina de Kent'. [1]

The spice trade made Thomas and Juliana Romeyn very well-off: they owned lands, tenements and houses in London, Middlesex, Surrey, Kent and Sussex. The Romeyns lived in the parish of St Mary Aldermary on Watling Street, one of the many London churches which would be badly damaged centuries later in the Great Fire of 1666, and was rebuilt by Christopher Wren. Their eldest daughter Rohese and her husband John Burford lived for years on Soper Lane in London, possibly in a residence owned by Thomas Romeyn. John Burford died in or before October 1322, and Rohese did not remarry. [2] The couple had a son, James, born in about 1320 when Rohese was about thirty-four, and daughters Katherine and Joan. James Burford was knighted in the early 1340s. [3] Joan Burford must have been older than her brother James as she was already married by 1329 when James was only about nine years old; she married Thomas Betoyne, who, like her father John Burford and her maternal grandfather Thomas Romeyn, was a pepperer.

Juliana Romeyn née Hauteyn outlived her husband Thomas by a few years and died in May 1326; an inquisition post mortem for her was held the following month, because some of the many houses, tenements and lands the Romeyns owned were held of the king in chief. Rohese Burford née Romeyn was ill at the time of her mother's death in May 1326 and for some weeks afterwards, and it was said that "from weakness [she] cannot exert herself without danger." She had recovered enough by 16 June 1326 to do fealty to the king with her brother-in-law William Weston, her younger sister Margery's second husband, and they received Juliana's lands. [4

As the executor of her late husband John Burford's will, Rohese had to petition Edward II on several occasions asking for two loans of £142 John had made to the king to be repaid to her. [5] In or before January 1325, Rohese was able to lend a man the sum of 1,000 marks or £666. In modern terms, this is over a million pounds. A successful businesswoman in her own right, Rohese made a living from exporting wool as well as running her late husband's spice business. [6] She displayed yet another of her talents in 1316, when she made and embroidered a cope Edward II sent as a gift to the newly-elected pope, John XXII, and the king paid her 100 marks for it. [7]

Rohese Burford née Romeyn wrote her will on Friday, 31 March 1329, and died shortly before 12 April at the age of about forty-three, leaving her nine-year-old son James Burford as her heir. [8] In her will, Rohese bequeathed forty shillings for repairs to be carried out on London Bridge, and requested John Pulteney, then mayor of London, to act as the guardian of her two young unmarried children Katherine and James until they came of age. Rohese's younger sister Margery (b. c. 1290) had a daughter with her first husband Robert Upton, whom she named Juliana after her mother Juliana Romeyn née Hauteyn, and a son called Richard Weston from her second marriage, who was her heir. Rohese's son Sir James Burford married a woman named Katherine Strecche, and had a daughter and heir Margaret. According to a book written in the late nineteenth century, Rohese née Romeyn and John Burford had a third daughter named Margaret, who married John Pulteney, the mayor of London who was also James Burford's guardian in and after 1329. This would make James and Pulteney brothers-in-law, and may well be true, though there is no mention of a daughter named Margaret in Rohese's will.


1) Calendar of Wills Proved and Enrolled in the Court of Husting, London, vol. 1, p. 238; Calendar of Inquisitions Post Mortem 1317-27, no. 696.
2) Calendar of Patent Rolls 1317-21, p. 533; CPR 1321-4, p. 207.
3) CIPM 1327-36, no. 229; Calendar of Close Rolls 1341-43, pp. 550-51; Calendar of Wills Proved and Enrolled, p. 352.
4) Calendar of Fine Rolls 1319-27, p. 393; CCR 1323-27, pp. 582-85; CIPM 1317-27, no. 696.
5) The National Archives SC 8/178/8894, SC 8/158/7871 and 7872, SC 8/113/5604 and 5605.
6) CCR 1323-27, p. 336; TNA SC 8/178/8894.
7) Thomas Stapleton, 'A Brief Summary of the Wardrobe Accounts of the tenth, eleventh, and fourteenth years of King Edward the Second', Archaeologia, 26 (1836), p. 322.
8) Wills Proved, p. 352; CIPM 1327-36, no. 229.