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

1 comment:

sami parkkonen said...

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