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 John of Gaunt

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Melisende
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PostSubject: John of Gaunt   Mon Oct 27, 2008 4:41 pm

John of Gaunt
(1340 - 1399)
Duke of Lancaster (1362 - 1399).

Born in Ghent, the third surviving son of Edward III of England of Philippa of Hainault. John's power was at it apex during the final illness of his father Edward III (1376 - 1377).

John had sufficient power to threaten the King but was loyal to his nephew Richard II. One of John's appointments was as Lieutenant of Gascony.

John's father Edward III had provided him with the vast inheritance of Lancaster by way of marriage to the heiress Blanche (1359). John married a second time, to Constance, elder daughter of King Pedro the Cruel of Castile (which gave him a claim to the throne of Castile and Leon). John married a third time to his mistress, Katherine Swynford, nee Roet.

John was the father of King Henry IV Bolingbroke and Philippa, whom he married into Spanish royalty. His children by Katherine Swynford were illegitimate and surnamed Beaufort. These children were legitimised during the reign of Richard II (1397).

John attempted to take Castile (1386 - 1389) - no doubt this stemmed from certain rights of his second wife Constance of Castile.

By surviving his rivals, John was seen as such a threat that at his death, Richard II forbade son Henry Bolingbroke for entering into inheritance.

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