Death of John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster – ancestor of the Lancastrian Kings and the Tudors
The death of John of Gaunt occurred on 3 February 1399 at Leicester Castle.
He was the third surviving son of Edward III and Philippa of Hainault. He was born on 6 March 1340 in Ghent, which why he was called ‘of Gaunt’.
His first wife was Blanche, the daughter of Henry of Grosmont, 1st Duke of Lancaster. They married in 1359. His father gave him the title Duke of Lanacster in 1362 after the death of his father-in-law. Their eldest son surviving infancy was Henry Bolingbroke, who would later become the Lancastrian king Henry IV.
After Blanche’s death in 1369, he married the Infanta Constance of Castile in 1371. She died in 1394.
With Katherine de Roet he is the ancestor of the Beaufort family. The children were born when Katherine was his mistress. However, Katherine and John married in 1396 and the children were legitimised. Their half-brother Henry IV barred the Beauforts from the succession to the throne. The later fact was conveniently forgotten by Margaret Beaufort and her son Henry Tudor, when he aimed to become king (Henry VII). Katherine and her relationship with John of Gaunt is the subject of Anya Seton’s unforgettable novel Katherine.
Richard Cavendish, ‘Death of John of Gaunt‘, History Today (2 February 1999). [accessed 3 February 2013]
John of Gaunt, duke of Lancaster, Encyclopaedia Britannica
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