John of Gaunt
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John of Gaunt[Mid. Eng. Gaunt=Ghent, his birthplace], 1340–99, duke of Lancaster; fourth son of Edward IIIEdward III,
1312–77, king of England (1327–77), son of Edward II and Isabella. Early Life
He was made earl of Chester in 1320 and duke of Aquitaine in 1325 and accompanied his mother to France in 1325.
..... Click the link for more information. of England. He married (1359) Blanche, heiress of Lancaster, and through her became earl (1361) and duke (1362) of Lancaster. The Lancaster holdings made him the wealthiest and one of the most influential nobles in England. He served under his brother, Edward the Black PrinceEdward the Black Prince,
1330–76, eldest son of Edward III of England. He was created duke of Cornwall in 1337, the first duke to be created in England, and prince of Wales in 1343.
..... Click the link for more information. , in the Hundred Years War and went (1367) on his campaign to aid Peter the CruelPeter the Cruel,
1334–69, Spanish king of Castile and León (1350–69), son and successor of Alfonso XI. His desertion of his wife, Blanche of Bourbon, for María Padilla and his favors to the Padilla family aroused the opposition of the nobles and led to
..... Click the link for more information. of Castile. After the death of Blanche he married (1371) Peter's daughter, Constance, and thus gained a claim to the Castilian throne. When the Black Prince became ill during the French campaign of 1370–71, John took chief command. In 1373 he led his army from Calais to Bordeaux, but the expedition accomplished little. After a truce was reached (1375) he returned to England, where he allied himself with the corrupt court party led by Alice Perrers, mistress of the aging Edward III. For a short time John of Gaunt in effect ruled England. His party was temporarily dislodged from power by the Good Parliament of 1376, but John was soon able to restore his friends and assembled a hand-picked Parliament in 1377. Hostility to the strong clerical party, led by William of WykehamWilliam of Wykeham
or William of Wickham
, 1324–1404, English prelate and lord chancellor. He is thought to have been the son of a serf. Entering the service of the royal court in 1347, he supervised the building of additions to Windsor Castle and rapidly gained
..... Click the link for more information. , caused him to support the movement of John WyclifWyclif, Wycliffe, Wickliffe, or Wiclif, John
, c.1328–1384, English religious reformer. A Yorkshireman by birth, Wyclif studied and taught theology and philosophy at Oxford.
..... Click the link for more information. . After the accession (1377) of his nephew, Richard IIRichard II,
1367–1400, king of England (1377–99), son of Edward the Black Prince. Early Life
After his father's death (1376) he was created prince of Wales and succeeded his grandfather, Edward III, to the throne.
..... Click the link for more information. , John remained the most powerful figure in the government, but he devoted himself primarily to military matters. In 1386, allied with John I of Portugal, who married one of his daughters, he led an expedition to make good his Castilian claims against John I of Castile. John of Gaunt finally agreed to peace in 1388, transferred his claims to his daughter by Constance of Castile, and married her to the future Henry III of Castile. He returned to England in 1389, was made duke of Aquitaine, and helped to restore peace between Richard II and the hostile barons led by Thomas of Woodstock, duke of GloucesterGloucester, Thomas of Woodstock, duke of,
1355–97, English nobleman; youngest son of Edward III. He was betrothed (1374) to Eleanor, heiress of Humphrey de Bohun, earl of Hereford, and became earl of Buckingham at the coronation of Richard II (1377).
..... Click the link for more information. . In 1396, John of Gaunt married Catherine Swynford, many years his mistress, and had his children by her, under the name of Beaufort, declared legitimate. He died soon after the king had exiled his eldest son, the duke of Hereford (later Henry IVHenry IV,
1367–1413, king of England (1399–1413), eldest son of John of Gaunt and grandson of Edward III; called Henry of Bolingbroke. He founded the Lancastrian dynasty.
..... Click the link for more information. , first of the royal line of Lancaster). John is also remembered as the patron of the poet Geoffrey Chaucer.
See biography by S. Armitage-Smith (1904, repr. 1964); J. R. Hulbert, Chaucer's Official Life (1912, repr. 1970).
Gaunt, John of:see John of GauntJohn of Gaunt
[Mid. Eng. Gaunt=Ghent, his birthplace], 1340–99, duke of Lancaster; fourth son of Edward III of England. He married (1359) Blanche, heiress of Lancaster, and through her became earl (1361) and duke (1362) of Lancaster.
..... Click the link for more information. .
John of Gaunt
overly blunt uncle of Richard II. [Br. Lit.: Richard II]
John of Gaunt
Duke of Lancaster. 1340--99, son of Edward III: virtual ruler of England during the last years of his father's reign and during Richard II's minority