House of Lancaster

Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Wikipedia.

Lancaster, house of

Lancaster, house of (lăngˈkəstər), royal family of England. The line was founded by the second son of Henry III, Edmund Crouchback, 1245–96, who was created earl of Lancaster in 1267. Earlier (1254) the prince had been made titular king of Sicily when the pope offered that crown to Henry III in order to keep Sicily and the Holy Roman Empire separated. However, the English barons refused financial support for the Sicilian wars, and the title was withdrawn (1258). Later Edmund fought for his brother, Edward I, in Wales and Gascony. His nickname “Crouchback,” or crossed back, refers only to the fact that he went on crusade to Palestine in 1271 and, hence, was entitled to wear the cross. Edmund's son Thomas, earl of Lancaster, 1277?–1322, led the baronial opposition to his cousin Edward II. He was one of the lords ordainers and from 1314 to 1318 was virtual ruler of England. He tried unsuccessfully to drive the Despensers (see Despenser, Hugh le) from England, was defeated at the battle of Boroughbridge, and was beheaded for treason. Thomas's brother, Henry, earl of Lancaster, 1281?–1345, was chief adviser to the young Edward III in getting rid of the dominance of the queen mother, Isabella, and her paramour, Roger de Mortimer, 1st earl of March. His son, Henry, duke of Lancaster, 1299?–1361, was made duke in 1351 for his excellent service as a military commander in the early part of the Hundred Years War. When he died without male heirs, his daughter Blanche married the fourth son of Edward III, John of Gaunt, who inherited the Lancaster lands in her right, and was made duke of Lancaster in 1362. His son Henry deposed (1399) Richard II and ascended the throne as Henry IV. In order to appear legitimate, Henry devised the fiction that his ancestor Edmund Crouchback had actually been Henry III's elder son but had been disinherited because he was a hunchback. Later Lancastrian kings were Henry V and Henry VI. The latter was deposed by the house of York in the course of the long dynastic struggle known as the Wars of the Roses. However, through the Beauforts, the legitimated descendants of John of Gaunt and Catherine Swynford, the Lancastrian claims passed to the house of Tudor.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2022, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Henry 6 1422-1461 deposed 1461 restored 1470 deposed 1471 Dynasty Dynasty House of Lancaster Parents only child of Henry 5 and Catherine of Valois Authority: King of England and Wales, control parts of France until 1453 and Ireland.
Former England lock Paul Ackford called The House Of Lancaster a "highly readable analysis", adding that supporters should "not approach the Rugby World Cup without it," a testimonial with which it is difficult to disagree.
Near Badesley in Warwickshire on a lake formed by several little streams stood Robert Dudley's Kennilworth, constructed by Geoffrey de Clinton, Chamberlain to King Henry I, a possession subsequently of Simon de Montfor t, and then of the crown and the house of Lancaster (Ff2r).
1455: In the battle usually seen as having begun the War of the Roses, the Yorkists under Richard, duke of York, defeated the royal army of the House of Lancaster at the Battle of St Albans, fought in the streets of the town, capturing King Henry VI.
The label read: " House of Lancaster. Twenty-five years of " quality broken biscuits."
Beginning in 1464, it finds Edward leading the House of York in a battle royal with his own family's House of Lancaster. Nothing less than the throne is at stake.
For their bruising win is testament to the new backbone instilled in this House of Lancaster.
History comes gloriously alive as widowed Elizabeth Woodville of the House of Lancaster seduces and marries Yorkist King Edward IV.
This novel focuses on Elizabeth Woodville of the House of Lancaster who married the reigning king of the House of York, Edward IV.
The End of the House of Lancaster R.L.Storey Sutton 278pp.
Meanwhile, Richard Plantagenet, having successfully pressed his claims to the title of the duke of York, quarrels with the powerful Beaufort family of the house of Lancaster, setting the stage for the Wars of the Roses.