Blanche of Lancaster (Countess of Derby)

Female 1345 - 1369  (24 years)


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  • Name Blanche of Lancaster (Countess of Derby) 
    Born 25 Mar 1345  Bolingbroke Castle Lindsey, Lincolnshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Female 
    Died 12 Sep 1369  Bolingbroke Castle Lindsey, Lincolnshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Buried Old St Pauls Cathedral Cemetery , London, England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Person ID I706  King of Scots
    Last Modified 13 Feb 2009 

    Family John of Gaunt (Duke of Lancaster and Aquitaine),   b. 06 Mar 1340, Gent, Flemish, Blegium Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 03 Feb 1399, Leicester Castle Leicester, Leicestershire, England Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 58 years) 
    Married 19 May 1359  Reading Abbey, Reading, Berkshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Children 
     1. Philippa of Lancaster (Queen of Portugal),   b. 31 Mar 1360, Leicester Castle Leicester, Leicestershire, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 19 Jul 1415, Odivelas, Lisboa, Portugal Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 55 years)
     2. Elizabeth (Plantagenet) Duchess of Exeter,   b. 1364, Burford, Shropshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 24 Nov 1426, England Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 62 years)
    +3. Henry IV of Bolingbroke (King of England Lord Of Ireland),   b. 03 Apr 1366, Bolingbroke Castle Lindsey, Lincolnshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 20 Mar 1413, Westminster Palace, London, England Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 46 years)
    Last Modified 13 Feb 2009 
    Family ID F288  Group Sheet

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsBorn - 25 Mar 1345 - Bolingbroke Castle Lindsey, Lincolnshire, England Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsMarried - 19 May 1359 - Reading Abbey, Reading, Berkshire, England Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsDied - 12 Sep 1369 - Bolingbroke Castle Lindsey, Lincolnshire, England Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsBuried - - Old St Pauls Cathedral Cemetery , London, England Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Maps 
     = Link to Google Earth 
    Pin Legend  : Address       : Location       : City/Town       : County/Shire       : State/Province       : Country       : Not Set

  • Photos
    Blanche of Lancaster
    Blanche of Lancaster
    Personal Collection

  • Notes 
    • Blanche of Lancaster (25 March 1345 ? 12 September 1369) Countess of Derby was an English noblewoman and heiress. She was the first wife of John of Gaunt, 1st Duke of Lancaster and the mother of King Henry IV of England.[1]

      Lineage
      She was the youngest daughter of Henry of Grosmont, 1st Duke of Lancaster by his wife Isabel de Beaumont. Both she and her elder sister Maud, Countess of Leicester were born at Bolingbroke Castle in Lindsey. Her paternal grandparents were Henry, 3rd Earl of Lancaster and Maud de Chaworth. Her maternal grandparents were Sir Henry Beaumont, 1st Earl of Buchan and Alice Comyn.[1] Her sister Maud married firstly, Ralph de Stafford and secondly William I, Duke of Bavaria.[1] However, Maud produced no surviving children from either marriage.


      [edit] Marriage
      On 19 May 1359, at Reading Abbey,Reading,Berkshire, Blanche was married to her third cousin John of Gaunt, the third son of the reigning English king Edward III of England and his Queen consort Philippa of Hainault. The title Duke of Lancaster became extinct upon her father's death without male heirs in 1361. However, through his marriage to Blanche, John of Gaunt became Earl of Lancaster, Earl of Derby, Earl of Lincoln and Earl of Leicester (although Gaunt would not receive all of these titles until the death without issue of Blanche's older sister, Maud, in 1362). The Duchy of Lancaster (second creation) would later be bestowed on Gaunt. The influence associated with the titles would lead him to become Lord High Steward of England. The marriage was said to have been happy. Blanche has been described as very beautiful with pale-blonde hair, blue eyes and a serene, calm demeanor. Blanche bore John six children, three of whom survived infancy.


      [edit] Bubonic plague
      In 1369, bubonic plague struck England for the third time, and among the dead was Blanche of Lancaster. She was living in Bolingbroke Castle, Lincolnshire at the time. Her husband was at sea at the time of her death. Her funeral at St. Paul's Cathedral in London was preceded with a magnificent cortege attended by most of the nobility and clergy. He held annual commemorations of her death for some years thereafter. For one of these commemorations, Geoffrey Chaucer, then a young squire and mostly unknown writer of court poetry, was commissioned to write what became The Book of the Duchess, in her honour. Though Chaucer?s intentions can never be defined with absolute certainty, many believe that at least one of the aims of The Book of the Duchess was an attempt to make John of Gaunt see that his grief for his late wife had become excessive and to subtly prod him to try and overcome his grief. He married his second wife, Infanta Constance of Castile in 1371. It was a political marriage that produced one daughter, Catherine of Lancaster.

      In 1374, five years after her death, John of Gaunt ordered effigies made of himself and his wife. Twenty-five years later, Gaunt was laid to rest next to Blanche; the two are buried at an unknown location in St. Paul's Cathedral.


      Family
      Blanche?s Children with John of Gaunt:

      Philippa (31 March 1360 - 19 July 1415). Queen consort of John I of Portugal.
      John (1362 - 1362). Died at birth.
      Elizabeth (21 February 1364 - 24 November 1426). Married firstly John Hastings, 3rd Earl of Pembroke, secondly to John Holland, 1st Duke of Exeter, thirdly to John Cornwall, 1st Baron Fanhope.
      Edward (1365 - 1365).
      Henry IV of England (3 April 1367 - 20 March 1413). Married firstly Mary de Bohun and secondly Joanna of Navarre.
      Isabella : (1368). Died young.
      Blanche's daughter Philippa married John of Portugal and made Blanche the ancestor of many kings of Portugal and this line leads to Isabella I of Castile, and through Isabella, Blanche is an ancestor of many monarchs in many different countries. Her son Henry became King of England after he overthrew his cousin Richard II of England (Eldest son of John's brother Edward the Black prince). Henry's reign marked the beginning of a cadet branch of the Plantaganet line, making Blanche's family the house of Lancaster the new ruling house in England.

      Notes
      ^ a b c The Complete Peerage

      References
      The Complete Peerage
      Blanche of Lancaster @thePeerage.com
      Retrieved from "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blanche_of_Lancaster"



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