Katherine Swynford

Female 1350 - 1403  (52 years)


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  • Name Katherine Swynford 
    Born 25 Nov 1350 
    Gender Female 
    Died 10 May 1403 
    Buried Lincoln Cathedral Cemetery Lincoln, England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Person ID I708  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 13 Jan 1396  Lincoln Cathedral, Lincoln, England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Children 
     1. John Beaufort (1st Earl of Somerset),   b. 1373,   d. 16 Mar 1410, Royal Hospital and Collegiate Church of St. Katharine by the Tower London, England Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 37 years)
     2. Henry Beaufort (Bishop of Winchester),   b. 1374, Anjou, Maine-et-Loire, France Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 11 Apr 1447  (Age 73 years)
     3. Thomas Beaufort (Duke of Exeter),   b. 1377,   d. 13 Dec 1426  (Age 49 years)
     4. Joan Beaufort (Countess of Westmorland),   b. 1379, Château de Beaufort Ardèche, France Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 13 Nov 1440, Howden, Yorkshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 61 years)
    Last Modified 13 Feb 2009 
    Family ID F290  Group Sheet

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsMarried - 13 Jan 1396 - Lincoln Cathedral, Lincoln, England Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsBuried - - Lincoln Cathedral Cemetery Lincoln, England Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Maps 
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    Pin Legend  : Address       : Location       : City/Town       : County/Shire       : State/Province       : Country       : Not Set

  • Notes 
    • Katherine Swynford (also spelled Synford), née (de) Roet (also spelled (de) Rouet or (de) Roelt (25 November 1350 ? 10 May 1403), was the daughter of Payne (or Paen) de Roet, a Flemish herald from Hainault who was knighted just before his death in battle. His children included Katherine, her older sister Philippa, a son, Walter, and the eldest sister, Isabel de Roet, (who died Canoness of the convent of St. Waudru's, Mons, c. 1366). Katherine became the third wife of the English prince John of Gaunt Duke of Lancaster, and their descendants were the Beaufort family, which played a major role in the Wars of the Roses. Henry VII, who became King of England in 1485, derived his claim to the throne from his mother Lady Margaret Beaufort, who was a great-granddaughter of Katherine Swynford, thus making the present Queen of the United Kingdom, Elizabeth II a direct decendant of Katherine's.

      Life
      Katherine was educated at the convent of Romsey in Hampshire. About 1366, at the age of 16, Katherine married Hugh Swynford (1340-1372), an English knight from the manor of Kettlethorpe in Lincolnshire, and bore him at least two children; Thomas (Sept 21, 1368-1432), Blanche (born May 1, 1367), and likely the Margaret Swynford (born c. 1369) who was nominated a nun at the prestigious Barking Abbey by the command of Richard II in 1377). Katherine then became attached to the household of John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster, as governess to his two daughters , Philippa of Lancaster and Elizabeth Plantagenet, (the sisters of the future Henry IV of England) by his first wife Blanche. Sometime before 1373, she became his official mistress. Katherine's sister Philippa, a member of the household of Queen Philippa of Hainault, wife of Edward III, married the poet Geoffrey Chaucer, whose poem The Book of the Duchess commemorated Blanche's death in 1369.

      Two years following the death of his second wife Constance of Castile, John and Katherine married on 13 January 1396 in Lincoln Cathedral, three years before he died. The four children Katherine had borne John of Gaunt had been given the surname "Beaufort" and were already adults when they were legitimized by this marriage with approval by King Richard and the Pope. The Beauforts were later barred from inheriting the throne by a clause inserted into the legitimation act by their half-brother, Henry IV.

      Katherine survived John by only four years, dying on 10 May 1403. She was then dowager Duchess of Lancaster. Her tomb, and that of her daughter Joan Beaufort, are under a carved-stone canopy in the sanctuary of Lincoln Cathedral. Joan's is the smaller of the two tombs; both were decorated with brass plates ? full-length representations of them on the tops, and small shields bearing coats of arms around the sides ? but those were damaged or destroyed in 1644 during the English Civil War.


      Children
      By Hugh Swynford:

      Blanche Swynford (born 1st May, 1367)
      Thomas Swynford (1368-1432)
      Margaret Swynford (born c. 1369)
      By John of Gaunt:

      John Beaufort, 1st Earl of Somerset (1373-1410)
      Henry Beaufort, Cardinal (1375-1447)
      Thomas Beaufort, 1st Duke of Exeter (1377-1426)
      Joan Beaufort, Countess of Westmoreland (1379-1440)
      Katherine's son John was the great-grandfather of Henry VII of England and the grandfather of James II of Scotland; her daughter Joan Beaufort was the grandmother of Edward IV of England and Richard III of England, whom Henry VII defeated to take the throne. (Henry then married Elizabeth of York, daughter of Edward IV, and their son became Henry VIII of England). Her stepson became Henry IV of England by deposing Richard II of England (who was imprisoned and died shortly thereafter, in Pontefract Castle, where Katherine's son Thomas Swynford was constable, and he was said to have starved Richard to death for his stepbrother); her stepdaughter, John and Constance's daughter Catherine (or Catalina), was the great-grandmother of Catherine of Aragon, the first wife of Henry VIII of England and mother of Mary I of England. In Anya Seton's novel, she states how Blanche Swynford didn't like the Beaufort Children or the idea of her mother and the duke. She runs away in the novel, but no historical record confirms this. Blanche was named after the Duchess.

      External links
      The Katherine Swynford Society
      Retrieved from "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Katherine_Swynford"


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