Catherine Montagu, Countess of Salisbury
Catherine Montacute (or Montagu), Countess of Salisbury (c. 1304 – 23 November 1349) was an English noblewoman, remembered for her relationship with King Edward III of England and possibly the woman in whose honour the Order of the Garter was originated. She was born Catherine Grandison, daughter of William de Grandison, 1st Baron Grandison, and Sibylla de Tregoz. She married William Montacute, 1st Earl of Salisbury in about 1320.
Their children were:
- Elizabeth Montacute (b. before 1325); married Hugh le Despencer, 2nd Baron le Despencer before 27 April 1341.
- William Montacute, 2nd Earl of Salisbury (1329–1397)
- John de Montacute, 1st Baron Montacute, (1330–1390); father of John Montacute, 3rd Earl of Salisbury.
- Anne Montacute, (b. 1331); married John De Grey on 12 June 1335.
- Philippa Montacute (1332–1381); married Roger Mortimer, 2nd Earl of March.
- Sibyl Montacute (b. before 1339); married Edmund FitzAlan about 1356.
According to rumour, King Edward III was so enamoured of the countess that he forced his attentions on her in around 1341, after having relieved a Scottish siege on Wark Castle[disambiguation needed], where she lived, while her husband was out of the country. An Elizabethan play, Edward III, deals with this incident. In the play, the Earl of Warwick is the unnamed Countess's father, though he was not her father in real life.
In around 1348, the Order of the Garter was founded by Edward III and it is recorded  that he did so after an incident at a ball when the "Countess of Salisbury" dropped a garter and the king picked it up. It is assumed that Froissart is referring either to Catherine or to her daughter-in-law, Joan of Kent.