Elizabeth of Lancaster, Duchess of Exeter

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Elizabeth of Lancaster
Duchess of Exeter
Spouse John Hastings, 3rd Earl of Pembroke
m. 1380; ann. 1383
John Holland, 1st Duke of Exeter
m. 1386; dec. 1400
John Cornwall, 1st Baron Fanhope
m. aft. 1400; wid. 1426
Issue Constance Holland
Elizabeth Holland
Alice Holland, Countess of Oxford
John Holland, 2nd Duke of Exeter
Sir Edward Holland
Constance Cornwall, Countess of Arundel
Father John of Gaunt, 1st Duke of Lancaster
Mother Blanche of Lancaster
Born c. 1363–1364
Burford, Shropshire
Died 24 November 1426(1426-11-24) (aged c. 61–63)
Burial Burford Church, Shropshire

Elizabeth of Lancaster (bf. 21 February 1363[1] – 24 November 1426) was the third child of John of Gaunt, 1st Duke of Lancaster and his first wife Blanche of Lancaster.

Life[edit]

Some sources list her as having been born after 1 January 1363 but prior to 21 February 1363. She was born in Burford Shropshire. In her childhood she was raised in her father's royal household under Katherine Swynford whom she held in high regard. She grew up a headstrong and spirited young woman compared to her more serious elder sister.

Marriages[edit]

First Marriage[edit]

On 24 June 1380, at Kenilworth Castle, she married John Hastings, 3rd Earl of Pembroke. She was seventeen years old and the groom was only eight.[2] She was transferred to another household befitting her new rank as Countess of Pembroke. However, six years later the marriage between Elizabeth and young Hastings was annulled.

Second Marriage[edit]

Now aged 23, Elizabeth had tired of her 14-year-old husband. It is said that she had also been seduced by her cousin Richard II of England's half-brother John Holland, a known schemer, and had become pregnant by him.[3] This forced her father to have her marriage annulled, and on 24 June 1386, at Plymouth, she hastily married John Holland, 1st Duke of Exeter. Fortunately her father dealt with her leniently and favoured his new son-in-law, such was Holland’s charm.

Third Marriage[edit]

Holland was executed in 1400 for conspiring during the Epiphany Rising against his cousin, Elizabeth's brother Henry IV of England, who had by this time usurped the throne from Richard. That same year, Elizabeth married Sir John Cornwall, 1st Baron Fanhope and Milbroke. Her marriage to Sir John caused some scandal as Sir John failed to ask her brother for permission to marry Elizabeth, which resulted in Sir John being arrested. However, the marriage is said to have been a happy and loving one[4] and they went on to have two children, Constance and John.

She died in 1426 and was buried at Burford Church, Burford, Shropshire.

Children[edit]

With John Holland she had five children:

  1. Constance Holland (1387–1437) who married Thomas Mowbray, 4th Earl of Norfolk and Sir John Grey and had issue.
  2. Elizabeth Holland (c. 1389 – 18 November 1449); who married Sir Roger Fiennes and had issue.
  3. Alice Holland (c. 1392 – c. 1406) who married Richard de Vere, 11th Earl of Oxford; had no issue.
  4. John Holland, 2nd Duke of Exeter (1395–1447); had issue.
  5. Sir Edward Holland (1399–1413); had no issue.

With John Cornwall, 1st Baron Fanhope and Milbroke she had two children:

  1. Constance Cornwall (c. 1401 – c. 1427) who married John Fitzalan, 14th Earl of Arundel, but had no issue.
  2. Sir John Cornwall (c. 1404 – 2 May 1422) John Cornwall was only seventeen when he was killed at the Siege of Meaux. He died next to his father, who had seen his son's head being blown off by a gun-stone.[5] He had no issue.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Weir, Alison., Britains royal families (London, 2007) pg. 101
  2. ^ Weir, Alison., Katherine Swynford (London, 2008) pg.163
  3. ^ Weir, Alison., Katherine Swynford (London, 2008) pg. 200
  4. ^ Barker, Juliet., Agincourt (London, 2005) pg. 152
  5. ^ Barker, Juliet., Agincourt (London, 2005) pg. 159

Further reading[edit]

  • Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online resource) 2004-2007. (Print version: Oxford dictionary of national biography : in association with the British Academy : from the earliest times to the year 2000 / edited by H.C.G. Matthew and Brian Harrison.) Article on "Elizabeth of Lancaster" by Anthony Goodman.