Maud of Lancaster, Countess of Ulster

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Maud of Lancaster
Countess of Ulster
Lady de Ufford
Spouse(s) William Donn de Burgh, 3rd Earl of Ulster
Sir Ralph de Ufford


Elizabeth de Burgh, suo jure Countess of Ulster
Maud de Ufford, Countess of Oxford
Noble family Lancaster
Father Henry, 3rd Earl of Lancaster
Mother Maud Chaworth
Born c. 1310
Died 5 May 1377 (aged about 67)
Bruisyard Abbey, Suffolk, England
Buried Bruisyard Abbey

Maud of Lancaster, Countess of Ulster (c. 1310 – 5 May 1377)[1] was an English noblewoman and the wife of William Donn de Burgh, 3rd Earl of Ulster. She was the mother of Elizabeth de Burgh, suo jure Countess of Ulster. Her second husband was Sir Ralph de Ufford, Justiciar of Ireland. After her second husband's death, Maud became a canoness at the Augustine Abbey of Campsey in Suffolk.[2]


Maud was born in about 1310, the second daughter of Henry, 3rd Earl of Lancaster and Maud Chaworth. She had an older sister, Blanche, Baroness Wake of Liddell, and four younger sisters, Joan, Baroness Mowbray, Isabel, Prioress of Amesbury, Eleanor, Countess of Arundel, and Mary, Baroness Percy. Her only brother was Henry of Grosmont, 1st Duke of Lancaster. His daughter was Blanche of Lancaster, who would in 1359 become the first wife of John of Gaunt, and in 1367 the mother of the future King Henry IV of England.

Maud's mother died in 1322, when Maud was twelve years old.

Marriages and issue[edit]

Sometime before 16 November 1327, Maud married her first husband, William de Burgh, 3rd Earl of Ulster, son of John de Burgh and Lady Elizabeth de Clare. The couple received a papal dispensation for their marriage, which was dated 1 May 1327.[3] Maud went to live in Ireland with her husband. Together they had one daughter who was born at Carrickfergus Castle in Belfast:

On 6 June 1333, Maud's husband was murdered by Sir Richard de Mandeville, John de Logan and others at Le Ford, near the modern Belfast. After his murder, which sparked a civil war in Ireland, Maud fled to England with her infant daughter, who was the suo jure Countess of Ulster, and they lived at the court of King Edward III with the royal family. She married her second husband, Sir Ralph de Ufford, by 8 August 1343. Sir Ralph was the youngest son of Robert de Ufford, Lord Ufford, and Cecily de Valognes. In 1344, he was appointed Justiciar of Ireland, therefore Maud accompanied him in July of that year to Ireland, where she had another daughter, Maud de Ufford (1345/1346- 25 January 1413). Maud left Elizabeth behind at the royal court as the latter had been married in 1342 at the age of ten, to Lionel of Antwerp, Duke of Clarence, the second son of King Edward III. Her second daughter Maud would marry Thomas de Vere, 8th Earl of Oxford, by whom she had a son, Robert de Vere, 9th Earl of Oxford, Marquess of Dublin, Duke of Ireland.

Maud's husband was an incompetent Justiciar, thoroughly despised by the Irish; under his badly managed administration, the civil war that was waged between the Desmond and de Burgh families was at its height. He was summoned before Parliament to answer for his misdeeds, and for the incessant quarrels and skirmishes permitted under his government between the Anglo-Norman noblemen.[4]

Religious life[edit]

Following the death of Ralph de Ufford on 9 April 1346 at Kilmainham, Maud once again returned to England. Between 8 August 1347 and 25 April 1348, she became a canoness at the Augustine Abbey of Campsey in Suffolk. In 1364, she transferred to the Poor Clares at Bruisyard Abbey. She died there on 5 May 1377 at the age of about sixty-seven years. She was buried in Bruisyard Abbey.[5]



  1. ^ Charles Cawley, Medieval Lands, Earls of Ulster
  2. ^ Cawley, Medieval Lands, Earls of Ulster
  3. ^ Cawley
  4. ^ Eleanor Hull, A History of Ireland: The Statutes of Kilkenny, accessed 4 November 2009
  5. ^ Cawley
  • Charles Cawley, Medieval Lands, Earls of Ulster