Thomas Montacute, 4th Earl of Salisbury

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Sir Thomas Montacute and his wife Eleanor Holland (Wrythe Garter Book)

Thomas Montacute, 4th Earl of Salisbury, 6th and 3rd Baron Montacute, 5th Baron Monthermer, and Count of Perche, KG (13 June 1388 – 3 November 1428) was an English nobleman. He was one of the most important English commanders during the Hundred Years' War.

He was the eldest son of John Montacute, 3rd Earl of Salisbury, who was killed while plotting against the King in 1400, and his lands forfeited. His mother, Maud Montacute, Countess of Salisbury, survived. Thomas did get back some of his father's lost lands, and helped his financial position further by marrying Eleanor Holland, a sister and eventual co-heiress of Edmund Holland, 4th Earl of Kent, and daughter of Thomas Holland, 2nd Earl of Kent.

Thomas was summoned to Parliament as Earl of Salisbury in 1409, although he was not formally invested as earl until 1421. In 1414, he was made a Knight of the Garter. In July 1415, he was one of the seven peers who tried Richard, Earl of Cambridge, on charges of conspiring against the King. Montacute then joined Henry V in France, where he fought at the Siege of Harfleur and at the Battle of Agincourt. Montacute fought in various other campaigns in France in the following years. In 1419, he was appointed lieutenant-general of Normandy, and then created Count of Perche, part of Henry V's policy of creating Norman titles for his noblemen. He spent most of the rest of his life as a soldier in France, leading troops in the various skirmishes and sieges that were central to that part of the Hundred Years' War. In 1425, he took over the city of Le Mans. On 27 October 1428 he was wounded during the Siege of Orléans, when a cannonball broke a window near to where he stood, and he died a few days later.

The coat of arms of Thomas Montacute, 4th Earl of Salisbury

He married twice, first (as mentioned above) to Eleanor Holland, and second to Alice Chaucer, daughter of Thomas Chaucer and granddaughter of Geoffrey Chaucer. They lived at Bisham Manor in Berkshire. His only legitimate child was a daughter from the first marriage, Alice, who married Richard Neville. Neville succeeded his father-in-law jure uxoris by his wife Alice.

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Political offices
Preceded by
Governor of Champagne
1423–1424
Succeeded by
French nobility
Preceded by
New creation
Earl of Perche
1419–1428
Succeeded by
extinct
Peerage of England
Preceded by
John Montacute
Baron Monthermer
1421–1428
Succeeded by
Alice Montacute
Preceded by
John Montacute
Earl of Salisbury
1421–1428
Succeeded by
Alice Montacute