Alphonso, Earl of Chester

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Alphonso as portrayed in an early 14th c. genealogical roll of the kings of England

Alphonso, Earl of Chester (24 November 1273 – 19 August 1284) was the ninth child of Edward I of England and Eleanor of Castile. During his life, he was first in line to his father's throne of England and to his mother's county of Ponthieu in France.

Alphonso was born at Bayonne, in Gascony, and named after his maternal uncle, Alfonso X of Castile, who was his godfather. At the age of ten, he was engaged to Margaret, daughter of Floris V, Count of Holland. An opulent psalter was being prepared for the marriage when he fell ill[1] and died a few months before the wedding was to take place. The Alphonso Psalter was completed a decade later when his sister Elizabeth married Margaret's brother, John I, Count of Holland, making the pairing of arms again appropriate.[2]

Alphonso's and Margaret's coats of arms, from his eponymous psalter

Alphonso's death at Windsor occurred shortly after the birth of his younger brother Edward, who became the oldest surviving male heir of Edward I. Alphonso was interred in The Confessor's Chapel at Westminster Abbey, although the exact location is unknown. His heart, however, was buried at the priory of Blackfriars, London (now destroyed).

As heirs apparent to the throne, both Alphonso and Edward bore the arms of the kingdom, differenced by a label azure of three points.[3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.creativehistorian.co.uk/blog/read_131420/on-this-day-death-of-alphonso-earl-of-chester.html
  2. ^ The British Library, The Alphonso Psalter, 2011
  3. ^ Marks of Cadency in the British Royal Family