Jump to content

Eleanor of Lancaster

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Eleanor of Lancaster
Lady Beaumont
Countess of Arundel
An 18th-century depiction of Eleanor and her second husband, Richard Fitzalan, 3rd Earl of Arundel
Born11 September 1318
Died11 January 1372(1372-01-11) (aged 53)
(m. 1330; died 1342)
IssueHenry Beaumont, 3rd Baron Beaumont
Matilda de Courtenay
Richard Fitzalan, 4th Earl of Arundel
John FitzAlan, 1st Baron Arundel
Thomas Arundel, Archbishop of Canterbury
Joan Fitzalan, Countess of Hereford
Alice Fitzalan, Countess of Kent
Mary Fitzalan, Lady Strange of Blackmere
Eleanor Fitzalan
FatherHenry, 3rd Earl of Lancaster
MotherMaud Chaworth

Eleanor of Lancaster, Countess of Arundel (sometimes called Eleanor Plantagenet;[1] 11 September 1318[2] – 11 January 1372) was the fifth daughter of Henry, 3rd Earl of Lancaster and Maud Chaworth.

First marriage and issue[edit]

Eleanor married, first, on 6 November 1330 John de Beaumont, 2nd Baron Beaumont (d. 1342), son of Henry Beaumont, 4th Earl of Buchan, 1st Baron Beaumont (c. 1288 – 1340) by his wife Alice Comyn (1289 – 3 July 1349). He died in a tournament on 14 April 1342. They had one son, born to Eleanor in Ghent whilst serving as lady-in-waiting to Queen Philippa of Hainault:

Second marriage[edit]

On 5 February 1345 at Ditton Church, Stoke Poges, Buckinghamshire, she married Richard Fitzalan, 3rd Earl of Arundel.[4]

His previous marriage, to Isabel le Despenser, had taken place when they were children. It was annulled by papal mandate as she, since her father's attainder and execution, had ceased to be of any importance to him. Pope Clement VI obligingly annulled the marriage, bastardized the issue, and provided a dispensation for his second marriage to the woman with whom he had been living in adultery (the dispensation, dated 4 March 1345, was required because his first and second wives were first cousins).

The children of Eleanor's second marriage were:

  1. Richard (1346–1397), who succeeded as Earl of Arundel
  2. John Fitzalan (bef. 1349 – 1379)
  3. Thomas Arundel, Archbishop of Canterbury (c. 1353 – 19 February 1413)
  4. Lady Joan Fitzalan (1347/1348 – 7 April 1419), married Humphrey de Bohun, 7th Earl of Hereford
  5. Lady Alice Fitzalan (1350 – 17 March 1416), married Thomas Holland, 2nd Earl of Kent (Thomas Holand)
  6. Lady Mary FitzAlan (died 29 August 1396), married John Le Strange, 4th Lord Strange of Blackmere, by whom she had issue
  7. Lady Eleanor FitzAlan (1348 – 29 August 1396) married Sir Anthony Browne.

Later life[edit]

The memorial effigy of Eleanor and Richard Fitzalan in Chichester Cathedral

Eleanor died at Arundel and was buried at Lewes Priory in Lewes, East Sussex, England. Her husband survived her by four years, and was buried beside her; in his will Richard requests to be buried "near to the tomb of Eleanor de Lancaster, my wife; and I desire that my tomb be no higher than hers, that no men at arms, horses, hearse, or other pomp, be used at my funeral, but only five torches...as was about the corpse of my wife, be allowed."

The memorial effigies raised to Eleanor and her husband Richard Fitzalan, 10th Earl of Arundel, now in Chichester Cathedral, are the subject of the celebrated Philip Larkin poem "An Arundel Tomb."



  • Fowler, Kenneth. The King's Lieutenant, 1969
  • Nicolas, Nicholas Harris. Testamenta Vetusta, 1826.
  • Weis, Frederick Lewis. Ancestral Roots of Certain American Colonists Who Came to America Before 1700, Lines: 17-30, 21-30, 28-33, 97-33, 114-31


  1. ^ The surname "Plantagenet" has been retrospectively applied to the descendants of Geoffrey V, Count of Anjou and Empress Matilda without historical justification: it is simply a convenient, if deceptive, method of referring to people who had, in fact, no surname. The first descendant of Geoffrey to use the surname was Richard Plantagenet, 3rd Duke of York (father of both Edward IV of England and Richard III of England) who apparently assumed it about 1448.
  2. ^ Burke's Guide to the Royal Family. Burke's Peerage Ltd., London. 1973. p. 196. ISBN 0220662223.[dead link]
  3. ^ Calendar of Inquisitions Post Mortem, 1st series, Vol. 12, No. 321.
  4. ^ also called Richard de Arundel