John (Plantagenet) of Gaunt KG
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John (Plantagenet) of Gaunt KG (abt. 1340 - 1399)

John "Duke of Lancaster" of Gaunt KG formerly Plantagenet
Born about in Gent, County of Flanders, Francemap
Ancestors ancestors
Husband of — married 13 May 1359 in Queen's Chapel, Reading, Berkshire, Englandmap
Husband of — married 29 Sep 1371 in Roquefort, near Bordeaux, Francemap
Husband of — married 13 Jan 1396 in Lincoln Cathedral, Lincoln, Lincolnshire, Englandmap
Descendants descendants
Died at about age 58 in Leicester Castle, Leicester, Leicestershire, Englandmap
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Name and Titles

The House of Lancaster crest.
John (Plantagenet) of Gaunt KG is a member of the House of Lancaster.
Name: In modern texts he is referred to as "John of Gaunt". His best-known title was Duke of Lancaster.[1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7]
Son of Edward III, King of England and Philippa of Hainault. [8] [9]
Though he is always called "John of Gaunt", it is a name he was never called this in his own lifetime after the age of three when he received his first title. Gaunt is an English version of Ghent where he was born.
Titles of John of Gaunt: [1]
Duke of Lancaster - created 13 November 1362. [10] [11] [12]
Earl of Derby, Lincoln and Leicester
Earl of Richmond 1342[13] [12]
Steward of England
lord of the Castle, manor, and honour of Tickhill, Yorkshire
lord of the Castle, manor, and free chace of High Peak, Derbyshire
lord of the manors of Gringley and Wheatley, Nottinghamshire
lord of the manors of Aylsham, Fakenham, :and Wighton, Norfolk, etc.
Captain & Lieutenant in the lordships of Merke, Guisnes, and Calais 1369
Lieutenant Special and Captain-General in France and Aquitaine 1373
Lieutenant and Commander-General in France & Aquitaine 1378
Lieutenant in the Marches toward Scotland 1379
Lieutenant & Vicar-General in the Marches toward Scotland 1381
Lieutenant of the Duchy of Guienne 1388-1394
Warden of Bordeaux 1388-1393
Lieutenant of the Parts of Picardy 1392
Lieutenant in the Marches toward Scotland 1398
Constable of the Principality of Chester 1398


Born: March 1340 at St. Bavon's Abbey in Ghent, Flanders (now East Flanders, Belgium). [1] [14] [15] [13] [12] [16]

Marriage and Issue

Married: 1st - Blanche of Lancaster, daughter of Henry of Grossmont, 1st Duke of Lancaster, on 19 May 1359 at Reading Abbey in Reading, Berkshire, England. [1] [7] [11] [17]
Children of John of Gaunt and Blanche of Lancaster:
  1. Philippa, Queen of Portugal.
  2. Elizabeth, Duchess of Exeter. She married 1st John Hastings 2nd John Holland, 1st Duke of Exeter; 3rd Sir John Cornwall, 1st Baron Fanhope and Millbrook.
  3. Henry IV of England
Married: 2nd - Constance of Castile-León, daughter of Pedro the Cruel, King of Castile and León, before 29 September 1371 at Roquefort near Bordeaux, France. John of Gaunt would assume the title of King of Castile and León in right of his wife. She died 24 March 1394.
Children of John of Gaunt and Constance of Castile:
  1. Catherine m. Henry III, King of Castile
Married: 3rd - John of Gaunt had a well-known illicit relationship with Katherine de Roet, a governess of his children which began around 1372. She was the widow of Hugh de Swynford, knt. of Kettlethorpe and Coleby, Lincolnshire (d. 13 November 1371). They had 4 children born out of wedlock. On 13 January 1395/6, they were married at Lincoln Cathedral in Lincoln, Lincolnshore, England. A papal dispensation was received for this marriage on 1 September 1396. Their children were legitimized by parliament on 9 February 1397/8. [1]
Children of John of Gaunt and Katherine de Roet:
  1. John Beaufort, 1st Earl of Somerset m. Margaret Holland
  2. Cardinal Henry Beaufort
  3. Thomas Beaufort, Duke of Exeter m. Margaret Neville
  4. Joan Beaufort
m.1 Robert Ferrers, 5th Baron Boteler of Wem
m.2 Ralph Neville, 1st Earl of Westmorland



  • Savoy Palace on the banks of the Thames.[7]


1367: commanded army division that defeated army of Henry (later Henry II, king of Castile and León) at Nájera.
1370-71: During Hundred Years' War, aided Black Prince against France, and established English rule over most of southern France.
1376: Parliament banished Alice Perrers and curtailed John's powers. But the death of the Black Prince and Parliament's dissolution enabled him to regain power.
1377: after Edward III dies and Richard II succeeds[20], gives up control of government. Plays peacemaker. Supports king.
1380: lost much of the territory English won.[21]
1386: invaded Castile. Defeated by John I of Castile and León.
1387: gave up Castile and León[22]
1390: duke of Aquitaine[23]
1396: m. mistress Catherine Swynford
1397: Richard legitimizes John and Catherine's children.
1398: Henry of Lancaster exiled.[24]
03 Feb 1399: dies. Henry Bolingbroke succeeds.

Death and Burial of John of Gaunt

Died: 3 February 1399 at Leicester Castle in Leicester, Leicestershire, England. [12] [14] [15] [16] [25]
Buried: 15 March 1399 at St Paul's Cathedral in London, England.[11] [26]
From: Royal Tombs of Medieval England. "The fourth son of Edward III and Philipp of Hainault, John of Gaunt married Blanche, daughter and heiress of Henry of Grosmont, Duke of Lancaster, in 1360. She died on 12 September 1368 and was buried north of the choir in the cathedral church of St. Paul's London. Gaunt married Constance of Castile two years after Blanche's death. Gaunt died at Leicester Castle on 3 February 1399. The duke's will, dated the day of his death, instructed that his body was not to be embalmed and should remain unburied for forty days. It was to lie overnight at the Carmelite church on Fleet Street before interment near the high altar of St. Paul's beside Blanche. The year before his death, Gaunt had founded a chantry for himself and his third wife, Katherine Swynford, at Lincoln, and his will endowed two further chantries for himself and his first two wives at St. Paul's (Blanche) and the Church of the Annunciation of St. Mary in the Newarke at Leicester (Constance of Castile). Gaunt's body was taken from Leicester to London, stopping at St. Albans where a Requiem Mass was sung in the presence of Henry Beaufort. The duke was duly buried at St. Paul's on Passion Sunday, 16 March 1399, forty days after his death. His tomb was described at the time as 'sepultura incomparabile'. The tombs of the duke and his duchess Blanche both had effigies. The St. Paul's tombs and chantry were destroyed during the Great London Fire of 1666." [27]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Richardson, Royal Ancestry, vol. 1 p. 8, 88; Vol. II p. 122; Vol. III p. 491-500.
  2. Cawley, Medieval Lands : John of Gaunt
  3. Cokayne, Complete Peerage, 2nd ed., vol. 7 p. 410-16.
  4. Wikipedia: John of Gaunt, 1st Duke of Lancaster
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 Weir, Katherine Swynford. (2008).
  8. Cawley, Medieval Lands : Edward III
  9. Cawley, Medieval Lands : Phillipa of Hainault
  10. Cokayne. Complete Peerage, Lancaster: vol. VII p. 411-416.
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 John Cannon & Ralph Griffiths, The Oxford Illustrated History of the British Monarchy (University of Oxford, Great Clarendon Street, Oxford OX26DP, England: Oxford University Press, 2000), Genealogies of Royal Lines
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 Alison Weir, Mistress of the Monarchy: The Life of Katherine Swynford, Duchess of Lancaster (New York, NY: Randon House Publishing Group, 2010), Pages 35-36, 276
  13. 13.0 13.1 Norman F. Cantor, The Last Knight, (1230 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10020: Simon & Schuster, Inc, 2004) Pages 1, 65, 71, 88, 195.
  14. 14.0 14.1 Allison Weir, The Wars of the Roses ; Ballantine Books, July 1996, Page 24
  15. 15.0 15.1 Alison Weir, The Princes in the Tower, Ballantine Books, August 1995, Page 260
  16. 16.0 16.1 Dan Jonew, The Plantagenets: The Warrior Kings and Queens Who Made England (New York, NY 10014: Viking Books, A Penguin Random House Company, 2012), Pages 375, 487
  17. Father: Henry, Duke of Lancaster; when Henry died, John became duke; d. dec. 1369[citation needed]
  18. wars: England v France; England v Spain
  19. With Alice Perrers, his father's mistress, John dominated English government. He was opposed by Parliament and by the Black Prince (Encarta).
  20. son of the Black Prince
  21. After illness forced the Black Prince to go home, John took command of the English armies.
  22. when dau m. future Henry III of Castile and León.
  23. made duke by king.
  24. John's son; Henry IV of England.
  25. John Davies. A History of Wales. 27 Wrights Lane, London W8 5TZ, England: Penguin Books, Ltd, 1994, Page 195
  26. William Seymour, Battles in Britain 1066 - 1746 (Cumberland House, Crib Street, Ware, Hertfordshire SG12 9ET England: Wordsworth Editions Limited, 1977), Page 107
  27. Duffy, Royal Tombs (2003):158-161
  • Douglas Richardson, Royal Ancestry: A Study in Colonial and Medieval Families, 5 vols., ed. Kimball G. Everingham (Salt Lake City, Utah: the author, 2013), Vol. IV page 503 Footnote 22
  • "Royal Ancestry" 2013 Douglas Richardson Vol. I. page 197
John Of Gaunt, K.G., Duke of Aquitaine and Lancaster, married Katherine De Roet. [In this source he is named in the line of descendant of King William the Conqueror].
Source list:
  • Richardson, Douglas. Royal Ancestry: A Study In Colonial And Medieval Families, in 5 vols. (Salt Lake City, Utah, 2013). See vol. 1 p. 8, 88; Vol. II p. 122; Vol. III p. 491-500.
  • Cokayne, George Edward. The Complete Peerage, vol. III: Canonteign-Cutts. (original: 1913; Microprint reprint 14 volumes in 6, Great Britain:Sutton publishing, 2000): vol. VII p. 548.
  • Duffy, Mark. Royal Tombs of Medieval England (2003) p. 158-161
  • "John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster," (1993-1997). Microsoft Encarta(R) 98 Encyclopedia. Microsoft Corp.
  • Richardson, D. (2011). Magna Carta Ancestry: A Study in Colonial and Medieval Families, (2 ed, Vol.IV, pp.114). Kimball G. Everingham, ed. Salt Lake City: N.p.
  • Weir, Alison. Katherine Swynford: The Story of John of Gaunt and his Scandalous Duchess. (London: Vintage Books. E-book, 2008).
  • Dan Jonew, The Plantagenets: The Warrior Kings and Queens Who Made England (New York, NY 10014: Viking Books, A Penguin Random House Company, 2012), Page 375
  • Weis, F.L. (1999). Magna Charta Sureties 1215, Frederick Lewis Weis, (5th ed).
  • John Cannon & Ralph Griffiths, The Oxford Illustrated History of the British Monarchy (University of Oxford, Great Clarendon Street, Oxford OX26DP, England: Oxford University Press, 2000), Genealogies of Royal Lines
See also:

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Comments: 20

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He is my grandfather 4 times. Wow
posted by Laurie Caraway
And mathematically all of everyone in Europe's 18/19/20th great grandfather.
posted by Thomas Reed
He's mine 4 different ways. That's unreal......
posted by Laurie Caraway
I see you follow Asbury. Can I compare Gedmatch # if you have one. I'm unlocking my Hayes side leading to Stewart, Tudor, Plantagenet Kings. I was confused why my Hayes was crossing DNA with my other Plantagenet lines, my Taylor side. Thanks
posted by Carrie (Asberry) Varden
edited by Carrie (Asberry) Varden
You list him as

John "Duke of Lancaster" of Gaunt KG formerly Plantagenet I disagree with this. I believe it should be thus His Grace, Sir John "of Gaunt, 1st Duke of Lancaster" Lancaster KG. formerly Plantagenet The Prefix might not have room for His Grace. Sir is required by KG. Of Gaunt was a nickname referring to his place of birth and the Suffix box has no room for his title. He founded the House of Lancaster, therefore he was born to the House of Plantagenet but died of the House of Lancaster. I know that your board made the decision to place titles in quotes between the first and last names, a decision I disagree with. John had may more titles during his life, some he surrendered.

posted by John Akard III
edited by John Akard III
I agree except for the 'Ist Duke of Lancaster'. This distinction was obtained by Henry Grosmont.
posted by Bruce Trewin
the title went dormant when Henry Grosmont died and John of Gaunt was the first once the title was re-established
posted by Dale Hankins
On WikiTree do not use His Grace as a prefix for Dukes
posted by Michael Cayley
Someone claiming to be a descendant if John and his mistress Marie de St. Hilaire lead me to look at John's profile here but no mention is made of the alleged mistress or any of their alleged children. A quick web search turned up at least one web site stating these and other assertions (see: but I am curious if there are some acceptable primary sources.
posted by [Living Anderson]
There is some information about the John of Gaunt's illegitimate daughter Blanche here but if you check the profile of her husband Sir Thomas Morieux, his sister was his heir when he died in 1387, so there can't have been any descendants of John of Gaunt and Marie de St Hilaire. Apart from the Beauforts, who were later legitimated, Blanche was his only illegitimate child and there were no other children with Marie de St Hilaire.
posted by John Atkinson
Contemporary chronicle (12 MB PDF download), attributed to Thomas of Walsingham, though perhaps not entirely. The root source of many later accounts. In Latin, but summarized in the Introduction.

See page l (ie 50) for the babies-switched-at-birth story.

posted by [Living Horace]
Nice bio of one of history's most influential but little known individuals
posted by Greg Hays

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