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John of Gaunt

Medieval life and Times

Short Biography about the life of John of Gaunt
The following biography, short history and interesting facts provide helpful information for history courses and history coursework about the life and history of John of Gaunt a famous Medieval character of historical importance who lived during the Middle Ages:

  • Name and/or Title: John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster

  • Country of Origin / Nationality: English
  • Also Known by the Nickname: John of Gaunt. This name was given to John because he was born in Ghent
  • John of Gaunt received the title "Duke of Lancaster" from Edward III on 13 November 1362
  • Lifetime: 1340 1399
  • Time Reference: Lived during the reigns of the Plantagenet Kings of England King Edward III and King Richard II. Famous events of the period were the Hundred Year War, the Black Death and the Peasants Revolt
  • Born: John of Gaunt was born on June 24, 1340
  • Family connections : He was the the third son of King Edward III of England and Philippa of Hainault
  • His brothers were:
    • Edward, Prince of Wales - the Black Prince
    • Lionel, Duke of Clarence
    • Edmund, Duke of York
    • Thomas, Duke of Gloucester
  • Married: Blanche of Lancaster in 1359, Constance of Castile in 1371 and Katherine Swynford in 1396
  • Surviving Children by Blanche of Lancaster:
    • Philippa Plantagenet
    • Elizabeth Plantagenet
    • Edward Plantagenet
    • Henry IV of England
    • Isabel Plantagenet
  • Children by Constance of Castile:
    • Catalina Plantagenet
    • John Plantagenet
  • Children by Katherine Swynford:
    • John Beaufort, 1st Earl of Somerset
    • Henry Cardinal Beaufort
    • Thomas Beaufort, 1st Duke of Exeter
    • Joan Beaufort, Countess of Westmorland. 
  • Died: John of Gaunt died on February 3, 1399
  • Character of John of Gaunt:
  • Accomplishments and Achievements or why John of Gaunt was famous: A powerful and wealthy Plantagenet Prince. His affair and subsequent marriage to a commoner named Katherine Swynford.
  • His famous affair with Katherine Swynford  (1350 - 1403 ) produced four illegitimate children who were given the name Beaufort. John of Gaunt married Katherine Swynford in 1396 and their children, by this time adults, were legitimised. He and Katherine became the ancestors of the Tudors, the greatest Kings and Queens of England

John of Gaunt
The story and biography of John of Gaunt which contains interesting information, facts & the history about the life of John of Gaunt. John was the third surviving son of the Plantagenet King Edward III. He was born to the most powerful dynasties in England. His brothers were Edward, the Black Prince, Lionel, the Duke of Clarence, the Edmund, Duke of York and Thomas the Duke of Gloucester. After the death of his elder brother, Edward, the Black Prince, John of Gaunt became increasingly powerful. John of Gaunt became the protector of his brother's young son, Richard II and effectively ruled England during his minority. His first marriage to Blanche of Lancaster was a happy one. His second marriage to Constance of Castile was quite the opposite. He took Katherine Swynford as his mistress and although their relationship was turbulent he married her when he was fifty-six years old. They had four children and were the ancestors of the Tudors.

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