|Relationship to me:||Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Grandfather||Gen -20|
|Father:||King Edward III||1312 - 1377|
|Mother:||Philippa daughter of William V of Holland|
|Brothers:||(elder) Edward (Black Prince)|
|Married:||(1) Blanche of Lancaster||1341-1367|
|(2) Constance of Castile||m.1371|
|(3) Katherine Swynford||1340-1403|
|Children:||(1) Philippa (m. King of Portugal)||1360 - 1435|
|Elizabeth||1363 - 1426|
|Henry (King Henry IV)||1367 - 1413|
|(3) John Beaufort Marquis/Earl of Somerset||1373 - 1410|
|Henry Beaufort Bishop of Lincoln||1374 - 1447|
|Joan Beaufort||c.1379 - 1440|
|Thomas Beaufort Duke of Exeter||1381 - 1426|
According to information passed on to me by Ian Caldwell, in Dec 2001: "John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster, 1340-1399, married (1) Blanche of Lancaster (1341-1367); (2) Constance of Castile (m.1371); and (3) Catherine Swynford, (1340-1403), daughter of Payne Roelt, who had long been his mistress, and whose sister, Philippa, was married to Geoffrey Chaucer.
John of Gaunt was the forth son of Edward III, born in Ghent, hence his name. His son Henry, by his first wife, Blanche of Lancaster, became Henry IV in 1399 when he deposed his cousin Richard II. In 1382 John of Gaunt claimed the throne of Castile by right of his second wife, Constance, the elder of the two daughters, and heiress of King Pedro "The Cruel" of Castile, and spent several years fruitlessly trying to win the crown. Gaunt was generally supportive of the young King, Richard II, but was away at the Scottish border when his Palace of the Savoy in London was burnt down during the Peasants Revolt in June 1381. In 1386 John left England with a strong force to win the Spanish throne and his absence abroad allowed opponents of the regime free reign. He landed at Corunna and in the autumn conquered Galicia. John's daughter, Philippa, married the King of Portugal, and the Portuguese entered and alliance with John and together they invaded Castile, but without success, sickness ruining the English Army. He compromised with Juan of Castile by agreeing to marry his daughter, Catherine, by Constance, to Juan's heir, Henry, late Henry III of Castile, and peace was concluded at Bayonne in 1389. John's brother, Edmund, Duke of York, (1341-1402) was married to Isabella (c.1355-c.1392), daughter of Pedro I, King of Castile, and sister of Constance, wife of John of Gaunt. Their son, Richard Plantagenet, Earl of Cambridge (1376-1415) was the father of Richard Plantagenet, Duke of York.
On his return from Spain, Richard II welcomed his uncle and created him Duke of Aquitaine. In 1394 his wife, Constance, died and John married his mistress of many years, Catherine Swynford, and his children by her, who bore the name Beaufort, were now legitimised. He died on 3rd February 1399 and was buried at St.Paul's Cathedral near the high altar".
See http://www.britannia.com/bios/royals/jgdklanc.html for more information about John of Gaunt.
Katherine Swynford was an important historical figure, who was sister-in-law to Geoffrey Chaucer and was for years was John of Gaunt's mistress. It was most unusual for a man of his rank to marry his mistress, but it appears that he was genuinely in love with Katherine and that they enjoyed a happy relationship in their later years. A book titled "Katherine Swynford: The Story of John of Gaunt and His Scandalous Duchess" by Alison Weir describes the lives of the couple based on historical facts known about them.
Page updated 28 May 2009: List of children expanded. Reference added to Alison Wier's book about the lives of John of Gaunt and Katherine Swynford.