Thomas of Woodstock, 1st Duke of Gloucester

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Thomas of Woodstock
Duke of Gloucester, Duke of Aumale, Earl of Buckingham and Earl of Essex
ThomasWoodstock.jpg
Successor Humphrey, 2nd Earl of Buckingham
Born7 January 1355
Woodstock Palace, Oxfordshire
Died8 or 9 September 1397 (aged 42)
Calais, Pale of Calais
Spouse Eleanor de Bohun
Issue
Detail
Humphrey, 2nd Earl of Buckingham
Anne of Gloucester
Joan, Lady Talbot
Isabel
Philippa
House Plantagenet
Father Edward III of England
Mother Philippa of Hainault
Arms of Thomas of Woodstock: Royal arms of England (arms of his father King Edward III) with difference a bordure argent Arms of Thomas of Woodstock, 1st Duke of Gloucester.svg
Arms of Thomas of Woodstock: Royal arms of England (arms of his father King Edward III) with difference a bordure argent
Thomas of Woodstock (left, identified by his arms) jousting in Vannes, Brittany, with John V The Conqueror, Duke of Bretagne, KG. Circa 1480, Froissart's Chronicles Jousting Buckingham+Bretagne.jpg
Thomas of Woodstock (left, identified by his arms) jousting in Vannes, Brittany, with John V The Conqueror, Duke of Bretagne, KG. Circa 1480, Froissart's Chronicles

Thomas of Woodstock, 1st Duke of Gloucester (7 January 1355 8 or 9 September 1397) [2] was the fifth surviving son and youngest child of King Edward III of England and Philippa of Hainault.

Edward III of England 14th-century King of England and Duke of Aquitaine

Edward III was King of England and Lord of Ireland from January 1327 until his death; he is noted for his military success and for restoring royal authority after the disastrous and unorthodox reign of his father, Edward II. Edward III transformed the Kingdom of England into one of the most formidable military powers in Europe. His long reign of 50 years was the second longest in medieval England and saw vital developments in legislation and government, in particular the evolution of the English parliament, as well as the ravages of the Black Death.

Philippa of Hainault 14th-century noblewoman and queen of England

Philippa of Hainault was Queen of England as the wife of King Edward III. Edward promised in 1326 to marry her within the following two years. She was married to Edward, first by proxy, when Edward dispatched the Bishop of Coventry "to marry her in his name" in Valenciennes in October 1327. The marriage was celebrated formally in York Minster on 24 January 1328, some months after Edward's accession to the throne of England. In August 1328, he also fixed his wife's dower.

Contents

Early life

Thomas was born 7 January 1355 at Woodstock Palace in Oxfordshire after two short-lived brothers, one of whom had also been baptised Thomas. [3] He married Eleanor de Bohun in 1374, [4] was given Pleshey castle in Essex, and was appointed Constable of the Realm. [3] The younger sister of Woodstock's wife, Mary de Bohun, was subsequently married to Henry of Bolingbroke, Earl of Derby, who later became King Henry IV of England.

Woodstock Palace Royal residence in Woodstock, Oxfordshire

Woodstock Palace was a royal residence in the English town of Woodstock, Oxfordshire.

Oxfordshire County of England

Oxfordshire is a county in South East England. The ceremonial county borders Warwickshire to the north-west, Northamptonshire to the north-east, Buckinghamshire to the east, Berkshire to the south, Wiltshire to the south-west and Gloucestershire to the west.

Eleanor de Bohun daughter of Humphrey de Bohun, 7th Earl of Hereford, duchess of Gloucester

Lady Eleanor de Bohun was the elder daughter and co-heiress with her sister, Mary de Bohun, of their father Humphrey de Bohun, 7th Earl of Hereford (1341–1373). Her mother was Lady Joan Fitzalan, daughter of Richard FitzAlan, 10th Earl of Arundel and his second wife Eleanor of Lancaster.

In 1377, at the age of 22, Woodstock was knighted [3] and created Earl of Buckingham. [5] On 22 June 1380 he became Earl of Essex in right of his wife. [2] In 1385, he received the title Duke of Aumale, and at about the same time was created Duke of Gloucester. [6]

The peerage title Earl of Buckingham was created several times in the Peerage of England. It is not to be confused with the title of Earl of Buckinghamshire.

Earl of Essex Wikimedia list article

Earl of Essex is a title in the Peerage of England which was first created in the 12th century by King Stephen of England. The title has been recreated eight times from its original inception, beginning with a new first Earl upon each new creation. Possibly the most well-known Earls of Essex were Thomas Cromwell, chief minister to King Henry VIII, and Robert Devereux, 2nd Earl of Essex (1565–1601), a favourite of Queen Elizabeth I who led the Earl of Essex Rebellion in 1601.

Duke of Gloucester

Duke of Gloucester is a British royal title, often conferred on one of the sons of the reigning monarch. The first four creations were in the Peerage of England and the last in the Peerage of the United Kingdom; the current creation carries with it the subsidiary titles of Earl of Ulster and Baron Culloden.

Campaign in Brittany

Richard FitzAlan, 11th Earl of Arundel; Thomas of Woodstock, 1st Duke of Gloucester; Thomas de Mowbray, Earl of Nottingham; Henry, Earl of Derby (later Henry IV); and Thomas de Beauchamp, 12th Earl of Warwick, demand that Richard II let them prove by arms the justice of their rebellion A Chronicle of England - Page 328 - Arundel, Gloucester, Nottingham, Derby, and Warwick, Before the King.jpg
Richard FitzAlan, 11th Earl of Arundel; Thomas of Woodstock, 1st Duke of Gloucester; Thomas de Mowbray, Earl of Nottingham; Henry, Earl of Derby (later Henry IV); and Thomas de Beauchamp, 12th Earl of Warwick, demand that Richard II let them prove by arms the justice of their rebellion
Murder of Thomas of Woodstock. Thomas of Woodstock.jpg
Murder of Thomas of Woodstock.
Arms of Thomas of Woodstock quartering arms of his father-in-law Humphrey de Bohun, 7th Earl of Hereford (1341-1373), father of his wife Eleanor de Bohun (c. 1366-1399). Royal Arms of England with in the 4th quarter the arms of Bohun (Azure, a bend argent cotised or between six lions rampant or). 15th century stained glass, west window, St Peter's Church, Tawstock, Devon. Tawstock was a seat of William Bourchier, jure uxoris Baron FitzWarin (1407-1470) (a descendant of Thomas of Woodstock's daughter Anne of Gloucester), who had married the heiress of Tawstock ArmsThomasOfWoodstock QuarteringBohun TawstockChurch.PNG
Arms of Thomas of Woodstock quartering arms of his father-in-law Humphrey de Bohun, 7th Earl of Hereford (1341–1373), father of his wife Eleanor de Bohun (c. 1366–1399). Royal Arms of England with in the 4th quarter the arms of Bohun (Azure, a bend argent cotised or between six lions rampant or). 15th century stained glass, west window, St Peter's Church, Tawstock, Devon. Tawstock was a seat of William Bourchier, jure uxoris Baron FitzWarin (1407–1470) (a descendant of Thomas of Woodstock's daughter Anne of Gloucester), who had married the heiress of Tawstock

Thomas of Woodstock was in command of a large campaign in northern France that followed the War of the Breton Succession of 1343–64. The earlier conflict was marked by the efforts of John IV, Duke of Brittany to secure control of the Duchy of Brittany against his rival Charles of Blois. John was supported in this struggle by the armies of the kingdom of England, whereas Charles was supported by the kingdom of France. At the head of an English army, John prevailed after Charles was killed in battle in 1364, but the French continued to undermine his position, and he was later forced into exile in England. He returned to Brittany in 1379, supported by Breton barons who feared the annexation of Brittany by France. An English army was sent under Woodstock to support his position. Due to concerns about the safety of a longer shipping route to Brittany itself, the army was ferried instead to the English continental stronghold of Calais in July 1380. [7] As Woodstock marched his 5,200 men east of Paris, they were confronted by the army of Philip the Bold, Duke of Burgundy, at Troyes, but the French had learned from the Battle of Crécy in 1346 and the Battle of Poitiers in 1356 not to offer a pitched battle to the English. Eventually, the two armies simply marched away. French defensive operations were then thrown into disarray by the death of King Charles V of France on 16 September 1380. Woodstock's chevauchée continued westwards largely unopposed, and in November 1380 he laid siege to Nantes and its vital bridge over the Loire towards Aquitaine. [7] However, he found himself unable to form an effective stranglehold, and urgent plans were put in place for Sir Thomas Felton to bring 2,000 reinforcements from England. By January, though, it had become apparent that the duke of Brittany was reconciled to the new French king Charles VI, and with the alliance collapsing and dysentery ravaging his men, Woodstock abandoned the siege. [7]

War of the Breton Succession Conflict between the Counts of Blois and the Montforts of Brittany

The War of the Breton Succession was a conflict between the Counts of Blois and the Montforts of Brittany for control of the Duchy of Brittany. It was fought between 1341 and 12 April 1365.

John IV, Duke of Brittany Duke of Brittany

John IV the Conqueror KG was Duke of Brittany and Count of Montfort from 1345 until his death and 7th Earl of Richmond from 1372 until his death.

Duchy of Brittany Medieval duchy in northwestern France

The Duchy of Brittany was a medieval feudal state that existed between approximately 939 and 1547. Its territory covered the northwestern peninsula of Europe, bordered by the Atlantic Ocean on the west, the English Channel to the north. It was less definitively bordered by the Loire River to the south, and Normandy and other French provinces to the east. The Duchy was established after the expulsion of Viking armies from the region around 939. The Duchy, in the 10th and 11th centuries, was politically unstable, with the dukes holding only limited power outside their own personal lands. The Duchy had mixed relationships with the neighbouring Duchy of Normandy, sometimes allying itself with Normandy, and at other times, such as the Breton-Norman War, entering into open conflict.

Dispute with King Richard II

Thomas of Woodstock was the leader of the Lords Appellant, a group of powerful nobles whose ambition to wrest power from Thomas's nephew, King Richard II of England, culminated in a successful rebellion in 1388 that significantly weakened the king's power. Richard II managed to dispose of the Lords Appellant in 1397, and Thomas was imprisoned in Calais to await trial for treason.

The Lords Appellant were a group of nobles in the reign of King Richard II, who, in 1388, sought to impeach some five of the King's favourites in order to restrain what was seen as tyrannical and capricious rule. The word appellant simply means '[one who is] appealing [in a legal sense]'. It is the older (Norman) French form of the present participle of the verb appeler, the equivalent of the English 'to appeal'. The group was called the Lords Appellant because its members invoked a procedure under law to start prosecution of the king's unpopular favourites known as 'an appeal': the favourites were charged in a document called an appeal of treason, a device borrowed from civil law which led to some procedural complications.

Richard II of England 14th-century King of England and Duke of Aquitaine

Richard II, also known as Richard of Bordeaux, was King of England from 1377 until he was deposed in 1399. Richard's father, Edward the Black Prince, died in 1376, leaving Richard as heir apparent to King Edward III. Upon the death of his grandfather Edward III, the 10-year-old Richard succeeded to the throne.

During that time he was murdered, probably by a group of men led by Thomas de Mowbray, 1st Duke of Norfolk, and the knight Sir Nicholas Colfox, presumably on behalf of Richard II. This caused an outcry among the nobility of England that is considered by many to have added to Richard's unpopularity.

Thomas de Mowbray, 1st Duke of Norfolk 14th-century English peer

Thomas de Mowbray, 1st Duke of Norfolk, 1st Earl of Nottingham, 3rd Earl of Norfolk, 6th Baron Mowbray, 7th Baron Segrave, KG, Earl Marshal was an English peer. As a result of his involvement in the power struggles which led up to the fall of Richard II, he was banished and died in exile in Venice.

Nicholas Colfox English knight

Sir Nicholas Colfox was a medieval English knight who in 1397 was involved in the murder of Thomas of Woodstock, 1st Duke of Gloucester, uncle of King Richard II, apparently on the orders of the king. Colfox's involvement in the killing may have been alluded to in Geoffrey Chaucer's Nun's Priest's Tale, in which a duplicitous fox is referred to as a "Colfox" and described as "liking to murder men".

Thomas was buried in Westminster Abbey, first in the Chapel of Saint Edmund and Saint Thomas in October 1397, and two years later reburied in the Chapel of Saint Edward the Confessor. His wife was buried next to him. [8]

Marriage and progeny

Thomas married Eleanor de Bohun (c. 1366–1399), the elder daughter and co-heiress with her sister, Mary de Bohun, of their father Humphrey de Bohun, 7th Earl of Hereford (1341–1373). Thomas of Woodstock had by his wife Eleanor the following five children:

As he was attainted as a traitor, his dukedom of Gloucester was forfeit. The title Earl of Buckingham was inherited by his son, who died in 1399 only two years after Thomas' own death. Thomas of Woodstock's eldest daughter, Anne, married into the powerful Stafford family, who were Earls of Stafford. Her son, Humphrey Stafford was created Duke of Buckingham in 1444 and also inherited part of the de Bohun estates.

The other part of these estatesincluding the Earldom of Hereford, which had belonged to Mary de Bohun and had then become incorporated into the holdings of the House of Lancaster became a matter of contention in the latter 15th century.

In literature

Ancestry

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References

  1. Marks of Cadency in the British Royal Family
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Weir, Alison (1999). Britain's Royal Families: The Complete Genealogy. London: The Bodley Head.
  3. 1 2 3 Anthony Goodman, The Loyal Conspiracy: The Lords Appellant under Richard II. University of Miami Press, 1971. p. 5.
  4. Tuck, Anthony. "Thomas [Thomas of Woodstock], duke of Gloucester", Oxford Dictionary of National Biography , 3 January 2008. Retrieved 13 February 2019.
  5. Goodman, p. 6.
  6. Goodman, p. 91.
  7. 1 2 3 Goodman, pp. 124–126.
  8. Tuck, Anthony (September 2004). "Thomas, duke of Gloucester (1355-1397)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Press.
  9. Goodman, p. 93.
  10. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Armitage-Smith, Sydney (1905). John of Guant: King of Castile and Leon, Duke of Aquitaine and Lancaster, Earl of Derby, Lincoln, and Leicester, Seneschal of England. Charles Scribner's Sons. p. 21. Retrieved 8 October 2018.
  11. 1 2 3 4 Anselme de Sainte-Marie, Père (1726). Histoire généalogique et chronologique de la maison royale de France [Genealogical and chronological history of the royal house of France] (in French). 1 (3rd ed.). Paris: La compagnie des libraires. pp. 87–88.}
  12. 1 2 Anselme 1726, pp. 381–382
  13. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 von Redlich, Marcellus Donald R. Pedigrees of Some of the Emperor Charlemagne's Descendants. I. p. 64.
Thomas of Woodstock
Born: 7 January 1355 Died: 8 September 1397
Political offices
Preceded by
The Earl of Hereford and Essex
Lord High Constable
1372–1397
Succeeded by
The Earl of Buckingham
Legal offices
Preceded by
The Duke of Ireland
Justice of Chester
1388–1391
Succeeded by
The Duke of Exeter
Peerage of England
New creation Earl of Buckingham
1377–1397
Succeeded by
Humphrey