Mistress of the Monarchy: The Life of Katherine Swynford, Duchess of Lancaster by Alison Weir

  70 Ibid.; Goodman, Katherine Swynford

  71 For Kenilworth, see Ashley; Palmer; Renn; Goodman, John of Gaunt; Silva-Vigier; Joy. Kenilworth passed to Henry IV in 1399 and remained in royal hands until 1563, when Elizabeth I granted it to her favorite, Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, who built his own palatial lodgings there. In 1575 the castle was the scene of the famous and spectacular revels that were staged when the Queen visited. By the seventeenth century it had suffered a decline, and in 1649 it was wrecked and partially dismantled by Cromwell’s soldiers. The Mere was drained at this time.

  72 John of Gaunt’s Register

  73 Ibid.

  74 Hill, Mediaeval Lincoln

  75 Calendar of Patent Rolls; Special Collections, S.C. 1

  76 Hill, Mediaeval Lincoln; Calendar of Patent Rolls

  77 John of Gaunt’s Register

  78 Ibid.

  79 Ibid.; Foedera

  80 Froissart

  81 Ibid.; Foedera

  82 Walsingham; Anonimalle Chronicle; Rose


  1 Anonimalle Chronicle. For the Good Parliament, see chiefly Rotuli Parliamentorum; Walsingham; Anonimalle Chronicle

  2 Walsingham

  3 Goodman, Honourable Lady

  4 Cited by Lindsay

  5 Chandos Herald

  6 Walsingham

  7 Ibid.

  8 Collection of All the Wills…, ed. Nichols

  9 McFarlane; Saul

  10 Walsingham

  11 John of Gaunt’s Register

  12 Ibid. It seems, however, that Katherine’s dues from the Sauneby holdings were not paid, for years later, the duke wrote to his seneschal at Tickhill Castle to say that he was “fully informed that our very dear and beloved Dame Katherine de Swynford has certain sums due to her from these lands and tenements,” and commanded him to recompense her in full.

  13 Walsingham

  14 Collection of All the Wills…

  15 Foedera

  16 Pearsall

  17 Walsingham. He was the son of Henry, Baron Percy, by Mary of Lancaster, a sister of Duke Henry. Henry Percy was created Earl of Northumberland in 1377.

  18 Goodman, John of Gaunt

  19 Froissart

  20 Anonimalle Chronicle

  21 Ibid.; Duchy of Lancaster, DL. 28

  22 Froissart

  23 Calendar of Entries in the Papal Registers

  24 Armitage- Smith suggests that it was Thomas who was born in 1377.

  25 Foedera

  26 John of Gaunt’s Register

  27 Goodman, “Redoubtable Countess.” I am indebted to Professor Goodman for so generously sending me a copy of the text of this fascinating lecture.

  28 Calendar of Patent Rolls

  29 Foedera

  30 John of Gaunt’s Register; Foljambe of Osberton mss.

  31 Foedera

  32 Catalogue of Seals; Joy

  33 See www.trytel.com; www.rootsweb.com

  34 Special Collections, S.C. 1

  35 McKisack; Rotuli Parliamentorum; Wedgwood; Walsingham; Holmes

  36 Hardy

  37 Walsingham; Froissart; Anonimalle Chronicle

  38 For Wycliffe’s trial, see Walsingham; Murimuth; Tout; Holmes.

  39 Stow; Walsingham

  40 Anonimalle Chronicle; Walsingham

  41 The others were the earldom of Chester, once held by the Black Prince but now in the hands of the Crown, and the bishopric of Durham.

  42 Calendar of Patent Rolls; Goodman, John of Gaunt

  43 Walsingham

  44 Anonimalle Chronicle

  45 John of Gaunt’s Register

  46 Walsingham, for example

  47 Walsingham. The wooden effigy of Edward III may be seen in the Undercroft Museum at Westminster Abbey.

  48 Ibid.

  49 Anonimalle Chronicle; Calendar of Close Rolls

  50 Froissart

  51 Calendar of Close Rolls

  52 For Richard II’s coronation, see Walsingham; Wickham Legg.

  53 Duchy of Lancaster Records, DL. 28

  54 McKsack; Walsingham

  55 Calendar of Patent Rolls

  56 John of Gaunt’s Register

  57 Calendar of Patent Rolls; Chancery Records, C. 81

  58 Barking Abbey was dissolved in 1539, and its buildings demolished. Some of its ancient fabric was incorporated into the parish church of St. Margaret, which originally stood within the abbey precincts.

  59 Loftus and Chettle

  60 Calendar of Patent Rolls

  61 Walsingham

  62 Calendar of Patent Rolls; John of Gaunt’s Register

  63 Godwin; Silva- Vigier

  64 Rotuli Parliamentorum

  65 Ibid. Soon afterward, Alice married Sir William de Windsor. She died in obscurity in 1400.

  66 Goodman, Honourable Lady

  67 Ibid.; John of Gaunt’s Register

  68 Knighton

  69 John of Gaunt’s Register

  70 Walsingham; Goodman, Katherine Swynford; Honourable Lady; Kelly, Divine Providence

  71 Silva-Vigier

  72 Costain

  73 Knighton

  74 Probably Long Stretton, a village near Leicester

  75 Records of the Borough of Leicester

  76 Kelly, Divine Providence

  77 Lucraft, “Missing from History”

  78 Exchequer Records, E. 403

  79 Duchy of Lancaster Records, PL. 3; Foedera

  80 Armitage-Smith

  81 Exchequer Records, E. 403; Foedera; John of Gaunt’s Register; Duchy of Lancaster Records, PL. 3

  82 Walsingham

  83 Cited by Tuchman

  84 Armitage-Smith

  85 Exchequer Records, E. 101, E. 401, E. 403; John of Gaunt’s Register

  86 John of Gaunt’s Register

  87 Crow and Olsen

  88 Ackroyd

  89 Ibid.

  90 Crow and Olsen

  91 Waleys Cartulary

  92 Cowling

  93 Ackroyd

  94 John of Gaunt’s Register

  95 Goodman, Katherine Swynford

  96 Knighton

  97 Ibid.

  98 Duchy of Lancaster Records, PL. 3

  99 He paid the expenses incurred in respect of the obit on November 7 (John of Gaunt’s Register).

  100 Duchy of Lancaster Records, DL. 28; John of Gaunt’s Register

  101 John of Gaunt’s Register

  102 Richardson; Cole; Archaeological Journal, XXI

  103 John of Gaunt’s Register

  104 Ibid.

  105 Ibid.

  106 Ibid.

  107 Ibid.

  108 Ibid.

  109 I am indebted to Joan Potton for this suggestion. The seventeenth- century antiquary, William Dugdale, stated that Abbess Matilda herself was a daughter of Hugh and Katherine Swynford, but he was probably confusing her with Margaret Swynford. Matilda de Montagu was in fact the daughter of Edward, first Baron Montagu, and related to the earls of Salisbury. Dugdale, Monasticon.

  110 John of Gaunt’s Register

  111 Froissart; John of Gaunt’s Register

  112 John of Gaunt’s Register. Lady Mohun’s daughter Philippa later married Edward, Duke of York, the eldest son of Edmund of Langley.

  113 John of Gaunt’s Register

  114 Ibid.

  115 Ibid.

  116 Ibid.

  117 Calendar of Patent Rolls

  118 Lucraft, “Missing from History”

  119 Deschamps; McDonald; Chute; Goodman, Honourable Lady

  120 Saul; Russell

  121 Froissart

  122 Calendar of Patent Rolls

  123 John of Gaunt’s Register; Waleys Cartulary

  124 Froissart; Holmes; John of Gaunt’s Register; Duchy of Lancaster Records, DL. 29

  125 Walsingham; Rotuli Parliamentorum

  126 John of Gaunt’s Register

  127 Ibid.

  128 Ibid. These gifts were all paid for on Mar
ch 6, 1381.

  129 Ibid.

  130 Rotuli Parliamentorum

  131 John of Gaunt’s Register. Although these gifts were paid for on March 6 at the same time as payment was made for the duke’s New Year gifts and his wedding gift to Mary de Bohun, the wording of the entry in the Register makes it clear that they had not yet been given to their intended recipient, for they were purchased “for us to give to Dame Katherine Swynford.”

  132 Ibid.

  133 Ibid. Sir Thomas’s name is sometimes given as Morrieux, Murrieux, or Morreaux. Among John’s wedding gifts to Blanche were twelve silver spoons, twelve silver saucers, two basins with ewers, and a basket with a silver lid. On June 1, 1381, John granted Thomas and Blanche Morrieux a generous annuity of £100 (£37,566), the same amount he had settled on his legitimate daughter Elizabeth the previous year. Further grants and gifts to the couple, “for their good services,” would follow in the years to come.

  134 For Sir Thomas Morieux, see Nicolas, Controversy; Armitage-Smith; Walker.

  135 Perroy, Hundred Years War; Goodman, John of Gaunt

  136 Foedera

  137 John of Gaunt’s Register

  138 Ibid.


  1 Froissart

  2 Froissart was probably exaggerating when he put the figure at 100,000. For the Peasants Revolt, see chiefly Walsingham; Anonimalle Chronicle; Knighton.

  3 Goodman, “Redoubtable Countess”

  4 Goodman, Honourable Lady

  5 Duchy of Lancaster Records, DL. 42, DL. 29; Somerville. There is no record of the date on which John of Gaunt granted Wesenham Place to Katherine Swynford, so she may not have owned it at this time. No trace remains of the house today. I am indebted to Roger Joy for his sadly abortive searches in the Norfolk County Record Office and elsewhere in respect of Wesenham Place, and to Sean Cunningham at the National Archives, who tracked down the references to this grant in the duchy records.

  6 Goodman, Honourable Lady

  7 Gower

  8 Ibid.

  9 Knighton

  10 Many records of the Duchy of Lancaster were lost in the blaze (Calendar of Patent Rolls). For the sacking of the Savoy, see Stow, London; Westminster Chronicle; Knighton; Anonimalle Chronicle; Calendar of Patent Rolls.

  11 John of Gaunt’s Register

  12 Knighton

  13 Anonimalle Chronicle

  14 Goodman, Honourable Lady; Gardner; Brewer

  15 Exchequer Records, E. 37

  16 Knighton; Froissart; John of Gaunt’s Register

  17 Knighton

  18 John of Gaunt’s Register

  19 Foedera

  20 Knighton; Anonimalle Chronicle; Walsingham; Froissart; Wyntoun. Percy was later to apologize to the duke for his conduct (Anonimalle Chronicle).

  21 Knighton; Anonimalle Chronicle; Walsingham

  22 Knighton

  23 John of Gaunt’s Register

  24 Ibid.

  25 Ibid.

  26 Froissart; Knighton; Walsingham; John of Gaunt’s Register; Duchy of Lancaster Records, PL. 3

  27 Knighton

  28 Ibid.; Anonimalle Chronicle

  29 Anonimalle Chronicle; Goodman, Honourable Lady; Leland, Itinerary. Nothing remains of the palace, which was a ruin by 1658. The site is now occupied by a cemetery.

  30 Froissart

  31 John of Gaunt’s Register. The present church of St. Mary in Roecliffe was not built until 1843.

  32 Ibid.

  33 Walsingham

  34 John of Gaunt’s Register

  35 Goodman, Honourable Lady; Lucraft, “Missing from History”

  36 For these grants and the termination of the wardship, see John of Gaunt’s Register. Katherine had to relinquish this wardship on June 17, 1383, because Eustacia, now married to John de Boys, had reached “full age, that is to say fourteen years or more,” and John of Gaunt agreed to “turn over to her the lands and tenements formerly in our hands.”

  37 The Chancery is now number 11, Minster Yard.

  38 Much of this information about Katherine Swynford’s clerical neighbors in the cathedral close comes from notes taken by the author at the excellent and informative lecture on Minster Yard given by Cathedral Librarian Dr. Nicholas Bennett on Katherine Swynford Study Day, June 2006. Regrettably, I have not had access to the full text. Dr. Bennett’s research will be a valuable addition to our knowledge of Katherine’s life at the Chancery, and hopefully it will be published in the near future—too late, sadly, for this book.

  39 This is the earliest brick frontage in Lincoln, and dates from ca. 1485.

  40 For the Chancery, see Hill, Mediaeval Lincoln; Goodman, Katherine Swynford; Jones, Major, Varley and Johnson; Major; Pevsner and Harris; “A Visit to the Chancery,” pamphlet prepared for the annual Katherine Swynford Study Day, Lincoln Cathedral Library; Mee; Jones, Four Minster Houses; Registrum Antiquissimum.

  41 Knighton

  42 McKsack; Rotuli Parliamentorum

  43 Walsingham; Anonimalle Chronicle; Knighton

  44 John of Gaunt’s Register

  45 Westminster Chronicle

  46 I am indebted to Abigail Bennett and other experts in medieval Latin at the University of York for translating the quitclaim deed. Roger Joy, who has made an extensive study of the subject, also believes that this quitclaim was intended to preserve the security of Katherine’s tenure of her property, but I have reached my own conclusions independently.

  47 John of Gaunt’s Register. A similar gift was sent on that day to Amy de Melbourne.

  48 Ibid.

  49 See, for example, Perry; Lucraft, “Missing From History.”

  50 John of Gaunt’s Register

  51 Ibid.

  52 Bishop Buckingham’s Register; McFarlane; Knighton

  53 Knighton

  54 John of Gaunt’s Register

  55 Hicks

  56 Walsingham

  57 Monk of Evesham; cf. Walsingham; Adam of Usk

  58 Monk of Evesham

  59 Walsingham

  60 For Richard II, see, for example, Walsingham; Adam of Usk; Black; Schama; McHardy; Mosley; Hicks; Stow, Annals; Armitage-Smith; McDonald.

  61 John of Gaunt’s Register

  62 Rotuli Parliamentorum

  63 Calendar of Patent Rolls

  64 Harriss; Perry

  65 Jane may have been the daughter of—or related to—Nicholas de Crophill, who was mayor in 1348-49 and 1360-61. Her more exalted connections are revealed in a petition of 1349 in the Calendar of Entries in the Papal Registers, in which an Alan de Crophill is referred to as the kinsman of Edward III; David II of Scotland (who had married King Edward’s sister Joan); Henry, Duke of Lancaster; and Ralph, Baron de Stafford, among other notable persons. This kinship has exercised several genealogists. Alan de Crophill was the son of Sir Ralph de Crophill, who died around 1332, by his wife Matilda, who married, as her second husband, John, Baron Verdun. Matilda, whose maiden name is not recorded, appears in the Calendar of Entries in the Papal Registers as one of three persons to whom a plenary indult (an indulgence bestowed by the Pope) was granted in 1345; the others were Sir James de Pipe (or Pype) and Sir Richard de Stafford (flourished 1337-69), the brother of Ralph, first Earl of Stafford. Given that there must have been some association between these persons, it has been suggested that Matilda was Earl Ralph’s sister, but she is nowhere listed among his seven known siblings. A Matilda de Stafford is listed among Sir Richard’s children, but she could not have been born until after 1337, and as there are no other Matildas in the Stafford family tree, we can safely assume that Matilda de Crophill was not born a Stafford. Sir James Pipe, however, was certainly Ralph’s half brother, being the son of Sir Thomas de Pipe by the earl’s mother, Margaret Basset, widow of Sir Edmund de Stafford.

  The Crophills did have a proven royal connection by marriage, but later than 1345. Sir Ralph de Crophill’s grandson (probably by a former wife), Sir John de Crophill of Sutton Bonington, Nottinghamshire, who
died in 1383, married in 1371 Margery, daughter of Theobald, Baron Verdun, whose second wife had been Elizabeth de Clare, a granddaughter of Edward I and a cousin of Edward III. Thus, although the familial relationship referred to in the petition of 1349 cannot be established, by the time Thomas Swynford married Jane Crophill in 1383, the Crophills could again claim kinship, albeit distantly, with the King. It is interesting to note that John, Baron Darcy of Knaith, is listed in the 1349 petition as another of the men to whom Alan de Crophill was kinsman. Years later Sir Thomas Swynford was to marry, as his second wife, Margaret Grey, the widow of Baron Darcy’s grandson. Clearly there were enduring social links between the Darcys, the Crophills, and the Swynfords. See www.rootsweb.com; Erdeswick; Complete Peerage; Weir, English Aristocratic Pedigrees; Calendar of Entries in the Papal Registers.

  66 John of Gaunt’s Register

  67 Calendar of Patent Rolls; Rotuli Parliamentorum; Armitage-Smith; Perry

  68 Calendar of Patent Rolls

  69 Higden; Monk of Evesham; Walsingham; Goodman, John of Gaunt; Armitage-Smith; Westminster Chronicle; Tuck

  70 Walsingham; McKisack

  71 Calendar of Patent Rolls; Hill, Mediaeval Lincoln

  72 McHardy; Hill, Mediaeval Lincoln

  73 Hill, Mediaeval Lincoln; Goodman, Katherine Swynford; Lincoln Cathedral, Dean and Chapter Muniments, Bj12/8

  74 Street; Grantham House

  75 Westminster Chronicle; Walsingham

  76 King; Westminster Chronicle; Higden; Walsingham

  77 Knighton

  78 Hicks; Knighton; Walsingham

  79 Ackroyd

  80 Froissart; Westminster Chronicle

  81 Complete Peerage; Dictionary of National Biography; Goodman, John of Gaunt; Rotuli Parlia-mentorum

  82 Rotuli Parliamentorum; Westminster Chronicle; Froissart; Foedera


  1 For this evidence in detail, see Armitage-Smith.

  2 Leese

  3 Complete Peerage; Oxford Dictionary of National Biography; Weir, English Aristocratic Pedigrees. The Oxford DNB appears to have confused him with his father, another Robert Ferrers of Willisham, who was John of Gaunt’s retainer from 1378 and died in 1381. It was his son, Robert Ferrers, born around 1372-73, who married Joan Beaufort. The younger Robert’s mother was Elizabeth, Baroness Boteler.

  4 Crow and Olsen; Lincoln Cathedral Dean and Chapter Muniments: Chapter Acts 1384-94, a.2.27.f.13r

  5 Walker

  6 Quoted from a twelfth- century Bible in Lincoln Cathedral Library (Silva- Vigier).

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