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

7 Crow and Olsen

  8 Goodman, John of Gaunt; Howard; Pearsall

  9 Goodman, Honourable Lady

  10 Silva-Vigier

  11 Ibid.

  12 Goodman, Honourable Lady

  13 “Liber Benefactorum”

  14 Westminster Chronicle

  15 Walsingham

  16 Knighton; Higden; Westminster Chronicle; “Liber Benefactorum”

  17 Higden calls her viropotens, which means, literally, “mighty.”

  18 Higden. Armitage- Smith judged this story too scandalous to bear repetition in En glish, so he quoted it in Latin.

  19 Wells

  20 Complete Peerage; Special Collections, S.C. 8; Walsingham. He had taken, as his second wife, Philippa Mortimer, Elizabeth’s cousin.

  21 Higden

  22 Knighton; Eulogium; Froissart

  23 Chronique du Religieux de Saint- Denys; Goodman, John of Gaunt

  24 Jones, Major, Varley and Johnson

  25 Bishop Buckingham’s Register

  26 Amcotts mss. (VI/A/22/2)

  27 Ackroyd

  28 Lopes; Russell; Goodman, John of Gaunt; Honourable Lady; Dictionary of National Biography

  29 Bevan

  30 The year is sometimes—probably incorrectly—given as 1386, but this does not take account of the medieval calendar. In England, until 1752, the New Year officially started on Lady Day, March 25—thus February 16, 1386 should probably read February 16, 1387. To confuse matters, the Roman year began on January 1, which was celebrated in England as New Year’s Day. Effectively there were two new years in England, January 1 and March 25.

  31 Foljambe of Osberton mss. (Osberton Deeds, IX, I, 787)

  32 Nicolas, Controversy

  33 Froissart

  34 Fernão Lopes wrote a Portuguese chronicle that was commissioned by Duarte I, John of Gaunt’s grandson. Lopes wrote discreetly and admiringly of John, basing his account on the recollections of people who had known him, and his work reflects the respect in which the House of Lancaster was held in Portugal.

  35 Gillespie; Begent; McDonald

  36 Beltz; Silva- Vigier

  37 McDonald; McHardy

  38 Calendar of Patent Rolls

  39 Walsingham; Lopes; Froissart

  40 Froissart

  41 Lopes

  42 Exchequer Records, E. 403; Honoré- Duvergé

  43 Pearsall; Crow and Olsen; Brewer

  44 Sometimes the dress in tomb sculptures is old- fashioned for its period, but Philippa was married to a prominent man with links to the court, and she was an honored servant of the Duchess of Lancaster: Hers would have been no rustic burial, and if any effigy were made for her, it would surely have sported the mode of its own period. Some Internet Web sites (see, for example, www.johnowensmith.co.uk) claim that Thomas Chaucer, Philippa’s son, was lord of the manor of East Worldham from 1418 to 1434, but that is incorrect. This manor was granted to the Crown in 1374, and nearly a century later was still in the hands of Edward IV when Thomas’s daughter, Alice Chaucer, petitioned him for the restoration of lands there that she claimed had been granted to her by Henry VI. There is no evidence that the Chaucers had any earlier interests there. It is far more likely that the effigy represents a lady of the Venuz family, who held the manor of East Worldham from the eleventh to the fourteenth century. See www.british-history.ac.uk; www.astoft.co.uk; Hampshire Record Office, Accession No. 52M70; Norris; Victoria County History: Hampshire

  45 Jones, Four Minster Houses

  46 Lopes

  47 Goodman, Honourable Lady; Walsingham

  48 Westminster Chronicle

  49 Lopes

  50 Foedera

  51 Ibid.; Lopes; John of Gaunt’s Register

  52 Goodman, John of Gaunt

  53 Foedera

  54 Crow and Olsen

  55 Hicks

  56 Froissart; Guzmán; Armitage- Smith; Goodman, John of Gaunt

  57 Foedera; Russell; Palmer and Powell; Goodman, John of Gaunt; Ayala; Westminster Chronicle; Perroy

  58 Goodman, John of Gaunt. Lewis Recouchez was later Master of St. James’s Hospital, Westminster, the leper hospital that originally stood on the site of St. James’s Palace.

  59 Ayala; Froissart; Armitage- Smith; Russell

  60 Armitage- Smith; Oxford Dictionary of National Biography

  61 Goodman, Honourable Lady

  62 Ibid.

  63 Calendar of Patent Rolls

  64 Froissart; Hardyng

  65 Froissart

  66 Goodman, Honourable Lady; Given- Wilson and Curteis; Wylie; Duchy of Lancaster Records, DL. 28

  67 Given- Wilson and Curteis. His only known bastard son, Edmund Labourde (who died young), was born probably in 1401, when Henry had been a widower for seven years.

  68 Goodman, Honourable Lady; John of Gaunt; McFarlane; Wylie; Bevan; Duchy of Lancaster Records, DL. 28

  69 Goodman, “Redoubtable Countess”

  70 Foedera

  71 Exchequer Records, E. 403; Nicolas, Controversy

  72 Foedera

  73 Higden; Rotuli Parliamentorum

  74 Knighton

  75 Goodman, John of Gaunt

  76 Ibid.; Calendar of Patent Rolls; Westminster Chronicle; Walsingham; Rotuli Parliamentorum; Saul

  77 Higden

  78 Westminster Chronicle; Chancery Records, C. 53

  79 Walsingham; Duchy of Lancaster Records, DL. 29; Lewis, “Indentures of retinue”

  80 Rotuli Parliamentorum

  81 Ibid.

  82 Ibid.; Westminster Chronicle

  83 Foedera

  84 Goodman, John of Gaunt

  85 Stow, London

  86 For Ely Place, see, for example, Ashley; Dalzell; Stow, London; Goodman, John of Gaunt; McHardy; Sharman. After Elizabeth I had forced the Bishop of Ely to surrender Ely Place to the Crown in the late sixteenth century, Sir Christopher Hatton acquired the freehold—hence the name Hatton Garden. The old palace was demolished in 1772, when the present Ely Place—a gated cul- de- sac of Georgian houses, incorporating the Church of St. Etheldreda—was built; it still remains a sanctuary.

  87 Calendar of Close Rolls; McHardy. The London Silver Vaults now partially occupy the site of the bishops’ house.

  88 Barron; Legge

  89 Froissart

  90 Armitage- Smith; Emden; Harriss; Goodman, John of Gaunt; Silva- Vigier; Le Neve

  91 Dictionary of National Biography; Saul; Silva- Vigier

  92 Leese

  93 Boucicaut; Chronique du Religieux de Saint- Denys; Froissart; Kirby

  94 Additional mss.

  95 Duchy of Lancaster Records, DL. 28

  96 Froissart; Jones and Underwood

  97 Froissart; Kirby; Duchy of Lancaster Records, DL. 28; Westminster Chronicle

  98 Exchequer Records, E. 403

  99 Waleys Cartulary, rolls A1, A2, A4, A9, B9; Goodman, Katherine Swynford; Rosenthal, in which are to be found the printed checkroll lists; Wylie

  100 Jones, Major, Varley, and Johnson

  101 Goodman, John of Gaunt; Edinburgh University Library ms.183, f.135v

  102 Duchy of Lancaster Records, DL. 28

  103 Kyngeston

  104 Waleys Cartulary

  105 Calendar of Patent Rolls; Goodman, Katherine Swynford

  106 One of two adjoining Northamptonshire hamlets now known as Chapel Brampton and Church Brampton.

  107 Calendar of Patent Rolls; Complete Peerage; Chancery Records, C. 137; Duchy of Lancaster Records, DL. 28. The present Overstone Manor is a hotel dating from the 1930s and has nothing to do with the original manor house, which has long since disappeared; nor does anything remain of the medieval village, which was rebuilt in the eighteenth century.

  108 Duchy of Lancaster Records, DL. 28

  109 Goodman, Honourable Lady; Wylie; Duchy of Lancaster Records, DL. 28

  110 Goodman, “Redoubtable Countess;” Tuck; Harriss

  111 Waleys Cartulary

  112 Foedera; Froissart (for example); Add
itional mss.

  113 Knighton

  114 Froissart

  115 Bruce

  116 Calendar of Patent Rolls; Duchy of Lancaster Records, DL. 28

  117 Duchy of Lancaster Records, DL. 28; Kyngeston

  118 Victoria County History: Oxfordshire; Jacob

  119 Higden

  120 Walsingham

  121 Jones, Major, Varley, and Johnson

  122 Goodman, Honourable Lady; Duchy of Lancaster Records, DL. 28

  123 Calendar of Patent Rolls; Duchy of Lancaster Records, DL. 28

  124 Calendar of Inquisitions Post Mortem

  125 Rotuli Parliamentorum; Armitage- Smith

  126 Galbraith; Bruce

  127 Westminster Chronicle; Walsingham; Palmer, England, France and Christendom

  128 The date of her obit is given in John of Gaunt’s will as March 24. Higden, Knighton, and Walsingham all give the date incorrectly as March 25.


  1 St. Paul’s Cathedral mss., B, Box 95

  2 Goodman, John of Gaunt

  3 Foedera

  4 Walsingham

  5 Adam of Usk; Stow: Annals; Froissart

  6 The date is sometimes incorrectly given as June 4, the day of Philippa’s birth, but in 1406, Mary’s obit was celebrated on July 4, which must have been the anniversary of her death.

  7 Leland

  8 Duchy of Lancaster Records, DL. 28

  9 Walsingham; Westminster Chronicle; Knighton (who gives the dates). After St. Mary’s College was suppressed in 1548, and the collegiate church demolished, Mary de Bohun’s remains were moved to the chapel of Trinity Hospital, Leicester. Tradition has long had it that a chest tomb bearing a poorly preserved alabaster effigy of a woman, which dates from the late fourteenth century, is hers, but that is unlikely because the figure is wearing widow’s weeds, and we know that Henry V commissioned a copper effigy of his mother. The effigy is possibly that of Dame Mary Hervey, an early benefactress of the hospital.

  10 Leland. Constance’s tomb was destroyed when St. Mary’s Church was demolished during the Reformation.

  11 Testamenta Eboracensia

  12 Leland; Duffy

  13 McKisack; Calendar of Close Rolls

  14 Legge

  15 Chancery Records, C. 61

  16 Tuck; Harriss; Jones and Underwood

  17 Calendar of Entries in the Papal Registers

  18 Ibid.

  19 Jones and Underwood; Harriss

  20 Duchy of Lancaster Records, DL. 28

  21 Froissart

  22 Jones, Ducal Brittany

  23 Goodman, John of Gaunt; Duchy of Lancaster Records, DL. 28; Walsingham

  24 Harriss

  25 Walsingham

  26 Chancery Records, C. 53; Armitage- Smith; Harriss

  27 Calendar of Entries in the Papal Registers

  28 Walsingham; Complete Peerage; Monk of Evesham; Froissart

  29 Goodman, Katherine Swynford

  30 According to Harriss, who gives no evidence to support this date

  31 McHardy; Bishop Buckingham’s Register

  32 Calendar of Entries in the Papal Registers

  33 Joy

  34 Engraved by Dugdale and Gervase Holles in the seventeenth century. See Sanderson.

  35 Dugdale, “Book of Monuments;” Holles

  36 Lewis, Cult of St. Katherine; Lucraft, Katherine Swynford. “The Beaufort Hours” is B.L. Royal ms. 2. AXVIII.

  37 Froissart

  38 For Pontefract, see Goodman, John of Gaunt; Armitage- Smith. The castle was disman-tled by the Parliamentarians in 1648 after a year- long siege, and only ruins remain today.

  39 Calendar of Patent Rolls; Duchy of Lancaster Records, PL. 3; Goodman, John of Gaunt. All that remains today of Rothwell Castle is a pillar of rubble that once formed part of a rectangular building, and the buried foundations of a range of lodgings. The castle was largely dismantled before 1497, when a timber- framed house was built on the site. This was demolished in 1977.

  40 Register of the Guild of the Holy Trinity

  41 Trokelowe; Walsingham

  42 An English Chronicle

  43 Froissart

  44 Ibid.

  45 Calendar of Entries in the Papal Registers

  46 Duchy of Lancaster Records, DL. 28. I am indebted to Professor Goodman for sending me this reference.

  47 John of Gaunt’s Register

  48 Perroy, Diplomatic Correspondence

  49 Froissart

  50 Goodman, John of Gaunt

  51 Froissart

  52 Ibid.

  53 Goodman, John of Gaunt

  54 Duchy of Lancaster Records, DL. 28. Again, I am grateful to Professor Goodman for this reference.

  55 Walsingham

  56 Goodman, John of Gaunt; Dictionary of National Biography

  57 Calendar of Entries in the Papal Registers

  58 Walsingham; Capgrave

  59 Some writers incorrectly identify her as Philippa de Coucy, granddaughter of Edward III and widow of Robert de Vere, Duke of Ireland, but Froissart says that of all the French ladies there, only Lady de Coucy accompanied Isabella, for there were many of the principal ladies of England present, including the Duchess of Ireland, i.e., Robert de Vere’s widow.

  60 Scarisbrick

  61 Froissart

  62 Stow, London

  63 Foedera

  64 Chronicles of London

  65 Goodman, Katherine Swynford; Monstrelet

  66 Calendar of Close Rolls

  67 Froissart

  68 Jones and Underwood

  69 Rotuli Parliamentorum; Armitage- Smith

  70 Strictly speaking, the Beauforts were not “mantle children,” for they had not been born to single parents who subsequently married, but were the fruits of an adulterous relationship.

  71 Rotuli Parliamentorum; Given-Wilson; Lindsay; Calendar of Patent Rolls; Jones and Underwood; Foedera; Walsingham

  72 Rotuli Parliamentorum

  73 Lindsay; Brooke- Little; Scott- Giles. A plate showing John Beaufort’s arms before and after his legitimation is in Given- Wilson. The Beaufort yale badge was not introduced until 1435.

  74 Jones and Underwood; Dictionary of National Biography; Percy ms. 78, cited by Armitage-Smith

  75 Calendar of Close Rolls; Calendar of Patent Rolls; Somerville; Harriss; Sussex Feet of Fines

  76 Calendar of Patent Rolls; Goodman, John of Gaunt

  77 Duchy of Lancaster Records, PL. 3

  78 Oxford Dictionary of National Biography; Harriss

  79 Emden

  80 Calendar of Patent Rolls

  81 Leeds Central Library ms. GC DL/3 f.14v; Armitage- Smith

  82 Loftus and Chettle; Perry; Dugdale, Monasticon

  83 Rickert

  84 Chancery Records, C. 61

  85 Froissart

  86 Ibid.

  87 Ibid.

  88 Calendar of Patent Rolls

  89 Froissart

  90 For Richard II’s proceedings against the former appellants, see, for example, Eulogium; Monk of Evesham; Walsingham; McKisack; Lindsay; King; Froissart; Schama; Armitage-Smith; Williams; Palmer: England, France and Christendom; Tuck; Foedera; Chronicque de la Traïson et Mort de Richart Deux.

  91 Goodman, John of Gaunt

  92 Froissart

  93 Ibid.

  94 Rotuli Parliamentorum; Walsingham; Adam of Usk; Calendar of Patent Rolls; Calendar of Close Rolls

  95 Complete Peerage

  96 Eulogium; An English Chronicle

  97 Goodman, John of Gaunt

  98 Rotuli Parliamentorum

  99 Walsingham

  100 Rose; Walsingham; Calendar of Patent Rolls. On October 14, by way of reward, Richard granted John some of Arundel’s forfeited property. Calendar of Patent Rolls.

  101 Ibid.

  102 Norfolk Record Office, Norwich, ms. 15171

  103 Rotuli Parliamentorum; Oxford Dictionary of National Biography; Chronicles of the Revolution

104 The date is usually given as 1399, but that cannot be correct, for by then John of Gaunt was dying. Circumstantial evidence strongly suggests that these documents date to 1398.

  105 Calendar of Close Rolls; Tuck

  106 Walsingham

  107 Chronicles of London; Saul

  108 Goodman, John of Gaunt

  109 Ibid.

  110 B. L. Harley ms. 3988, ff.39r- 40d

  111 Calendar of Patent Rolls

  112 Rotuli Parliamentorum; Calendar of Patent Rolls

  113 Duchy of Lancaster Records, PL. 3

  114 Walsingham; Armitage- Smith; Calendar of Entries in the Papal Registers; Harriss; Emden; McHardy; B. L. Arundel ms. 68, f.19v; Lambeth Palace Library ms. 20, f.171v; Handbook of British Chronology; Perry and Overton

  115 Foedera; Armitage-Smith; Calendar of Documents Relating to Scotland; Rotuli Scotiae

  116 Chancery Records, C. 53

  117 Rotuli Parliamentorum; Calendar of Patent Rolls; Chronicque de la Traïson et Mort de Richart Deux; Goodman, John of Gaunt

  118 Froissart

  119 Ibid.

  120 Calendar of Patent Rolls

  121 Rotuli Scotiae

  122 Armitage-Smith

  123 Chancery Records, C. 61; Calendar of Patent Rolls

  124 Armitage- Smith; Chronicque de la Traïson et Mort de Richart Deux; Walsingham; Eulogium; Froissart; Rotuli Parliamentorum; Monk of Evesham; Chronique du Religieux de Saint- Denys

  125 Froissart

  126 Ibid.

  127 Calendar of Patent Rolls; Harvey, “Catherine Swynford’s Chantry;” Froissart

  128 “Inventories of Plate;” Wickenden; Lincoln Cathedral Dean and Chapter Muniments ms. Bj/2/10, f.12r

  129 Calendar of Patent Rolls

  130 Ibid.; Complete Peerage

  131 Calendar of Patent Rolls

  132 Froissart. Mowbray went on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem and died of plague at Venice, on his way home.

  133 Ibid.

  134 Wyntoun

  135 Bevan

  136 Calendar of Patent Rolls

  137 There persists to this day a false tradition that John of Gaunt died at Ely Place in London. This derives from Leland, Collectanea (although in his Itinerary, Leland states that John died at Leicester), and of course Shakespeare. See Lane; Norwich.

  138 Wyntoun

  139 “The Kirkstall Chronicle;” Eulogium

  140 Gascoigne; the original ms. of his treatise is in Lincoln College, Oxford; Goodman, John of Gaunt.

  141 Calendar of Patent Rolls

  142 Plantagenet Encyclopaedia

  143 Goodman, Honourable Lady; John of Gaunt; Fowler, “On the St. Cuthbert Window;” Sharman

  144 Sharman

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