1340 (February or March)
John of Gaunt, was born to King Edward III
and Philippa of Hainault
at St Bavon’s Abbey, Ghent. He was the fourth son of the royal couple, his brothers Edward, William and Lionel had been born earlier.
1340 (24th June)
Battle of Sluys
King Edward III successfully destroyed the French fleet which gave England control of the English Channel.
1341 (5th June)
John’s brother, Edmund, was born to Edward and Phillipa at King’s Langley.
John’s sister, Blanche, was born to Edward and Philippa in the Tower of London. She died before she was a month old.
1343 (12th May)
John’s elder brother, Edward was created Prince of Wales.
1344 (10th October)
John’s sister, Mary, was born to Edward and Philippa at Waltham.
John of Gaunt’s father, King Edward III, invaded Normandy with a force of 15,000. He took Caen, the main city of Normandy and then marched onwards into France.
1346 (20th July)
John’s sister, Margaret, was born to Edward and Philippa at Windsor Castle.
1346 (26th August)
Battle of Crecy
John’s father and brother, King Edward, and Edward the Black Prince (nicknamed after his black armour) scored a decisive victory over the French.
John’s brother, Thomas, was born to Edward and Philippa. He died before he was a year old.
1347 (3rd August)
John’s father, Edward III took the French town of Calais.
1348 (23rd April)
Order of the Garter
John’s father and brother, King Edward and Edward the Black Prince, became a member of the newly founded Order of the Garter.
1348 (24th June)
John’s brother, William, was born to Edward and Philippa at Windsor Castle. He died before September 1348.
John of Gaunt was with his elder brother, Edward on a ship that was attacked by a Spanish ship.
John fathered a daughter, Blanche, by his mistress Marie de St Hilaire of Hainault, a lady-in-waiting to his mother.
1359 (19th May)
John married his third cousin, Blanche of Lancaster, daughter of the Duke of Lancaster.
1355 (7th January)
John’s brother, Thomas, was born to Edward and Philippa at Woodstock Palace.
1360 (31st March)
A daughter, Philippa, was born to John of Gaunt and his wife Blanche.
John of Gaunt became Earl of Lancaster after the death of his father in law.
John was created a Knight of the Garter.
A son, John, was born to John and Blanche.
1362 (13th November)
John was created Duke of Lancaster.
1363 (21st February)
A daughter, Elizabeth, was born to John and Blanche.
A son, Edward was born to John and Blanche but he died within a year.
A son, John was born to John and Blanche but he died within a year.
1367 (6th January)
John’s nephew, Richard
was born to Prince Edward and his wife, Joan of Kent.
1367 (3rd April)
A daughter, Isabella was born to John and Blanche but she died at a young age.
1368 (12th September)
John’s wife, Blanche, died of bubonic plague
. She was buried in Old St Paul’s Cathedral.
Geoffrey Chaucer wrote an elegy on the death of John of Gaunt’s wife entitled ‘The Boke of the Duchesse’.
Hundred Years’ War
After Charles V of France renewed the war, John went to Calais and raided northern France.
1369 (15th August)
John’s mother, Philippa of Hainault, died at Windsor Castle.
John was sent at the head of a small force to help his brother, Edward the Black Prince, fighting in Aquitaine.
1370 (19th September)
Siege of Limoges
John supported his brother, Edward the Black Prince in laying siege to and retaking the town of Limoges in France.
1370 (8th October)
John was created Lord of Bergerac and Roche-sur-Yon.
1371 (21st September)
John married Constanza of Castille at Roquefort in France.
John supported his father, King Edward III in an attempt to invade France but due to unfavourable winds it had to be abandoned.
John began an affair with Katherine Swynford, widow of Hugh Swynford.
John was sympathetic to the teachings of the reformer, John Wycliffe. Wycliffe was leader of an increasingly popular move against Bishops and Archbishops having power in government. He also believed that every man had the right to read the Bible in his own language and to interpret it according to his own convictions. Wycliffe’s followers were known as Lollards and they preached in the streets.
A daughter, Catherine, was born to John and Constanza.
A son, John, was born to John and his mistress, Katherine Swynford. He was given the surname Beaufort.
1373 (August – December)
John of Gaunt left Calais for Aquitaine at the head of an army of around 9,000 men. The journey was long and arduous and many soldiers died of plague and other diseases. Although they succeeded in weakening the French by raiding and plundering the land, by the time they reached Aquitaine the army was too weak to be of much use.
A son, John was born to John and Constanza but he died before he was a year old.
John of Gaunt returned to England.
A son, Henry, was born to John and his mistress, Katherine Swynford. He was given the surname Beaufort.
1376 (8th June)
John’s brother, Edward the Black Prince, died.
A son, Thomas, was born to John and his mistress, Katherine Swynford. He was given the surname Beaufort.
1377 (21st June)
John’s father, Edward III died following a stroke. He was succeeded by his ten year old grandson, Richard II
. John acted as regent for his young nephew.
John went to France at the head of a large army to try to take Brittany. The mission was a failure because John was unable to feed such a large force due to the French occupation of the countryside.
A daughter, Joan, was born to John and his mistress, Katherine Swynford. She was given the surname Beaufort.
The people rebelled against the introduction of a new poll tax. John of Gaunt was abroad at the time of the revolt.
Following the death of King Pedro of Castile, John made an unsuccessful attempt to claim the throne by right of his wife, Constanza of Castile.
John’s daughter, Catherine, married Henry, King of Castile.
John and his wife returned to England.
1390 (2nd March)
John was created Duke of Aquitaine.
1394 (24th March)
John’s wife, Constanza of Castile, died at Leicester Castle. She was buried at Newark Abbey.
1396 (13th January)
John married his long time mistress, Katherine Swynford at Lincoln Cathedral.
1396 (1st September)
The Pope legitimised the children of John and Katherine Swynford but they were excluded from the succession.
John’s son, Henry, became Dean of Wells Cathedral.
1398 (14th July)
John’s son, Henry became Bishop of Lincoln.
1398 (16th September)
John was in Coventry to watch a trial by battle between his son, Henry and Thomas Mowbray, Duke of Norfolk. However, King Richard II intervened, forbade the fight and banished both men.
1399 (3rd February)
John of Gaunt died at Leicester Castle. He was buried beside his first wife, Blanche of Lancaster.