Maria de Padilla

I am surprised to find the internet has several images of Maria de Padilla.

Her daughters married John of Gaunt and Edmund of Langley and she was the grandmother of Catherine of Lancaster, aka Catalina, Queen of Castile,  Edward, Duke of York, Constance of York and Richard of Conisbrough. (Richard of Conisbrough is known thus to historians but as Lord Richard of York in his lifetime, later Earl of Cambridge. But that’s a detail.)

What is really cool about Maria is that her coat of arms included frying pans. This may be unique in heraldry, it is certainly unusual. It is apparently a pun on her surname, which I presume works in Castilian. Not three lions on a shirt – four frying pans on a shield. (Or in her case, a lozenge.)

Apparently Donizetti wrote an opera about her.

The unusual coat of arms may be seen attached to her Wiki article.




  1. Interesting post, sighthound6. Was Maria’s husband really her husband? Pedro of Castile seems to have been a little like Edward IV, prone to marry in secret. According to what you read, like Elizabeth Woodville, Maria may never have been more than Pedro’s mistress. But I don’t doubt that he loved her. She was quite a lady. PS: Love the frying pans!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. My impression is that in Spain the attitudes to marriage, divorce and even illegitimacy were relatively flexible at this time. Whether Maria was technically married to Pedro is a moot point, but she seems to have be regarded as though she was. Pedro was of course overthrown by his undoubtedly illegitimate half-brother who became king in his place, while next door in Portugal the king (Philippa of Lancaster’s husband) was also illegitimate. No one seems to have given a damn. Gaunt’s political position in Iberia, in the light of this, was quite illogical – but I’m not sure logic was in the forefront of anyone’s mind.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Maria sounds like a very interesting woman.
    Her lover/husband Pedro was a terrible human being, he kept his previous a prisoner and most likely sent assassins to kill her. his nickname was Pedro the cruel.


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