Matilda Burghersh – wife of Thomas Chaucer, mother of Alice, Duchess of Suffolk.

It has taken me a long time, but I have finally figured out how Matilda, wife of Thomas Chaucer, fits into the Burghersh family tree. I was confused because Matilda is sometimes called ‘the Burghersh heiress’. Odd that, I thought, given that Elizabeth, wife of Edward Despenser was ‘the Burghersh heiress.’ Truth is, they were… Continue reading Matilda Burghersh – wife of Thomas Chaucer, mother of Alice, Duchess of Suffolk.

Unwanted heirs? The Mortimers in the 1390s

It has been established now that Roger Mortimer, Earl of March, was declared heir to the throne by Parliament in 1386 – not 1385 as commonly believed. This Parliament was very much at odds with Richard II (it set up a one-year Commission to run most of his affairs, much to Richard’s displeasure.) So it… Continue reading Unwanted heirs? The Mortimers in the 1390s

Joanna Fitzalan, Lady of Abergavenny

Joanna was the daughter of that Richard Fitzalan, Earl of Arundel, who was executed by Richard II in 1397. In 1392, when she was about 17, she was married to William Beauchamp, Lord Bergavenny, younger brother of the Earl of Warwick, who was 55. They had a son, Richard, who eventually became Earl of Worcester,… Continue reading Joanna Fitzalan, Lady of Abergavenny

THE LION IN THE RIVER

Volunteers working on clearing weeds in the River Kennet in the attractive Wiltshire town of Marlborough recently got a big surprise. A large lump of masonry was shifted from its position on the river-bed and they found themselves gazing into the weed-draped, grinning countenance of a stylised medieval lion! The lion is believed to have… Continue reading THE LION IN THE RIVER

Vastern – a little known Yorkist manor

In 1376 King Edward III granted the manors of Vastern and Wootton to his son Edmund, Earl of Cambridge. The manors adjoin, with Wootton know better known as Royal Wootton Basset, Wiltshire. Vastern Manor still exists, although it has been extensively rebuilt. The core of the stucture is, however, said to be fifteenth century. It… Continue reading Vastern – a little known Yorkist manor

The Epiphany Plot of 1400

Following the deposition of Richard II, his leading supporters among the nobility were put on trial before Henry IV’s first parliament. Well, all apart from the Earl of Wiltshire who had – in plain terms – been murdered at Bristol on Henry’s orders before Henry became king. (As a Lancastrian, Henry was of course allowed… Continue reading The Epiphany Plot of 1400