Lionel of Antwerp, 1st Duke of Clarence


Lionel of Antwerp, 1st Duke of Clarence

Lionel of Antwerp, Duke of Clarence (November 29 1338 – October 7 1368) was the third son, but the second son to survive infancy, of Edward III of England and Philippa of Hainault. He was so called because he was born at Antwerp.

Betrothed when a child to Elizabeth de Burgh, 4th Countess of Ulster (d. 1363), daughter and heiress of William Donn de Burgh, 3rd Earl of Ulster (d. 1332), he was married to her in 1352, but before this date he had entered into possession of her great Irish inheritance. He was called Earl of Ulster from 1347.

Having been named as his father's representative in England in 1345 and again in 1346, Lionel joined an expedition into France in 1355, but his chief energies were reserved for the affairs of Ireland.

Appointed governor of that country, he landed at Dublin in 1361, and in November of the following year was created Duke of Clarence, while his father made an abortive attempt to secure for him the crown of Scotland. His efforts to secure an effective authority over his Irish lands were only moderately successful; and after holding a parliament at Kilkenny, which passed the celebrated Statute of Kilkenny in 1367, he dropped the task in disgust and returned to England.

Lionel's wife died in Dublin in 1363, leaving behind a daughter, Philippa, whose descendants would one day claim the throne for the House of York. A second marriage was arranged for Lionel with Violante (c. 1353 - November 1386), daughter of Galeazzo Visconti, lord of Pavia (d. 1378); the enormous dowry which Galeazzo promised with his daughter being exaggerated by the rumour of the time. Journeying to fetch his bride, Lionel was received in great state both in France and Italy, and was married to Violante at Milan on 28 May 1368. Some months were then spent in festivities, during which Lionel was taken ill at Alba, where he died. There was strong speculation at the time that he had been poisoned by his father-in-law [Frances Stonor Saunders, "Hawkwood: Diabolical Englishman" (2004). specify] although this has never been proven.

His only child, Philippa Plantagenet, married in 1368 Edmund Mortimer, 3rd Earl of March (1351-1381). Their granddaughter and eventual heir, Anne Mortimer, married into the Yorkist branch of the English Royal family. The House of York based its claim to the throne on this line of descent.

The poet Geoffrey Chaucer was at one time a page in Lionel's household.

Titles, styles, honours and arms

Arms

Lionel's arms were at some point those of the kingdom, differenced by a label argent of five points, with each point bearing a cross gules. [ [http://www.heraldica.org/topics/britain/cadency.htm Marks of Cadency in the British Royal Family] ] There are also suggestions, such as the image to the right, that at some point he bore a differentiating label argent of three points, each bearing a canton gules.

Notes

References

*1911


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