John of Gloucester

John of Gloucester

John of Gloucester (c. 1470 - 1491) was an illegitimate son of Richard III of England. John is so called because his father was Duke of Gloucester at the time of his birth.

The identity of his mother is not known. Katherine Haute, a woman mentioned in household records of the Duke of Gloucester, has been suggested as his mistress and mother of John. Katharine, an illegitimate daughter of Richard III who married William Herbert, 2nd Earl of Pembroke, was probably his sister. They were both half-siblings of Edward of Middleham, Prince of Wales.

John is known to have been in Calais by November, 1484 and was officially appointed Captain of Calais by his father on 11 March, 1485. His letter of appointment has Richard referring to him as "our dear bastard son". John was not yet an adult and did not exercise the full authority of his position. Robert Brackenbury was entrusted with his safety.

The previous Captain Robert Dynham, 1st Baron Dynham had been an early supporter of Richard III. He had recently recaptured the fortress of Hammes from a garrison which had defected to the side of Henry Tudor, Earl of Richmond but had let the defectors go unharmed, placing his loyalties under suspicion. Dynham was however allowed to serve under Gloucester.

Richard was killed in the Battle of Bosworth Field (August 22, 1485). His successor Henry VII of England removed John from his position but did not persecute him. In 1486, Henry VII granted him an annual income of 20 pounds sterling.

In 1491, an illegitimate son of Richard III is known to have been executed. This was probably John rather than an unknown sibling. The former Captain of Calais would have been in his early twenties by then and likely to claim being the heir of the House of York. Henry would have little cause to spare his life.

John of Gloucester was not known to have married and had no known descendants.


*"Britain's Royal Families: The Complete Genealogy" by Alison Weir.

External links

* [ An article on the illegitimates of Richard III]
* [ A bio of John Dynham, 1st Baron Dynham]

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