Edmund Crouchback, 1st Earl of Lancaster

Edmund Crouchback, 1st Earl of Lancaster

Infobox British Royalty|royal
name =Edmund Crouchback
title =Earl of Lancaster and Leicester

imgw= 180px
caption = Edmund Crouchback and St. George, each wearing their arms.
spouse =Lady Aveline de Forz
Blanche of Artois
issue =Thomas, Earl of Lancaster
Henry, Earl of Lancaster
John, Lord of Beaufort
Mary Plantagenet
titles =The Earl of Lancaster
The Earl of Leicester
royal house =House of Plantagenet
father =Henry III of England
mother =Eleanor of Provence
date of birth = 16 January 1245
place of birth = London, Kingdom of England
date of death = 5 June 1296 (aged 51)
place of death = Bayonne, Duchy of Aquitaine|

Edmund Crouchback, 1st Earl of Lancaster (January 16, 1245 – June 5, 1296) was the second surviving son of Eleanor of Provence and King Henry III of England.


Edmund was born in London. He was a younger brother of Edward I of England, Margaret of England, and Beatrice of England, and an older brother of Katherine of England.

In 1253 he was invested by Pope Innocent IV in the Kingdom of Sicily and Apulia. At about this time he was also made Earl of Chester. These were of little value as Conrad IV of Germany, the real King of Sicily, was still living and the Earldom of Chester was transferred to his elder brother Edward.

Political career

Edmund soon obtained, however, important possessions and dignities, for soon after the forfeiture of Simon de Montfort, 6th Earl of Leicester in 1265, Edmund received the Earldom of Leicester and of Lancaster and also the honour of the Stewardship of England and the lands of Nicolas de Segrave. In 1267 he was granted the lordship of Builth Wells in opposition to the then holder, Llywelyn ap Gruffydd. To help him conquer the land he was also granted his elder brother's lordships of the Trilateral of Skenfrith, Grosmont and White Castle together with Monmouth.

In 1271 he accompanied his elder brother Edward on the Ninth Crusade to Palestine. Some historians, including the authors of the Encyclopedia Britannica article on him, state that it was because of this that he received the nickname "Crouchback" (which they say means "cross back") indicating that he was entitled to wear a cross on his back.

On his return from the Crusade he seems to have made Grosmont Castle his favoured home and undertook much rebuilding there. His son Henry Plantagenet, 3rd Earl of Lancaster was apparently born there in 1281.


Edmund was married twice, first on 8 April 1269 to Lady Aveline de Forz, the daughter of William de Forz, Count of Aumale and Isabel de Reviers, Countess of Aumale. She died just 4 years after the marriage, at the age of 15, and was buried at Westminster Abbey. The couple had no children, though some sources believe she may have died in childbirth or shortly after a miscarriage.Fact|date=March 2008

He married a second time in Paris, on February 3, 1276 to Blanche of Artois, daughter of Robert I of Artois and Matilda of Brabant. That same year he became the Count of Champagne and Brie in France. With Blanche he had four children:
* Thomas Plantagenet, Second Earl of Lancaster (b. 1278)
* Henry Plantagenet, 3rd Earl of Lancaster (b. 1281)
* John Plantagenet, Lord of Beaufort, (c. 1282 - 1327)
* Mary Plantagenet (c. 1284 - c. 1289)

He died while besieging Bordeaux for his brother on June 5, 1296 in Bayonne, and was interred on July 15, 1296 at Westminster Abbey, London, England.

Titles, styles, honours and arms


Edmund bore the arms of the kingdom, differenced by a "label France of three points (that is to say azure three fleur-de-lys or, each)". [ [http://www.heraldica.org/topics/britain/cadency.htm Marks of Cadency in the British Royal Family] ]


Remfry, P.M., Grosmont Castle and the families of Fitz Osbern, Ballon, Fitz Count, Burgh, Braose and Plantagenet of Grosmont (ISBN 1-899376-56-9)

External links

* [http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=19130 Edmund Crouchback's Grave in Westminster Abbey]

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