John of Lancaster, 1st Duke of Bedford

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John of Lancaster (left) in a 15th century depiction
John of Lancaster Coat of Arms

John of Lancaster, 1st Duke of Bedford KG (born June 20, 1389 , † September 14, 1435 in Rouen ) was the third surviving son of the English King Henry IV and Mary de Bohun . His eldest brother was King Henry V of the House of Lancaster .


Around 1400 John was accepted as a knight in the Order of the Garter . In 1403 he was appointed Constable of England for life by his father. In 1414 he was named Earl of Kendal , Earl of Richmond and Duke of Bedford by his brother Henry V. During the absence of his brother in France, he held the position of deputy in England. From 1421 to 1425 he was Baron von Elbeuf . After his brother's death in 1422, the diplomatically skilled John took over the reign in the north of France, ruled by England, for his underage nephew King Henry VI. who also had the French title of king. In his name he carried on the Hundred Years War (1337-1453) against the French Dauphin Charles VII. In 1424 he won the Battle of Verneuil over a Franco-Scottish army. This enabled him to advance into the Loire Valley and the inclusion of Orléans . When Joan of Arc, with the support of the Dauphin, intervened in the war and the latter had been crowned king in 1429, England's power was increasingly pushed back, especially because the Burgundian ally also distanced itself from England. John bought Jeanne d'Arc from Duke Philip III. of Burgundy for 10,000 francs and kept them prisoner in a tower for five months. He had her condemned and burned as a heretic , but this could no longer turn the situation for the English.

John died in Rouen in 1435 and was buried in the Notre-Dame Cathedral there.


In 1423 he married Anna, a daughter of Duke Johann Ohnefurcht von Burgundy . After her death in childbed in 1432, he married Jacquetta von Luxemburg . Both marriages remained childless.

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Alan & Veronica Palmer: The Pimlico Chronology of British History; from 250,000 BC to the Present Day. Pimlico, 1996, ISBN 0-7126-7331-8 , p. 122
  2. ^ Powicke & Fryde: Handbook of British Chronology. Second Edition, London, 1961, p. 433
  3. ^ Powicke & Fryde: Handbook of British Chronology. Second Edition, London, 1961, p. 446
  4. ^ Powicke & Fryde: Handbook of British Chronology. Second Edition, London, 1961, p. 417
  5. H. Vollrath & N. Fryde (eds.): The English Kings in the Middle Ages; From William the Conqueror to Richard III. Beck, 2004, ISBN 3-406-49463-3 , p. 189
  6. ^ Royle, Trevor: The Wars of the Roses; England's first civil war. Abacus, London, 2009, ISBN 978-0-349-11790-4 , p. 439


  • Alec R. Myers: John of Lancaster, Duke of Bedford, 1389-1435 . In: History Today . Vol. 10, No. 7, 1960, ISSN  0018-2753 , pp. 460-468.

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See also