Famous Faces and Places

Order of the Garter

On this day, 23 April, in the year of our Lord 1348, the Most Noble Order of the Garter, the highest order of chivalry and the third most prestigious honor in the United Kingdom, was founded. The Order is dedicated to Saint George, England’s patron saint.

The Order’s emblem is a garter with the motto “Honi soit qui mal y pense.”—”Shame on him who thinks evil of it.” Members of the order wear this emblem on ceremonial occasions.

At the time of its foundation, the Order consisted of King Edward III, together with 25 founder knights, listed in ascending order of stall number in St. George’s Chapel. They are all depicted in individual portraits in the Bruges Garter Book, circa 1431.

Listed below are my ancestors who founded or were inducted into the Order of the Garter:


FOUNDING MONARCH

Edward III of England (my 21st great-grandfather through his son Thomas of Woodstock, my 22nd great-grandfather through his son Lionel of Antwerp of Clarence, my three-times 19th and three-times 20th great-grandfather through his son John of Gaunt, and my 20th great-grandfather through his son Edmund of Langley)


FOUNDING KNIGHTS (in order of induction)

#3Thomas Beauchamp, 11th Earl of Warwick (my 20th great-grandfather through his son Thomas de Beauchamp and my 21st great-grandfather through his daughter Philippa de Beauchamp)

#5,  Ralph de Stafford, 1st Earl of Stafford, 2nd Baron Stafford (my 20th great-grandfather through his daughter Margaret de Stafford, my 21st great-grandfather through his daughter Jane de Stafford, and my 21st great-grandfather through his son Hugh Stafford)

#7,  Roger Mortimer, 2nd Earl of March (my 21st great-grandfather through his son Edmund de Mortimer)

#9, Bartholomew de Burghersh, 2nd Baron Burghersh (my 21st great-grandfather through his daughter Elizabeth de Burghersh)

#13, Thomas Holland, 1st Earl of Kent, 2nd Baron Holand (my 20th great-grandfather through his son Thomas Holland)


OTHER GARTER MEMBERS (in order of induction)

#28, William de Bohun, 1st Earl of Northampton (my 22nd great-grandfather through his son Humphrey de Bohun)

#35, Lionel of Antwerp, 1st Duke of Clarence, jure uxoris 4th Earl of Ulster, 5th Baron of Connaught (my 21st great-grandfather through his daughter Philippa of Clarence)

#36, John of Gaunt, 1st Duke of Lancaster (my 19th and my 20th great-grandfather through both his son John Beaufort and my 19th and two-times 20th great-grandfather through his daughter Joan Beaufort)

#37, Edmund of Langley, 1st Duke of York (my 19th great-grandfather through his son Richard of Conisburgh of Cambridge and my 20th great-grandfather through his daughter Constance of York)

#38, Edward le Despenser, 1st Baron le Despencer (my 20th great-grandfather through his son Thomas le Despenser)

#46, John Neville, 3rd Baron Neville de Raby (my 19th great-grandfather through his son Ralph Neville)

#57, Hugh Stafford, 2nd Earl of Stafford (my 20th great-grandfather through his son Edmund Stafford)

#58, Thomas Holland, 2nd Earl of Kent, 3rd Baron Holand (my 19th great-grandfather through his daughter Margaret Holland, my 20th great-grandfather through his daughter Alianore Holland, and my 20th great-grandfather through his daughter Eleanor Holland)

#66, Thomas of Woodstock, 1st Duke of Gloucester, 1st Earl of Buckingham, 1st Earl of Essex (my 20th great-grandfather through his daughter Anne of Gloucester)

#80, Thomas le Despenser, 1st Earl of Gloucester, 2nd Baron le Despencer (my 19th great-grandfather through his daughter Isabel le Despenser)

#87, John Beaufort, 1st Earl of Somerset (my 18th great-grandfather through his daughter Joan and my 19th great-grandfather through his son Edmund)

#89, John Montagu, 3rd Earl of Salisbury, 5th Baron Montagu (my 20th great-grandfather through his son Thomas Montagu)

#99, Richard Beauchamp, 13th Earl of Warwick, Count of Aumale (my 18th great-grandfather through his daughter Anne Beauchamp and my 19th great-grandfather through his daughter Eleanor Beauchamp)

#104, Edmund Stafford, 5th Earl of Stafford, 6th Baron Audley (my 19th great-grandfather through his son Humphrey Stafford)

#105, Ralph Neville, 1st Earl of Westmorland, 4th Baron Neville de Raby (my 18th great-grandfather through his daughter Cecily Neville, my 19th great-grandfather through his son Richard Neville, and my 19th great-grandfather through his daughter Anne Neville)

#109, John Stanley, King of Mann, Lord Lieutenant of Ireland (my 19th great-grandfather through his son John Stanley)

#121, Thomas Montagu, 4th Earl of Salisbury, 6th Baron Montagu, 5th Baron Monthermer, Count of Perche (my 19th great-grandfather through his daughter Alice Montagu)

#145, Humphrey Stafford, 1st Duke of Buckingham, 6th Earl of Stafford (my 18th great-grandfather through his son Humphrey Stafford)

#148, Richard Plantagenet, 3rd Duke of York (my 17th great-grandfather through his son George Plantagenet)

#150, Edmund Beaufort, 2nd Duke of Somerset (my 18th great-grandfather through his daughter Margaret Beaufort)

#152, Richard Neville, 5th Earl of Salisbury (my 18th great-grandfather through his son Richard Neville)

#174, Thomas Stanley, 1st Baron Stanley (my 17th great-grandfather through his daughter Catherine Stanley)

#185, George Plantagenet, Duke of Clarence (my 16th great-grandfather through his daughter Margaret Plantagenet)

#211, Henry Stafford, 2nd Duke of Buckingham (my 16th great-grandfather through his son Edward Stafford)

#248, Edward Stafford, 3rd Duke of Buckingham (my 15th great-grandfather through his son Henry Stafford)

#253, Richard Pole (my 15th great-grandfather through his daughter Ursula Pole)


LADIES OF THE GARTER (in order of induction)

  • Philippa of Hainault, Queen Consort of England (my 21st great-grandmother through her son Thomas of Woodstock, my 22nd great-grandmother through her son Lionel of Antwerp of Clarence, my three-times 19th and three-times 20th great-grandmother through her son John of Gaunt, and my 20th great-grandmother through her son Edmund of Langley)
  • Isabella di Castile, Duchess of York (my 19th great-grandmother through her son Richard of Conisburgh of Cambridge and my 20th great-grandmother through her daughter Constance of York)
  • Eleanor de Bohun, Countess of Essex, Countess of Buckingham, Duchess of Gloucester, Duchess of Aumale (my 20th great-grandmother through her daughter Anne of Gloucester)
  • Constance of York, Countess of Gloucester, Baroness le Despencer (my 19th great-grandmother through her daughter Isabel le Despenser)
  • Katherine de Roet, Duchess of Lancaster (my 19th and my 20th great-grandmother through both her son John Beaufort and my 19th and two-times 20th great-grandmother through her daughter Joan Beaufort)
  • Alice FitzAlan, Countess of Kent (my 19th great-grandmother through her daughter Margaret Holland, my 20th great-grandmother through her daughter Alianore Holland, and my 20th great-grandmother through her daughter Eleanor Holland)
  • Margaret Holland, Countess of Somerset, Duchess of Clarence (my 18th great-grandmother through her daughter Joan Beaufort and my 19th great-grandmother through her son Edmund Beaufort)
  • Joan Beaufort, Countess of Westmorland (my 18th great-grandmother through her daughter Cecily Neville, my 19th great-grandmother through her son Richard Neville, and my 19th great-grandmother through her daughter Anne Neville)
  • Maud Francis, Countess of Salisbury (my 20th great-grandmother through her son Thomas Montagu)
  • Isabel le Despenser, Countess of Worcester and Warwick (my 18th great-grandmother through her daughter Anne Beauchamp)

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Categories: Cole-Marriner Line, Famous Faces and Places, On This Day, Royal Roots, Watts-Stark Line | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment

14 April: A Day to Remember

On this day, 14 April, history happened:

In the year 979, my three-times great-grandfather Æthelred “The Unready” (through his son Edmund II “Ironside”, my twice-over 30th great-grandfather, and through his daughter Ælfgifu, my 31st great-grandmother) was challenged for the throne of England.

In the year 1471, the Battle of Barnet, a decisive battle in the War of the Roses, was fought. The Yorkists defeated the Lancastrians, killing Richard Neville (my 17th great-grandfather). This military action, along with the subsequent Battle of Tewkesbury, secured the throne for Edward IV.

In 1865, Abraham Lincoln was shot by John Wilkes Booth at Ford’s Theater, Washington DC. President Lincoln died the next day.

In 1894, Thomas Edison held his first public showing of the kinetoscope (moving pictures).

In 1903, Dr Harry Plotz developed a vaccine against typhoid.

In 1912, at 11:40 p.m., the Titanic hit an iceberg off the coast of Newfoundland. The ship sank a few hours later.

In 1935, Black Sunday, the worst sandstorm in Midwest history, created the Dust Bowl. Twenty “black blizzards” devastated the Great Plains, from Canada to Texas. The dust storms caused extensive damage and turned the day into night. Witnesses reported that they could not see five feet in front of them.

And in 1970, in southern Florida, a baby boy was born.

He was no one famous, and his birth was only important to us, his family.

But on that day, that small child drew his first breath. Two hours later, he breathed his last.

He took with him his father’s name and his family’s love.

Nothing remains of him, not even a photo or a footprint. No stone marks his brief passage in time.

Although his was a life not lived, he was…if only for a moment.

And for that reason, 14 April always will be a memorable day in my family’s history.

 

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Categories: Cole-Marriner Line, Famous Faces and Places, Noel-Ardinger Line, On This Day, Taylor-Thomas Line, Watts-Stark Line | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Guillaume III d’Aquitaine

On this day, 3 April 963, Guillaume III d’Aquitaine died. He was both my two-times 32nd and my 33rd great-grandfather.

Born circa 915 in Poitiers, France, Guillaume III, nicknamed Towhead because of his hair color, was the son of Ebalus (Ebles) “Manzer” and Emilienne.

After his father’s death in 935, Guillaume III claimed the Duchy of Aquitaine; however, the royal chancery did not officially grant his ducal title until 962. Guillaume III was Count of Poitou from 935, Count of Auvergne from 950, and Count of the Duchy of Aquitaine from 959 until his death.

Circa 936, Guillaume III married Adèle (Gerloc) de Normandie, daughter of Rollo de Normandie and Poppa de Bayeaux. Together, Guillaume III and Adèle had two known children: Guillaume IV (my 32nd great-grandfather) and Adelaide (my 31st and 32nd great-grandmother).

In 936, Louis IV de Francia (my 31st great-grandfather) forced Guillaume III to forfeit some of his land to Hugh “le Grand” de Francia (my 32nd great-grandfather). Although Guillaume III complied, this edict eroded the positive relationship he had with Hugh “le Grand”.

In 950, Louis IV granted the duchies of Burgundy and Aquitaine to Hugh “le Grand”. Hugh “le Grand”, with the assistance of  Louis IV, tried to conquer Aquitaine; however, Guillaume III defeated them.

Louis IV’s son and successor, Lothair, feared Guillaume III‘s power. In August 955. Lothair joined forces with Hugh “le Grand” to besiege Poitiers. Guillaume III gave battle but was defeated.

With the death of Hugh “le Grand” in 956, his son Hugh Capet was named Duke of Aquitaine. Hugh Capet married Adelaide, daughter of Guillaume III.

At some point, Guillaume III tuned over control of Aquitaine to his son Guillaume IV. Guillaume III then retired to the Abbey of Saint-Cyprien in Poitiers. On 3 April 963, Guillaume III d’Aquitaine died in Saint-Maixent-l’École, France.

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Jeanne de Navarre

On this day, 2 April, in the year 1305, Jeanne de Navarre died. She was my 22nd great-grandmother.

Born on 14 January 1273, in the Champagne region of France, Jeanne was the daughter of Henri “le Gros” de Navarre and Blanche d’Artois.

Sadly, she never had the opportunity to know her father, as he died on 22 July 1274; Jeanne was only a year and a half old.

Upon the death of her father, Jeanne became Countess of Champagne and queen regnant of Navarre. Her mother served as her guardian and regent in Navarre. Various powers, both foreign and local, sought to take advantage of the minority of the heiress and the perceived weakness of the female regent; consequently, her mother sought protection at the court of Philip III of France.

In 1274, Blanche and young Jeanne arrived in France. In 1275, by the Treaty of Orléans, Jeanne was betrothed to the king’s son, and Blanche placed both her daughter and Navarre under the protection of Philip III of France.

On 16 August 1284, at the age of 11, Joan married Philip IV of France.

Then, in 1285, upon the death of Philip III, Jeanne became the queen consort of France. Together, Philip IV and Jeanne had Margaret; Louis X; Blanche; Philip V; Charles IV; Isabella (my 21st great-grandmother); and Robert.

As Queen of France, Jeanne secured the succession, was an efficient mistress of the royal court, and was a dignified first lady. She also purportedly had an exceptional relationship with her husband. The couple was close, and Philip IV was reported to have loved and respected Jeanne deeply.

In 1294, Philip IV appointed Jeanne as Regent of France should their son succeed him as a minor.

Although Jeanne did not have influence over the affairs of France, she was in charge of Navarre and Champagne. She ruled Navarre and Champagne differently, however.

Jeanne never visited Navarre; it was ruled in her stead by governors who had been appointed by her father-in-law or her husband. Unfortunately, these governors were extremely unpopular with the citizens of Navarre, and Jeanne’s absence from the country was resented by some. From afar, edicts were issued in her name, coins were struck in her image, and protection was rendered to religious institutions.

Unlike Navarre, Jeanne governed Champagne more directly. This might have been because Champagne was wealthier and more strategically important than Navarre. Although Philip IV appointed her administrators, Jeanne visited Champagne regularly and is recorded to have participated in all duties as an active independent ruler. For example, in 1297, Jeanne led an army against the Count of Bar, who had invaded Champagne. Jeanne also acted against Bishop Guichard of Troyes, whom she accused of having stolen funds from Champagne.

On 2 April, 1305, Jeanne de Navarre died in Vincennes, France. The cause of death might have been childbirth.

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Categories: Famous Faces and Places, On This Day, Royal Roots, Watts-Stark Line | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Tale of Two Roberts (of Burgundy)

On this day, 21 March, in the year 1076, Robert I of Burgundy, nicknamed “le Vieux” (the Old), died. Robert I of Burgundy was my 29th great-grandfather through his daughter Constance, my 29th great-grandfather through his daughter Hildegarde, and my two-times 30th great-grandfather through his son Henry.

In 1011, Robert I of Burgundy was born to Robert II of France and Constance of Arles.

In 1025, Robert’s eldest brother Hugh Magnus died. Robert and older brother Henry rebelled against their father, Robert II of France, defeating him and forcing him to retreat to Paris.

In 1031, Robert II of France passed away. With the death of his father, Robert I rose up against his brother Henry I, who was next in line for the throne. Their mother Constance of Arles supported Robert’s efforts. In 1032, peace between the brothers was achieved, when Henry relinquished Burgundy to Robert, thereby making Robert I Duke of Burgundy.

Unfortunately, despite the fact that he was a duke, Robert I was little more than a robber baron. He had little control over his vassals, whose estates he frequently plundered. He also raided Church properties, seizing the income of the diocese of Autun, confiscating the wine of the canons of Dijon, and robbing the Abbey of Saint-Germain d’Auxerre.

Circa 1033, Robert I married Helie of Semur. Together, Robert and Helie had five children: Hugh, Henry, Robert, Simon, and Constance.

In 1048, Robert I repudiated his wife. Not long after he turned out his wife, Robert I killed both her brother Joceran and father Dalmace I of Semur.

At some point prior to 1056, Robert I married Ermengarde d’Anjou. Together, they had one daughter, whom they named Hildegarde.

Two of Robert I’s sons predeceased him: his first son, Hugh, who died in battle, and his second son, Henry. Because of this, when Robert I died on 21 March 1076, in Fleurey-sur-Ouche, France, Henry’s eldest son, Hugh I, became the Duke of Burgundy.


Also, on this day, 21 March, in the year 1306,  Robert II of Burgundy passed away. Although Robert II is not my direct ancestor, he is my 25th great-uncle. (His sister Adelaide of Burgundy is my 24th great-grandmother.) In addition, Robert II is the 6th great-grandson of Robert I (discussed above).

Robert II was the third son of Hugh IV of Burgundy and Yolande of Dreux.

In 1272, when his father died, Robert II became Duke of Burgundy.

In 1279, Robert II married Agnes, the youngest daughter of Louis IX of France (my 24th great-grandfather). Together, they had eight children: Hugh V, Blanche, Margaret, Joan, Odo IV, Louis, Mary, and Robert.

In 1284, Rudolf of Habsburg invested Robert II with the duchy of Dauphiné. Unfortunately, this action resulted in two years of warfare; hostilities ceased when Philip IV of France (my 22nd great-grandfather) paid Robert 20,000 livres tournois to renounce his claim to the Dauphiné.

Robert II ended the practice of gifting parcels of the Burgundian estate to younger sons and as dowries to daughters. Because of this previous practice, the duchy had already diminished by earlier dowries and gifts. Upon Robert II’s death on 21 March 1306, the entire duchy passed to his eldest son, Hugh V.

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