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John of Gaunt
The Prince who wanted More

John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster -  Nash Ford Publishing


  • Prince John was the 4th son of King Edward III. He was called 'John of Gaunt' after Ghent Castle in Belgium where he was born. He lived in the 14th century.
  • John grew up at Westminster Palace & Windsor Castle. He married his cousin, Blanche, at Reading Abbey. She was the daughter & heiress of the rich & powerful Duke of Lancaster. John became the Duke when he died.
  • He became a soldier. He fought alongside his brother, the Black Prince, in 'Castile & Leon' (Northern Spain). They tried to help the King there get his throne back. The King died but John married his daughter & heiress. He then wanted to be King of Castile & Leon.
  • In the Hundred Years War in France, John lost lots of his men & lots of land. So he became very unpopular in England.
  • When Edward III died, John ran the country badly for his nephew Richard II. He wanted more power though. He tried to persuade people his own son should be king instead. This made him even more unpopular.
  • During the Peasants' Revolt, the rebels attacked his home, the Savoy Palace on the Strand. It was burnt to the ground.
  • As his third wife, John married Catherine Swynford, the sister-in-law of Geoffrey Chaucer. She had been his girlfriend for many years. They had lots of children already. Their surname was Beaufort.
  • John died just before his son made himself King Henry IV. He was buried in Old St. Paul's Cathedral.



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