Prince Lionel of Antwerp (1338-1368) - Duke of Clarence 1362-1368

This prince, the third son of King Edward III and Queen Philippa, was born at Antwerp in Flanders on 29th November 1338. He had scarcely completed his third year, when, in order to secure for him a large territory in Ireland, his future marriage was arranged with Lady Elizabeth De Burgh, the sole daughter and heiress of William, Earl of Ulster, by Maud Plantagenet, second daughter of Prince Henry, Earl of Lancaster, a grandson of King Henry Ill.

Whilst still an infant, Lionel was, during the King's temporary absence in 1345, constituted guardian of the realm. His nuptials were celebrated in 1355; in which year he was created Earl of Ulster, and first armed, for the purpose of attending his Royal father on an expedition to France. In 1359, he was again, accompanied by his brothers - Edward, John and Edmund - with the King when he passed over to Calais and was a witness to the Treaty of Bretigny in 1360.

It was probably at the feast of St. George in 1361 that he received the ensign of the Most Noble Order of the Garter, and had installation in the sixth stall on the Sovereign's side in place of John, Lord Beauchamp, one of the first Founders.

The Honour of Clare in Suffolk having devolved to him, as part of the inheritance of Elizabeth De Clare, his consort's grandmother, he was, in 1362, created Duke of Clarence. His duchess, by whom he had an only child, Philippa, died in the year following and, towards the conclusion of the year 1367, a treaty of marriage was agreed upon between Lionel and Violante, daughter of Galeazzo, Prince of Milan, and niece of Amadeus VI, Count of Savoy. The Duke of Clarence, with numerous knights and esquires in his suite proceeded through France, on his way to Milan, and was received with great distinction by King Charles V of France, the Dukes of Burgundy and Bourbon, and the Sire De Coney, and was conducted to Paris, where he arrived on Quasimodo Sunday, 16th April 1368. From thence, the Duke continued his journey into Savoy and was welcomed at Chambery by the Count, and, after great rejoicing, balls and other entertainments during two days, conducted by him to Milan, where the marriage was celebrated on the 5th June following.

The Duke was, however, not destined to return to his native land. Whether from excesses in a climate not congenial to his constitution, as supposed by some, or the effects of poison, as hinted by others, he sickened and died at Alba Pompeia, in the Marquisate of Montferrat, in Piedmont, on 17th October 1368. His remains were first interred at Papia, but afterwards brought to England, and deposited at Clare, in the church of the Augustine Friars, near the body of his first consort. The Duchess Violante, by whom he had no issue, married soon afterwards Otho Paleologus, Marquis of Montferrat.

Philippa, the only issue of Lionel, Duke of Clarence, married Edmund Mortimer, 3rd Earl of March, and King Edward IV was her great-great-grandson and eventual heir.

Edited from George Frederick Beltz's "Memorials of the Most Noble Order of the Garter" (1841)

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