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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