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Constance Plantagenet (G-daughter of King Edward III)

Constance Plantagenet (G-daughter of King Edward III)

Mary Poe (View posts)
Posted: 14 Apr 2002 5:34PM GMT
Classification: Query
Surnames: Hadley,Audley, Roswell, Dixon, Doan, Poe, Morgan,Williams, Gale
I hope that someone can help me with this. Does anyone know if she had two husbands? I have seen where it hs been posted that she was married to Edmund De Holland ,Earl of Kent and Thomas Le De Spencer, Earl of Gloucester and that there were children from both marriages. I cannot find any concrete proof and would appreciate a shove in the right direction.
Thank you,
Mary Poe

Re: Constance Plantagenet (G-daughter of King Edward III)

Jessica_Bonner (View posts)
Posted: 19 Apr 2002 1:43AM GMT
Classification: Query
:::I hope that someone can help me with this.:::

I'll do my best.

:::Does anyone know if she had two husbands? I have seen where it hs been posted that she was married to Edmund De Holland ,Earl of Kent and Thomas Le De Spencer, Earl of Gloucester and that there were children from both marriages.:::

Well, she had children with both of them, but she and Edmund never actually tied the knot, if you get my drift.

:::I cannot find any concrete proof and would appreciate a shove in the right direction.:::

Here's what I have:

Thomas le Despencer was born 1373; he married about 1385 to Constance Plantagenet of York. They had five children before he was beheaded 13th of January, 1399, for his part in
a plot against King Henry IV. Their children were:

1. Richard le Despencer, Lord Burghersh, died 16th of April 1414.
2. Elizabeth le Despencer, died young.
3. Edward le Despencer, died young.
4. Hugh le Despencer, died 1401.
5. Isabel le Despencer, born 26th of July 1400, posthumous. Only she has descendants.

Constance, as a widow, appeared before the Council on a charge of being involved with the abduction of the young Mortimers from Windsor Castle, when she incriminated
her brother, the Duke of York; she was sent to Kenilworth Castle, and her property was seized, but later restored. About this time she began her liaison with Edmund de Holand, Earl of Kent, to whom she bore a daughter, Eleanor, about 1405. Edmund and Constance lived together for some years after her husband's death, and she claimed that she and Edmund had exchanged promises of marriage, which when followed by sexual intercourse would have constituted a canonical
marriage under canon law.

We don't know Eleanor's exact birthdate, and almost all the information we have about this episode comes from Eleanor Holand's later claim to inherit all her father's lands and titles. As she was his only known offspring, she would have become countess of Kent in her own right. Ultimately her claim failed, mostly because her father had already taken a legitimate wife, Lucy Visconti of Milan. What really killed Eleanor's claim was the fact that her own mother, Constance, had been a guest at the wedding banquet of Edmund and Lucy but never made an objection to the marriage (doesn't this just scream "Soap Opera"?). Eleanor herself married James Tuchet, 5th Lord Audley, by whom she had descendants.

So, no, Constance of York only married once, despite her insistence that she and Edmund were "spiritually united". This genealogical info, by the way, comes mostly from "The Complete Peerage" vol.VII, pp.154-162; vol.I, p.341.

JB
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