Jean de Rot
(-Cir 1305)
Sir Gilles (Paon) de Rot
(1305-After 1352)
Katherine de Rot Duchess of Lancaster
(After 1348-1403)


Family Links

1. Prince John (of Gaunt) K. G. Earl of Richmond, Duke of Lancaster,

2. Sir Hugh Swinford Lord of Kettlethorpe and Colby, Lincolnshire

Katherine de Rot Duchess of Lancaster

  • Born: After 1348, Hainault 673,694
  • Marriage (1): Prince John (of Gaunt) K. G. Earl of Richmond, Duke of Lancaster, on 13 Jan 1396 in Lincoln, Lincolnshire, England 673
  • Marriage (2): Sir Hugh Swinford Lord of Kettlethorpe and Colby, Lincolnshire about 1362
  • Died: 10 May 1403, Lincoln, Lincolnshire, England 673
  • Buried: Angel Choir, Lincoln Cathedral, Lincoln, Lincolnshire, England 695

  Noted events in her life were:

pronounce. 697 Roet is pronounced "Roay".

Black Death, 1348-1349, Europe. 698 In 1348-49, the year of Katherine's birth, the Black Death, a particularly virulent form of bubonic plague, scythed its way across Europe, killing between 40% and 75% of the population.

Came to England, Dec 1351. 699 Katherine's father was serving Countess Margaret of Hainault who fled her home for England in December 1351 hoping to enlist the support of King Edward III and took Paon with her. Given the uncertainty of any future in Hainault, he is likely to have brought with him his children Walter, Katherine and possibly Philippa.

Mother's death, Bef 1355. 700 Early in 1355, Katherine's hald-brother, Walter, was in the sevice of Countess Margaret at Mons and back in England having been appointed Yeoman of the Chamber to the Black Prince, Queen Philippa's eldest son. We might infrer form this that Paon died in early 1355 and that the Countess at once sent Walter to Queen Philippa who was caring for Walter's sisters. Walter's sister, Elizabeth, had already been placed in a convent at Mons. This evidence suggest that Katherine and Philippa's mother was dead by 1352 and that Katherine and Philippa were already place with the Queen that year and were already in England in 1355.

Care by Queen Philippa. 701 Katherine and her sister Philippa were fortunate to be in the care of Queen Philippa. Queen Philippa made a great contribution to the stability and success of the monarchy with her genius for fostering a degree of family unity and closeness unique in the history of the Pantagenet dynasty.

Governess: England. 702 Katherine was appointed governess to Prince John of Gaunt's two eldest daughters who grew up to be highly cultivated and charming women as did at least two of her own children, Henry and Joan (our ancestor) Beaumont.

She would find herself moving from place to place, lodgin in turn at Windsor Castle, Westminster Palace, Woodstock Palace, havering-atte-Bower and a number of other luxurious residences of the King and Queen.

Kettlethorpe. 703 Katherine became known as the Lady of Kettlethorpe. It is a pretty but rather isolated Lincolnshire village which is situated about 20 feet above sea level and lies twelve miles west of Lincoln, just north of the border of Nottinghamshire. The river Trent flows west of Kettlethorpe and the Fossdyke meanders along its eastern and nothern boundaries. It is a "romantic spot, embowered by trees".

The present Kettlethorpe incorporates fragments of the medieval house that Katherine knew and is still surrounded by a moat. It is open to visitors.

Affair with John, 1 May 1372. 704 At the Savoy, John gave Katherine the handsome sum of 10 pounds (worth 3347 pounds today), his first recorded gift to her. This and other evidence strongly suggests that the love affair had begun.

Gringley-on-the-Hill, 4 Mar 1377. 705 Katherine was granted the ducal manors of Gringley and Wheatley in Nottinghamshire in 1377. Gringley-on-the-Hill is a pretty village perched 82 feet about sea level, twelve miles nothwest of Kettlethorpe and boasts beautifule views over Nottinghamshire, Lincolnshire and Yorkshire and a church with a Norman arch.

Lady of the Garter, Apr 1387. 706 Katherine was appointed by King Richard II to be a Lady of the Garter, the highest English honor to which a woman might aspire.

Marriage and children validated, 1 Sep 1396, Rome. 684 Pope Boniface IX validated the marriage of Katherine and John and pronounced their Beaufort children and any subsequent children to be legitimate. The couple may have received these notices in early October.

The legitimization of the Beauforts had nothing to do with potential claims to the throne in the distant future: it was because John of Gaunt decided to marry his mistress.

Care for the Queen, 4 Nov 1396, Calais, France. 653 When Richard and Isabella were married, she was only 6 years old. Her care was given by King Richard to Katherine Plantagenet-Swinford, who was then the Duchess of Lancaster, to Joan Beaufort and several other senior royal ladies.

Unique in English history - Legitimized in law, 6 Feb 1397. 707 King Richard II issued Letters Patent formally legitimizing the Beaufort children in law and then secured an Act of Parliament. Being formally declared legitimate facilitated the full acceptance of the Beauforts into the royal house, removed all barriers to their preferment in the peerage and the Church and further improved their prospects. However, the wits of Richard II's court derisively referred to the Beauforts as "Fairborn", an interpretation that was still being used ironically a century later, proof that the taint of bastardy still clung to the family.

This Act was unique in English history.

Residence, After 1399, Lincoln, England. 708 After John's death, Katherine leased a home in Minster Yard in Lincoln and held the lease until she died.

Great-grandmother of Kings. 659 Katherine, the herald's daughter, became the great-grandmother of three Kings of England.

In 1461, her great-grandson, Edward, Earl of March, deposed Henry VI and seized the throne as Edward IV, first sovereign of the House of York. Henry was briefly restored in 1470 through the machinations of the man who had once been the mainstay of Edward's throne, Warwick the Kingmaker, another of Katherine's great-grandsons.

In 1471, Henry VI was murdered and the direct line of the royal House of Lancaster, the kings descended from John of Gaunt and Blanche of Lancaster, became extinct.

In 1483, Edward IV died and yet another of Katherine's great-grandsons, Richard III, ascended the throne.

Descendants. 686 The descendants of Katherine and John of Gaunt include:
-the present Queen Elizabeth II, who is also Duchess of Lancaster,
-the late Diana, Princess of Wales,
-nearly every monarch in Europe,
-Six US Presidents - George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, John Quincy Adams, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, George H. W. Bush and George W. Bush
-Sir Winston Churchill
-the poet Alfred Lord Tennyson
-the philosopher Bertrand Russell
-Russell Thomas Carlson, Thomas Michael Healy and Ingrid Christina Carlson

Katherine married Prince John (of Gaunt) K. G. Earl of Richmond, Duke of Lancaster,, son of King Edward III of England and Philippa of Hainault, on 13 Jan 1396 in Lincoln, Lincolnshire, England.673 (Prince John (of Gaunt) K. G. Earl of Richmond, Duke of Lancaster, was born in Mar 1340 in Abbaye de St. Bavon, Ghent, Flandre-Orientale, Belgium,673 died on 3 Feb 1399 in Leicester Castle, Leicester, Leicestershire, England 673,676 and was buried on 16 Mar 1399 in St. Paul's Cathedral, London, Middlesex, England 673,677.)

  Noted events in their marriage were:

Marriage date: Lincoln Cathedral, Lincoln, England. 696 Prince John and Katherine had four children before they were married. Katherine was John's third wife. They were married by Bishop Buckingham.

Katherine next married Sir Hugh Swinford Lord of Kettlethorpe and Colby, Lincolnshire, son of Sir Thomas Swinford and Nichola Druel, about 1362. (Sir Hugh Swinford Lord of Kettlethorpe and Colby, Lincolnshire was born circa 1340 709 and died on 13 Nov 1371 in Acquitaine, France 709,710.)

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