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Richard FitzAlan and Elizabeth de Bohun

Richard FITZALAN. Tenth Earl of Arundel. Knight of the Garter.
Born in 1346; son of Richard FITZALAN and Eleanor PLANTAGANET (of Lancaster).

He married Elizabeth de Bohun, daughter of William de Bohun, Earl of Northampton and his wife, Elizabeth Badlesmere. (S2b)

He succeeded his father to the title of Earl of Arundel on 24 January 1376. (S2b).

In the 1st year of King Richard II., he being constituted admiral of the king's fleet in the westwards, and soon after that to the southwards, was retained by indenture to serve the king at sea for one quarter of a year, in the company of John, Duke of Lancaster, King of Castile. He was afterwards engaged for some years in Scotland; and was in the commission (9th year of Edward II.), for the trial of Michael de la Pole, and some others of the king's favorites, whom the Commons had then impeached. He was appointed the next year admiral of the whole fleet, and putting to sea encountered and vanquished the united fleets of France and Spain, taking no less than 100 ships, great and small, all laden with wines, comprising 19,000 tons. This gallant exploit he followed up by entering the port of Brest, and reducing one of the castles and burning the other. He now returned to England in great triumph, but had the encounter the jealousy and hatred of the king's favorites, particularly the Duke of Ireland, whose influence over the king he strenuously resisted. His lordship afterwards entered into the confederation of the Earls of Warwick and Derby, which assembled in arms at Haringhay Park (now Hornsey), in Middlesex, and compelled the king to acquiesce in their views. He was then, by the general consent of the parliament (11th year of Richard II.), made Governor of the castle and town of Brest, and shortly after captain-general of the king's fleet at sea, with commission to treat of peace with John de Montfort, then Duke of Brittany; whereupon hoisting his flag, soon after met with the enemy, of whose ships he sunk and took fourscore; entered the Isle of Rhe, which he burnt and spoiled, and several other ports which he likewise plundered, putting to flight all the French and Britons that made any resistance.

After the death of his first wife in 1385, Arundel married Philippa Mortimer, daughter of Edmund Mortimer, 3rd Earl of March. Her mother was Philippa Plantagenet, the only daughter of Lionel of Antwerp and thus a granddaughter of Edward III. They had no children. (S2b).

From this memorable period in the life of Lord Arundel, little is known of him, until the 15th year of Richard, when the king regaining his power, summoned a parliament at Westminster, and dismissed several of the great officers of state, amongst whom his lordship was removed from his command as admiral; and in two years afterwards, the parliament then sitting, he was accused of treason by the Duke of Lancaster, but escaped for the moment, and sought to retire from public life. The king entertaining, however, the strongest feeling of personal enmity to all those who had previously opposed his minions, contrived to get the Earl of Arundel into his hands by stratagem, and having sent him prisoner to the Isle of Wight, brought him to immediate trial, when he was condemned to be hanged, drawn, and quartered as a traitor. The sentence was however somewhat mitigated, and the gallant nobleman was simply beheaded at Cheapside, in the city of London, in the 21st year of King Richard II., the king himself being a spectator, and Thomas de Mowbray, Earl Marshal (who had married his daughter), the executioner, who, bound up his eyes, and according to some, the person who actually struck off his head. It is stated that when the earl saw his son-in-law, Mowbray, and the Earl of Kent, his nephew, guarding him to the place of execution, he told them, it had been much more fit that they should have absented themselves; "For the time will come." he said, "when as many shall wonder at your misfortune as they now do at mine."

He was beheaded on 21 September 1397 and was buried in the church of the Augustin Friars, Bread Street, London. (S2b).

Richard Fitz Alan was succeeded by his son, Thomas. In October 1400, the attainder was reversed, and Richard's son Thomas succeeded to his father's estates and honours. (S2b).

Elizabeth de Bohun. Countess of Arundel, Countess of Surrey.
Born about 1350; daughter of William de Bohun, 1st Earl of Northampton and Elizabeth de Badlesmere. (S2a).

She was the first wife of Richard FitzAlan, a powerful English nobleman and military commander in the reigns of Edward III and Richard II. She was the mother of seven of his children, and as the wife of one of the most powerful nobles in the realm, enjoyed much prestige and took precedence over most of the other peers' wives. (S2a).

On 28 September 1359, by Papal dispensation, Elizabeth married Richard FitzAlan, who succeeded to the earldoms of Arundel and Surrey upon the death of his father, Richard FitzAlan, 3rd Earl of Arundel in 1376. Their marriage was especially advantageous as it united two of the most powerful families in England. The alliance was further strengthened by the marriage of Elizabeth's brother, Humphrey to FitzAlan's sister Joan. (S2a).

As the Countess of Arundel, Elizabeth was one of the most important women in England, who enjoyed much prestige, and after the Queen, the Duchesses of Lancaster and York, and the Countess of Buckingham, took precedence over the other noble ladies in the realm. (S2a).

She died on 3 April 1385. (S2a).

CHILDREN of Richard FitzAlan and Elizabeth de Bohun:
  1. Elizabeth FitzAlan. She married (1) William de Montacute, eldest son of William de Montacute, Earl of Salisbury, which William was unhappily slain by his father in a tilting match at Windsor, August 6, 1382, in the 6th year of King Richard II. She married (2) Thomas de Mowbray, Lord Mowbray, the 6th baron, Earl Marshal of England and Earl of Nottingham, son of John de Mowbray and his wife Elizabeth Segrave, and a grandson of Joan Plantaganet; (3) Gerard Ufflete, Knight, and (4) Robert Goushill, Knight, of Hveringham, co. Notts., by whom she had two daughters: Elizabeth Goushill, who married Robert Wingfield, a knight in 1426, and a Member of Parliament for Suffolk; and Joan Goushill, who married Thomas Stanley, Knight of the Garter 1458/59.
  2. Thomas Fitz Alan, his successor, became the 11th Earl of Arundel when he was restored in blood in the parliament of the 1st year of King Henry IV., and the judgment against his father was reversed. He was made Knight of the Bath at the coronation of King Henry IV. He was afterwards made Knight of the Garter, and upon the accession of King Henry V. he was constituted Constable of Dover Castle, and Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports, as also Lord Treasurer of England. He married Beatrix, an illegitimate daughter of John, King of Portugal, and the nuptials were celebrated with great pomp in London, the king and queen assisting. He died, however, without issue, in 1415, leaving his four sisters as his heirs, as to certain parts of his great possessions;. but the castle of Arundel, and with it the earldom, devolved upon his cousin, John Fitz Alan, son of John Fitz Alan.
  3. Joan Fitz Alan of Arundel, married William de Beauchamp, Lord Abergavenny, Knight of the Garter, descendant of the Sureties Roger and Hugh Bigod.
  4. Margaret Fitz Alan, married Sir Rowland Lenthall, of Hampton Court, co. Hereford.
  5. Alice Fitz Alan of Arundel, married John Cherlton, Lord Powys. She was a concubine of Henry Beaufort, Bishop of Lincoln, Bishop of Winchester, Cardinal of Eusebius, son of John of Gaunt, son of Edward III., King of England. John Cherlton died without issue. He was also a descendant of the Sureties Roger and Hugh Bigod.


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