John of Eltham, Earl of Cornwall

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John Plantagenet, Earl of Cornwall

Also Known As: "Prince of England"
Birthdate:
Birthplace: Eltham Palace, Kent, England
Death: Died in Perth, Scotland,
Place of Burial: Westminster Abbey, London, England
Immediate Family:

Son of Edward II of England and Isabella of France, Queen consort of England
Brother of Blanche Plantagenet; Isabella Plantagenet; Mary Plantagenet; Edward III of England; Eleanor of Woodstock and 2 others
Half brother of Adam Fitzroy Plantagenet

Occupation: Earl of Cromwell
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About John of Eltham, Earl of Cornwall

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

John of Eltham, Earl of Cornwall (15 August 1316 – 13 September 1336) was the son of Edward II of England and Isabella of France.

He was born in 1316 at Eltham Palace, Kent and was created Earl of Cornwall on 6 October 1328. He was due to marry Maria, daughter of Ferdinand IV of Castile, but he died, aged 20, at Perth, before the marriage could take place. The claim by the Scottish chronicler John of Fordun that he was killed by his brother Edward III in a quarrel, is rather doubtful. He was buried in January 1337 at Westminster Abbey, London.

Contents

  • 1 Life
  • 2 Titles, styles, honours and arms
  • 2.1 Arms
  • 3 References

Life

John was born in 1316 at Eltham Palace, Kent. At the age of twelve, he was created Earl of Cornwall on 6 October 1328. Caught in the throes of the war between his father, Edward II, and mother Isabella, his growing years were turbulent. He was passed between his parents and even held in the Tower of London for a time before his brother, Edward III, led a coup against their mother and assumed his majority.

Information on John is scant, but by most historical accounts he was highly competent, and highly trusted by Edward. He was named "Guardian of the Realm" when Edward III was out of the country; was asked to open Parliament in Edward's absence, and was named Warden of the northern Marches, which gave him virtual autonomy in that portion of England.

Half a dozen brides had been proposed for him, most being the eligible daughters of the kings of Europe. Eventually, Maria, illegitimate daughter of Afonso IV of Portugal was chosen, but John died before the marriage.

At seventeen he was a key commander in the Battle of Halidon Hill (1333), a devastating defeat for the Scots. Later he commanded an army in the southwest of Scotland that put down resistance to Edward Balliol, whose claims to the Scottish throne were supported by England.

According to Scottish accounts, who view John as a ruthless destroyer, he burned down Lesmahagow Abbey when it was filled with people who had sought sanctuary from the wrath of the English troops. As the Scottish chronicler John of Fordun tells it, this violation of the sacred laws of sanctuary so enraged King Edward III that he killed his own brother in fury. According to modern historian Tom Beaumont James, this tale "challenges the distinction between history and story."

John died, shortly after turning 20, at Perth, probably from a fever. Edward buried his brother with all honours in a beautiful tomb in Westminster Abbey, in January 1337, and had masses said for his soul regularly.

Titles, styles, honours and arms

Arms

As Earl of Cornwall, John had use of the coat of arms of the kingdom, differenced by a bordure France (i.e. azure semy of fleur-de-lys or).[1]

References

  • Marks of Cadency in the British Royal Family
view all 16

John of Eltham, Earl of Cornwall's Timeline

1315
August 15, 1315
Eltham Palace, Kent, England
1316
1316
[alternate birth date]
1336
September 14, 1336
Age 21
Perth, Scotland,
1337
January 1337
Age 21
Westminster Abbey, London, England
1932
November 26, 1932
Age 21
November 26, 1932
Age 21
November 26, 1932
Age 21
November 26, 1932
Age 21
1933
February 23, 1933
Age 21
February 23, 1933
Age 21