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John of Gaunt [1340-1399] -- English nobleman, statesman, KG, Duke of Lancaster

Relationship to me: 18GGFa
PLANTAGENET family Outline Descent Tree(s) ODT
Contents:
Duke of Lancaster
Duke of Gloucester
Earl of Richmond
Earl of Derby
Earl of Lincoln
Duke of Aquitane
Lord of Beaufort & Nogent
King of Castile & Leon
Lord of Bergerac & Roche-sur-Yon
a/k/a
O'GAUNT, John
PLANTAGENET, John of Gaunt

Patron of Geoffrey Chaucer (Gaunt's mistress and later wife, Catherine de Rot, was Chaucer's sister-in-law).

"Gaunt" is a corruption of "Ghent", which was the Flemish city of his birth, now in the Belgian province of East Flanders (Oost-Vlaanderen). This sobriquet ("of Gaunt") was not used after his third birthday, until Shakespeare revived it in his play King Richard II, and had him say this:

JOHN OF GAUNT, Duke of Lancaster ... uncle to the king

Gaunt:

This royal throne of kings, this scepter'd isle,
This earth of majesty, this seat of Mars,
This other Eden, demi-paradise,
This fortress built by Nature for herself
Against infection and the hand of war,
This happy breed of men, this little world,
This precious stone set in the silver sea,
Which serves it in the office of a wall,
Or as a moat defensive to a house,
Against the envy of less happier lands,
This blessed plot,
      this earth,
            this realm,
                  this England.
King Richard II, Act II, scene 1
Stirring words!  -30-
 

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Bookmarks:2005-07-11 05:51:20

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