Edmund of Langley – Duke of York – Plantagenet family ties

Richard of Conisburgh

Edmund was born the year after John of Gaunt at Langley in Hertfordshire. When he was twenty-one he was created the Earl of Cambridge. He was created Duke of York by his nephew in 1385.

Edmund married twice. His first marriage was to Isabella of Castile. She was the sister of Constanza of Castile who was John of Gaunt’s second wife – he claimed the kingdom of Castile by right of his wife who was the elder of the sisters. Edward III had sought to marry Edmund into the royal house of Flanders during the period when he was looking to provide wealth and title to his sons but in 1372 Edmund married Isabella. By that time he was about 31 and Isabella was about 16.

It doesn’t appear to have been a very happy marriage if Isabella’s will is anything to go by. She died in 1392. She left property to her children, to Richard II and to the Duke of Lancaster but nothing to her husband. Despite this the pair had three children: Edward of Norwich born in 1373, Constance born in 1374 and Richard born in 1375 at Conisburgh Castle.

The chronicler Thomas of Walsingham was rather sniffy about Isabella’s morals. The reason for this is that Isabella had an affair with John Holland (they do get everywhere don’t they?) John Holland was the Duke of Exeter and Richard II’s half brother (executed in 1400). The affair appears to have started in 1374 which raised an interesting question about the legitimacy of Richard of Conisburgh who was the grandfather of Edward IV and Richard III. Remember though that even if he wasn’t Edmund’s son, and indeed Edmund left him nothing in his will, the Yorkist claim to the throne came from Richard’s marriage to Anne Mortimer – a descendant of Lionel of Antwerp rather than the York connection which was the junior line because Edmund of Langley was a younger brother.

Perhaps I’d better go back to the start with this one. John Holland has cropped up in a recent post because he had to marry John of Gaunt’s daughter Elizabeth when she became pregnant by him. This caused a scandal because her first marriage had to be annulled, her husband was too young to have consummated the marriage, so that she could marry John. John’s affair with Isabella was before he seduced Elizabeth. Even Chaucer wrote about about the affair – he describes Mars (John) kissing Venus (Isabella) but it would seem that whilst it was an open secret Edmund did acknowledge his youngest son and the affair fizzled out.

Isabella gave the bulk of her estate to Richard II when she died but asked that her youngest son should be provided by the king with a pension. Richard of Conisburgh was the king’s godson as well as being a royal cousin. The allowance that was granted was £500 but it was only paid occasionally and after the deposition of Richard II, Richard of Conisburgh was reliant on the generosity of another cousin Henry of Bolingbroke who was now Henry IV. Unfortunately Edmund of Langley and his children were counter appellants and had benefited from Richard II banishing Henry. They had been granted some of his lands for example.

Not only was this impecunious younger son not mentioned in Edmund of Langley’s will but Edward of Norwich also failed to mention him in his will either – Richard had been executed shortly before Edward’s death due to his part in the Southampton Plot which sought to depose Henry V. Richard was executed on 5th August 1415 for his part in the plot. Edward of Norwich was killed on 25 October 1415 at the Battle of Agincourt (he had no heirs.)

5 thoughts on “Edmund of Langley – Duke of York – Plantagenet family ties

  1. Julia, we should remember that Edmund was not a very rich duke. It would explain why he had nothing to leave for his younger son.
    As for his wife adultery I wonder why he never divorced her, after all she was not a wealthy heiress like blanche of lancester

    • It would. Who can say for sure one way or the other? We know from the DNA testing related to Richard III’s bones that some of the Plantagenet descendants approached for DNA were not quite who they thought they were. It’s odd given the fascination with family histories that we forget, or perhaps choose to ignore, that lines may be blurred. It remains absolutely fascinating though!

  2. Greetings!

    This is Jennifer Ritchey, we spoke yesterday about working together on my Shelton Family History in order to help you as well on information about Shelton Hall. I am going to send you all the information that I gathered. If you have any questions, please let me know via email lylithrave6@gmail.com or by phone at +19405805927 Thank you.
    To start with I will be sending you what I know about my family history.Please keep in mind this is my ancestry through my great grandmother Annie Opal Shelton. Which is the following among other royal family members:

    !.Ferreolus, Tribune of Gaul m. Clarissima Femma in 382 AD
    2. Tonatius Ferreolus ( b. 310 AD- 475 AD) m. Papianilla
    3.Tonatius Ferreolus “Senator” (440 AD-511AD) m. Eulalia
    4.Ferreolus (Senator of Narbonne)(b.485 AD-?) m. Saint Doda of Reims
    5. Ansbertus m. Billild dau.of Charibert I (Merovingian)
    6. Arnoldas Bishop of Metz (b.540AD-611AD m.Unknown
    7. Saint Arnulf of Metz (b.582 AD-645 AD) m. Dode
    8. Ansegisel (b.602 AD-679AD) m. Saint Begga
    9.Pepin II of Herstal (b.633 AD-714) m.Alpaida
    10. Charles Martel (B. 688-741 AD) m. Rotrude of Hesbayer
    11. Pepin the Short(b.714 AD-?) m. Bertrada of Laon
    12.Charlemagne (b.748 AD-814)m. Hildegarde
    13 Louis the Pious m. Judith of Bavaria
    14. Charles the Bald (823 AD-877AD) m. Ermentrude
    15.Judith of Flanders (b.843 AD-?)m. Baldwin I, Count of Flanders
    16. Baldwin II of Flanders m. Aelfthryth dau. of King Alfred the Great
    17.Arnulf I, count of Flanders (b. 890 AD-965) m. Adele of Vermandois dau. of Herbert II of Vermandois
    18.Baldwin III Count of Flanders (940-962) m. Mathilde of Saxony
    19. Arnulf II Count of Flanders (960-987)m. Rozala of Italy dau.of King Berenger of Italy
    20. Baldwin IV Count of Flanders (980-1035 ) m.Ogive of Luxemburg
    21. Baldwin V of Flanders (1012-1067) m.Adele Of France
    22. Matilda of Flanders(1031-1083) m. William the Conqueror, King of England
    23 Henry I, king of England (1068-1135) m. Matilda of Scotland
    24. Empress Matilda(1102-1167) m. Geoffrey V, Count of Anjou(Plantagenet)
    25. Henry II, King of England (b. 1133-1189) m.Eleanor of Aquitaine
    26.John I, King of England (1166-1216) m. Isabella, Countess of Anjouleme
    27.Henry III, King of England (1207-1272) m. Eleanor of Provence
    28. Edward I, King of England (1239-1307)m. Eleanor of Castile
    29. Princess Elizabeth Plantagenet of Rhuddlan, Countess of Hereford (1282-1316) m. Lord Humphrey de Bohun
    30 Eleanor de Bohun (1304-1363) m. James Butler I of Ormonde
    31. James Butler II of Ormonde (1331-1382)m. Lady Elizabeth Darcy
    32. James Butler !!! of Ormonde (1359-1405) m.Lady Anne Welles
    33. James Butler IV of Ormonde ( 1392-1452) m. Joan de Beuchamp
    34. Thomas Butler VII of Ormonde (1426 -1515) m. Lad Anne Hankford
    35. Lady Margaret Butler (1454-1539) m. Sir William Boleyn
    36. Lady Anne Boleyn (1475-1556)m. Sir John Shelton of Shelton Hall
    37. Sir John Shelton II (1504-1558)m. Margaret, dau. of Sir Henry Parker
    38. Sir Ralph Shelton(1530-1580) m. Lady Mary Wodehouse
    39.Sir Ralph Shelton II (1560-1628) m. Lady Jane West
    40.Capt, James Shelton (1580-1668)m. Anne Herbert ( Immigrated to America?)
    41. Thomas Shelton(1606-1684) m. Hannah Wood
    42.Capt. James Stephen Shelton(1629-1716) m. Mary Jane Bathurst
    43.John Shelton(1648-1706) m. Jane Chilton
    44. Thomas Shelton(?-1738) m. Winifred King
    45. Thomas Shelton(1723-1808) m. Jane Bennett
    46. William “Mountain Man”(1753-1827) Shelton m. Ann Lomax
    47. William Bennett Shelton(1784-1860) m. Lydia Cloud
    48.Andrew Jackson Shelton Sr. m. Rachel Jane Cassady
    49.Andrew Jackson Shelton Jr. m. Lucretia Earle
    50. John Edgenton Shelton(1892-1922) m. Opal Mcgary
    51. Annie Opal Shelton m. Robbie Ray Kisselburg
    52. Roberta Knell Kisselburg m. Danny Ritchey Sr.
    53 Danny Ritchey II m. Anna Maria Puebla (Spanish descent)
    54 Jennifer Deann Ritchey (b.1993)(me)

    I am also a descendant of a Anne Elizabeth Boleyn who was born in 1475 is a possible sister of Lady Anne Boleyn Shelton who is also a daughter of Sir Geoffrey Boleyn, descended to her through Anne Herbert, wife of Captain James Stephen Shelton of whom is also a descendant of the Boleyns.. I am also the descendant of Countess Anne Parr through Anne Herbert as well. Through Anne Herbert the wife of Captain. James Shelton, through her ancestress Countess Anne Parr,wife of William Herbert (1501-1570). I a, a direct descendant of Richard Neville(1400-1460),who is the grandson of John of Gaunt(1340-1399).
    That Genealogy goes as follows: 1. John of Gaunt (1340-1399) m Katherine de Roet
    2. Joan Beaufort (1379-1440) m. Ralph Neville
    3. Richard Neville (1400-1460) m. Alice Montague
    4. Alice Neville(1430-1503)m.Henry FitzHugh
    5.Lady Elizabeth Fitzhugh(1465-1507) m. William Parr Ist Baron
    6. Thomas Parr(1483-1517) m. Maud Green
    7.Countess Anne Parr (1515-1552) m. William Herbert
    8.Henry Herbert (1538-1601)m. Catherine Talbot
    9.Hebry Herbert (1567-1601) m. Lady Seymour (1565-?)
    10.Anne Herbert 1588-1684)m. James Shelton (1580-1668)

    Well . have to get back to college work I really hope this would help you out, next time we speak i’ll do some research about Shelton Hall.

  3. Hello 😊
    I find it extremely fascinating too. I recently traced my family line back to Richard and his second wife Matilda ( Maud ) and their rarely mentioned daughter Alice. Been reading everything I can about him. It really brings history to life when you read about someone who might be your 20 times great grandfather. I’m amazed at how varied the information is on him. His birth year varies by ten years and on a few sites I’ve read that his brother wrote his will a few months after Richard had been executed and that Richards father was left out of his own fathers will as this wasn’t unusual. The DNA of Richard III is fascinating though … would love to know if anyone is currently investigating Richards III true lineage ? It does appear that someone in Richard III line is illegitimate… is it our Richard of Conisbough ? 😊

    • I am the direct descendant of Lady Anne Boleyn Shelton Great aunt of Queen Elizabeth I of England. Lady Anne Boleyn Shelton is the direct descendant of Princess Elizabeth Plantagenet of Rhuddlan youngest daughter of Edward I of England. And I also have Plantagenet connection through more than one family line.I am also the direct descendant of King Henry III,through William Carey.so far my lineage on more than one family branch is that of the Plantagenets, Merovingians,Carolingians,Parrs,Seymours,Tudors( through Lady Anne Boleyn Shelton,aunt of Queen Elizabeth I),Spencer, Beauchamp, Beaufort, Herbert,Robert de Brus( through Margaret Bruce( granddaughter of Robert de Bruce) who married a Shelton ancestor etc. It’s neverending my bloodline.i have loads of evidence even DNA proof, apparently I am also the direct descendant of Montezuma on my mother’s side.

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