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Thomas of Woodstock, 1st Duke of Gloucester: Wikis


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Thomas of Woodstock
Duke of Gloucester and of Aumale, Earl of Essex and of Buckingham
Earl of Buckingham
Successor Humphrey Plantagenet, 2nd Earl
Spouse Eleanor de Bohun
Humphrey Plantagenet, 2nd Earl of Buckingham
Anne of Gloucester
Joan Plantagenet
Isabelle Plantagenet
Philippa Plantagent
House House of Plantagenet
Father Edward III of Windsor, King of England
Mother Philippa of Hainault
Born 7 January 1355(1355-01-07)
Woodstock Palace, Oxfordshire
Died 8 September 1397 (aged 42)
Calais, Pale of Calais

Thomas of Woodstock, 1st Duke of Gloucester (7 January 1355 – 8 or 9 September 1397) was the thirteenth and youngest child of King Edward III of England and Queen Philippa. He was the fifth of the five sons of Edward III who survived to adulthood.


Early life

Thomas was born after two short-lived sons, one of whom had also been baptised Thomas. He was born at Woodstock Palace in Oxfordshire. He married Eleanor de Bohun in 1376, and inherited the title Earl of Essex from his father-in-law, Humphrey de Bohun, 7th Earl of Hereford. Woodstock's wife's younger sister, Mary de Bohun, was subsequently married to Henry "Bolingbroke," who eventually became Henry IV of England.

At the age of 22, in 1377, Woodstock was created Earl of Buckingham. In 1385 he received the title Duke of Aumale, and at about the same time was created Duke of Gloucester.

Military career

As Earl of Buckingham he commanded one of the largest campaigns of the period, directed against Brittany and the opponents of England's ally John IV, Duke of Brittany. Due to concerns about the safety of a longer shipping route to Brittany itself, the army was ferried to the English continental stronghold of Calais in July 1380. As Buckingham marched his 5,000 men east of Paris they were confronted by the Duke of Burgandy's army at Troyes, but the French had learned from Crecy and Poitiers not to offer a pitched battle to the English, so the two armies eventually marched away. French defensive operations were then thrown into disarray by the death of Charles V a few days later. Buckingham's chevauchee continued westwards largely unopposed, and in November 1380 he laid siege to Nantes and its vital bridge over the Loire towards Aquitaine. However, he found himself unable to form an effective stranglehold and urgent plans were put in place for Sir Thomas Felton to bring 2,000 reinforcements from England. By January, though, it had become apparent that the Duke of Brittany was reconciled to the new French King and, with the alliance collapsing and dissentry ravaging his men, Buckingham abandoned the siege and accepted a 50,000 franc pay off from the Duke of Brittany.

Dispute with King Richard II

Thomas was the leader of the Lords Appellant, a group of powerful nobles whose ambition to wrest power from King Richard II of England (Thomas' nephew) culminated in a successful rebellion in 1388, which significantly weakened the king's power. Richard II managed to dispose of the Lords Appellant in 1397, and Thomas was imprisoned in Calais to await trial for treason. He was, however, murdered the same year by Nicholas Colfox, presumably on behalf of Richard II, causing an outcry amongst the nobility of England which is considered by many to have added to Richard's unpopularity.


Thomas and his wife had one son and four daughters. Following his murder his title was forfeit and did not pass to his son, Humphrey.

His eldest daughter, Anne of Gloucester, married into the powerful Stafford family, who were Earls of Stafford and Dukes of Buckingham, and four generations after Thomas, the disposition of the de Bohun estates may have been a motivating factor in the involvement of Henry Stafford, 2nd Duke of Buckingham in plots against the crown during the period of Richard III. She later married into the Bourchier family (the Earls of Bath) and established a long American line of descendants.


Titles, styles, honours and arms



As Duke of Gloucester, Thomas had use of the coat of arms of the kingdom, differenced by a bordure argent.[1]


  1. ^ Marks of Cadency in the British Royal Family
Political offices
Preceded by
The Earl of Hereford and Essex
Lord High Constable
Succeeded by
The Earl of Buckingham
Legal offices
Preceded by
The Duke of Ireland
Justice of Chester
Succeeded by
The Duke of Exeter
Peerage of England
New creation Earl of Essex
Earl of Buckingham
Succeeded by
Humphrey Plantagenet, 2nd Earl
Duke of Gloucester
Duke of Aumale



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