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suddenly became the wealthiest land-holder CHAP. in England. In the enumeration of his
property on this occasion, it appears that he had estates in eighteen English counties, beside several in the principality of Wales *. On most of these estates he had manor houses or castles, according to the mode of the times, at which he occasionally resided. Many of them have been repeatedly celebrated by the writers upon English antiquities, for the solidity of their structure and the spaciousness and number of their apartments ; particularly the castles of Pontefract, Bolingbroke, Kenelworth and Leicester. The duchy of Lancaster was also a source of immense wealth and
power; and its peculiar immunities and privileges, great as they were in the time of his predecessor, were much enlarged by the
and his death took place, he being still under confinement, in 1377. Moreri, Dictionnaire, art Hainault.
The marriage of the Black Prince, the particulars of which will occur hereafter, was celebrated on the tenth of October 1361, and the birth of his first child, a son, occurred in 1364.
Collins, A. D. 1361, 1362.
CHAP. parental affection and indulgence of Edward
III'. The principal town-residence that devolved to the earl of Richmond, was the palace of the Savoy; which, when John king of France resided for four years a prisoner in England, was selected by his magnificent and generous captors for the place of his abode. This sumptuous edifice was first erected by Peter of Savoy, uncle to the queen of Henry III”; and was rebuilt from the ground by the father of the lady Blanche, when it is pronounced by the contemporary historian to have had “none in the realm to be compared with it in beauty and stateliness." John of Gaunt, when he entered upon this immense inheritance, had just completed the twenty-second year of his age.
The title of duke had never been conferred in England, previously to its being bestowed by Edward III. upon his son the Black
created duke uf Lancaster.
* Stow, Survey of London : liberties of the duchy of Lanraster,
• Knighton, A.D. 1381, .
Prince, and upon the earl of Richmond's de- CHA P. ceased father-in-law. These two remained so
1362. litary instances down to the period when that monarch completed the fiftieth year of his age. This year he resolved to treat as an era of jubilee ; and on the thirteenth of November, which was the anniversary of his birth, beside other proceedings by which he wished to stamp it as memorable, such as the enlargement of all debtors and prisoners, the restoration of such of his subjects as were in a state of banishment, and the abolition, by public ordinance, of the French language in all law-cases, pleadings, judgments and contracts within the realm, he also solemnly conferred in full parliament upon his second son Lionel of Antwerp the title of duke of Clarence, and upon his third son John of Gaunt the title of duke of Lancaster 6.
The style of John of Gaunt was now Duke of Lancaster, and Earl of Richmond, Leicester, Lincoln and Derbyo: and he claimed,
Cotton, Abridgment of Records, ad ann. • Sandford, Book I, Chap. iv. VOL. II.
CHAP, as earl of Leicester, the office of hereditary
senesthal, or steward, of England; as duke of Lancaster, to bear the great sword, called Curtana, before the kings of England at their coronation; and, as earl of Lincoln, to be grand carver at the dinner given on that occasion
All things were now gradually preparing the way for that extent of John of Gaunt possessed in the latter part of his father's reign. His brother Lionel in the year 1361 had been commissioned as lord lieutenant to Ireland', where he continued to reside several years ; and, the king having bestowed
his eldest son the Black Prince, as a fief, the principality of Aquitaine', that victorious leader proceeded in February 1363 to fix his abode there, that by his administration and his personal virtues he might reconcile the inhabitants of that province to the
Appendix, No. XIV.
English government, against which they had cap. expressed some degree of dislike. The only one therefore of Edward's sons, having arrived at years of discretion, who now resided at home, beside John of Gaunt, was Ed. mund of Langley; and he, as has been already mentioned, was by no means equal to any
of his brothers in abilities and attainments, while the new duke of Lancaster was, for the dignity of his deportment, and the gallantry of his spirit, an object of popular and general admiration. The
peace of Bretigni, concluded in 1360, met with many unexpected delays and diffi- John ki g culties in the execution. These were prin- revisits cipally occasioned by the chicanes and sinister policy of the court of Paris. The dauphin of France and his counsellors looked with extreme dislike upon the cession, not as fiefs, which had been the case before, but in full sovereignty, of some of the fairest
provinces of their country. They could not abrogate the treaty which had been concluded; they could not replunge the kingdom into the hazards of war; but, while one