Edmund Crouchback

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Edmund Crouchback
Edmond1.jpg
Seal of Edmund
Earl of Lancaster and Leicester
SuccessorThomas, 2nd Earl
SpouseLady Aveline de Forz
m. 1269; dec. 1273
Blanche of Artois
m. 1276; wid. 1296
Issue
Thomas, 2nd Earl of Lancaster
Henry, 3rd Earl of Lancaster
John, Lord of Beaufort
Mary
HouseHouse of Plantagenet
FatherHenry III of Winchester, King of England
MotherEleanor of Provence
Born(1245-01-16)16 January 1245
London, England
Died5 June 1296(1296-06-05) (aged 51)
Bayonne, Duchy of Aquitaine
Burial15 July 1296
Westminster Abbey, London
 
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Edmund Crouchback
Edmond1.jpg
Seal of Edmund
Earl of Lancaster and Leicester
SuccessorThomas, 2nd Earl
SpouseLady Aveline de Forz
m. 1269; dec. 1273
Blanche of Artois
m. 1276; wid. 1296
Issue
Thomas, 2nd Earl of Lancaster
Henry, 3rd Earl of Lancaster
John, Lord of Beaufort
Mary
HouseHouse of Plantagenet
FatherHenry III of Winchester, King of England
MotherEleanor of Provence
Born(1245-01-16)16 January 1245
London, England
Died5 June 1296(1296-06-05) (aged 51)
Bayonne, Duchy of Aquitaine
Burial15 July 1296
Westminster Abbey, London

Edmund Plantagenet, 1st Earl of Lancaster and Leicester (16 January 1245 – 5 June 1296), known by the epithet Crouchback, alias Edmund of Lancaster, was the second surviving son of King Henry III of England and Eleanor of Provence. In his childhood he had a claim on the Kingdom of Sicily. His nickname "Crouchback" (meaning "Crossback") refers to his participation in the Ninth Crusade indicating that he was entitled to wear a cross stitched into the back of his garments.[citation needed]

Childhood[edit]

Edmund was born in London, being named Edmund of London.[citation needed] He was a younger brother of Edward I of England, Margaret of England, and Beatrice of England, and an older brother of Katherine of England.

In 1253 he was invested by Pope Innocent IV as the ruler of the Kingdom of Sicily and Apulia. At about this time he was also made Earl of Chester. These were of little value as Conrad IV of Germany, the real King of Sicily, was still living and the Earldom of Chester was transferred to his elder brother Edward.

Political career[edit]

Edmund soon obtained, however, important possessions and dignities, for soon after the forfeiture of Simon de Montfort, 6th Earl of Leicester in 1265, Edmund received the Earldom of Leicester and of Lancaster and also the honour of the Stewardship of England and the lands of Nicolas de Segrave. In 1267 he was granted the lordship of Builth Wells in opposition to the then holder, Llywelyn ap Gruffydd (the last prince of an independent Wales). To help him conquer the land he was also granted his elder brother's lordships of the Trilateral of Skenfrith, Grosmont and White Castle together with Monmouth. In 1267 he was High Sheriff of Lancashire.

In 1271 he accompanied his elder brother Edward on the Ninth Crusade to Palestine. Some historians, including the authors of the Encyclopædia Britannica article on him, state that it was because of this that he received the nickname Crouchback (which means "cross back") indicating that he was entitled to wear a cross stitched into the back of his garments.

On his return from the Crusade he seems to have made Grosmont Castle his favoured home and undertook much rebuilding there. His son Henry, 3rd Earl of Lancaster was apparently born there in 1281. He died while besieging Bordeaux for his brother on 5 June 1296 in Bayonne, and was interred on 15 July 1296 at Westminster Abbey, London.

Family[edit]

Edmund bore the arms of the kingdom, differenced by a label France of three points (that is to say azure three fleur-de-lys or, each).[1]

Edmund married (1st) 8 April 1269 to Aveline de Forz, the daughter of William de Forz, 4th Earl of Albemarle and Isabella de Fortibus, Countess of Devon. She died just 4 years after the marriage, at the age of 15, and was buried at Westminster Abbey. The couple had no children, though some sources believe she may have died in childbirth or shortly after a miscarriage.[citation needed]

He married (2nd) in Paris, on 3 February 1276 to Blanche of Artois, widow of Enrique (or Henri) I, King of Navarre, Count of Champagne and Brie, and daughter of Robert I of Artois and Matilda of Brabant. With Blanche he had three children:

Notes[edit]

References[edit]

Honorary titles
Preceded by
Humphrey de Bohun
Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports
1264
Succeeded by
Henry de Sandwich
Preceded by
The Earl of Leicester
Lord High Steward
1265–1296
Succeeded by
The Earl of Leicester and Lancaster
Peerage of England
Preceded by
New Creation
Earl of Lancaster and LeicesterSucceeded by
Thomas