Lionel of Antwerp, 1st Duke of Clarence

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Lionel of Antwerp's Coat of Arms

Lionel of Antwerp, Duke of Clarence, (November 29, 1338October 7, 1368), born in Antwerp, was the third son of Edward III. When he was only a child he was married to Elizabeth de Burgh (d.1363), daughter of William de Burgh, 3rd Earl of Ulster (d.1332). The ceremony took place on August 15, 1342, at the Tower of London.[1] He became properly married to her in 1352, when he was aged 14, and took over all her lands in Ireland.[2] The famous English poet, Geoffrey Chaucer, was a page to Elizabeth.[2]

He was Edward III's representative in England and in 1355 he was made the Earl of Ulster. He went to Dublin in 1361 to be the Chief Governor of Ireland.[1] His father made him Duke of Clarence in 1362, and tried to have him made King of Scotland. Lionel and the government in Dublin were concerned about how the English settlers in Ireland were slowly become Irish. He brought in laws, the Statute of Kilkenny, in 1366, which made it against the law[3]:

  • for English people to marry Irish people
  • to adopt Irish children
  • to use Irish names
  • to wear Irish clothes
  • to play the game of hurling
  • to play Irish music.

Lionel found it difficult to get control over Ireland and went back to England in 1367.[2]

After the death of Elizabeth, Lionel married Violante, the daughter of Galeazzo Visconti, Lord of Pavia (d.1378), in Milan during June 1368. While travelling around Italy, Lionel became sick and died at Alba on October 7, 1368.[2] He was buried at the Clare Priory, Suffolk, England.[1]

His daughter, Philippa Plantagenet, married Edmund Mortimer, 3rd Earl of March (1351-1381), in 1368. This made Lionel an ancestor of Edward IV.

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