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 • St John's Priory of Pontefract
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 • Metropolitan Borough of Wakefield
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Sir Thomas Lancaster
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Birth: 1277, England
Death: Mar. 22, 1322
Pontefract
West Yorkshire, England

Knight, 2nd Earl of Lancaster, Leicester and Derby, Steward of England, King's Lieutenant and Chief Captain of all forced against the Scots in the Marches, Chief Councillor to the King. In right of his wife, Earl of Lincolnshire and Salisbury.

Son and heir to Edmund 'Crouchback' Plantagenet and Blanche d'Artois, Queen of Navarre. Grandson of King Henry III and Eleanor of Provence, Robert I, Count of Artois and Mathilde Brabant.

Husband of Alice de Lacy, Countess of Lincoln and Salisbury, Lady Clifford, daughter and heiress to Sir Henry de Lacy and Margaret Longspee, daughter of Sir William. Their marriage was arranged by King Edward I to his nephew, and the marriage contract stated if there were no heirs, the Earldom of Lincoln would revert to the crown. They married on or before 28 Oct 1294, Alice was 12, Thomas was 16. They had no children, although he had two illegitimate sons. Sir Thomas became the Earl of Lincoln and Earl of Salisbury. He was the master of five kingdoms and one of the wealthiest and most powerful men in England. Thomas and Alice led separate lives.

He was hereditary Sheriff of Lancashire,m but as he was off fighting in Scotland, leaving the shrievalty in the care of deputies.

Sir Thomas fought at the Battle of Falkirk 1298, the siege of Caerlaverock 1300, and signed the Baron's letter to the Pope Boniface 1301 as Comte Lancastr'. He carried Cutana, the sword of St Edward the Confessor at Edward II's coronation in 1308. Sir Thomas started building Dunstanburgh Castle in 1313, which was improved by John of Gaunt. He was one of the Lords Ordainers, and as a result, was in frequent violent conflict with King Edward II. In 1315 he was assigned chief commander against the Scots.

His wife, Alice, was abducted at her manor at Canford, Dorset, in 1317 by Richard de St Martin, a knight of John de Warenne, the Earl of Surrey, which lead to wear between the two Earls, subdued only at the insistence of the king. Sir Thomas divorced Alice in 1318 on the grounds of her adultery with the Earl of Surrey's squire, Sir Eubulo Le Strange. His marriage contract allowed Thomas to retain the Earldom he received through his marriage, now, by his own right.

Thomas had started Edward's rule as faithful, but as the difficulties and years continued to wear, he grew to despise Piers Gaveston, who demanded the King dismiss one of Lancaster's retainers, and earned Lancaster's vow of revenge. He was one of the Lords Ordainers demanding Gaveston's banishment, and as a result, was in frequent violent conflict with King Edward II. Lancaster's private army separated the king and Gaveston, Lancaster judged, convicted and witnessed Gaveston's execution.

At the Battle of Bannockburn, King Edward submitted to Lancaster, essentially making Thomas the ruler of England until disposed by a new force of Barons headed by Hugh Despenser in 1318. By 1321, Thomas had organized a new rebellion, captured the King's castle at Tickhill, forcing the king to take sides with the barons. Thomas was defeated at the Battle of Boroughbridge March of 1322 and taken prisoner. The Military Council who formed his tribunal consisted of the Despensers, Edmund FitzAlan, Earl of Arundel and King Edward. Thomas was not allowed to defend himself, or speak. Because of his kinship to the king, he was only beheaded, and not drawn or quartered. King Edward II himself, Thomas's cousin, witnessed the execution. Thomas's titles and estates forfeited, he was executed near Pontefract Castle, Thomas's favorite residence, and buried at St John Priory, Pontefract.

Thomas was venerated as a martyr and saint, although not canonized, despite Edward III's please to the Pope. His bones were rumored to have been removed and placed at Pomfret Castle, then again removed in 1885, found in a box ant an auction in Colchester, Essex. 
 
Family links: 
 Parents:
  Edmund Plantagenet (1245 - 1296)
 
 Spouse:
  Alice de Lacy Lancaster (1281 - 1348)
 
 Sibling:
  Thomas Lancaster (1277 - 1322)
  Henry of Lancaster (1281 - 1345)*
 
*Calculated relationship
 
Burial:
St John's Priory of Pontefract
Pontefract
Metropolitan Borough of Wakefield
West Yorkshire, England
 
Created by: Anne Shurtleff Stevens
Record added: Mar 07, 2013
Find A Grave Memorial# 106334008
 


- Marti Utter
 Added: Jul. 28, 2015

- quebecoise
 Added: May. 30, 2015

- Connie (Cross) Krueger
 Added: Mar. 19, 2015
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