21 September, 1371 – John of Gaunt marries Constanza de Castilla

     In late 1371, Enrique II would have received extremely unwelcome news: the two living daughters of the former King Don Pedro, whom Enrique had quite probably kept locked away to prevent marriage and claims to the throne being taken in their name, had escaped.  Indeed, they had gone to the duchy of Aquitaine, lands in southern France ruled by England’s John of Gaunt, and it was in those lands that Constanza (from then on known as “Constance”) and John of Gaunt married.  On this day, in 1371, the bells of Rochefort, Guyenne, rang out in celebration, and on this day in 1371, John of Gaunt became a serious contender to (and thorn-in-the-side of) the Trastámarans.  His aspirations toward the crown would not end until the marriage of his daughter by Constance to Enrique II’s grandson, somewhere between early July and early September, 1388.


  • Hidalgo, Ana, and R. F. Yeager, eds. John Gower in England and Iberia: Manuscripts, Influences, Reception. D.S. Brewer, 2014. 111-113. Print.
  • Smith, Roland M. “Chaucer’s “Man of Law’s Tale” and Constance of Castile.” The Journal of English and Germanic Philology 47.4: 343-51.JSTOR. Web. 3 Sept. 2015. <http://www.jstor.org/stable/27713015 >.
  • Constance of Castile , Duchess of Lancaster. Web. 3 Sept. 2015. <http://www.englishmonarchs.co.uk/plantagenet_93.html >.

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