Monday, September 29, 2008

The Fair Maid of Kent

Joan of Kent was born 29 Sept 1328 at Woodstock palace. She was also known as Joan Plantaganet, the Princess of Wales, or "the Fair Maid of Kent." In 1361 she married the Black Prince (her cousin) and in 1367 she gave birth to the boy who would become King Richard II. As the mother of the young monarch, Joan was a very influential figure in early part of Richard's reign. According to tradition, Joan was the extremely beautiful woman who was the inspiration behind Edward III's Order of the Garter. Chaucer may have had some personal interaction with Joan during his lifetime (many believe that a famous manuscript illustration depicts her sitting in the audience as Chaucer reads his poetry). (Crowned woman in blue in the first row.) In any case, Chaucer received mourning garments for her funeral in 1385.

She is our 22nd Greatgrandmother through her son Thomas de Holland, 2nd Earl of Kent, via her first husband, Thomas de Holand who died in 1360.

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