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Swynford, Catherine

SWYNFORD, CATHERINE (c. 1350-1403), wife of John of Gaunt, duke of Lancaster, was a daughter of Sir Payne Roelt, a knight who came to England from Hainault in the train of Edward III.'s queen, Philippa. About 1367 she married Sir Hugh Swynford (1340-1372), a Lincolnshire man, by whom she had a son, Thomas (c. 1368-1433), who was a friend and companion of Henry IV. both before and after he came to the English throne. Soon after her husband's death in 1372 Catherine became the mistress of John of Gaunt, and in 1396, nearly two years after the duke had become a widower for the second time, she was married to him at Lincoln. She died at Lincoln on the loth of May 1403. By John of Gaunt Catherine had four children, all of whom were born before their marriage. They were declared legitimate in 1397 and took the name of Beaufort from one of their father's castles in Anjou (see BEAOTORT).

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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