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#OnThisDay in 1341: Edmund of Langley, 1st Duke of York, was born.

Way back the 5th of June in the year 1341, Edmund of Langley, the 1st Duke of York was born. He was born to King Edward III of England and his wife Philippa of Hainult at Kings Langley Palace located in Hertfordshire. Traditionally, Edmund got his nickname from where he was born, as his mother gave birth to him in Langley Palace thus, gaining the nickname: “Edmund of Langley.”

Portrait depicting Edmund of Langley, 1st Duke of York. © www.geni.com

Portrait depicting Edmund of Langley, 1st Duke of York. © In the Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons

Edmund of Langley was the fourth surviving child of King Edward III out of a total of nine children. Though at birth he was a member of the royal house of Plantagenet, which originated from the far lands of Anjou in France, Edmund of Langley became the founder of the English house of York through the marriage of his son, Richard of Conisburgh, 3rd Earl of Cambridge to Anne de Mortimer that the royal house of York proclaimed its rightful place to the English throne.

Anne de Mortimer, Countess of Cambridge, was born at one of their family’s Irish landholding at New Forest, Westmeath on the 27th of December in 1390. Anne Mortimer was the eldest of the children of Roger Mortimer, 4th Earl of March and Lady Elleanor Holland, thus making her the great-granddaughter of Edmund’s elder brother Lionel of Antwerp, 1st Duke of Clarence.

The royal house of York participated in the the infamous feud of the two English houses termed Wars of the Roses, with the House of Lancaster as their adversary in claiming the right to rule all over England, in which the descendants of Edmund’s older brother, John of Gaunt, 1st Duke of Lancaster, were the members of the rivaling party.

Upon the death of Edmund’s godfather, John de Warenne, 7th Earl of Surrey, he gained most of the lands in the north of Trent, customarily in Yorkshire. In 1359, his father, King Edward III planned out a military expedition in France which turned out to be unsuccessful but he was made knight by the Order of the Garter, the highest order of chivalry and third most impeccable honour in England and United Kingdom.

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