John, Duke of Bedford

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John of Lancaster, 1st Duke of Bedford, Lord of the Isles 1415-1435. He ordered the trial and execution of Joan of Arc in 1431.

Channel Islands

Henry V appointed his brother to succeed Edward, Duke of York as Lord of the Isles after the latter was killed at the Battle of Agincourt, by Letters Patent of 27 November 1415.

On 11 February 1427 the King's successor, Henry VI, wrote to his subjects in the Channel Islands to command them to obey their Lord, the Duke of Bedford,:"De intendendo Johanni, duci de Bedford, tanquam domino vestro insularum predictarum"

The archives of the Départment of Manche possess letters from John, Regent of the French King, Duke of Bedford, Count of Kendale and Richmond, Constable of England and Lord of the Isles, of 18 December 1423.

Family

John of Lancaster (1389–1435), also known as John Plantagenet, was the third surviving son of Henry IV by Mary de Bohun, and acted as Regent of France for his nephew, Henry VI.

Life

He was created Earl of Kendal, Earl of Richmond and Duke of Bedford in 1414 by his brother. On 14 June 1423, at Troyes, he married Anne of Burgundy. After Anne's death in childbirth in 1432, he married Jacquetta of Luxembourg.

When Henry V died in 1422, Bedford vied with his younger brother, Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester, for control of the Kingdom. Bedford was declared Regent of France, his nephew technically being heir to the throne of that country as well as to the Kingdom of England. Bedford defeated the French several times, until the arrival of Joan of Arc rallied the opposition. In 1431, Bedford had Joan tried and executed at Rouen], then arranged a coronation for the young Henry VI at Paris.

Bedford had been Governor in Normandy between 1422-1432, where the University of Caen was founded under his auspices.

He died on 14 September 1435 at the age 46 at Castle of Joyeux Repos, Rouen, without legitimate surviving children. He was buried at Rouen Cathedral.

In literature

He appears in William Shakespeare's plays Henry IV, Parts 1 and 2 as John of Lancaster, and in Henry V and VI, Part 1 as Duke of Bedford.

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