William Godwin's Diary

Texts Godwin Read


duchess Blanche (15  February  1803) It is likely that WG is consulting certain documents mentioned in his biography of Chaucer, where he has a note concerning the age of Blanche at the time of her marriage:
‘In the Inquisitio post Mortem taken at the decease of duke Henry, her father (Esc. 35 E. 3, p. 1, n. 122,) the lady Blanche, married to John earl of Richmond, is stated to be xviij years old and upward … and the lady Matilda, the other sister and coheiress, who is named after Blanche, married to William earl of Holland, is said to be xx years old and upward. In the Fine Rolls of the same year, 35 E. 3, m. 23, there is a writ in behalf of the earl and countess of Richmond, dated at Henley, 16 July, in which she is stated to be of full age and to have issue, and in consequence of this she and her husband receive, with the consent of her sister, a certain portion of duke Henry's inheritance, which before had been reserved. … In these records therefore we see the lady Blanche stated, in the same year, and with the interval of a very few months, as eighteen, and as twenty-one, years of age. The last statement however is confirmed by the Inquisitio post Mortem, Esc. 36 E. 3, p. 1, n. 37, taken at the decease of Matilda, her sister, there styled the wife of William duke of Bavaria, in the following year' (Life of Chaucer 1804 edition, volume 1, note a, pp. 412-413).

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