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Beauclerk, Charles, first duke of St Albans (1670–1726), army officer, the illegitimate son of Charles II and Nell Gwyn, was born at his mother's house in Lincoln's Inn Fields, London, on 8 May 1670. It is said that one day when the king was with ...

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Beaufort, Edmund, first duke of Somerset (c. 1406–1455), magnate and soldier, was the younger brother of John Beaufort, duke of Somerset (1404–1444); John and Edmund were the second and third sons of John Beaufort, marquess of Dorset and of Somerset (c. 1371–1410), who was the eldest son of ...

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Beaufort, John, marquess of Dorset and marquess of Somerset (c. 1371–1410), soldier and administrator, was the first offspring of the liaison between John of Gaunt, duke of Lancaster (1340–1399), and Katherine Swynford (1350?–1403) [see Katherine, duchess of Lancaster]. He became a staunch supporter of ...

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Beaufort, John, duke of Somerset (1404–1444), magnate and soldier, was the second son of John Beaufort, marquess of Dorset and of Somerset (d. 1410), and Margaret Holland, daughter of Thomas Holland, earl of Kent. He succeeded to the earldom of Somerset on the death of his elder brother, ...

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Beaufort, Thomas, duke of Exeter (1377?–1426), magnate and soldier, was the youngest of the three illegitimate sons of John of Gaunt, duke of Lancaster, and Katherine Swynford [see Katherine, duchess of Lancaster]. His brothers were John Beaufort and Henry Beaufort...

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Edward [Edward of Woodstock; known as the Black Prince], prince of Wales and of Aquitaine (1330–1376), heir to the English throne and military commander, was the eldest son of Edward III (1312–1377) and Philippa of Hainault (1310x15?–1369).

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Edward, prince of Wales and of Aquitaine (1330–1376) tomb effigy by kind permission of the Dean and Chapter of Canterbury; photographer: Mrs Mary Tucker

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Fitzcharles, Charles, earl of Plymouth (c. 1657–1680), courtier and army officer, was born, probably in Bruges, in 1657, the illegitimate son of Charles II (1630–1685), and Catherine Pegge (d. 1678). His mother's liaison with the exiled king had come to an end by 1658, and he was brought up by her in the ...

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FitzRoy [formerly Palmer], George, duke of Northumberland (1665–1716), courtier and army officer, was born on 28 December 1665 at Merton College, Oxford, the third and youngest son of Charles II and Barbara Palmer, countess of Castlemaine (bap. 1640, d. 1709). For the first few years of his life he was officially the son of his mother's husband, ...

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FitzRoy [formerly Palmer], Henry, first duke of Grafton (1663–1690), naval officer, the second illegitimate son of Charles II (1630–1685) and Barbara Palmer, née Villiers, countess of Castlemaine and later duchess of Cleveland (bap. 1640, d. 1709), was born at his mother's house in ...

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Henry of Lancaster [Henry of Grosmont], first duke of Lancaster (c. 1310–1361), soldier and diplomat, was the son of Henry, third earl of Lancaster (c. 1280–1345), and Maud Chaworth (d. 1317×22).

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Henry of Lancaster, first duke of Lancaster (c. 1310–1361) manuscript painting, c. 1430 The British Library

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Humphrey [Humfrey or Humphrey of Lancaster], duke of Gloucester [called Good Duke Humphrey] (1390–1447), prince, soldier, and literary patron, was the youngest son of Henry, earl of Derby, later Henry IV, and his first wife, Mary de Bohun (d. 1394). He was protector of ...

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Plantagenet, Arthur, Viscount Lisle (b. before 1472, d. 1542), soldier, diplomat, and administrator, was the illegitimate son of Edward IV (1442–1483).

The identity of Arthur's mother and his date of birth have given rise to much speculation. The editor of his correspondence, Muriel St Clare Byrne...

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Robert [called Robert Curthose], duke of Normandy (b. in or after 1050, d. 1134), prince and crusader, was born in the early 1050s, the eldest child of William (II), duke of Normandy (1027/8–1087), afterwards William I (the Conqueror), and his wife, Matilda (d. 1083)...

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Thomas [Thomas of Lancaster], duke of Clarence (1387–1421), prince and soldier, was the second son of Henry IV, born in London in the autumn of 1387 to Mary de Bohun (c.1369–1394), Henry's first wife. As children he and his brothers moved around the ...