This Day in History: 1389-03-02

On 2nd March 1389, Richard II bestowed the Duchy of Aquitaine on John of Gaunt, lord of Pontefract, as an appanage for his lifetime, a sign of his new favour for him. As the duchy was now separated from the English Crown, some Gascons complained that this violated the 1254 agreement that the duchy be held by the English king or at least on his behalf by his direct heir i.e. his son. Richard’s aim was to reassure Parliament that the sovereignty of the English king would not be compromised by his having to do homage to the King of France for his French domains, as Gaunt would do so instead.