This Day in History: 1372-06-06

On or around 6th June 1372, Constance (Constanza), Duchess of Lancaster, wife of John of Gaunt, 2nd Duke of Lancaster and lord of Pontefract, gave birth at Hertford Castle to a daughter, Catalina aided by Ilote ‘the wise woman….the midwife of Leicester’ who had also attended Gaunt’s first wife, Blanche of Lancaster. Constance sent Katherine Swynford to Edward III to give him news of the birth for which she was rewarded twenty marks (£9,100 today). Gaunt, himself, confirmed an annual grant of twenty marks to Swynford on 15th May 1372 ‘for the good and pleasant service which she gives and has given’ to his wife ‘and for the very great affection which our said consort has towards the said Katherine’