This Day in History: 1362-04-10

On 10th April 1362, Maud of Lancaster, Countess of Hainault, elder daughter of the late Henry, 1st Duke of Lancaster, died. All Maud’s (who had no issue) lands (including Pontefract) and money passed to her younger sister, Blanche, and thereby to her husband, John of Gaunt who received the title ‘Duke of Lancaster’ on 13th November that year. This meant that John now had a greater income and inheritance (the Lancastrian inheritance was worth around £12,000 a year or about £9.1 million today) than his elder brother Lionel. Soon after inheriting the duchy, rumours circulated that he had poisoned his sister-in-law although it is much more likely she was killed by the bubonic plague or an infection.