This Day in History: 1396-01-13

John of Gaunt was one of the great custodians of Pontefract castle and when his second wife, Constance of Castile, died on 24th March 1394, he was now free to marry his long-standing mistress, Katherine Swynford (sister-in-law of Chaucer), on 13th January 1396. John and Katherine had had four children – the Beauforts – who would become the ancestors of the great Tudor dynasty through their great granddaughter Margaret Beaufort and her marriage to Edmund Tudor. Edmund was the son of Catherine de Valois, the former queen of Henry V and her second husband, Owen Tudor. Margaret and Edmund’s son, Henry Tudor, would defeat Richard III at the Battle of Bosworth in 1485 to become Henry VII.