This Day in History: 1394-01-15

During the Parliament of January 1394, John of Gaunt, lord of Pontefract, petitioned for his son, Henry of Lancaster, to be the king’s heir claiming preposterously (some say) that his first wife Blanche’s great-grandfather, Edmund (Crouchback) of Lancaster, had been the true elder son of Henry III but had been overlooked in favour of his brother Edward I on account of Edmund’s physical deformity. This would have made Edward I’s nephew, Thomas of Lancaster, the next rightful king and thereafter his descendants. The nonsensical nature of this line of reasoning was apparent in not only Edward I having been over five years older than his brother, Edmund, but that it would have invalidated John of Gaunt’s own high rank and status as a true king’s son.