This Day in History: 1377-02-20

On 20th February 1377, John of Gaunt’s, lord of Pontefract, retainers, Lords Fitzwalter and Brian, reported that Gaunt’s ally, Lord Percy, had arrested a Londoner for insulting the duke. After storming Percy’s house and freeing the accused, an angry mob sought a fleeing Gaunt as he made his way to Princess Joan’s residence at Kennington across the Thames. Placards were erected alleging Gaunt was a changeling and not the son of Queen Philippa. An ailing Edward III told London to build a celebratory pillar to Gaunt in Cheapside, honouring him, and hold an apologetic procession to St Paul’s, with all senior city officials replaced.