This Day in History: 1306-05-25

On 25th May 1306, John de Warenne, 7th Earl of Surrey, and owner of Sandal Castle, married eleven-year-old Joan of Bar, daughter of Henry III, Count of Bar, and Eleanor of England, eldest daughter of Edward I. De Warenne’s troubled marriage to Joan bore no children but he had several illegitimate ones by his mistress, Matilda de Nerford. He began divorce proceedings against Joan in February 1316 but there is no evidence this was completed. He tried for many years to divorce Joan, even citing he had had an affair with Edward II’s sister (Joan’s aunt), Mary, a nun. Near the end of his life, he took another mistress, Isabella Holland, sister of Thomas Holland, later Earl of Kent. His will included:
“I bequeath to Isabel de Holand, my compaigne, my gold ring with the good ruby, the five gold rings placed as stars which are in my golden eagle, so that she put other rings in their place, such as she shall please, the complete principal vestments for my chapel, with the complete fittings for the altar, my censer of silver gilt and enamel, my golden cup with a little [English: “Ewer”] of silver gilt, all my beds, great and small, except those which I have bequeathed to othera [sic, plural], the great dish, the silver pot for alms, three plates for spices, all my vessels of plain silver, as in dishes, saucers, basins, washing dishes, chargers, cups and goblets, except those which I have bequeathed to others in this Testament,”