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Philippa of Hainaut

Philippa of HainautBorn: c. 1314
Died: 15-Aug-1369
Location of death: Windsor, Berkshire, England
Cause of death: unspecified

Gender: Female
Religion: Roman Catholic
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Royalty

Nationality: England
Executive summary: Queen of King Edward III

Philippa of Hainaut, queen of the English King Edward III, was the daughter of William the Good, count of Holland and Hainaut, and his wife Jeanne de Valois, granddaughter of Philippe III of France. Edward visited the court of Count William in 1326 with his mother Isabella, who immediately arranged a marriage between him and Philippa. After a dispensation had been obtained for the marriage of the cousins (they were both descendants of Philippe III) Philippa was married by proxy at Valenciennes in October 1327, and landed in England in December. She joined Edward at York, where she was married on the 30th of January 1328. Her marriage dower had been seized by the queen dowager Isabella to pay a body of Hainauters, with whose help she had compassed her husband's deposition. The alliance ensured for Edward in his French wars the support of Philippa's influential kindred; and before starting on his French campaign he secured troops from William the Good, as well as from the count of Gelderland, the count of Julick, and the emperor Louis the Bavarian. Her mother Jeanne de Valois, visited her in 1331 and further cemented the community of interests between England and Flanders. Before 1335 Philippa had established a small colony of Flemish weavers at Norwich, and she showed an active interest in the weaving trade by repeated visits to the town. She also encouraged coal mining on her estates in Tynedale. Her eldest son, Edward the Black Prince, was born in 1330, and she subsequently bore six sons and five daughters. In November 1342 she became guardian of John of Gaunt and her younger children, with their lands. Her agents are said to have shown great harshness in collecting the feudal dues with which to supply her large household. The anecdotes of her piety and generosity which have been preserved are proof, however, of her popularity. She interceded in 1331 with the king for some carpenters whose careless work on a platform resulted in an accident to herself and her ladies, and on a more famous occasion her prayers saved the citizens of Calais from Edward's vengeance. There is a generally accepted story based on the chronicles of Jehan le Bel and Froissart, that she summoned the English forces to meet the Scottish invasion of 1346, and harangued the troops before the battle of Neville's Cross. She certainly exercised considerable influence over her husband, whom she constantly accompanied on his campaigns and her death on the 15th of August 1369 was a misfortune for the kingdom at large, since Edward from that time came under the domination of the rapacious Alice Perrers. Philippa was the patron and friend of Froissart, who was her secretary from 1361 to 1366. Queen's College, Oxford, was not, as is stated in Skelton's version of her epitaph, founded by her, but by her chaplain, Robert of Eglesfield. Her chief benefactions were made to the hospital of St. Katharine's by the Tower, London.

Father: William the Good (count of Holland)
Mother: Jeanne de Valois
Husband: King Edward III (King of England, m. 30-Jan-1328)
Son: John of Gaunt
Son: Edward the Black Prince


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