Eleanor of Woodstock
::"For other Eleanors of England, see
Eleanor of England (disambiguation)"
Eleanor of Woodstock (1318-1355). Born in
Woodstock, Oxfordshireon 18 June 1318to Edward II of Englandand Isabella of France, Eleanor was named after her paternalGrandmother Eleanor of Castile, £333 was given for her churching by father. In 1324 she was taken into care by her cousin Eleanor de Clarethen sent to the care of Ralph de Mothermerand Isabella Hastingswith her younger sister Joan of the Towerat Pleshey. In 1325, there were negotiations between Englandand Castile for Eleanor to be betrothed to Alphonso XI of Castile, but this fell through due to the dowry.
Eleanor was re-united with her Mother and in 1330 negotiations were made by her Mother that she and her Brother
John of Eltham, Earl of Cornwallto marry a son and daughter of Philip VI of France, however they fell through also.
In May 1332 Eleanor married the reigning Count of
Guelders, Reinoud II "the black" (English: Reginald), of the House of Wassenberg (born c. 1287), a marriage arranged by her mother's cousin Jeanne of Valois. The Groom, being quite dark of colour and character, was a widower with four daughters. He was known for having imprisoned his father for over six years.
As she sailed from
Sandwich, her wedding trousseau included a wedding gown of Spanish cloth, caps, gloves, shoes, a bed, rare spices and loaves of sugar. She was well received in Gueldersand bore her husband two sons Reinoud III "the fat" (1334-1371) and Edward of Guelders(1336-1371. However, due to her unhappy childhood, she grew nervous and eager to please her husband, who tired of her and sent her from court (1338) by pretending she had leprosy. Her husband then tried to annulthe marriage.
Eleanor turned up in Court in
Nijmegenthough to contest the annulment, and proceeded to strip down, proving she was no leper, and thus forcing her husband to take her back. He died from a fall from his horse on 12 October 1343.
22 April 1355, twelve years after she became a widow, Eleanor died in poverty in a Cisterianconvent aged 36, she helped rule with her son Reginald who quarrelled with her for trying to make peace with her younger son and confiscated all her lands. She was too proud to ask her Brother Edward III of Englandfor help and was buried in DeventerAbbey. Her tomb stone had the simple inscription ELEANOR on it, however in England on the south side of Queen Philippa of Hainault's tomb in Westminster Abbeythere is an image of her and her husband. Mary Anne Everett-Green- Lives of the English Princesses
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