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Gloucester, Thomas of Woodstock, duke of

Thomas of Woodstock Gloucester, duke of, 1355–97, English nobleman; youngest son of Edward III. He was betrothed (1374) to Eleanor, heiress of Humphrey de Bohun, earl of Hereford, and became earl of Buckingham at the coronation of Richard II (1377). He was the king's lieutenant in France (1380), but returned to England after the failure of his siege of Nantes.

In 1385 he was created duke of Gloucester and soon emerged as the head of the baronial party, which in 1386 forced Richard to dismiss Michael de la Pole, 1st earl of Suffolk (see under Pole, family), as chancellor. In 1388, Gloucester was one of the five "lords appellant" who secured conviction of the king's counselors for treason in the Merciless Parliament. When Richard regained power in 1389, Gloucester made his peace with him and accompanied the king to Ireland in 1394. In 1397, Gloucester was suddenly arrested and imprisoned at Calais. He was probably murdered there a few days before he was "appealed" and condemned for treason by the same procedure as that used in 1388.

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Gloucester, Thomas, duke of

Gloucester, Thomas, duke of (1355–97). Also known as Thomas of Woodstock, from his birthplace. He was the youngest son of Edward III, brother of John of Gaunt, and uncle to Richard II. In 1376 he was declared constable of England and acted as such at his nephew's coronation. On that occasion he was created earl of Buckingham and in 1380 received the Garter. He added the earldom of Essex in 1380. After serving in France and against the Scots, he was created duke of Gloucester in 1385. He took a prominent part against the royal favourite Michael de la Pole. In 1387 he defeated de Vere (Oxford) at Radcot Bridge, occupied London, seized the king, and used the Merciless Parliament against his adversaries. For some years there was an uneasy rapprochement with Richard, but in 1397 Gloucester was seized, at the king's orders, and taken to Calais, where he died, having apparently been smothered under a feather bed.

J. A. Cannon

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