Gloucester, Thomas, duke of

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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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Thomas of Woodstock duke of Gloucester

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