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Joan FitzAlan, Baroness Bergavenny

Joan FitzAlan, Baroness Bergavenny

English noblewoman
The basics
Gender female
Death November 14, 1435
Mother: Elizabeth de BohunCountess of Arundel
Father: Richard FitzAlan11th Earl of Arundel
Spouse: William de Beauchamp1st Baron Bergavenny
Children: Richard de Beauchamp1st Earl of Worcester
The details

Joan de Beauchamp, Baroness Bergavenny (née FitzAlan; 1375 – 14 November 1435) was an English noblewoman, and the wife of William de Beauchamp, 1st Baron Bergavenny of the Welsh Marches.

Family and lineage

Lady Joan FitzAlan was born in 1375, at Arundel Castle, Sussex, England, one of the seven children of Richard Fitzalan, 11th Earl of Arundel, Earl of Surrey, and his first wife Elizabeth de Bohun. Her only surviving brother was Thomas Fitzalan, 12th Earl of Arundel, of whom Joan was his co-heiress. She had an older sister Lady Elizabeth FitzAlan who married as her second husband Thomas Mowbray, 1st Duke of Norfolk. Her paternal grandparents were Richard Fitzalan, 10th Earl of Arundel and Eleanor of Lancaster, and her maternal grandparents were William de Bohun, 1st Earl of Northampton and Elizabeth de Badlesmere.

On 3 April 1385, her mother died. Joan was about ten years old. Her father married secondly, Philippa Mortimer on 15 August 1390, by whom he had a son, John Fitzalan, who was born in 1394. John died sometime after 1397.

On 21 September 1397, Joan's father, the Earl of Arundel, who was also one of the Lords Appellant, was beheaded on Tower Hill, London, on charges of high treason against King Richard II of England. The Earl had always enjoyed much popularity with the citizens of London. His titles and estates were forfeited to the Crown.

In October 1400, the new king Henry IV who had ascended the throne following Richard's deposition in 1399, restored the titles and estates to Thomas Fitzalan, Joan's brother. He became the 12th Earl of Arundel and Earl of Surrey. Although he married Beatrice, an illegitimate daughter of King John I of Portugal and Inez Perez Esteves, he died childless on 13 October 1415. The Earldom and castle of Arundel passed to a cousin John Fitzalan, 13th Earl of Arundel, the remainder of his inheritance was divided among Joan and her two surviving sisters, Elizabeth and Margaret.

Marriage and issue

On 23 July 1392, Joan was married to William de Beauchamp, 1st Baron Bergavenny (c.1344 - 8 May 1411) the son of Thomas de Beauchamp, 11th Earl of Warwick and Katherine Mortimer. He was more than thirty years Joan's senior.

The marriage produced a son and a daughter:

  • Richard de Beauchamp, 1st Earl of Worcester, 2nd Baron Bergavenny (born before 1397 – died 1422), married Isabel le Despenser, daughter of Thomas le Despenser, 1st Earl of Gloucester and Constance of York, by whom he had one daughter Elizabeth de Beauchamp, Lady of Abergavenny.
  • Joan de Beauchamp (1396 – 3 August 1430), married 28 August 1413 James Butler, 4th Earl of Ormond, son of James Butler, 3rd Earl of Ormond and Anne Welles, by whom she had five children, including Thomas Butler, 7th Earl of Ormond. Anne Boleyn and Mary Boleyn were notable descendants of Joan and her husband.


Joan, Baroness Bergavenny, died on 14 November 1435, at the age of 60. She was buried in Black Friars, Hereford.


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