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Richard FitzAlan, 11th Earl of Arundel

Richard FitzAlan, 11th Earl of Arundel

4th Earl Arundel
The basics
Quick Facts
Intro 4th Earl Arundel
Gender male
Birth January 1, 1346
Death September 21, 1397 (London, Greater London, England, United Kingdom)
Mother: Eleanor of Lancaster
Father: Richard FitzAlan10th Earl of Arundel
Spouse: Elizabeth de BohunCountess of Arundel
Children: Thomas FitzAlan12th Earl of ArundelElizabeth FitzAlanJoan de BeauchampBaroness BergavennyAlice FitzAlan
Richard FitzAlan, 11th Earl of Arundel
The details

Richard FitzAlan, 5th or 11th Earl of Arundel and 9th Earl of Surrey, KG (1346 – 21 September 1397) was an English medieval nobleman and military commander.


Born in 1346, he was the son of Richard FitzAlan, 10th Earl of Arundel and Eleanor of Lancaster. He succeeded his father to the title of Earl of Arundel on 24 January 1376.

His brother was Thomas Arundel, the Bishop of Ely from 1374 to 1388, Archbishop of York from 1388 to 1397, and Archbishop of Canterbury in 1397 and from 1399 until his death in 1414.

At the coronation of Richard II, Richard FitzAlan carried the crown.


Richard FitzAlan, 11th Earl of Arundel; Thomas of Woodstock, 1st Duke of Gloucester; Thomas de Mowbray, Earl of Nottingham; Henry, Earl of Derby (later Henry IV); and Thomas de Beauchamp, 12th Earl of Warwick, demand Richard II to let them prove by arms the justice for their rebellion

In 1377, Richard FitzAlan held the title of Admiral of the West and South. In this capacity, he attacked Harfleur at Whitsun 1378, but was forced to return to his ships by the defenders. Later, he and John of Gaunt attempted to seize Saint-Malo but were unsuccessful.

Power Struggle

FitzAlan was closely aligned with Thomas, Duke of Gloucester, who was uncle of King Richard II. Thomas was opposed to Richard II's desire for peace with France in the Hundred Years War and a power struggle ensued between him and Gloucester. In late 1386, Gloucester forced King Richard II to name himself and Richard FitzAlan to the King's Council. This Council was to all intents and purposes a Regency Council for Richard II. However, Richard limited the duration of the Council's powers to one year.

Knight of the Garter

In 1386, Richard II named Richard FitzAlan Admiral of England, as well as being made a Knight of the Garter. As Admiral of England, he defeated a Franco-Spanish-Flemish fleet off Margate in March 1387, along with Thomas de Mowbray, Earl of Nottingham.

New favourites

In August 1387, the King dismissed Gloucester and FitzAlan from the Council and replaced them with his favourites - including the Archbishop of York, Alexander Neville; the Duke of Ireland, Robert de Vere; Michael de la Pole; the Earl of Suffolk, Sir Robert Tresilian, who was the Chief Justice; and the former Mayor of London Nicholas Brembre.

Radcot Bridge

The King summoned Gloucester and FitzAlan to a meeting. However, instead of coming, they raised troops and defeated the new Council at Radcot Bridge on 22 December 1387. During that battle, they took the favourites prisoner. The next year, the Merciless Parliament condemned the favourites.

FitzAlan was one of the Lords Appellant who accused and condemned Richard II's favorites. He made himself particularly odious to the King by refusing, along with Gloucester, to spare the life of Sir Simon de Burley who had been condemned by the Merciless Parliament. This was even after the queen, Anne of Bohemia, went down on her knees before them to beg for mercy. King Richard never forgave this humiliation and planned and waited for his moment of revenge.

In 1394, FitzAlan further antagonized the King by arriving late for the queen's funeral. Richard II, in a rage, snatched a wand and struck FitzAlan in the face and drew blood. Shortly after that, the King feigned a reconciliation but he was only biding his time for the right moment to strike. Arundel was named Governor of Brest in 1388.

Opposed to peace

Peace was concluded with France in 1389. However, Richard FitzAlan followed Gloucester's lead and stated that he would never agree with the peace that had been concluded.

Marriage and children

Arundel married twice.

His first wife was Elizabeth de Bohun, daughter of William de Bohun, 1st Earl of Northampton and Elizabeth de Badlesmere. They married around 28 September 1359 and had seven children:

  • Thomas FitzAlan, 12th Earl of Arundel
  • Lady Eleanor FitzAlan (c.1365 – 1375), on 28 October 1371, at the age of about six, married Robert de Ufford. Died childless.
  • Elizabeth FitzAlan (c.1366 – 8 July 1425), married first William Montacute (before December 1378); no issue. Married second, in 1384, Thomas Mowbray, 1st Duke of Norfolk; had issue. Married third, before August 1401, Sir Robert Goushill of Hoveringham; had issue. Married fourth, before 1411, Sir Gerard Afflete; no issue.
  • Joan FitzAlan (1375 – 14 November 1435), who married William Beauchamp, 1st Baron Bergavenny;
  • Alice FitzAlan (1378 – before October 1415), married before March 1392, John Charleton, 4th Baron Cherleton. (not mentioned as an heir of Thomas in the Complete Peerage). Had an affair with Cardinal Henry Beaufort, by whom she had an illegitimate daughter, Jane Beaufort.
  • Margaret FitzAlan, who married Sir Rowland Lenthall; by whom she had two sons.
  • William (or Richard) FitzAlan

After the death of his first wife in 1385, Arundel married Philippa Mortimer, daughter of Edmund Mortimer, 3rd Earl of March. Her mother was Philippa Plantagenet, the only daughter of Lionel of Antwerp and thus a granddaughter of Edward III. They had no children.

Death and succession

On 12 July 1397, Richard FitzAlan was arrested for his opposition to Richard II, as well as plotting with Gloucester to imprison the king. He stood trial at Westminster and was attainted. He was beheaded on 21 September 1397 and was buried in the church of the Augustin Friars, Bread Street, London. Tradition holds that his final words were said to the executioner, "Torment me not long, strike off my head in one blow".

In October 1400, the attainder was reversed, and Richard's son Thomas succeeded to his father's estates and honors.

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Lineage Admiral New favourites Radcot Bridge Marriage and children Death and succession
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