Discussion:
John of Gaunt's Godfather
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HWinnSadler
2018-05-10 14:55:15 UTC
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According to a biography of John of Gaunt I looked over recently (which I currently forget at the moment which one it was), the godfather of John of Gaunt was Jacob van Artevelde, the famous Flemish statesman. Does anyone know if there is any truth to this or sources for that?
Peter Stewart
2018-05-11 01:13:48 UTC
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Post by HWinnSadler
According to a biography of John of Gaunt I looked over recently (which I currently forget at the moment which one it was), the godfather of John of Gaunt was Jacob van Artevelde, the famous Flemish statesman. Does anyone know if there is any truth to this or sources for that?
The source for this is the 15th-century 'Chronographia regum Francorum', stating that Edward III remained at Ghent until March [in 1340] when his wife gave birth to a son [John] who was held at the font by Jacob van Artevelde as godfather ("Mansit igitur rex Anglie Gandavo per totam hiemen usque ad mensem marcii. Porro cum regine, uxoris sue, tempus parturiendi advenit, ipsa peperit filium quem Jacobus de Artevella de sacro fonte levans, compater factus est regi Anglie."), see p. 93 here:

https://archive.org/stream/chronographiareg02mora#page/92/mode/2up

Whether this is strictly true or not is questionable - according to Froissart, John was named after Jean III of Brabant, who held the boy at the font as his godfather ("un biau fils qui eut à nom: Jehans, contre le duc Jehan de Braibant qui le tint as fons"), see here p. 207

https://books.google.com.au/books?id=apoTaKkaia4C&pg=PA207

Peter Stewart

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