John, 3rd Earl of Kent

Earl of Kent
Baron Wake of Liddell
Successor Joan of Kent
Born 7 April 1330
Arundel Castle, Sussex, England
Died 26 December 1352
Burial Church of Greyfriars, Winchester
Spouse Isabella of Julich
Father Edmund of Woodstock, 1st Earl of Kent
Mother Margaret Wake, 3rd Baroness Wake of Liddell

John (7 April 1330 – 26 December 1352), an English nobleman, was the Earl of Kent (1331–52) and Baron of Liddell (1349–52). Wealthy and descended from royalty, his promising career was cut short by an untimely death at the age of twenty-two.

He was born on 7 April 1330 at Arundel Castle in Sussex, the youngest son and posthumous child of Edmund of Woodstock, Earl of Kent, and Margaret Wake. He was thus a cousin of King Edward III of England.[1] John's father was executed for treason on 19 March 1330 by the orders of Roger Mortimer, 1st Earl of March just three weeks before his birth, leaving his elder brother Edmund as the Earl of Kent. Upon Edmund's death in October 1331, John succeeded to the title as an infant. His heir throughout his life was his elder sister, Joan.[2]

John took part in the campaign that culminated in the battle of Crécy in 1346. He was probably in the retinue of Duke Henry of Lancaster, although he may not have been present at Crécy itself. Contemporary witnesses make no record of his military exploits, if any there were. In 1347 the king granted him his entire inheritance, making him independent of his mother at the age of seventeen. He owned estates, including 43 manors and 30 advowsons, in seventeen counties, as well as various rents and knight's fees in a further six counties. His annual income was over ₤6,000 at a time when ₤1,000 was considered sufficient to maintain the lifestyle of an earl.[2]

On 3 April 1348, John married, by Papal dispensation,[3] Isabella (Elizabeth, died 6 June 1411), daughter of William V, Duke of Jülich, and Joanna. In 1349 John's uncle, Thomas Wake, 2nd Baron of Liddell, died and his estates passed to his sister, John's mother. Margaret died of the plague within a few months and John inherited both her dower lands and Thomas's estate. He took possession in February 1350. John received livery of all his lands from the king on 10 April 1351, having come of age three days earlier.[2]

In 1352, John's sister Joan gave birth to a son, John Holland, named after his uncle, who probably served as his godfather. John's own marriage to Isabella remained childless. John was at his favourite manor in Woking, when, on 23 December 1352, he granted the manor of Ryhall to Bartholomew de Burghersh. Shortly after, he fell ill. He did not recover and died on 26 December 1352 and he was buried next to his father in the church of Greyfriars at Winchester.[2] His titles passed to his only surviving sister Joan who became the 4th Countess of Kent, and the 5th Baroness Wake of Liddell suo jure. John's widow was still being titled Countess of Kent, however, as late as 1396.[4] She entered Waverley Abbey after John's death, and before her own she requested that she be buried next to him at Greyfriars.[2]


  2. 1 2 3 4 5 Penny Lawne (2015), Joan of Kent: First Princess of Wales (Amberley).
  3. Cawley, Medieval Lands, Earls of Kent (Plantagenet)
  4. Plea Rolls of the Court of Common Pleas; National Archives; CP40/541; year 1396;; 7th entry, with surname as 'Invers' or 'Julers'
Peerage of England
Preceded by
Edmund, 2nd Earl
Earl of Kent
Succeeded by
Joan of Kent
Preceded by
Margaret Wake, 3rd Baroness
Baron Wake of Liddell
Succeeded by
Joan of Kent, 5th Baroness
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