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John of Gaunt (1340-1399), Prince and Steward of England; 4th son of Edward III
John ('John of Gaunt'), Duke of Lancaster and Aquitaine
Sitter in 7 portraits
John of Gaunt was a member of the House of Plantagenet, the third surviving son of King Edward III of England and Philippa of Hainault. He gained his name 'John of Gaunt' because he was born in Ghent, which was then called Gaunt in English. The fabulously wealthy Gaunt exercised tremendous influence over the English throne during the minority reign of his nephew, Richard II, and during the ensuing periods of political strife, but took care not to be openly associated with opponents of the king. John of Gaunt's legitimate male heirs, the Lancasters, included Kings Henry IV, Henry V and Henry VI.