Author Topic: Descendants of Edward III  (Read 14887 times)

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Offline bell_the_cat

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Descendants of Edward III
« on: August 16, 2006, 06:00:24 PM »
I was sitting on the bus today  :), and I just thought of this question. It's really for Prince Lieven, as this is his specialist subject, but maybe someone else has a strong opinion.

How many descendants of Edward III are alive today? I've read that he's been called the ancestor of the English middle classes (which rules me out!), but also that just about everyone is descended from him i.e. millions of descendants.

I know that QV and Albert have maybe 1000 living descendants.

Never put off until tomorrow what you can put off until the day after tomorrow. (Mark Twain)

Offline Prince_Lieven

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Re: Descendants of Edward III
« Reply #1 on: August 16, 2006, 06:28:35 PM »
Ahh, busses, where would we be without them?  ;D

One figure I've heard is that 80% of British people are descended from him. There's certainly plenty of them. Probably all current European monarchs can trace back to him, and certainly plenty of famous historical figures - Jane Austen, the Earl of Shaftesbury, Winston Churchill, General Gage, Thomas Jefferson, Richard Nixon, Empress Josephine, both Pitts, Louise of Stolberg-Gerdern and plenty of nobles and royals.
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Offline bell_the_cat

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Re: Descendants of Edward III
« Reply #2 on: August 17, 2006, 01:45:05 AM »
Yes they're great, aren't they?   I was just reminiscing with the Irish guy who sits opposite me at work about the lovely Busaras in Dublin! :D

I personally think 80 % of the English sounds rather a lot, but that's probably what you get if you do a 2, 4, 8, 16, 32 ..... series every 30 years over 650 years!  That way everyone has millions of possible ancestors in 1330, among which are likely to be Edward III and Philippa of Hainault. Obviously a lot of the aristocratic descendants would have intermarried within their own caste, but there would have been a trickle down effect, with descendants sliding down into the (horrors!) working classes.

Never put off until tomorrow what you can put off until the day after tomorrow. (Mark Twain)

Offline Alianore

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Re: Descendants of Edward III
« Reply #3 on: August 17, 2006, 02:52:53 AM »
Ian Mortimer, in his recent bio of Edward III (The Perfect King), calculates that well over 80% and probably over 95% of the 'living English-descended population of England' have Edward III as an ancestor.  He also states that less than 1% of English children (of English-descended parents) born after 1995 are probably not descended from Edward.

There are pages of calculations which lead him to this conclusion.  I'd summarise them here, but I'm totally useless at maths.   ;)
"Sans lui n'estoit rien fait, et par lui estoit tous fait, et le creoit li rois plus que tout le monde."  Without him nothing is done and through him everything is done, and the king trusts him more than any other:  Hugh Despenser the Younger and Edward II

http://edwardthesecond.blogspot.com/

Offline Prince_Lieven

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Re: Descendants of Edward III
« Reply #4 on: August 17, 2006, 06:03:46 AM »
If you look at all the dukedoms extant in Britain and Ireland at the moment (Norfolk; Somerset; Grafton; Beaufort; St Albans; Bedford; Devonshire; Marlborough; Rutland; Hamilton & Brandon; Buccleuch & Queensberry; Argyll; Atholl; Montrose; Roxburghe; Richmond, Gordon & Lennox; Manchester; Northumberland; Leinster and Abercorn) all the dukes are descended from Edward III several times over. I'd say the majority of marquesses and earls are too.

Even by Tudor times there were plenty of people around who were descended from him (Katherine Parr, Jane Seymour and William Carey to name a few).
"How often have I said to you that when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth?"
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Offline bell_the_cat

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Re: Descendants of Edward III
« Reply #5 on: August 17, 2006, 04:26:00 PM »
 Still rules me out as I don't have any English ancestors! Maybe I'm descended through Joan Beaufort and the  Black Knight of Lorne.  :-\
Never put off until tomorrow what you can put off until the day after tomorrow. (Mark Twain)

Offline Prince_Lieven

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Re: Descendants of Edward III
« Reply #6 on: August 17, 2006, 05:22:18 PM »
Edward has plenty of Scottish descendants too!  :D Not only from Joan and the Black Knight, but also the collateral descendants of Joan and James I.
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Offline bell_the_cat

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Re: Descendants of Edward III
« Reply #7 on: August 18, 2006, 01:37:22 AM »
Way too posh for me, that side of the family!

What are collateral descendants - are they children you have by accident?  :o
« Last Edit: August 18, 2006, 01:44:59 AM by bell_the_cat »
Never put off until tomorrow what you can put off until the day after tomorrow. (Mark Twain)

Offline Prince_Lieven

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Re: Descendants of Edward III
« Reply #8 on: August 18, 2006, 06:18:13 AM »
 ;D Not at all - just sort of less-important branches of the family (for example, I would consider the Kents and Gloucesters as 'collateral branches' of the British royal family).  ;) Joan and James I's daughters Annabella and Joanna both married into the Scottish nobility and had Gordon, Campbell, Keith, Livingstone, Graham, Sinclair, Hepburn, Hay, Seton, Douglas, Lyon and Murray descendants, if you can count any of those names in your family tree.  ;)
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Offline Prince_Christopher

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Re: Descendants of Edward III
« Reply #9 on: August 19, 2006, 02:50:55 PM »
Ian Mortimer, in his recent bio of Edward III (The Perfect King), calculates that well over 80% and probably over 95% of the 'living English-descended population of England' have Edward III as an ancestor.  He also states that less than 1% of English children (of English-descended parents) born after 1995 are probably not descended from Edward.

There are pages of calculations which lead him to this conclusion.  I'd summarise them here, but I'm totally useless at maths.   ;)

I haven't read this book yet, but as a genealogist (American) I would have to agree with Mortimer's figures.  Almost all Americans with English/Scottish ancestors in the states before 1800 can trace one (and usually many more) descents from Edward III.  You would be surprised at what you find in the family tree....
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Offline Prince_Christopher

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Re: Descendants of Edward III
« Reply #10 on: August 19, 2006, 02:54:52 PM »
What are collateral descendants ? 

Technically, in genealogy, collateral descendants are descendants not directly descended from a person.  The descendants of one's brother or sister or cousin would be collateral descendants. 
Anyone who has a library and a garden wants for nothing.
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Offline Prince_Lieven

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Re: Descendants of Edward III
« Reply #11 on: August 19, 2006, 04:04:42 PM »
What are collateral descendants ? 

Technically, in genealogy, collateral descendants are descendants not directly descended from a person.  The descendants of one's brother or sister or cousin would be collateral descendants. 

Ooops.  :-[ Thanks for the correction.
"How often have I said to you that when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth?"
-Sherlock Holmes

"Men forget, but never forgive; women forgive, but never forget."