Eleanor, Fair Maid of Brittany

Eleanor, Fair Maid of Brittany

Born 1184

Eleanor the "Fair Maid of Brittany", 5th Countess of Richmond, also known as Damsel of Brittany or Pearl of Brittany for her peerless beauty, was the eldest daughter of Geoffrey Plantagenet and Constance, Duchess of Brittany.

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Learn about the memorable moments in the evolution of Eleanor, Fair Maid of Brittany.


1182 Birth Born in 1182.
1190 8 Years Old In 1190, after Richard failed to marry his younger sister Joan to Al-Adil I, brother of Saladin, he proposed that Eleanor should be the bride instead, but the negotiation was also in vain, as Al-Adil showed no interest in Christianity.


1193 11 Years Old In 1193, she was engaged to Frederick, son of Leopold V, Duke of Austria, as part of the conditions to release Richard, who had been taken prisoner by Emperor Henry VI. … Read More
1195 13 Years Old In summer 1195, a marriage between her and Louis son of Philip II of France was suggested, for an alliance between Richard and Philip, but negotiations failed again. … Read More
1198 16 Years Old Another marriage, with Duke Odo of Burgundy, may have been suggested, for in 1198 Philip ordered Odo not marry any relatives of Richard without his permission. … Read More


1202 20 Years Old Eleanor was probably already under John's control when Arthur's forces were defeated and he was captured at the Battle of Mirebeau, 1 August 1202. … Read More
1204 22 Years Old In spring 1204, Philip II of France demanded that Eleanor be released in order to marry his younger son.
1206 24 Years Old Initially John organized local barons to visit Eleanor in order to prove her well-being. In 1206 John briefly detained her at Brough Castle, entrusting entrusted her to Robert de Vieuxpont who was in its custody, before moving her to Bowes Castle, and finally, Corfe Castle in the Isle of Purbeck on the Dorset coast,along with 25 French knights loyal to her, guarded by Stephen de Turnham. … Read More
1208 26 Years Old In 1208, bishops of Nantes, Vannes and Cornouaille attempted in vain to negotiate Eleanor's freedom. … Read More


1213 31 Years Old In 1213, John used Eleanor to blackmail Peter I, Duke of Brittany, husband and co-ruler with Alix, into an alliance with England, tempting him with the offer of Eleanor's Earldom of Richmond, but Peter kept loyal to France, even after John's capture at Nantes of Peter's elder brother Robert. … Read More
1214 32 Years Old In February 1214, John campaigned in Aquitaine and Poitou with Eleanor, as well as his queen and Prince Richard, against Alix, hoping to get Breton support and establish Eleanor as his puppet duchess; his ambition was dashed in his defeat at the Battle of Roche-au-Moine. … Read More
1216 34 Years Old John died towards the end of the civil conflict in 1216; although according to the laws of primogeniture the claim of Eleanor was better, English barons allowed King John's young son, Henry III of England, to succeed, leaving the 32-year-old princess, apparently still beautiful and defiant, under guard by Peter de Maulay. … Read More
1219 37 Years Old In 1219, she ceased to be styled Countess of Richmond after William Marshal Henry's regent recognized Peter as the Earl. … Read More
1221 39 Years Old In 1221, there was a rumour of a plan to rescue Eleanor and deliver her to the King of France. In 1225, Peter de Maulay was accused of planning with the king of France to get a ship to spirit the princess away, and he subsequently fell out of favour. The allegation may have been false, to discredit Peter and Peter des Roches, who also fell out of royal favour in spring 1234. … Read More


1222 40 Years Old From June 13, 1222, she was transferred between Gloucester (July 31, 1222 to July 20, 1223), Marlborough (August 20 to October 9, 1223 and January 1224) and Bristol (before Michaelmas 1224). … Read More
1223 41 Years Old Though Henry III established a law that could prevent Eleanor from legal succession to the crown, from 1223 he and his government took serious actions to keep Eleanor captive. … Read More
1225 43 Years Old From 1225, she got an allowance. … Read More


1237 55 Years Old She appeared in Woodstock in November 1237. … Read More
1238 56 Years Old On Easter or November 1238, she was transferred back to Bristol. … Read More
1241 59 Years Old 1 More Event
But in 1241 Swaffham was controlled by Henry III and Eleanor only received a cash income from it by the gift of the king. … Read More


1241 60 Years Old Eleanor died as a nun in 1241 at the age of 57 or 59. … Read More
Original Authors of this text are noted on http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eleanor,_Fair_Maid_of_Brittany.
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