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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.


1184 Birth Born in 1184.
1190 6 Years Old In 1190, when Richard failed to marry his younger sister Joan to Saphadin, brother of Saracen leader Saladin, he proposed that Eleanor should be the bride instead, but the negotiation was also in vain, as Saphadin showed no interest in Christianity.
1193 9 Years Old In 1193, she was engaged to Frederick son of Leopold V, Duke of Austria, as part of the conditions to release of Richard who had been taken prisoner by the Emperor. … Read More


1195 11 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 also failed. … Read More
1198 14 Years Old Eleanor was also likely to have another marriage plan with Odo Duke of Burgundy, as in 1198 Philip ordered Odo not marry any female relatives of Richard without his permission. … Read More
1199 15 Years Old Between 1199 and 1200 Eleanor was likely to have appeared in England, probably already captured by John rather than at the Battle of Mirebeau along with Arthur and his knights. … Read More


1204 20 Years Old In spring 1204, Philip II of France demanded that Eleanor be released in order to marry his younger son. … Read More
1206 22 Years Old In 1206, John entrusted her to Robert de Vieuxpont. … Read More
1213 29 Years Old In 1213, John took Eleanor to blackmail Pierre I of Brittany husband and co-ruler of Alix and tempted him with Richmond, but Pierre kept loyal to France, even after the capture of his elder brother Robert by John at Nantes. … Read More


1214 30 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, but only to be defeated at de La Roche-aux-Moines. … Read More
1216 32 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, to succeed, leaving the 32-year-old princess, now beautiful and defiant, still in prison and guarded by Peter de Maulay. … Read More
1219 35 Years Old In 1219, her earldom of Richmond was given to Pierre I of Brittany after the recognition of William Marshal the regent of Henry, and it would never be returned even after Pierre renounced it in 1235. … Read More
1221 37 Years Old In 1221, it was said that some people, maybe foreigners, planned 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 favor. In fact the allegation might be false, only to discredit Peter and Peter des Roches, who also fell out of favor in spring 1234. … Read More
1222 38 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), finally settled at Bristol from June 1224 for a time. … Read More
1223 39 Years Old From 1223 Henry III and his government took serious actions to keep Eleanor captive. … Read More


1225 41 Years Old From 1225, she got an allowance.Henry III himself once sent her 50 yards of linen cloth, three wimples, 50 pounds of almonds and raisins respectively and a basket of figs; he offered her another saddle, a proof that she could still go horse-riding under strict guard; he once asked the mayor and bailiff to increase her household there. … Read More


1237 53 Years Old She once appeared in Woodstock, safe and sound towards Henry III in November 1237. … Read More
1238 54 Years Old On Easter or November 1238, she was transferred back to Bristol. Finally the captive princess died testate as a nun in 1241 at Bristol Castle at the age of 57 and initially buried at St. James' Church, then reburied at Amesbury Abbey at her will, now lost, announced by Henry III. … Read More
1241 58 Years Old …  The Annals of Tewkesbury record the death "IV Id Aug" in 1241 of "Alienora de Britannia consanguinea domini regis Henrici AngliƦ" (in English: Eleanor of Brittany a blood relative of the lord King Henry of England). … Read More
Original Authors of this text are noted on http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eleanor,_Fair_Maid_of_Brittany.
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