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John of Gaunt, 1st Duke of Lancaster, was a member of the House of Plantagenet, the third surviving son of King Edward III of England and Philippa of Hainault. He was called "John of Gaunt" because he was born in Ghent, then known as Gaunt in English. As a younger brother of Edward, Prince of Wales (The Black Prince), John exercised great influence over the English throne during the minority of his nephew, Richard II, and during the ensuing periods of political strife, but was not thought to have been among the opponents of the king. Because of his rank John of Gaunt was one of England's principal military commanders in the 1370s and 1380s, though his enterprises were never rewarded with the kind of dazzling success that had made his elder brother the Black Prince such a charismatic war leader. All monarchs of England and later of Great Britain, the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth Realms from Henry IV onwards are descended from John of Gaunt.

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John of Gaunt, 1st Duke of Lancaster, was a member of the House of Plantagenet, the third surviving son of King Edward III of England and Philippa of Hainault. He was called "John of Gaunt" because he was born in Ghent, then known as Gaunt in English. As a younger brother of Edward, Prince of Wales (The Black Prince), John exercised great influence over the English throne during the minority of his nephew, Richard II, and during the ensuing periods of political strife, but was not thought to have been among the opponents of the king. Because of his rank John of Gaunt was one of England's principal military commanders in the 1370s and 1380s, though his enterprises were never rewarded with the kind of dazzling success that had made his elder brother the Black Prince such a charismatic war leader. All monarchs of England and later of Great Britain, the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth Realms from Henry IV onwards are descended from John of Gaunt. More

 
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