Princess Beatrice(?) Plantagenet

Royal Descent:

Edward I, King of England m. 1) Eleanor of Castile

Princess BEATRICE(?) PLANTAGENET of England

Birth:      1271      Palestine

“Nate vero fuerunt ei due filie in Terra Sancta, quarum una mortua est, et altera venit cum eo et cum Regina usque in Vasconiam”1; “All that is known of this child comes from a passage in the Liber de antiquis legibus”2. As it is known that Edward I and Eleanor of Castile arrived at Acre in May 1271, that their daughter Joan was born there in the spring of 1272, and that they left the Holy Land in the summer of that same year, this daughter, if she indeed was born in the Holy Land, necessarily had to be born in 1271.

Baptism:

A heraldic manuscript in the Harleian collection, dated 1530, accurately names most of Edward’s sixteen known children, except it omits Katherine, makes ‘Alphonso’ into ‘Alice’, ‘John’ into a second ‘Henry’, and ‘Berengaria’ into ‘Blanchia’. All of the named daughters match up to actual documented daughters, save for one: ‘Beatrix, quae moritur puella’. It’s very possible that this otherwise unnamed daughter who was born and died in Palestine, and who is the only recorded full-term child born to Eleanor of Castile whose name is not known, was the ‘Beatrix’ mentioned in the pedigree. Edward’s sister Beatrice and her husband John of Brittany accompanied Edward and Eleanor on the 1271-72 Crusade. It would be natural for the couple to have a named a daughter born at that time after Beatrice of Brittany, who could easily have stood sponsor as godmother

Death:      29 May 1272      Palestine

“The language of this passage leaves little room for doubt that this child must have died while Edward and Eleanor were still in Palestine … The queen provided a gold cloth for the anniversary of her daughter 29 May at the Dominican priory in Bordeaux, where the child was buried (P.R.O. E 36/201, p. 93 bis).”2

Burial:      (?)Dominican Priory, Bordeaux

“And she was most probably buried there [Palestine].”2 Parsons makes an argument for two separate daughters, with the one buried in Bordeaux born premature in the spring of 1255. But there is no record evidence for any birth to Eleanor in 1255. I feel it is likelier that the daughter whose death anniversary was celebrated in the Dominican Priory at Bordeaux, was the same as the daughter who died in the Holy Land. The infant’s remains, either in whole or in part (i.e., her heart), could have been transported from the Holy Land back to Bordeaux in Gascony, one of the lands held by her father, and interred within a church where her parents could take an active part in observance of her anniversary. Bordeaux, it should be noted, was the birthplace of Edward’s sister Beatrice of Brittany. If the name of the daughter who was born and died in the Holy Land was indeed Beatrice, then Bordeaux as her burial place would have an added significance.

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Sources

1. Liber de Antiquis Legibus: Cronica Maiorum et Vicecomitum Londoniarum, Thomas Stapleton (ed.), Camden Society Publications Volume 34 (London: 1846).

2. John Carmi Parsons, “The Year of Eleanor of Castile’s Birth and Her Children by Edward I,” Mediaeval Studies, 46, 1984.