Edmund of Woodstock, 1st Earl of Kent

Royal Descent:

Edward I, King of England m. 2) Marguerite of France




Birth:      5 Aug 1301      Woodstock, Oxfordshire

“Anno ab incarnatione Domini mccc. primo, et regni regis Edwardi xxix…Nonis Augusti apud Wodestok regina peperit; Nominat Edmundum partum regina secundum” [Annales Prioratus de Wigornia]1; “He was b. 5 Aug. 1301, at Woodstock”.2

Death:      19 Mar 1330      Winchester, Hampshire

“The Earl of Kent was led out of his cell to be beheaded on the morning of 19 March 1330. There he waited, in the midst of a crowd. The man appointed to wield the axe refused to do so. Men-at-arms were ordered to cut the earl’s head off, but none dared, and so the earl stood there, for several hours. A pardon was offered to anyone in the prison who would do the deed. A latrine cleaner, facing the death penalty himself, agreed in return for his life being spared. The axe came down and the earl’s head was lifted to the traditional shout of ‘behold the head of a traitor’. But the crowd was silent.”3

Burial:      31 Mar 1330      Dominican (Black) Friars Priory, Winchester

“1331. 3 Id. Apr. Avignon. To the bishops of Winchester, Coventry and Lichfield, and London. Mandate to cause the body of Edmund, earl of Kent, on the petition of Edmund, his eldest son and heir, and of Margaret his widow, to be exhumed from the church of the Friars Minors at Winchester, and buried in the church of Westminster, the said earl having by will provided that the choice of his place of burial should be left to his widow” [CPapR 1305-1342, p. 349].

Occupation:      1st Earl of Kent 1321-1330


Margaret Wake

Marriage:      Dec 1325      Paris, France

“1325. 2 Non. Oct. Avignon. “To Edmund, son of the late king, earl of Kent. Dispensation to marry a woman related to him in the third or fourth degree” [CPapR 1305-1342, p. 246]; “A.D. 1325…Eodem anno, ante festum Natalis Domini…et circa idem tempus dominus Edmundus de Wodestouk comes Kantiae cepit in uxorem relictam domini Johannis Comyn et sororem domini Thomae Wake” [Annales Paulini].4


Edmund of Kent (1326-1331)

Margaret of Kent (1327-1347)

Joan ‘The Fair Maid’ of Kent (1328-1385)

John of Kent (1330-1352)


1. Annales Monastici Volume IV, Henry Richards Luard (ed.), Rolls Series (London: 1869), Volume 36 Part 4, pp. 549-550.
2. The Complete Peerage of England, Scotland, Ireland, Great Britain, and the United Kingdom, Extant, Extinct, or Dormant – New Edition, Revised and Much Enlarged, George Edward Cokayne et al (eds.), Volume 9, St. Catherine Press Limited (London: 1929), pp. 146-148.
3. Ian Mortimer, The Greatest Traitor: The Life of Sir Roger Mortimer, Ruler of England 1327-1330, Pimlico (London: 2004).
4. Chronicles of the Reigns of Edward I and Edward II, Volume 1, William Stubbs (ed.), Longman & Co. (London: 1882), Rolls Series 76 vol. 1, p. 310.