The Plantagenets

Relation to the Griffin Family

Mary Harriet Western, the granddaughter of the Rev. Charles Western married Edward Lees (1814 - 1862) of Dublin and they had nine children. The eldest son, Harcourt Lees (1843 - 1938) married Mary Massey and had three children: Harcourt Edward Lees, Kathleen Western Lees, and Ethel Sophia Western Lees.

George Mansfield Griffin (1914 - 1971) married Gertrude Blanche Kelly (1917 - 1992) who was the great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-granddaughter of Edward III (1312 - 1377) and Philippa Hainault (1314 - 1369). Children and grandchildren of George and Gertrude Griffin are therefore direct descendants of Edward III (1312 - 1377).

Edward III
Edward III Tomb effigy from Westminster Abbey
Philippa of Hainault
Philippa of Hainault Tomb effigy from Westminster Abbey
The Plantagenet Roll of the Blood Royal (The Isabel of Essex Volume)
The Plantagenet Roll of the Blood Royal (The Isabel of Essex Volume) pp 306-307. (1908) The Marquis of Ruvigny and Raineval. The Genealogical Publishing Co. Ltd. London
Plantagenet family tree (Edward III to the Lees family)
Plantagenet family tree (Edward III to the Lees family) (click image to enlarge)


The House of Plantagenet was a royal dynasty prominent in the Middle Ages. Geoffrey V of Anjou founded the dynasty through his marriage to Matilda, the daughter of Henry I of England. Following the accession of their son Henry II in 1154, fourteen Plantagenet kings ruled England until Richard III's death in 1485. The use of the English language was re-established under the Plantagenets and they built buildings such as Westminster Abbey, Windsor Castle and the Welsh Castles. The last Plantagenet king, Richard III, was followed by the Tudor royal line. For the sake of convenience the Platagenets are divided into three related families: Anjou, Lancaster and York1.

The name Plantagenet originates from a nickname given to Geoffrey of Anjou who wore the yellow flower of Genista, or broom, in his helmet; Plantagenet is a derivative of the latin words Plantae and Genista.

Edward III

Edward III was King of England from 1327 until his death in 1377. Edward III transformed England into one of the most formidable military powers in Europe; his reign also saw developments in legislation, the evolution of the English parliament, and the Black Death. Edward III declared himself heir to the French throne thus precipitating the Hundred Years' War. Edward married Philippa of Hainault and their son, Lionel of Antwerp (1338-1368), 1st Duke of Clarence K.G., married Lady Elizabeth de Burgh (d 1363), 4th Countess of Ulster. Lionel's wife Elizabeth died in Dublin in 1363 and Lionel died at the Dominican friary at Cork on in December 1381. Their only child, Philippa Plantagenet (1355-1382), known as Philippa of Clarence, became 5th Countess of Ulster in 1368.

Philippa Plantagenet (1355-1382)

Philippa, the granddaughter of Edward III, married Edmund de Mortimer (1352-1381), 3rd Earl of March, in 1368. Because Philippa's cousin, King Richard II, was childless, Philippa's son Roger Mortimer (1374-1398), 4th Earl of March and 6th Earl of Ulster, could claim the throne for the House of York. Roger spent much of his time in Ireland; he was made Lord Lieutenant of Ireland on January 24th, 1382 and later appointed lieutenant in Ulster, Connacht, and Meath. He married Lady Eleanor Holland (d1405) and when Roger was killed at the Battle of Kells in Ireland in 1398, his six-year-old son, Edmund Mortimer (1391-1425), 5th Earl of March, became heir to the throne. However, the throne was usurped by the Lancastrians led by Henry of Bolingbroke (later to become Henry IV), first cousin of both Richard II and Philippa Plantagenet, an event that precipitated the Wars of the Roses. Philippa died in January 1382 in Cork, Ireland, and was buried at Wigmore Abbey, Herefordshire. Philippa's descendants eventually succeeded to the throne as the House of York (Edward IV and Richard III).

Lady Isabel Plantagenet (c1409-1484)

Although Philippa's grandson, Edmund Mortimer (1391-1425) was heir to the throne, the throne was usurped by the Lancastrian, Henry IV. Edmund died childless in 1425. However, Edmund's sister, Anne Mortimer, married Richard Plantagenet, Earl of Cambridge (c1375-1415); their son, Richard Plantagenet (1412-1460), 3rd Duke of York K.G. (known as Richard of York) became heir to the throne when Edmund died. Richard Plantagenet never ruled, but two of his sons became kings: Edward IV and Richard III (the last Plantagenet king). Anne Mortimer and Richard, Earl of Cambridge, also had a daughter, Lady Isabel Plantagenet (c1409-1484), who married Henry (1406-1483), Count of Eu and 1st Earl of Essex.

Lady Isabel Plantagenet, great granddaughter of Edward III and aunt to Edward IV and Richard III, married Henry Bourchier and their granddaughter Cecily married John Devereaux. Nine generations later, their descendant Jane Calvert (1736-1819) married Thomas Western (1735-1781) of Abington, Cambs. There were four children: Rev. Charles Western of Great Abington, Thomas Western of Suffolk (Rear-Admiral RN), James Western of London and Bath (solicitor), and Anne Western.

Family tree



1. Kings and Queens of England and Great Britain (1994) by Eric R. Delderfield (9780715302651)
2. The Plantagenet Roll of the Blood Royal (The Isabel of Essex Volume) pp 306-307. (1908) The Marquis of Ruvigny and Raineval. The Genealogical Publishing Co. Ltd. London
3. Plantagenet family tree (Edward III to the Lees family) (click image to enlarge)