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John Hastings

English noble

Died when: 27 years 230 days (331 months)
Star Sign: Virgo


John Hastings

John Hastings, 2nd Earl of Pembroke, (29 August 1347 – 16 April 1375), was a fourteenth-century English nobleman and soldier.He also held the titles Baron Abergavenny and Lord of Wexford.

He was born in Sutton Valence, the son of Laurence Hastings, 1st Earl of Pembroke, and Agnes Mortimer.His father died when John Hastings was a year old, and he became a ward of King Edward III while remaining in his mother's care.

The King arranged for John to marry Edward's daughter Margaret in 1359, which drew John into the royal family.However, Margaret died two years later.

John Hastings inherited his father's earldom, subsidiary titles and estates in 1368.The same year he made a second marriage, to Anne, daughter of Walter, Lord Mauny.

The following year Pembroke began the career in royal service that was to continue for the rest of his life.

The Hundred Years' War had recently reignited in France, and in 1369 Pembroke journeyed to Aquitaine.There he took part in a sequence of raids, sieges, and counter-measures against the French, with both notable successes and failures.

The latter were compounded by his apparent inability to work alongside the famed soldier Sir John Chandos, who, although head of the King's forces there, was far below Pembroke in rank.

He was, however, far above Pembroke in ability, and his subsequent death led to even more problems for Pembroke in France.

A couple of years later, the Earl was summoned to parliament and returned to England.There, perhaps exasperated by the political failures of the King's ecclesiastical ministers, or by their self-indulgence in office, he was responsible for forcing them from power.

In 1372 Pembroke returned to France with a small fleet, intending to raise a new army in Aquitaine.His arrival had been anticipated by the Castilian navy (whose kingdom was then allied to France).

Pembroke, outnumbered and outgunned, was forced to fight at the Battle of La Rochelle, where he went down to a crushing defeat.

Captured and taken to Castile, he was imprisoned in harsh conditions.It took three years for a large ransom to be negotiated, but in 1375, he was finally released.

Returning to England through France, he was taken ill near Paris and died before reaching home.He was 27 years old.

His wife survived him, as did a son, born in 1372, whom Pembroke had never seen; also named John, he would eventually inherit the earldom.

Pembroke was buried in Hereford in April 1375.

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