The earl and countess lie in stone,
Their proper habits vaguely shown
As jointed armour, stiffened pleat,
And that faint hint of the absurd
The little dogs under their feet.'
Eleanor was in the service of Edward III's queen Philippa of Hainault. She may have accompanied Philippa to Scotland and in the first years of her marriage, she was with the queen in Europe in her capacity as Philippa's lady in waiting. It was while she was with the queen in Ghent that Eleanor gave birth to her first child, Henry. Her marriage to Henry's father, John de Beaumont, had ended with his death in a tournament in the spring of 1342, leaving her with Henry who was just two years old.
Eleanor second marriage, two years later, was to my direct ancestor Richard Fitzalan, which was a love match I believe. With Fitzalan she gave birth to seven children, the second, John, being the next in my family line.
Richard's, Eleanor's eldest child and heir to the earldom of Arundel, claim to fame, apart from carrying the crown of England at the coronation of Richard II, was his membership of the Lords Appellant, a group of men who disagreed with Richard's rule and his reliance on favorites - Fitzalan would lose his head over it. Thankfully Eleanor was long gone by that time as was Richard.
The proof of the love between Eleanor and her husband defies time and lies in the request Richard Fitzalan made in his will -
"near to the tomb of Eleanor de Lancaster, my wife; and I desire that my tomb be no higher than hers, that no men at arms, horses, hearse, or other pomp, be used at my funeral, but only five torches as was about the corpse of my wife, be allowed."