Name: Jenico D?artois
Birth: BEF 1366 in Flanders? Gascony?
Note: Died probably over 60
Residence: Gascony, France
Change Date: 10 MAR 2010
aka Dartasse, Dartas
Jenico Dartas was an avid supporter of King Richard and Constable of Trim, for Jenico's daughter, Jane was to marry Christopher Preston's son and namesake.
Jenico Dartas is an arresting figure who jumped out of the dull annals of 15th century Ireland and rides across the stage in all the valour, gaiety and color of late medieval Europe. Jenico, which almost every generation of Gormanston Viscounts have used as a forename, came to Ireland as a young man in the train of Richard II in 1394.
He followed the King's fortunes to the bitter end, but eventually rose to into high favor with Henry IV and went back to Ireland. He is known in history as Richard II's Gascon squire, although he was probably Flemish: D'Artois. Richard was born in Bordeaus and Jenico became Sereschal of the Gascon capital. It is not known how Jenico met the King, but it is possible that he was already in Gascony when John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster, led an English force over the Pyrences in 1385 and established the House of Avis on the Portugese throne in the person of King John. In the followiing year, the Duke was invited to take the Crown of Castile and he sailed for Spain. He failed, was bought off, and renounced his claim, through his second wife, in 1387.
The Duke of Lancaster was paramount in the English government at the time and it may be that Jenico returned to London with the Prince after the unsuccessful expedition to the Peninsula. Jenico had a leading command in Richard's army into Ireland in 1394. On his arrival, the King sent out the Earl's of Rutland, Huntington and Nottingham and one "JD' to subdue the Irish in Kilkenny and Carlow. The "JD" who made a successful journey against the enemies and prayed 400 cattle seems to be Jenico Dartas, grandfather of the first Viscount Gormanston.
Richard II spent the Christmas of 1394 at Dublin Castle where he received the submissions of the most important Irish chiefs, no more than a paper submission of course. Jenico Dartas received lands at this time "because of his excellent service against the Irish of Leinster and for his constant loyality" Grants of land were one thing in medieval Ireland; securing profit from them another.
Jenico's loyality was to be severly tested from 1397. Roger, Earl of March and Ulster, the King's cousin, was heir to the Throne after the childless Richard. The King had made March his Leiutenant in Ireland and had sent him to restore English authority there. While fighting a guerilla war in Co Kilkenny, Lord March was surprised at Callistown on June 10, 1398 and killed.
King Richard's fury knew no bounds. First he set his nephew, Thomas Holland, Duke of Surrey: "The Duke of Surry did many valiant deeds in Ireland, and one Jenico, a German by nation, slew, captured, or brought into submission many of the Irish". The King himself arrived in Waterford in June 1399, a fatal error, for no sooner had he left England than Henry Bolingbroke, the future Henry V, whom Richard had exiled, eldest son and heir of John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster, landed at Ravenspur and marched on Chester.
The English Baronage flooded to Bolingbroke's banner. Richard, powerless in Ireland, sent the Earl of Salisbury ahead to raise an army at Conway, his English army in Ireland dissolving by the day. The King himself arrived at Conway several weeks later to find only his loyal Salisbury, the Bishop of Carlisle, two chaplains, and Jenico who advised the King to flee to Gascony to regroup. But the King's nerve was gone and he left for Flint Castle, with only 12 companions, where he proposed to surrender to Henry Bollinbloke. The scene is played out in Shakespere.
Jenico lay awhile in Chester Castle, cooling his heels but it seems that Bolingbrooke, by now Henry V, admired his prisoners's loyality to his fallen Prince and determined to turn that loyality to the advantage of the new House of Lancaster. Jenico joined the King on campaign to Scotland in 1400 followed by a great tournament in London, in which Jenico and Sir John Cornwall challenged a French and an Italian Knight in the lists and won. Jenico returned to Ireland where he was made Constable of Dublin Castle. In 1404, he was made Admiral of Ireland.
In 1404 or 1405 he married Joan Taafe - of the family who were to supply many U.S. politians. This rich widow brought him even greater wealth. With the accession of Henry V, Jenico remained in high favour and was made Governor of the King's wars in Ireland, while his warlike Monarch went on to subdue France after the Battle of Agincourt.
He died in 1426, probably over 60, leaving a son after whose son the male line died out, and a daughter, Jane, who married the Prestons and whose blood still courses in the veins of the present 17th Viscount Gormanston.
The career of Jenico Dartas, the Gascon Squire, makes a gallant story, marked by romantic fidelity, valour, and determination. He strongly resembles the Norman Conquistadores before him and the Elizabethan adventurers who followed him. Indeed, had the English been able to find a dozen Jenicos in Ireland and given them the resources, the fortunes of the English colony might have been very different.
- Margaret or Maud D?artois or Dartas
- Jane D?artois b: ABT 1389
- Text: The History of the Barons of Drumahaire, Co Leitrim, Connacht, Ireland