The institution of Somerset Herald is ascribed to Henry VIII, in honor of his son Henry Fitzroy, Duke of Richmond and Somerset; the office of Richmond Herald occurs in the reign of Edward IV (1461 - 1470). Various other titles have been borne by English heralds from time to time and from different circumstances connected to the Sovereigns. For example Guienne King of Arms, an office held by Sir Payne Roet, a native of Hainaut, Belgium, whose daughter Katherine Swynford (the name of her first husband) became the mistress and eventual wife of John of Gaunt ( pictured left ), the “time-honored Lancaster” of Shakespeare and the mother of several children from one of whom descended the Tudor dynasty. This office of Guienne bore relation to the extensive territories in the south-west of France held by the English crown for 300 years from the time of Henry II to that of Richard II. The latter was always known as Richard of Bordeaux. On the capture of these territories by the French the reason for this office ceased to exist.
KATHERINE SWYNFORD PAYNE DE ROET