- Regarding the identity of Clemence, mother of Joan of England, wife of
Llywelyn ap Iorwerth, Prince of North Wales, the following information
might be helpful.
The actual entry in the Tewksbury annals which pertains to Joan's
mother, "Queen" Clemence, reads as follows:
Year: A.D. 1236
Obiit domina Johanna domina Walliae, uxor Lewelini filia regis
Johannis et regina Clemencie, iii. kal. Aprilis."
[Died lady Joan lady of Wales, wife of Llywelyn, daughter of King John
and Queen Clemence, 3 Kal. April."
Reference: Henry Richard Luard, Annales Monastici, 1 (1864): 101.
In this case, the monk was evidently indulging in medieval legalism.
Before her death, Joan had been legitimized by the Pope. On the
basis of that legitimization, the Tewksbury monk evidently chose to
elevate Joan's mother to the status of Queen, as if Joan's mother had
been King John's wife. In point of fact, King John and Joan's mother,
Clemence, were never married. By referring to Joan's mother as
"Queen" Clemence, the monk who recorded Joan's death was showing his
extreme respect for Joan, not attempting to alter the facts.
The item from the Patent Rolls cited by Robert Battle below involving
Joan's daughter, Susanna, was located by me some years ago.
Basically, the document states that King Henry III is entrusting the
care of his niece, Susanna (daughter of Llywelyn and Joan), to the
care of Nicholas de Verdun and Clemence, his wife.
On the surface, there would be nothing to suggest any connection
between Susanna of Wales and Clemence, wife of Nicholas de Verdun.
However, Susanna was almost certainly being held in England as a
hostage as a guarantee for good behavior on the part of her father,
Llywelyn. Her brother, David, for instance, was being held hostage in
England at the time of the Magna Carta.
My experience with foreign hostages has been that they were often
placed with their English relatives, if any were available. To verify
that, one has only to consult the long list of Scottish hostages in
this period, who I discovered were repeatedly placed with their
English kinsmen. Being a hostage in this period basically meant the
person was under house arrest. Under such circumstances, it is easy
to understand why such persons were placed with their own relations.
The fact that Clemence, wife of Nicholas de Verdun, is mentioned at
all catches the eye. Under normal circumstances, the wife would not
be named. The fact that she was so named suggests she had some
interest in Susanna. Given the fact we know that Susanna's
grandmother was named Clemence, it becomes readily apparent that
Clemence, wife of Nicholas de Verdun, was Susanna's own grandmother.
That this is true is underscored by the fact that when the king later
granted Susanna's care to another individual, no mention was made of
the other man's wife. Even more important, the name Clemence is
extremely rare among English noble women of this period. The fact
that anyone named Clemence would be associated with Susanna is
As for the identity of Clemence de Verdun, Paget shows that she was
the daughter of Roger de Dauntsey, of Wiltshire. It is interesting
that Clemence would hail from Wiltshire. Over the years, I've
noticed that King John had a strong attachment to Wiltshire, it being
the home of his most trusted allies, the Longespee, Marshal, and
Basset families and Geoffrey Fitz Peter, Earl of Essex. Surely, given
that his strongest supporters were all Wiltshire people suggests that
King John spent much time there.
Back in 1992, I shared my findings on Clemence de Dauntsey with Gary
Boyd Roberts, who in turn placed her name as Joan's mother in his
book, Royal Descents of 500 Immigrants, published in 1993. On page
305, he notes that I was then planning an article on Princess Joan and
her mother, Clemence. Due to circumstances beyond my control, the
article was never published as scheduled. However, I do plan to
include a discussion of Clemence de Dauntsey in my forthcoming book,
Plantagenet Ancestry, 3rd edition. For those interested in obtaining
a copy of the book, please contact me privately at my e-mail address
In this case, I think the evidence is suggestive but not conclusive
that Clemence de Dauntsey was Princess Joan's mother. Perhaps with a
little prodding of the records, the desired conclusive evidence of Joan's parentage will yet be
Best always, Douglas Richardson, Salt Lake City, Utah