Gloucester, Thomas of Woodstock, duke of, 1355–97, English nobleman; youngest son of Edward III. He was betrothed (1374) to Eleanor, heiress of Humphrey de Bohun, earl of Hereford, and became earl of Buckingham at the coronation of Richard II (1377). He was the king's lieutenant in France (1380), but returned to England after the failure of his siege of Nantes.
In 1385 he was created duke of Gloucester and soon emerged as the head of the baronial party, which in 1386 forced Richard to dismiss Michael de la Pole, 1st earl of Suffolk (see under Pole, family), as chancellor. In 1388, Gloucester was one of the five "lords appellant" who secured conviction of the king's counselors for treason in the Merciless Parliament. When Richard regained power in 1389, Gloucester made his peace with him and accompanied the king to Ireland in 1394. In 1397, Gloucester was suddenly arrested and imprisoned at Calais. He was probably murdered there a few days before he was "appealed" and condemned for treason by the same procedure as that used in 1388.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.