Lesley bringing history to life in Gainsborough

Lesley Smith plays Katherine Swynford at Gainsborough Old Hall this month
Lesley Smith plays Katherine Swynford at Gainsborough Old Hall this month
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History comes to life in Gainsborough this month as Katherine Swynford – mistress and wife of John O’Gaunt – comes to the Old Hall.

Lesley Smith performs as Katherine and takes you back to the year 1399 when she was Duchess of Lancaster.

The Katherine and John story is one of the greatest love affairs recorded in English history.

Their descendants would go on to be every monarch of Scotland and England up to the current day, including our current Queen

Katherine Swynford will be visiting on the 613th anniversary of her death.

Katherine, third wife of John of Gaunt, the Duke of Lancaster, a son of King Edward III, had been his lover for many years prior to their marriage.

Their four children were legitimised upon their marriage on condition none ascend the throne.

Katherine became attached to the household of John of Gaunt as governess to his daughters Philippa of Lancaster and Elizabeth of Lancaster.

Katherine died on May 10, 1403, aged 52, and her tomb and that of her daughter, Joan Beaufort, are under a carved-stone canopy in the sanctuary of Lincoln Cathedral.

Katherine resided for some time in the Close of Lincoln Cathedral and on her first marriage lived at Kettlethorpe.

Katherine is the latest creation of Lesley Smith, the well-respected local historian and administrator who is based at Tutbury Castle.

Lesley was made an Honorary Member of The Friends of the Old Hall this year in recognition of her support to the Old Hall and the Association.

This latest historical costume story she has created is set to entertain at Gainsborough Old Hall on August 23 at 7.30pm.

The event has been organised by The Friends of the Old Hall Association and tickets priced £6 each, including light refreshments, are available from the gift shop at the Old Hall or by emailing whites.kelvincot@gmail.com

The event is open to everyone.

However, as the contents of the talk is very adult, this is not suitable for under-16s.