Alice Holland, Countess of Kent (c. 1350 – 17 March 1416), LG, formerly Lady Alice Fitzalan, was an English noblewoman, a daughter of the 10th Earl of Arundel, and the wife of the 2nd Earl of Kent, the half-brother of King Richard II. As the maternal grandmother of Anne Mortimer, she was an ancestor of King Edward IV and King Richard III, as well as King Henry VII and the Tudor dynasty through her daughter Margaret Holland. She was also the maternal grandmother of Joan Beaufort, Queen of Scotland.
She was appointed a Lady of the Garter in 1388.
Lady Alice Fitzalan was born circa 1350 at Arundel Castle in Sussex, England, the second daughter of the 10th Earl of Arundel, and Lady Eleanor of Lancaster. She had six siblings who included Richard Fitzalan, later 11th Earl of Arundel, and Lady Joan Fitzalan, later Countess of Hereford, Essex, and Northampton. She also had three half-siblings from her parents' previous marriages.
In 1354, at the age of four, Lady Alice was betrothed to her father's ward Edmund Mortimer who would in 1360 become the 3rd Earl of March. The marriage however did not take place. Alice married instead on 10 April 1364, 2nd Earl of Kent, one of the half-brothers of the future King Richard II by his mother Joan of Kent's first marriage to Thomas Lord Holland. She received from her father a marriage portion of 4000 marks. Upon her marriage, she was styled Lady Holland. She did not, however, become Countess of Kent until 1381, when her husband succeeded his father as Thomas Holland, 2nd Earl of Kent.
Lord Holland was appointed captain of the English forces in Aquitaine in 1366, and in 1375, he was made a Knight of the Garter. Two years later in 1377, his half-brother Richard succeeded to the throne of England, as King Richard II. Alice's husband would become one of the young King's chief counsellors and exert a strong influence over his brother which led to the enrichment of Thomas and Alice. Alice was appointed a Lady of the Garter, an order of chivalry, in 1388.
Together Thomas and Alice had ten children:
Alice's husband died on 25 April 1397. In 1399, King Richard was deposed, and the throne was usurped by Henry IV, the son-in-law of her elder sister, Joan. In January 1400, Alice's eldest son Thomas, who had succeeded his father as the 3rd Earl of Kent, was captured at Cirencester and beheaded without a trial by a mob of angry citizens as a consequence of having been one of the chief conspirators in the Epiphany Rising. The rebels had hoped to seize and murder King Henry, and immediately restore King Richard to the throne. Less than three years earlier, her brother Richard Fitzalan, 11th Earl of Arundel and a Lord Appellant had been executed for his opposition to King Richard.
Alice herself died on 17 March 1416 at the age of sixty-six years.
Alice had many illustrious descendants which included English kings Edward IV, Richard III (and his consort Queen Anne), Henry VII; from the latter of whom descended the Tudor monarchs. Alice was also an ancestress of Scottish king James II of Scotland and his successors which included Mary, Queen of Scots and James I of England. Her other notable descendants include the last queen consort of Henry VIII, Catherine Parr; Richard Neville, 16th Earl of Warwick known in history as Warwick the Kingmaker; Cecily Bonville; Isabel Ingoldisthorpe, wife of John Neville, 1st Marquess of Montagu; John Tiptoft, 1st Earl of Worcester, and Anne Bourchier, 7th Baroness Bourchier. Living descendants of Alice Fitzalan include the current British Royal Family.
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|Ancestors of Alice FitzAlan, Countess of Kent|