- Joan of Acre (May 1271 – April 7 , 1307 was a daughter of King Edward I of England and his first wife, Eleanor of Castile (1241-1290) .
Joan got her name from her birthplace, Akko (Acre), Hazofan, Palestine, Acre was the major seaport at time of Crusades. It differentiates her from an earlier Joan born to the couple, who died in infancy. Joan of Acre was born while her parents were traveling to the Middle East on the Ninth Crusade . At least part of her childhood she spent in France with her maternal grandmother, Jeanne de Dammartin, Countess of Ponthieu . She was betrothed as a child to Hartman, son of King Rudolph I of Germany , but he died in 1282 after drowning in the Rhine.
In 1290 , at Westminster Abbey , Joan married Gilbert de Clare, 7th Earl of Hertford . He was nearly thirty years her senior. Their four children were:
Gilbert de Clare, 8th Earl of Hertford
Eleanor de Clare
Margaret de Clare
Elizabeth de Clare
Following her husband's death in 1295, Joan clandestinely married Ralph de Monthermer, 1st Baron Monthermer , a knight in her household, in 1297. Her father, King Edward I, was enraged by this lowly second marriage, especially since he was arranging a marriage for her to an Italian nobleman. He had Monthermer thrown in prison, and Joan had to plead for the release of her husband. According to the St. Albans chronicler, she told her father, "No one sees anything wrong if a great earl marries a poor and lowly woman. Why should there be anything wrong if a countess marries a young and promising man?"
At last her father relented, released Monthermer from prison in August 1297, and allowed him to hold the title of Earl of Gloucester and Hereford during Joan's lifetime. Monthermer and Joan had four children:
Mary de Monthermer, born October 1297. In 1306 her grandfather King Edward I arranged for her to wed Duncan Macduff, 8th Earl of Fife .
Joan de Monthermer, born 1299, became a nun at Amesbury .
Thomas de Monthermer, 2nd Baron Monthermer , born 1301.
Edward de Monthermer, born 1304 and died 1339. He fought in the Scottish campaign in 1335, but spent much of his life in service to his half-sister Elizabeth , who provided for him during his last illness and buried him next to their mother.
Joan died in childbirth in 1307 at the manor of Clare in Suffolk , England , a family possession, and was buried at the Augustinian priory there. Her child was stillborn. Miracles were said to occur at her grave, especially the healing of toothache, back pain, and fever.