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In 1368, he may have attended the wedding of Lionel of Antwerp to Violante Visconti, daughter of Galeazzo II Visconti, in Milan.Two other literary stars of the era were in attendance: Jean Froissart and Petrarch.
While records concerning the lives of his contemporary poets, William Langland and the Pearl Poet, are practically non-existent, since Chaucer was a public servant, his official life is very well documented, with nearly five hundred written items testifying to his career.It is not known which, if any, of Chaucer's extant works prompted the reward, but the suggestion of him as poet to a king places him as a precursor to later poets laureate.Chaucer continued to collect the liquid stipend until Richard II came to power, after which it was converted to a monetary grant on 18 April 1378.Thomas's daughter, Alice, married the Duke of Suffolk.Thomas's great-grandson (Geoffrey's great-great-grandson), John de la Pole, Earl of Lincoln, was the heir to the throne designated by Richard III before he was deposed.He also worked as a courtier, a diplomat, and a civil servant, as well as working for the king from 1389 to 1391 as Clerk of the King's Works.
In 1359, in the early stages of the Hundred Years' War, Edward III invaded France and Chaucer travelled with Lionel of Antwerp, 1st Duke of Clarence, Elizabeth's husband, as part of the English army.Geoffrey's other children probably included Elizabeth Chaucy, a nun at Barking Abbey, According to tradition, Chaucer studied law in the Inner Temple (an Inn of Court) at this time.He became a member of the royal court of Edward III as a valet de chambre, yeoman, or esquire on 20 June 1367, a position which could entail a wide variety of tasks.The first of the "Chaucer Life Records" appears in 1357, in the household accounts of Elizabeth de Burgh, the Countess of Ulster, when he became the noblewoman's page through his father's connections, a common medieval form of apprenticeship for boys into knighthood or prestige appointments.The countess was married to Lionel, Duke of Clarence, the second surviving son of the king, Edward III, and the position brought the teenage Chaucer into the close court circle, where he was to remain for the rest of his life.Around this time, Chaucer is believed to have written The Book of the Duchess in honour of Blanche of Lancaster, the late wife of John of Gaunt, who died in 1369 of the plague.