|Joan of Penthièvre|
|Duchess of Brittany|
|Reign||30 April 1341 –1365|
(disputed suo jure)
1365–10 September 1384 (titular)
|Died||10 September 1384 (aged 65)|
church of the Friars Minor of Guingamp.
|Spouse||Charles I, Duke of Brittany|
|Issue|| John I, Count of Penthièvre |
Marie, Lady of Guise
Marguerite, Countess of Angoulême
|Father||Guy, Count of Penthièvre|
Joan of Penthièvre or Joan the Lame (French: Jeanne de Penthièvre, Jeanne la Boiteuse; c. 1319 – 10 September 1384) reigned as Duchess of Brittany together with her husband, Charles of Blois, between 1341 and 1364. Her ducal claims were contested by the House of Montfort, which prevailed only after an extensive civil war, the War of the Breton Succession. After the war, Joan remained titular Duchess of Brittany to her death. She was Countess of Penthièvre in her own right throughout her life.
Joan was the only child of Guy of Brittany, Count of Penthièvre (brother of John III, Duke of Brittany) and Jeanne d'Avaugour.Through her father she became Countess of Penthièvre in her own right, and established her ducal claims.
Joan was one of the protagonists of the War of the Breton Succession. The issue of succession to the ducal crown would involve the issue of whether a child could, regardless of gender, claim the right of "representation" of a deceased parent — in which case Joan would inherit her father's rights as the second brother of the late duke of Brittany — or whether the next eldest male heir in a partially parallel lineage outranked all others. In the Breton succession, the collateral claimant was Joan's half-uncle John, Count of Montfort, born from the second marriage of Joan's grandfather Arthur II, Duke of Brittany to Yolande of Dreux, Queen of Scots. Joan's uncle John III had been alienated from Yolande, his stepmother, and sought to prevent his half-brother John from succeeding him, which included an abortive attempt to annul his father's second marriage and so render his half-siblings illegitimate.
In December 1335, negotiations were made for a marriage between Joan and John of Eltham, Earl of Cornwall, the brother of King Edward III of England;however, it appears these arrangements did not result in an official betrothal. In 1337, Joan was betrothed to Charles of Blois in Paris, and they were living together by 1338 or 1339. In 1341, on the death of John III, the couple assumed the rule of the Duchy of Brittany, Charles having been granted permission to perform homage by King Philip VI of France by the arrêt of Conflans on 7 September 1341. They appeared to be supported by most of the local nobility and administration. However, John of Montfort did not agree to let go of his own claim, and war ensued. Ironically, while the initial argument of the Montfortist cause actually relied very strongly on the idea that Brittany should follow French successorial practice, in subsequent generations the line would vigorously enforce the notion that the Duchy of Brittany should remain independent from its royal neighbor.
When Joan's half-uncle John died in 1345 in the midst of the succession war, his wife Joanna of Flanders took arms to protect the rights of their son John IV the Conqueror against the party led by Joan and her husband Charles. Joanna organized resistance and made use of diplomatic means to protect her family's position.
After these initial successes, Joan's husband Charles of Blois was taken prisoner by the English in 1347. Thomas Dagworth was the official captor of her husband.He was released nine years afterwards, against a ransom of about half a million écus, and resumed the war against the Montforts. Charles died in the Battle of Auray, which determined the end of the war and the victory of the Montforts, leaving Joan a widow.
The contest between the two claimants was then settled in 1365 by the First Treaty of Guérande; by its terms, Joan received a substantial pension (payments of which continued until 1372) in compensation for her claims, the right to maintain the ducal title for life, all her familial lands of Penthièvre and Avaugour, and an exemption from homage to the new duke for these territories. Most critically for future events, her male heirs would recover the duchy if John IV had no male posterity, and women were now formally prohibited from inheriting the duchy.
In 1379, when John IV had been forced into exile in England, King Charles V of France attempted to annex Brittany to the French royal domain. Joan was shocked by this violation of her rights and those of her sons, as laid out in the Treaty of Guérande. Both her supporters and those of the Montfort line united to invite John IV back from his exile in England and retake control of the duchy.
After the death of Charles V, she ratified on 2 May 1381 the Second Treaty of Guérande, which essentially re-stated the terms of the first. From the legal perspective of the Treaties of Guérande, the issue of succession to the ducal crown appeared settled, although Joan's descendants provoked various conflicts with John IV and future dukes from the House of Montfort.
Joan died on 10 September 1384 and was buried at the church of the Friars Minor of Guingamp.
Joan had lost the ducal title and powers of Brittany for her descendants, and despite attempts to reclaim the ducal crown this loss was permanent. However, her descendants were appointed from time to time to high administrative posts in Brittany under the future kings of France. Her title and rights as Countess of Penthièvre were inherited only to be lost from time to time to the Duke of Brittany as her descendants continued their conflicts with the House of Montfort.
Joan and Charles had the following children:
The Duchy of Brittany was a medieval feudal state that existed between approximately 939 and 1547. Its territory covered the northwestern peninsula of Europe, bordered by the Atlantic Ocean on the west, the English Channel to the north. It was less definitively bordered by the Loire River to the south, and Normandy and other French provinces to the east. The Duchy was established after the expulsion of Viking armies from the region around 939. The Duchy, in the 10th and 11th centuries, was politically unstable, with the dukes holding only limited power outside their own personal lands. The Duchy had mixed relationships with the neighbouring Duchy of Normandy, sometimes allying itself with Normandy, and at other times, such as the Breton-Norman War, entering into open conflict.
Arthur II, of the House of Dreux, was Duke of Brittany from 1305 to his death. He was the first son of John II and Beatrice, daughter of Henry III of England and Eleanor of Provence.
The War of the Breton Succession was a conflict between the Counts of Blois and the Montforts of Brittany for control of the Sovereign Duchy of Brittany, then a fief of the Kingdom of France. It was fought between 1341 and 12 April 1365. It is also known as the War of the Two Jeannes due to the involvement of two queens of that name.
John of Montfort, sometimes known as John IV of Brittany, and 6th Earl of Richmond from 1341 to his death. He was the son of Arthur II, Duke of Brittany and his second wife, Yolande de Dreux. He contested the inheritance of the Duchy of Brittany by his niece, Joan of Penthièvre, which led to the War of the Breton Succession, which in turn evolved into being part of the Hundred Years' War between England and France. John's patron in his quest was King Edward III of England. He died in 1345, 19 years before the end of the war, and the victory of his son John IV over Joan of Penthièvre and her husband, Charles of Blois.
Charles of Blois-Châtillon "the Saint", was the legalist Duke of Brittany from 1341 to his death via his marriage to Joan of Penthiève, holding the title against the claims of John of Montfort. The cause of his possible canonization was the subject of a good deal political maneuvering on the part of his cousin, Charles V of France who endorsed it, and his rival, Montfort, who opposed it. The cause fell dormant after Pope Gregory XI left Avignon in 1376, but was revived in 1894. Charles of Blois was beatified in 1904.
John IV the Conqueror KG, was Duke of Brittany and Count of Montfort from 1345 until his death and 7th Earl of Richmond from 1372 until his death.
John V, sometimes numbered as VI, bynamed John the Wise, was Duke of Brittany and Count of Montfort from 1399 to his death. His rule coincided with the height of the Hundred Years' War between England and France. John's reversals in that conflict, as well as in other internal struggles in France, served to strengthen his duchy and to maintain its independence.
The now-extinct title of Earl of Richmond was created many times in the Peerage of England. The earldom of Richmond was initially held by various Breton nobles associated with the Ducal crown of Brittany; sometimes the holder was the Breton Duke himself, including one member of the cadet branch of the French Capetian dynasty. The historical ties between the Ducal crown of Brittany and this English Earldom were maintained ceremonially by the Breton dukes even after England ceased to recognize the Breton Dukes as Earls of England and those dukes rendered homage to the King of France, rather than the English crown. It was then held either by members of the English royal families of Plantagenet and Tudor, or English nobles closely associated with the English crown. It was eventually merged into the English crown during the reign of Henry VII and has been recreated as a Dukedom.
Joanna of Flanders was Duchess of Brittany by her marriage to John of Montfort. Much of her life was taken up in defence of the rights of her husband and, later, son to the dukedom, which was challenged by the House of Blois during the War of the Breton Succession. Known for her fiery personality, Joanna led the Montfortist cause after her husband had been captured, and began the fight-back, showing considerable skill as a military leader.
Olivier Le Vieux de Clisson, dit Olivier V de Clisson, nicknamed "The Butcher", was a Breton soldier, the son of Olivier IV de Clisson. His father had been put to death by the French in 1343 on the suspicion of having willingly given up the city of Vannes to the English.
In the 11th and 12th centuries the Countship of Penthièvre in Brittany belonged to a branch of the sovereign House of Brittany. It initially belonged to the House of Rennes. Alan III, Duke of Brittany, gave it to his brother Eudes in 1035, and his descendants formed a cadet branch of the ducal house.
The House of Montfort was a Breton-French noble family, which reigned in the Duchy of Brittany from 1365 to 1514. It was a cadet branch of the House of Dreux; it was thus ultimately part of the Capetian dynasty. It should not be confused with the older House of Montfort which ruled as Counts of Montfort-l'Amaury.
The House of Dreux was a cadet branch of the Capetian dynasty. It was founded by Robert I, Count of Dreux, a son of Louis VI of France, who was given the County of Dreux as his appanage.
Joan of France was Duchess of Brittany by marriage to John V. She was a daughter of Charles VI of France and Isabeau of Bavaria.
The first treaty of Guérande, signed April 12, 1365 ended the Breton War of Succession.
The French–Breton War lasted from 1487 to 1491. The cause of this war was the approaching death of the Breton Duke Francis II of Brittany, who had no clear successor. If not resolved, this meant a resumption of issues from a previous War of the Breton Succession (1341–1364), which had rival claimants allying with England or France, resulting in an ambiguous peace treaty that failed to prevent future succession disputes.
The sieges of Vannes of 1342 were a series of four sieges of the town of Vannes that occurred throughout 1342. Two rival claimants to the Duchy of Brittany, John of Montfort and Charles of Blois, competed for Vannes throughout this civil war from 1341 to 1365. The successive sieges ruined Vannes and its surrounding countryside. Vannes was eventually sold off in a truce between England and France, signed in January 1343 in Malestroit. Saved by an appeal of Pope Clement VI, Vannes remained in the hands of its own rulers, but ultimately resided under English control from September 1343 till the end of the war in 1365.
Harvey VII of Léon was a Breton lord, son of Harvey VI, Lord of Léon and his wife Joanna of Montmorency. He succeeded his father as Lord of Léon in 1337. He was also Lord of Noyon-sur-Andelle. The Lords of Léon were a junior branch of the Viscounts of Léon which was founded by Harvey I, second son of Guihomar IV, Viscount of Léon. Harvey VII won fame during the War of the Breton Succession.
John I, was Count of Penthièvre and Viscount of Limoges from 1364 to 1404, and the Penthièvre claimant to the Duchy of Brittany.
Nicole was Countess of Penthièvre from 1454 until her death.
Joan, Duchess of BrittanyBorn: 1324 Died: 1384
| Duchess of Brittany |
with Charles I as co-duke
John of Montfort and John IV as rivals
as undisputed duke
| Viscountess of Limoges |
with Charles I
| Countess of Penthièvre |
with Charles I