Joan the Lame

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Joan the Lame
Jeanne de Bourgogne et Jean de Vignay.jpg
Queen consort of France
Tenure1 April 1328 – 12 December 1349
Coronation 29 May 1328
Borncirca 1293
Died12 December 1349(1349-12-12) (aged 56)
Burial
Spouse
(m. 1313)
Issue John II of France
Philip, Duke of Orléans
House Burgundy
Father Robert II, Duke of Burgundy
Mother Agnes of France
Religion Roman Catholicism

Joan of Burgundy (French : Jeanne; c. 1293 – 12 December 1349), also known as Joan the Lame (French : Jeanne la Boiteuse), was Queen of France as the first wife of King Philip VI. Joan ruled as regent while her husband fought on military campaigns during the Hundred Years' War: 1340, 1345-1346 and 1347.

Contents

Early life

Joan was the daughter of Duke Robert II of Burgundy, and Agnes of France. [1] Her older sister, Margaret, was the first wife of King Louis X of France. [2] Joan married Philip of Valois, Louis's cousin, in July 1313. From 1314 to 1328, they were count and countess of Maine; [2] from 1325, they were also Count and Countess of Valois and Anjou.

Queenship

King Philip IV's sons, Louis X, Philip V, and Charles IV, left no surviving sons, leading to the accession of Joan's husband to the French throne in 1328.

The Hundred Years' War ensued in 1337, with Edward III of England, a nephew of Louis X, claiming the French crown.

In a document issued by Philip VI at Clermont-en-Beauvaisis in August 1338, queen Joan was invested with power of attorney to manage the affairs of state whenever circumstances made it necessary. [3] She was explicitly allowed to manage the finances of the state, to make verdicts and issue pardons and all powers included in the king's duties except managing warfare. [4] This power of attorney was to be used whenever the king was absent, but it technically gave the queen the potential status of a co-ruler, and one reason suggested to Philip's great trust of Joan was his great distrust of his courtiers. [5] Intelligent and strong-willed, Joan proved a capable regent while her husband fought on military campaigns during the war.

Joan reportedly favored people from her own home territory of Burgundy, a policy followed by her husband and her son, thus attracting animosity from the North Western nobility at court. [6]

Her political activity attracted controversy to both her and her husband, which was accentuated by her deformity (which was considered by some to be a mark of evil), and she became known as la male royne boiteuse ("the lame evil Queen"). One chronicler described her as a danger to her enemies in court:

"the lame Queen Jeanne de Bourgogne...was like a King and caused the destruction of those who opposed her will." [7]

Joan was considered to be a scholar and a bibliophile. She sent her son, John, manuscripts to read, and commanded the translation of several important contemporary works into vernacular French, including the Miroir historial of Vincent de Beauvais (c.1333) and the Jeu d'échecs moralisés of Jacques de Cessoles (c.1347), a task carried out by Jean de Vignay.

Death

Joan died of the plague 12 December 1349. [8] She was buried in the Basilica of Saint Denis; her tomb, built by her grandson Charles V, was destroyed during the French Revolution.

Family, children and descent

Her children with Philip VI were:

In 1361, Joan's grandnephew, Philip I of Burgundy, last duke of Burgundy of the first Capetian House of Burgundy, died without issue. The rightful heir to Burgundy was unclear: King Charles II of Navarre, grandson of Joan's elder sister Margaret, was the heir according to primogeniture, but John II of France (Joan's son) claimed to be the heir according to proximity of blood. In the end, John won. [9]

In fiction

Joan is a character in Les Rois maudits (The Accursed Kings), a series of French historical novels by Maurice Druon. She was portrayed by Ghislaine Porret in the 1972 French miniseries adaptation of the series.

Related Research Articles

The Capetian dynasty, also known as the House of France, is a dynasty of Frankish origin, and a branch of the Robertians. It is among the largest and oldest royal houses in Europe and the world, and consists of Hugh Capet, the founder of the dynasty, and his male-line descendants, who ruled in France without interruption from 987 to 1792, and again from 1814 to 1848. The senior line ruled in France as the House of Capet from the election of Hugh Capet in 987 until the death of Charles IV in 1328. That line was succeeded by cadet branches, the Houses of Valois and then Bourbon, which ruled without interruption until the French Revolution abolished the monarchy in 1792. The Bourbons were restored in 1814 in the aftermath of Napoleon's defeat, but had to vacate the throne again in 1830 in favor of the last Capetian monarch of France, Louis Philippe I, who belonged to the House of Orléans.

House of Valois Cadet branch of the Capetian dynasty

The House of Valois was a cadet branch of the Capetian dynasty. They succeeded the House of Capet to the French throne, and were the royal house of France from 1328 to 1589. Junior members of the family founded cadet branches in Orléans, Anjou, Burgundy, and Alençon.

Charles VI of France 14th/15th-century French king

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Philip VI of France King of France from 1328 to 1350; first king from the House of Valois

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Philip III of France King of France, 1270 to 1285

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Charles IV of France Last King of France who was directly a member of the House of Capet

Charles IV, called the Fair in France and the Bald in Navarre, was last king of the direct line of the House of Capet, King of France and King of Navarre from 1322 to 1328. Charles was the third son of Philip IV; like his father, he was known as "the fair" or "the handsome".

County of Burgundy Medieval county of the Holy Roman Empire (982-1678)

The Free County of Burgundy or Franche-Comté, was a medieval county of the Holy Roman Empire, predecessor to the modern region of Franche-Comté. The name franc(he) comté derives from the title of its count, franc comte, in German Freigraf 'free count', denoting imperial immediacy. It should not be confused with the more westerly Duchy of Burgundy, a fiefdom of France since 843.

Odo IV, Duke of Burgundy Duke of Burgundy

Odo IV or Eudes IV was Duke of Burgundy from 1315 until his death and Count of Burgundy and Artois between 1330 and 1347, as well as titular King of Thessalonica from 1316 to 1320. He was the second son of Duke Robert II and Agnes of France.

Blanche of Navarre, Queen of France Queen consort of France

Blanche of Navarre, was a French princess and Infanta of Navarre as a member of the House of Évreux and by marriage Queen consort of France from 29 January until 22 August 1350.

Louis I, called the Lame was a French prince du sang, Count of Clermont-en-Beauvaisis and La Marche and the first Duke of Bourbon, as well as briefly the titular King of Thessalonica from 1320 to 1321.

Louis I, Duke of Orléans

Louis I of Orléans was Duke of Orléans from 1392 to his death. He was also Duke of Touraine (1386–1392), Count of Valois (1386?–1406) Blois (1397–1407), Angoulême (1404–1407), Périgord (1400–1407) and Soissons (1404–07).

Joan II of Navarre Queen of Navarre

Joan II, also known as Joan of France, was Queen of Navarre from 1328 until her death. She was the only surviving child of Louis X of France, the King of France and Navarre, and Margaret of Burgundy. Joan's paternity was dubious because her mother was involved in a scandal, but Louis X declared her his legitimate daughter before he died in 1316. However, the French lords were opposed to the idea of a female monarch and elected Louis X's brother, Philip V, king. The Navarrese noblemen also paid homage to Philip. Joan's maternal grandmother, Agnes of France, Duchess of Burgundy, and uncle, Odo IV of Burgundy, made attempts to secure the counties of Champagne and Brie to Joan, but the French royal troops defeated her supporters. After Philip V married his daughter to Odo and granted him two counties as her dowry, Odo renounced Joan's claim to Champagne and Brie in exchange for a compensation in March 1318. Joan married Philip of Évreux, who was also a member of the French royal family.

Margaret of Burgundy, Queen of France Queen consort of France

Margaret of Burgundy was Queen of France and Navarre as the first wife of King Louis X, although locked in prison during her whole French queenship.

Philip III of Navarre King of Navarre (jure uxoris)

Philip III, called the Noble or the Wise, was King of Navarre from 1328 until his death. He was born a minor member of the French royal family but gained prominence when the Capetian main line went extinct, as he and his wife and cousin, Joan II of Navarre, acquired the Iberian kingdom and a number of French fiefs.

House of Capet Rulers of the Kingdom of France from 987 to 1328

The House of Capet or the Direct Capetians, also called the House of France, or simply the Capets, ruled the Kingdom of France from 987 to 1328. It was the most senior line of the Capetian dynasty – itself a derivative dynasty from the Robertians. Historians in the 19th century came to apply the name "Capetian" to both the ruling house of France and to the wider-spread male-line descendants of Hugh Capet. Contemporaries did not use the name "Capetian". The Capets were sometimes called "the third race of kings". The name "Capet" derives from the nickname given to Hugh, the first Capetian king.

Joan of Valois, Countess of Hainaut Countess of Hainaut, Holland, and Zeeland

Joan of Valois was a Countess consort of Hainaut, Holland, and Zeeland. She was the second eldest daughter of the French prince Charles, Count of Valois, and his first wife, Margaret, Countess of Anjou and Maine. As the sister of King Philip VI of France and the mother-in-law of King Edward III of England, she was ideally placed to act as mediator between them.

Blanche of Burgundy Queen consort of France and Navarre

Blanche of Burgundy was Queen of France and Navarre for a few months in 1322 through her marriage to King Charles IV the Fair. The daughter of Count Otto IV of Burgundy and Countess Mahaut of Artois, she was led to a disastrous marriage by her mother's ambition. Eight years before her husband's accession to the thrones, Blanche was arrested and found guilty of adultery with a Norman knight. Her sister-in-law, Margaret of Burgundy, suffered the same fate, while her sister Joan was acquitted. Blanche was imprisoned and not released even after becoming queen, until her marriage was annulled when she was moved to the coast of Normandy. The date and place of her death are unknown; the mere fact that she died was simply mentioned on the occasion of her husband's third marriage in April 1326.

Yolande II, Countess of Nevers

Yolande II or Yolande of Nevers, was the daughter of Odo of Burgundy, and Matilda II, Countess of Nevers.

Tour de Nesle affair

The Tour de Nesle affair was a scandal amongst the French royal family in 1314, during which Margaret, Blanche, and Joan, the daughters-in-law of King Philip IV, were accused of adultery. The accusations were apparently started by Philip's daughter, Isabella. The Tour de Nesle was a tower in Paris where much of the adultery was said to have occurred. The scandal led to torture, executions and imprisonments for the princesses' lovers and the imprisonment of the princesses, with lasting consequences for the final years of the House of Capet.

This article covers the mechanism by which the French throne passed from the establishment of the Frankish Kingdom in 486 to the fall of the Second French Empire in 1870.

References

  1. Setton 1975, p. 773.
  2. 1 2 Hallam 1980, p. 282.
  3. Parsons, John Carmi: Medieval Queenship
  4. Parsons, John Carmi: Medieval Queenship
  5. Parsons, John Carmi: Medieval Queenship
  6. Kibler, William W: Medieval France An Encyclopedia
  7. Knecht 2004, p. 11.
  8. Sumption 1999, p. 49.
  9. Campeaux, Ernest (1936). "La succession de Bourgogne à la mort de Philippe de Rouvres". Mémoires de la Société pour l'histoire du droit et des institutions des anciens pays bourguignons, comtois et romands (in French). 3: 5–50.; Campeaux, Ernest (1936). "Un dossier inédit de la succession de Bourgogne (1361)". Mémoires de la Société pour l'histoire du droit et des institutions des anciens pays bourguignons, comtois et romands (in French). 3: 83–123..

Sources

Joan the Lame
Cadet branch of the Capetian dynasty
Born: 24 June 1293 Died: 12 December 1349
French royalty
Preceded by
Jeanne d'Évreux
Queen consort of France
1328–1349
Succeeded by
Blanche of Navarre