John III, Duke of Brabant

Last updated
John III
Duke of Brabant
Duke of Lothier
Duke of Limburg
Jean III Brabant.jpg
John's effigy in a seal
Born1300
Died5 December 1355
Brussels
Noble family House of Reginar
Spouse(s) Marie d'Évreux
Issue
Joanna, Duchess of Brabant
Margaret of Brabant
Marie of Brabant
John
Henry
Godfrey
Father John II, Duke of Brabant
Mother Margaret of England
Half groat or demi gros of John III, struck Brussels 1326. Hertog Brabant Jan III halve groot geslagen Brussel.jpg
Half groat or demi gros of John III, struck Brussels 1326.

John III (Dutch : Jan; 1300 5 December 1355) was Duke of Brabant, Lothier (13121355), and Limburg (1312-1347 then 1349-1355). [1] He was the son of John II, Duke of Brabant, and Margaret of England.

Contents

John and the towns of Brabant

The early fourteenth century, an economic boom time for Brabant, marks the rise of the Duchy's towns, which depended on English wool for their essential cloth industry. During John's minority, the major towns of Brabant had the authority to appoint councillors to direct a regency, under terms of the Charter of Kortenberg granted by his father in the year of his death (1312). By 1356 his daughter and son-in-law were forced to accept the famous Joyous Entry as a condition for their recognition, so powerful had the States of Brabant become.

The marital alignment with France was tested and failed as early as 1316, when Louis X requested Brabant to cease trade with Flanders and to participate in a French attack; the councillors representing the towns found this impossible, and in reprisal Louis prohibited all French trade with Brabant in February 1316, in violation of a treaty of friendship he had signed with Brabant in the previous October.

The French alliance, 1332-1337

After his initial period of maintaining independent neutrality from both France and England failed, [2] neighboring sovereigns in the Low Countries, stimulated as a matter of policy by Philip VI of France, became John's enemies; among the adversaries of John were the Count of Flanders, the prince-bishop of Liège, and counts of Holland and Guelders. In 1332, a crisis with the king of France arose over John's hospitality to Robert, count of Artois, during his journey to eventual asylum at the English court. In response to French pressure John reminded Philip that he did not hold Brabant from him but from God alone. [3] A brief campaign of a coalition of Philip's friends came to a truce, followed by a pact at Compiègne by which John received a fief from Philip worth 2000 livres and declared himself a vassal of France. His oldest son, Jean, was betrothed to Philip's daughter Marie, and it was agreed that the Brabançon heir would complete his education at the French court in Paris and that Robert of Artois would be expelled from Brabant.

The support of France strengthened John's hand with his feudal suzerain, the Holy Roman Emperor. Though he was technically the Emperor's feudal vassal, John had been able to ignore Emperor Louis IV's summons to join him in his intended invasion of Lombardy (1327). [4] The separation of Brabant from the Empire was completed by the Burgundian dukes of Brabant in the fifteenth century.

Meanwhile, the princes of the Low Countries settled their differences and formed a coalition against Brabant with a defensive alliance in June 1333. War was briefly brought to the Duchy of Brabant in the summer of 1334, but resolved by a peace brokered by Philip at Amiens. The French king declared that John had to hand over the town of Tiel and its neighbouring villages Heerewaarden and Zandwijk to the count of Guelders and to betroth his daughter Marie to the count's son, Reinoud.

The English alliance, 1337-1345

When Edward III of England decided to press his claim to the crown of France in 1337, John, who was his first cousin, became an ally of England during the first stage of the Hundred Years' War. To Edward's diplomatic offensive to draw Brabant away from France, John lent a sympathetic ear. [5] Disrupting the staple connection between the towns of Flanders and the sources of English wool should divert it to the towns of Brabant, notably the recently established wool exchange. Edward protected Brabançon merchants in England from arrest or the confiscation of their goods, and he sweetened his offers with a promise of £60,000, an immense sum, and to make good any losses of revenue that might be confiscated by the king of France. The same month of July 1337 John promised Edward 1200 of his men-at-arms in the event of an English campaign in France, Edward to pay their salary. In August Edward pledged not to negotiate with the king without prior consultation with the duke. The alliance, kept secret at John's insistence, came into the open when Edward landed with his troops at Antwerp July 1338. John received the promised subsidy (March 1339) and agreed in June to betroth John's second daughter, Margaret, to Edward, the Black Prince, heir to the English throne. Two seasons of inconclusive campaigning that ravaged the north of France left Edward penniless at the end of 1341; he returned home, and when he returned to the fray, it was to Brittany: he never returned to the Low Countries.

The French alliance, 1345-1355

Though John was requesting papal dispensation for the marriage of Margaret and the Black Prince in 1343, the alliance with England unravelled as Edward's coffers emptied and his attentions turned elsewhere. In September 1345 representative of France and Brabant met at the Château de Saint-Germain-en-Laye to sign preliminary agreements, and by a treaty signed at Saint-Quentin, June 1347, Brabant was retained as an ally by France. Margaret was now to marry Louis of Male, who had inherited the title of count of Flanders, but whose power against the Flemish communes was virtually nil. A point of dispute with the count of Flanders had been the Lordship of Mechelen, a strategic enclave within Brabant: it was agreed that it would now come under full Brabançon control. Despite the diplomacy of Edward, John remained true to his French commitments until his death in December 1355.

In 1350, Jews were persecuted in Brabant.

Family

In 1311, as his father's gesture of rapprochement with France, John married Marie d'Évreux (1303–1335), the daughter of Count Louis d'Évreux and Margaret of Artois. They had six children:

John also had a son born from Maria van Huldenberg, who founded the House of Brant: John I Brant, 1st Lord of Ayseau.

In 1355, when his three legitimate sons died one right after the other, John was forced to declare his eldest daughter Joanna his heiress, [7] which provoked a succession crisis after his death. John III was buried in the Cistercian Abbey of Villers, Belgium.

The standard history is Piet Avonds, Brabant tijdens de regering van Hertog Jan III (1312–1356)(Koninglijke Academie, Brussels) 1991.

Notes

  1. Biographical details can be found in (Alphonse Wauters), Biographie nationale (Académie royale de Belgique), vol. 10, 1889, s.v. "Jean III" pp 237-274
  2. The following details are drawn from Sergio Boffa, "The Duchy of Brabant caught between France and England: geopolitics and diplomacy during the first half of the Hundred Years' War", in The Hundred Years War: A Wider Focus, L. J. Andrew Villalon, Donald J. Kagay, eds. vol. I, 2005.
  3. Boffa 2005: 216.
  4. Boffa 2005:214
  5. Material in this paragraph is drawn from Boffa 2005:9f..
  6. Sergio Boffa, Warfare in Medieval Brabant, 1356-1406, (Boydell Press, 2004), 3.
  7. Sergio Boffa, Warfare in Medieval Brabant, 1356-1406, 3.
Regnal titles
Preceded by
John II
Duke of Brabant, Lothier and Limburg
13121355
Succeeded by
Joan

Related Research Articles

Philip the Bold Duke of Burgundy

Philip II the Bold was Duke of Burgundy and jure uxoris Count of Flanders, Artois and Burgundy. He was the fourth and youngest son of King John II of France and Bonne of Luxembourg.

Philip I, Duke of Burgundy Duke of Burgundy

Philip of Rouvres was the Count of Burgundy and Count of Artois from 1347, Duke of Burgundy from 1349, and Count of Auvergne and Boulogne from 1360. He was the only son of Philip, heir to the Duchy of Burgundy, and Joan I, heiress of Auvergne and Boulogne.

Margaret III, Countess of Flanders

Margaret III was the last countess of Flanders of the House of Dampierre, as well as countess of Artois, Burgundy, and Rethel. By marriage she was duchess of Burgundy.

Marguerite of France may refer to:

Guy, Count of Flanders Count of Flanders from 1251 to 1305

Guy of Dampierre was the Count of Flanders (1251–1305) and Marquis of Namur (1268–1297). He was a prisoner of the French when his Flemings defeated the latter at the Battle of the Golden Spurs in 1302.

Louis II, Count of Flanders

Louis II, also known as Louis of Male, a member of the House of Dampierre, was count of Flanders, Nevers and Rethel from 1346 as well as count of Artois and Burgundy from 1382 until his death.

Burgundian Circle Imperial circle of the Holy Roman Empire

The Burgundian Circle was an Imperial Circle of the Holy Roman Empire created in 1512 and significantly enlarged in 1548. In addition to the Free County of Burgundy, the Burgundian Circle roughly covered the Low Countries, i.e., the areas now known as the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg and adjacent parts in the French administrative region of Nord-Pas-de-Calais. For most of its history, its lands were coterminous with the holdings of the Spanish Habsburgs in the Empire.

Joanna, Duchess of Brabant Duchess of Brabant (1322–1406)

Joanna, Duchess of Brabant, also known as Jeanne, was a ruling Duchess of Brabant from 1355 until her death. She was the heiress of Duke John III, and Marie d'Évreux.

Everard tSerclaes

Everard t'Serclaes, Lord of Kruikenburg was a citizen of Brussels who was made famous by his recovery of the city from the Flemings. His brother, Jean, was bishop of Cambrai.

Count of Hainaut Lords of the County of Hainaut

The Count of Hainaut was the ruler of the county of Hainaut, a historical region in the Low Countries. In English-language historical sources, the title is often given the archaic spelling Hainault.

House of Valois-Burgundy

The House of Valois-Burgundy, or the Younger House of Burgundy, was a noble French family deriving from the royal House of Valois. It is distinct from the Capetian House of Burgundy, descendants of King Robert II of France, though both houses stem from the Capetian dynasty. They ruled the Duchy of Burgundy from 1363 to 1482 and later came to rule vast lands including Artois, Flanders, Luxembourg, Hainault, the county palatine of Burgundy (Franche-Comté), and other lands through marriage, forming what is now known as the Burgundian State.

Reginald III was Duke of Guelders and Count of Zutphen from 1343 to 1361, and again in 1371. He was the son of Reginald II of Guelders and of Eleanor of Woodstock, daughter of Edward II of England.

Marie d'Évreux was the eldest child of Louis d'Évreux and his wife Margaret of Artois. She was a member of the House of Capet.

Burgundian inheritance in the Low Countries

The Burgundian inheritance in the Low Countries consisted of numerous fiefs held by the Dukes of Burgundy in modern-day Belgium, Netherlands, and Luxembourg. The Duke of Burgundy was a member of the House of Valois-Burgundy and, after 1482, of the House of Habsburg. Given that the Dukes of Burgundy lost Burgundy proper to the Kingdom of France in 1477, and were never able to recover it, they moved their court to the Low Countries. The Burgundian Low Countries were ultimately expanded to include Seventeen Provinces under Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor. The Burgundian inheritance then passed to Philip II of Spain, whose rule was contested by the Dutch revolt, and fragmented into the Spanish Netherlands and the Dutch republic.

Margaret of Brabant was a countess consort of Flanders. She was the second daughter of Duke John III of Brabant and Mary of Évreux. She was the only child of Duke John to have children. In 1347 she married Louis II of Flanders, who was then sixteen years old and already count of Flanders. On 13 April 1350 their daughter, Margaret III, Countess of Flanders, was baptized. Through this daughter, their only surviving child, Brabant came under the influence of Burgundy when she married Philip the Bold.

War of the Brabantian Succession

The War of the Brabantian Succession was a war of succession triggered by the death of John III, Duke of Brabant. He had no sons, and as the Duchy of Brabant had a tradition of male (agnatic) primogeniture, his three daughters and their three husbands, namely the dukes of Luxemburg and Guelders and the count of Flanders, claimed the inheritance.

Louis I was Viscount of Thouars from 1333 to 1370 and Count of Dreux jure uxoris from 1345 to 1355. He was also lord of Talmont and Mauléon. Louis was the son of Jean I, Viscount of Thouars, and Blanche of Brabant.