John IV of Chalon-Arlay

Last updated
John IV
lord of Arlay, prince of Orange
Blason famille fr Chalon Orange.svg
Coat of arms of Chalon (red shild with yellow ribbon) and Orange (blue bugle); over all the (claimed) pattern of Geneva.
Died(1502-04-15)15 April 1502
BuriedConvent of Cordeliers Lons-le-Saunier, County of Burgundy
Noble family House of Chalon-Arlay
Spouse(s)Jeanne de Bourbon
Philiberte de Luxembourg
Father William VII lord of Arlay, prince of Orange
MotherCatherine of Brittany

John IV of Chalon-Arlay or John of Chalon (c.1443-15 April 1502) was a prince of Orange and lord of Arlay. He played an important role in the Mad War, a series of conflicts in which aristocrats sought to resist the expansion and centralisation of power under the French monarch.

Prince of Orange title originally from the Principality of Orange

Prince of Orange is a title originally associated with the sovereign Principality of Orange, in what is now southern France. Under the Treaty of Utrecht of 1713, Frederick William I of Prussia ceded the Principality of Orange to King Louis XIV of France. After William III of England died without children, a dispute arose between Johan Willem Friso and Frederick I of Prussia, which was settled in the Treaty of Partition (1732); consequently, Friso's son, William IV had to share use of the title "Prince of Orange" with Frederick William I of Prussia. The title is traditionally borne by the heir apparent of the Dutch monarch. The title descends via absolute primogeniture since 1983, meaning that its holder can be either Prince or Princess of Orange.

House of Chalon-Arlay noble family

The House of Chalon-Arlay was a French noble house, a cadet branch of the House of Ivrea. The founder of the house is John I of Chalon-Arlay, fifth son of John, Count of Chalon. When John III lord of Arlay married to Mary de Baux, princess of Orange, the House acquired the principality of Orange.

Mad War late Medieval conflict between a coalition of feudal lords and the French monarchy

The Mad War was a late medieval conflict between a coalition of feudal lords and the French monarchy. It occurred during the regency of Anne of Beaujeu in the period after the death of Louis XI and before the majority of Charles VIII. The war began in 1485 and ended in 1488.



He was the son of William VII of Chalon-Arlay and the father of Philibert of Chalon and Claudia of Châlon. He was also the nephew of Francis II, Duke of Brittany and thereby a first cousin to Anne, Duchess of Brittany who would marry two French kings to become their Queen Consort.

William VII of Chalon-Arlay Prince of Orange

William VII of Chalon was a prince of Orange and lord of Arlay. He was the son of Louis II lord of Arlay and his wife Johanna of Montfaucon.

Philibert of Chalon French nobleman

Philibert de Chalon was the last Prince of Orange from the House of Chalon.

Francis II, Duke of Brittany Duke of Brittany

Francis II of Brittany was Duke of Brittany from 1458 to his death. He was the grandson of John IV, Duke of Brittany. A recurring theme in Francis' life would be his quest to maintain the quasi-independence of Brittany from France. As such, his reign was characterized by conflicts with King Louis XI of France and with his daughter, Anne of France, who served as regent during the minority of her brother, King Charles VIII. The armed and unarmed conflicts between 1484–1488 have been called the Mad War and also the "War of the Public Weal".

Support for Burgundy

John incurred the enmity of King Louis XI of France when he supported the interests of Charles the Bold, duke of Burgundy. After the defeat and death of Charles, Louis confiscated much of John's property. John's subsequent attempt to marry Charles's widow to Maximilian of Austria led to his exile from France.

Charles the Bold 15th-century Duke of Burgundy

Charles the Bold, baptised Charles Martin, was Duke of Burgundy from 1467 to 1477. He was the last Duke of Burgundy from the House of Valois.

Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor Holy Roman Emperor

Maximilian I was Holy Roman Emperor from 1508 until his death. He was never crowned by the Pope, as the journey to Rome was always too risky. He was instead proclaimed Emperor elect by Pope Julius II at Trent, thus breaking the long tradition of requiring a papal coronation for the adoption of the imperial title. Maximilian was the son of Frederick III, Holy Roman Emperor, and Eleanor of Portugal. He ruled jointly with his father for the last ten years of the latter's reign, from c. 1483 to his father's death in 1493.

Support for Brittany

Nephew of Duke Francis II of Brittany, John IV now took an active role in the affairs of the duchy, prompted by Maximilian. An enemy of Pierre Landais, the duke's chief minister, John IV attempted to organise a coup against him, which failed. The duke confiscated his Breton properties. With king Louis now dead, John created an alliance with the new regent of France, Anne of Beaujeu. With her support, he was later able to force Francis to dismiss Landais, who was then convicted of various crimes in a show trial, tortured, and executed. John now became one of the main decision makers in the duchy. He advised Francis to marry his heir Anne to Maximilian of Austria, as a counterbalance to French influence, but the French invaded the duchy. This act of marriage contravened the rights of the King of France to approve Anne's marriage under the treaties which had ended the wars between the Kingdom of France and the Duchy of Brittany.

Pierre Landais French politician

Pierre Landais (1430-1485) was a Breton politician who became the principal adviser and chief minister to Francis II, Duke of Brittany. Francis left Landais in control of the affairs of the duchy, producing resentment among local barons, who finally secured the overthrow of Landais' régime. The rise and fall of Landais undermined Francis' position and prepared the way for the annexation of Brittany by France.

Show trial public trial in which the guilt of the defendant is predetermined, whose only goal is to present both the accusation and the verdict to the public to serve as both an impressive example and a warning to would-be dissidents/transgressors

A show trial is a public trial in which the judicial authorities have already determined the guilt of the defendant. The actual trial has as its only goal the presentation of both the accusation and the verdict to the public so they will serve as both an impressive example and a warning to other would-be dissidents or transgressors. Show trials tend to be retributive rather than corrective and they are also conducted for propagandistic purposes. The term was first recorded in the 1930s.

Anne of Brittany Duchess of Brittany and twice Queen of France

Anne of Brittany was Duchess of Brittany from 1488 until her death, and queen consort of France from 1491 to 1498 and from 1499 to her death. She is the only woman to have been queen consort of France twice. During the Italian Wars, Anne also became queen consort of Naples, from 1501 to 1504, and duchess consort of Milan, in 1499–1500 and from 1500 to 1512.

John was one of the leaders of the Breton army that resisted the invasion. However, he was defeated at the decisive Battle of Saint-Aubin-du-Cormier (1488). He attempted to play dead, but was identified and captured. He was placed under house arrest, but was released by King Charles VIII, in order to return to Brittany and prevent the marriage of Anne to Alain d'Albret. After the death of duke Francis, John became heir presumptive to the new duchess, Anne. He was a member of the high council, and was appointed commander of Rennes and lieutenant general. John once again attempted to secure Anne's marriage to Maximilian, but the French intervened. John negotiated the eventual marriage between Anne and king Charles, of which he was one of the witnesses. He surrendered his own claim to the duchy for the large sum of 100,000 livres, and was reappointed as lieutenant general of Brittany, a position he held until his death.

Battle of Saint-Aubin-du-Cormier (1488) battle between king Charles VIII of France and Francis II, Duke of Brittany, signalling the end to the Mad war (1485-1488)

The Battle of Saint-Aubin-du-Cormier took place on 28 July 1488, between the forces of King Charles VIII of France, and those of Francis II, Duke of Brittany, and his allies. The defeat of the latter signalled the end to the "guerre folle", a feudal conflict in which French aristocrats revolted against royal power during the regency of Anne de Beaujeu. It also effectively precipitated the end of the independence of Brittany from France.

Charles VIII of France King of France

Charles VIII, called the Affable, was King of France from 1483 to his death in 1498, the seventh from the House of Valois. He succeeded his father Louis XI at the age of 13. His elder sister Anne acted as regent jointly with her husband Peter II, Duke of Bourbon until 1491 when the young king turned 21 years of age. During Anne's regency, the great lords rebelled against royal centralisation efforts in a conflict known as the Mad War (1485–1488), which resulted in a victory for the royal government.

An heir presumptive is the person entitled to inherit a throne, peerage, or other hereditary honour, but whose position can be displaced by the birth of an heir apparent or of a new heir presumptive with a better claim to the position in question. The position is however subject to law and/or conventions that may alter who is entitled to be heir presumptive.

Marriages and children

John's first wife was Jeanne de Bourbon. His second wife was Philiberta de Luxembourg, daughter of Anthony I, Count of Ligny.

Anthony I, Count of Ligny French nobleman

Anthony I, Count of Ligny (1450–1519) was the youngest son of Louis de Luxembourg, Count of Saint-Pol and his wife, Jeanne de Bar, Countess of Marle and Soissons. In 1482, he inherited the County of Brienne from his brother Peter II, Count of Saint-Pol. After the death of Charles of Bourbon in 1510, Anthony inherited the County of Ligny, which thereby fell back to the House of Luxemburg.

John had three children:


John IV of Chalon-Arlay died April 8, 1502 at the age of 59. His son Philibert of Châlon succeeded him.

His wife Philiberte de Luxembourg ordered an alabaster tomb from the sculptors Conrad Meyts and Giovanni Battista Mariotto. The tomb is in the convent of Cordeliers Lons-le-Saunier, County of Burgundy. It contains John, his first wife Jeanne de Bourbon, his first daughter Claudia, his second son Philibert of Châlon and Philiberte herself.


John IV of Chalon-Arlay
Born: 1443 Died: 15 April 1502
Preceded by
William VII
Prince of Orange
Succeeded by

Related Research Articles

Mary of Burgundy Duchess of Burgundy and wife of Emperor Maximilian I

Mary, Duchess of Burgundy, reigned over many of the territories of the Duchy of Burgundy, now mainly in France and the Low Countries, from 1477 until her death. As the only child of Charles the Bold, Duke of Burgundy, and his wife Isabella of Bourbon, she inherited the duchy upon the death of her father in the Battle of Nancy on 5 January 1477. Owing to the great prosperity of many of her territories, Mary was often referred to as Mary the Rich.

Duke of Burgundy was a title borne by the rulers of the Duchy of Burgundy, a small portion of traditional lands of Burgundians west of river Saône which in 843 was allotted to Charles the Bald's kingdom of West Franks. Under the Ancien Régime, the Duke of Burgundy was the premier lay peer of the kingdom of France.

County of Burgundy countship

The Free County of Burgundy was a medieval county of the Holy Roman Empire, within the modern region of Bourgogne-Franche-Comté, whose very name is still reminiscent of the title of its count: Freigraf. It should not be confused with the more westerly Duchy of Burgundy, a fiefdom of Francia since 843.

Duchy of Burgundy historic principality

The Duchy of Burgundy emerged in the 9th century as one of the successors of the ancient Kingdom of the Burgundians, which after its conquest in 532 had formed a constituent part of the Frankish Empire. Upon the 9th-century partitions, the French remnants of the Burgundian kingdom were reduced to a ducal rank by King Robert II of France in 1004, and in 1032 were awarded to his younger son Robert per Salic law – other portions had passed to the Imperial Kingdom of Arles and the County of Burgundy (Franche-Comté).

Hugh IV, Duke of Burgundy Duke of Burgundy

Hugh IV of Burgundy was Duke of Burgundy between 1218 and 1272. Hugh was the son of Odo III, Duke of Burgundy and Alice de Vergy.

Charolais, France natural region and former province of France

Charolais is a historic region of France, named after the central town of Charolles, and located in today's Saône-et-Loire département, in Burgundy.

Treaty of Arras (1482)

The Treaty of Arras was signed at Arras on 23 December 1482 by King Louis XI of France and Archduke Maximilian I of Habsburg as heir of the Burgundian Netherlands in the course of the Burgundian succession crisis.

Claudia of Châlon-Orange was the second wife of Henry III of Nassau-Breda, whom she had married in 1515. She was the mother of René of Chalon, lord of Breda, the first Nassau to be Prince of Orange.

Montfort of Brittany French noble family

The House of Montfort was a 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.

Margaret of Savoy may refer to:

Anscarids noble lineage originating in the county of Oscheret of the Kingdom of Burgundy

The Anscarids or the House of Ivrea were a medieval Frankish dynasty of Burgundian origin which rose to prominence in Italy in the tenth century, even briefly holding the Italian throne. The main branch ruled the County of Burgundy from the eleventh to fourteenth centuries and it was one of their members who first declared himself a count palatine. The cadet Castilian branch of Ivrea ruled the Kingdom of Galicia from 1111 and the Kingdoms of Castile and León from 1126 until 1369. The House of Trastamara, which ruled in Castile, Aragon, Naples, and Navarre at various points between the late 14th and early 16th centuries, was an illegitimate cadet branch of that family.

Union of Brittany and France

The union of Brittany and France was a critical step in the formation of modern-day France. Brittany had been a semi-independent component of the Kingdom of France since Clovis I was given authority over the Gallo-Roman domain during the 5th century. It was first recorded as a "duchy" during the rule of Nominoe in 846. Over the centuries, the fealty demonstrated by the Duchy of Brittany toward the French king depended significantly on the individuals holding the two titles, as well as the involvement of the English monarchy at that particular time. The reign of Francis II, Duke of Brittany, was at an especially crucial time, as the nobles struggled to maintain their autonomy against the increasing central authority desired by Louis XI of France. As a result of several wars, treaties, and papal decisions, Brittany was united with France through the eventual marriage of Louis XI's son Charles VIII to the heiress of Brittany, Anne in 1491. However, because of the different systems of inheritance between the two realms, the crown and the duchy were not held by the same hereditary claimant until the reign of Henry II, beginning 1547.

<i>Anne de Bretagne</i> (rock opera) musical

Anne de Bretagne is a rock opera by Alan Simon, based on the life of Anne of Brittany. The story follows the historical events that made her the last Duchess of independent Brittany and twice-crowned queen of France.