Seal of duke Jean V
| Duke of Brittany |
Count of Montfort
|Reign||1 November 1399 – 29 August 1442|
|Coronation||28 March 1402|
|Regents|| Joan of Navarre |
Philip the Bold
|Born||Peter of Montfort|
24 December 1389
Château de l'Hermine, Vannes
|Died||29 August 1442 (aged 52)|
Manoir de La Touche, Nantes
|Spouse||Joan of France (m.1396, d.1433)|
|Father||John IV of Brittany|
|Mother||Joan of Navarre|
John V, sometimes numbered as VI, (24 December 1389 – 29 August 1442) bynamed John the Wise (Breton : Yann ar Fur ; French : Jean le Sage), 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.
His alternative regnal name, John VI, as he is known traditionally in old English sources, comes from English partisan accounting as to who was the rightful duke of Brittany during the War of the Breton Succession (1341–65), which had preceded the rule of his father. Although he faced problems which had lingered from it, his rule as duke was mostly unchallenged. Without significant internal and foreign threats, John V reinforced ducal authority, reformed the military, constructed a coherent method of taxation, and established diplomatic and trade contacts with most of Western Europe.
John V was also a patron of the arts and the Church, and funded the construction of several cathedrals. He is known for creating the "Lycée Lesage" in Vannes.[ citation needed ]
John V was born on 24 December 1389 at the Château de l'Hermine as the eldest son of John IV, Duke of Brittany, and Joan of Navarre. He became Duke of Brittany in 1399 when he was still a minor upon the death of his father. His mother served as regent in the initial portion of his reign.
Unlike his father, John V inherited the duchy in peace, as the end of the Breton War of Succession and John IV's military conquests in Brittany promised. However, his father's rivals for the duchy, the Pentheiveres, continued to plot against him. Furthermore, John had to secure the peace of the duchy during an unstable period culminating in King Henry V of England's invasion of France.
He became duke at the age of ten, and began his reign under the tutelage of Duke of Burgundy, Philip the Bold, who was ravaging nearby Jersey and Guernsey. He made peace with the king of France, Charles VI, whose daughter, Joan of France, he married. He also reconciled with the powerful magnate Olivier de Clisson, formerly an enemy of his father. In 1404, he defeated a French force near Brest. A potential conflict with Clisson was averted by the latter's death.
When Henry V invaded France, John was initially allied to the French. However, he missed the Battle of Agincourt. His brother Arthur de Richemont participated, though, and was captured and imprisoned by the English. The confusion in the aftermath of the battle allowed John to seize Saint-Malo which had been annexed by the French. He then adopted a policy of switching between the two parties, English and French. He signed the Treaty of Troyes, which made Henry V heir to France, but he allowed his brother Arthur de Richemont to fight for the French.
The Counts of Penthièvre had lost the Breton War of Succession (1341–1364) in which they had claimed the ducal title of Brittany from John's grandfather, John of Montfort. The war ended in 1364 in a military victory for John's father, in which the Penthièvre claimant, Charles of Blois, died. His widow, Joanna, Countess of Penthièvre, was forced to sign the Treaty of Guérande which concluded the conflict. The treaty stated that Penthièvres accepted the Montforts's right to the dukedom, but if they failed to produce a male heir the duchy would revert to the Penthièvres.
Despite the military loss and the diplomatic treaty, the Counts of Penthièvre had not renounced their direct ducal claims to Brittany and continued to pursue them. In 1420, they invited John V to a festival held at Châtonceaux. John came and was arrested.Olivier, Count of Penthièvre and his mother, Margaret de Clisson, then spread rumours of his death and moved him to a new prison each day. John's wife, Joan of France, called upon all the barons of Brittany to respond. They besieged all the castles of the Penthièvre family one by one.
Joan ended the crisis by seizing the dowager countess of Penthièvre and forcing her to free the duke. After the release, the Châtonceaux citadel was completely destroyed and the name changed to Champtoceaux. As a result of this failed imprisonment, Olivier had his county confiscated by the duke and he was forced into exile. In addition, the Montforts declared that the Treaty of Guérande had been broken and that the Penthièvre family no longer had a claim to the throne, even upon the extinction of the Montfort line. This ensured that Anne of Brittany succeeded to the duchy at the end of the century.
After the English defeat at the Battle of Baugé, John V ditched his allies by signing a treaty with the Dauphin Charles at Sablé on May 1421. Some of its provisions were that John would abandon his commitments to the English, while Charles would dismiss his councillors who had advised him to support the Penthièvre revolt. Initial Breton military support to Charles proved significant: in the Dauphin's Loire valley campaign in the summer of 1421, the duchy provided more than a third of his army, about the same as the Scots.However, the agreement was soon undermined, as both parties failed to completely fulfill their promises. Furthermore, the release of John's brother Arthur from English captivity, along with subsequent English military successes (particularly at the Siege of Meaux), convinced John to once again reverse his allegiance, by signing the Treaty of Amiens (1423) with England and Burgundy.
The Amiens agreement also proved ephemeral. Brittany and Burgundy had secretly agreed to maintain good relations with each other if any of them abandoned the English. Arthur de Richemont soon defected to the Dauphin, and was made Constable of France. The duke of Brittany was convinced to do the same; by signing the Treaty of Saumur on 7 October 1425, John V once again allied with Charles, to which England responded with a formal declaration of war on 15 January 1426. An English incursion into Breton territory led by Sir Thomas Rempston was subsequently made. After failing to defeat the much smaller English force at the Battle of St. James, and now under threat of a full-scale assaultby the English, John V once again reconciled with them by adhering to yet another agreement on 8 September 1427, on which he reaffirmed his support for the Treaty of Troyes and recognised Henry VI of England as king of France. As a gesture of allegiance to the Anglo-French dual monarchy, he sent his younger and favourite son Gilles to England to grow up in Henry's household. Gilles and Henry would become close friends over time. Richemont would remain committed to the Dauphin's cause for the rest of the war, however, though John V's defection in 1427 contributed to the former's expulsion from the French court.
John's allegiance with England had remained fickle and became ambiguous in the early 1430s, especially due to clashes between English and Breton sailors, though relations were kept afloat due to lengthy negotiations and a growing friendship between King Henry VI and the duke's younger son Gilles. Even after the Anglo-Burgundian alliance ended in 1435, he remained formally aligned to the English cause, though in effect adopting a policy of careful neutrality, attempting to become friendly with the French and willing to broker a peace between both parties.However, John took part in the Praguerie revolt in 1440 against Charles VII, and signed a neutrality agreement on 11 July 1440 with the English, by which he promised not to give shelter to England's enemies.
Relations between England and Brittany eventually collapsed due to bad diplomacy and English raids into Breton territory in 1443 and 1449. Consequent political maneuvers resulted in the murder of John V's Anglophile younger son Gilles on 24 April 1450. When a truce between the French and English was arranged at the Treaty of Tours in 1444, Brittany was not listed by the English as an ally.By then, John V had already died, and his son and successor Francis I would subsequently pay homage to Charles VII on 16 March 1446, thereby formally ending any Breton support for the English.
While captured by the English, John II, Duke of Alençon had sold his fiefdom of Fougères to John V in order to raise the ransom for his release. After Alençon's release, his attempts to recover his territories led to conflict. John surrounded Alençon's fortress during the Siege of Pouancé (1432). Arthur de Richemont, his brother, who accompanied him, induced him to make peace.
Working with Bishop Jean de Malestroit, he began the construction of a new cathedral in Nantes, placing the first stone in April 1434.
He died on 29 August 1442, at the Manoir de la Touche, owned by the Bishop of Nantes.
A statue of the Duke of polychrome wood is in the chapel of Saint-Fiacre in Faouët. His tomb in Tréguier cathedral was destroyed. It was replaced by a new one in the 20th century.
John V married Joan of France, daughter of King Charles VI "the Mad" and his wife Isabeau of Bavaria.By her he had seven children:
John V died in 1442 and was succeeded by his eldest son, Francis, as Duke of Brittany.
|Ancestors of John V, Duke of Brittany|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to John V of Bretagne .|
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.
Joan of Penthièvre or Joan the Lame 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.
The War of the Breton Succession was a conflict between the Counts of Blois and the Montforts of Brittany for control of the Duchy of Brittany, then a fief of the Kingdom of France. It was fought between 1341 and 12 April 1365.
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.
Arthur III, more commonly known as Arthur de Richemont, was briefly Duke of Brittany from 1457 until his death. He is noted primarily, however, for his role as a leading military commander during the Hundred Years' War. Although Richemont briefly sided with the English once, he otherwise remained firmly committed to the House of Valois. He fought alongside Joan of Arc, and was appointed Constable of France. His military and administrative reforms in the French state were an important factor in assuring the final defeat of the English in the Hundred Years' War.
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 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.
Jeanne de Clisson (1300–1359), also known as Jeanne de Belleville and the Lioness of Brittany, was a Breton former noblewoman who became a privateer to avenge her husband after he was executed for treason by the French king. She plied the English Channel and targeted French ships, often slaughtering the crew. It was her practice to leave at least one sailor alive to carry her messages to the King of France.
The French–Breton War lasted from 1487 to 1491. The cause of this war of succession was the approaching death of Duke Francis II of Brittany, who remained childless and had no clear successor. Essentially, this meant a resumption of the War of the Breton Succession (1341–1364), with rival claimants allying themselves with England on the one hand and France on the other, after which an ambiguous peace treaty was signed that would fail 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.
John I, was Count of Penthièvre and Viscount of Limoges from 1364 to 1404, and the Penthièvre claimant to the Duchy of Brittany.
Olivier was Count of Penthièvre and Lord of Avesnes from 1404 until his death.
John V, Duke of Brittany
| Duke of Brittany |
Count of Montfort
|Peerage of England|
as recognised earl
|— TITULAR —|
Earl of Richmond