Marie of Cleves, Duchess of Orléans

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Marie of Cleves
Duchess of Orléans
Marie de Cleves (1426-1487).jpg
Marie of Cleves (or Anne of Cyprus)
Born 19 September 1426
Died 23 August 1487(1487-08-23) (aged 60)
Spouse Charles, Duke of Orléans
Issue Marie, Countess of Étampes
Louis XII of France
Anne of Orléans, Abbess of Fontevraud
House La Marck
Father Adolph I, Duke of Cleves
Mother Marie of Burgundy

Marie of Cleves (19 September 1426 23 August 1487) was the third wife of Charles, Duke of Orléans, and the mother of his only son, King Louis XII of France. She was born a German princess, the last child of Adolph I, Duke of Cleves and his second wife, Marie of Burgundy.

Charles, Duke of Orléans French duke and poet

Charles of Orléans was Duke of Orléans from 1407, following the murder of his father, Louis I, Duke of Orléans, on the orders of John the Fearless, Duke of Burgundy. He was also Duke of Valois, Count of Beaumont-sur-Oise and of Blois, Lord of Coucy, and the inheritor of Asti in Italy via his mother Valentina Visconti, daughter of Gian Galeazzo Visconti, Duke of Milan.

Louis XII of France King of France

Louis XII was King of France from 1498 to 1515 and King of Naples from 1501 to 1504. The son of Charles, Duke of Orléans, and Maria of Cleves, he succeeded his cousin Charles VIII, who died without a closer heir in 1498. Louis was the eighth French king from the House of Valois, and the first from the Orléans branch of that dynasty.

Adolph I, Duke of Cleves Count of Cleves, raised to Duke of Cleves

Adolph I of Cleves was the second Count of Cleves and the fourth Count of Mark.


Marie was a patron of letters and commissioned many works; she was also an active poet herself, producing ballads and other verses. [1] After the Duke's death she was secretly remarried in 1480 to one of her gentlemen of the chamber, the Artesian "Sieur de Rabodanges", who was some years her junior. [1] [2] She died in Chaunay.

Patronage is the support, encouragement, privilege, or financial aid that an organization or individual bestows to another. In the history of art, arts patronage refers to the support that kings, popes, and the wealthy have provided to artists such as musicians, painters, and sculptors. It can also refer to the right of bestowing offices or church benefices, the business given to a store by a regular customer, and the guardianship of saints. The word "patron" derives from the Latin: patronus ("patron"), one who gives benefits to his clients.

Poet person who writes and publishes poetry

A poet is a person who creates poetry. Poets may describe themselves as such or be described as such by others. A poet may simply be a writer of poetry, or may perform their art to an audience.

<i>Valet de chambre</i>

Valet de chambre, or varlet de chambre, was a court appointment introduced in the late Middle Ages, common from the 14th century onwards. Royal households had many persons appointed at any time. While some valets simply waited on the patron, or looked after his clothes and other personal needs, itself potentially a powerful and lucrative position, others had more specialized functions. At the most prestigious level it could be akin to a monarch or ruler's personal secretary, as was the case of Anne de Montmorency at the court of Francis I of France. For noblemen pursuing a career as courtiers, like Étienne de Vesc, it was a common early step on the ladder to higher offices.

Marriage and issue

At age fourteen, Marie married Charles of Valois, Duke of Orléans, a man 32 years her senior, [1] on 27 November 1440 in Saint-Omer. [3] They had three children:

Saint-Omer Subprefecture and commune in Hauts-de-France, France

Saint-Omer is a commune in France.

John of Foix was a younger son of Count Gaston IV of Foix and Queen Eleanor of Navarre. His elder brother was Gaston, Prince of Viana.

Anne d'Orléans was a French abbess. She was the youngest child of Charles, Duke of Orléans and Maria of Cleves. Her only brother became king Louis XII of France in 1498.

Abbess female superior of a community of nuns, often an abbey

In Christianity, an abbess is the female superior of a community of nuns, which is often an abbey.

In literature

Marie is a character in Hella Haasse's historical novel about Charles, Duke of Orléans In a Dark Wood Wandering (original Dutch title Het Woud der Verwachting).

Hella Haasse Dutch writer

Hélène "Hella" Serafia Haasse was a Dutch writer, often referred to as "the Grand Old Lady" of Dutch literature, and whose novel Oeroeg (1948) was a staple for generations of Dutch schoolchildren. Her internationally acclaimed magnum opus is "Heren van de Thee", translated to "The Tea Lords". In 1988 Haasse was chosen to interview the Dutch Queen for her 50th birthday after which celebrated Dutch author Adriaan van Dis called Haasse "the Queen among authors".

<i>In a Dark Wood Wandering</i>

In a Dark Wood Wandering is a 1949 Dutch novel by Hella S. Haasse. It was translated into English in 1989 by Edith and Kalman Kaplan and Anita Miller.


  1. 1 2 3 Wilson p. 258
  2. Holt, p. 231
  3. Arn p. 41

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