Name: JEAN II de VALOIS
ALIA: le Bon; the Good; King of /France/
Birth: 16 APR 1319 in Chateau de Gube-de-Maulny, France 1
Death: 8 APR 1364 in London, England 1
Burial: Cathedral Basilica of Saint Denis, Paris, France
8 April 1364), called the Good (French: Jean le Bon), was Count of Anjou, Count of Maine, and Duke of Normandy from 1332, Count of Poitiers from 1344, Duke of Aquitaine from 1345, and King of France from 1350 until his death, as well as Duke of Burgundy (as John I) from 1361 to 1363. By his marriage to Joanna I, Countess of Auvergne and Boulogne, he became jure uxoris Count of Auvergne and Boulogne from 1349 to 1360. John was a member of the House of Valois, and was the son of Philippe VI and Jeanne of Burgundy.
John succeeded his father in 1350 and was crowned at Notre-Dame de Reims. As king, John surrounded himself with poor administrators, preferring to enjoy the good life his wealth as king brought. Later in his reign, he took over more of the administration himself.
In 1354, John's son-in-law and cousin, Charles II of Navarre, who, in addition to his small Pyrenean kingdom, also held extensive lands in Normandy, was implicated in the assassination of the Constable of France, Charles de la Cerda. Nevertheless, in order to have a strategic ally against the English in Gascony, on 22 February 1354, John signed the Treaty of Mantes with Charles. The peace did not last between the two and Charles eventually struck up an alliance with Henry of Grosmont, the first Duke of Lancaster. The next year (1355), John signed the Treaty of Valognes with Charles, but this second peace lasted hardly longer than the first. In 1355, the Hundred Years' War flared up again.
In the Battle of Poitiers (1356) against Edward, the Black Prince, (son of King Edward III of England), John suffered a humiliating defeat and was taken as captive back to England. While negotiating a peace accord, he was at first held in the Savoy Palace, then at a variety of locations, including Windsor, Hertford, Somerton Castle in Lincolnshire, Berkhamsted Castle in Hertfordshire and briefly at King John's Lodge, formerly known as Shortridges, in East Sussex. A local tradition in St Albans is that he was held in a house in that town, at the site of the 15th-century Fleur de Lys inn, before he was moved to Hertford. There is a sign on the inn to that effect, but apparently no evidence to confirm the tradition . Eventually, John was taken to the Tower of London.
As a prisoner of the English, John was granted royal privileges, permitting him to travel about and to enjoy a regal lifestyle. At a time when law and order was breaking down in France and the government was having a hard time raising money for the defense of the realm, his account books during his captivity show that he was purchasing horses, pets, and clothes while maintaining an astrologer and a court band.
The Treaty of Brétigny (1360) set his ransom at 3,000,000 crowns. Leaving his son Louis of Anjou in English-held Calais as a replacement hostage, John was allowed to return to France to raise the funds.
While King John tried to raise the money, his son Louis, accorded the same royal dignity, easily escaped from the English. An angry King John surrendered himself again to the English, claiming an inability to pay the ransom as the reason. The true motive of John's decision remains murky today, with many pointing to the devastation in France caused by war with England and the Jacquerie peasant uprising as likely candidates. His councillors and nearly the whole nation was critical of the decision, since they had sacrificed much to raise the ransom. When John arrived in England in early 1364, however, he was viewed with admiration by ordinary citizens and English royalty alike. Although treated with honor while held in the Savoy Palace, he died in London a few months later.
His body was returned to France, where he was interred in the royal chambers at Saint Denis Basilica.
Father: PHILIPPE VI de VALOIS b: 1293 in France
Mother: JEANNE de BOURGOGNE b: 24 JUN 1293 in Bourgogne, France
- Jeanne de Valois
BONNE JUTTA de LUXEMBOURG b: 21 MAY 1313 in Prague, Bohemia
- CHARLES V de VALOIS b: 21 JAN 1336/37 in Vincennes, France
- Louis I de Valois b: 23 JUL 1339
- Jean Duc de Berry b: 30 NOV 1340
- PHILIPPE II de VALOIS b: 15 JAN 1341/42 in Pontoise, France
- Isabel de Valois b: 1 OCT 1348
- Marie de Valois b: BEF 12 SEP 1349
Jeanne I Cmtsse de Boulogne b: 8 MAY 1326
19 FEB 1349/50 1
- Blanche de Valois b: 1350
- Catherine de Valois b: 1352
- Title: None
Text: Date of Import: Mar 28, 2007