Jeanne de Bourbon

From SiefarWikiEn

Jump to: navigation, search

Entry by Elodie Lequain, 2004

Jeanne, daughter of Pierre I, duke of Bourbon and Isabelle of Valois, was born into a prestigious family at Vincennes on February 3, 1338. Her father was the great-grandson of king Louis IX (St. Louis) and her mother was the sister of Philip VI, king of France. Highly sought after in marriage, the young Jeanne was first betrothed to the son of the Count of Savoy and then, in 1348, to the dauphin of the Viennois, Humbert II, an indebted widower. She was definitively engaged to her cousin, Charles of Valois, in 1349. The dispensation required for this marriage between two closely-related children was granted by Pope Clement VI. After being postponed several times, the marriage was finally celebrated in Tain, without pomp, by Henri de Villars, the archbishop of Lyon, on April 8, 1350. Jeanne was only twelve. From this point on, Jeanne's life was tied to that of her husband and to the tribulations of the Hundred Years' War. As "dauphine" (wife of the heir apparent) to the throne of France, she became one of the queen's companions. In 1355 she was made duchess of Normandy. Both Jeanne and Charles lost their fathers during the terrible defeat at Poitiers in 1356: the Duke of Bourbon died on the battlefield, while King Jean II was taken prisoner by the English. On June 9, 1358, Jeanne, along with her family and her retinue, was besieged at the "Meaux Marketplace", a fortress situated in a bend of the Marne river, by rebellious peasants known as the "Jacques" and the Parisian partisans of Etienne Marcel. The forces of Gaston Phébus, count of Foix, and Jean de Grailly Gascon captain of Buch, routed the assailants. At the death of king Jean II, on April 8, 1364, Jeanne became queen of France; with Charles V at her side, she was crowned in Rheims in May 1364 by Archbishop Jean de Craon. She remained discretely in the shadow of her husband while assuming all the responsibilities inherent to her rank. She attended the solemn assembly Charles organized in May 1369 to deal with appeals from Gascogny. In 1374, the king designated her as the guardian of the royal children in case of regency, assisted by the dukes of Burgundy and Bourbon. In 1378 she received emperor Charles IV in her Parisian townhouse of Saint-Pol. Jeanne bore the king eight children, but most were girls and few survived. Both Jeanne and Bonne, born respectively in 1357 and 1360, died in the autumn of 1360. Another Jeanne was born in in June 1366, but died that December. The lack of a son gave rise to rumours and questioning. Tired of waiting for a male heir, Charles V supposedly began discussions with the pope to have the marriage annulled. Finally in December 1368 Jeanne gave birth to the future Charles VI. The queen endured four other known pregnancies: Marie (1371), Louis (1372), Isabelle (1373); Catherine (1378). On February 6, 1378, three days after giving birth to her last child, she died at the age of forty. Charles V, greatly affected by her death, organized lavish funeral ceremonies. On February 14, a cortege starting at the Saint-Pol townhouse, transported the remains of the queen to the Cathedral of Notre-Dame of Paris for the service. The following day her body was taken to the Abbey of Saint Denis where she was buried in a double tomb in the chapel of St. John the Baptist, where the king's body would join hers in 1380. The queen's heart was placed in the church of the Cordeliers, while her entrails were put in the church of the Célestins. Jeanne, who owned numerous books and had a special devotion to St. Catherine, was remembered by her contemporaries as a wise and pious queen. Historical writings rarely mention Jeanne of Bourbon and then mostly in relation to her husband Charles V, or to her son, Charles VI. She is usually presented as a discreet and beloved queen. Only rarely has this rather flattering portrait been tarnished. At one point she was suspected of committing adultery with Louis d'Harcourt, viscount of Châtellerault, before the king himself dispelled the accusation by admitting that it was a "wild suspicion." Jeanne de Bourbon also appears to have suffered from mental problems in 1373, to the point that she lost "her reason and good memory". She recovered, but the question remains as to whether or not she transmitted her psychological fragility to her son, Charles VI (known as the Mad), as some of her contemporaries believed. It should be remembered, however, that such denigration of queens during this period was not uncommon.

(translated by Michelle Sommers)

Selected bibliography

- Autrand, Françoise, Charles V le Sage, Paris, Fayard, 1994.
- Autrand, Françoise, Charles VI. La folie du roi, Paris, Fayard, 1986.
- Barry, Françoise, La Reine de France, Paris, Éditions du Scorpion, 1964.
- Delachenal, Roland, Histoire de Charles V, Paris, A. Picard, 1909-1931.
- Sherman, Claire R., «The Queen in Charles V's "Coronation Book". Jeanne de Bourbon and the ordo ad reginam benedicendam», Viator, 8, 1977, p.255-297.

Selected bibliography of images

- Anonyme, Jeanne de Bourbon(statue), entre 1365-1380, Paris, Musée du Louvre --
- Jean Golein présentant son ouvrage à Charles V et à Jeanne de Bourbon, entourés de leurs enfants(enluminure in Rational des divins officesde Guillaume Durand, traduit par Jean Golein, Paris, 1374), Paris, BnF (ms fr 437, fol.1).
- Le roi Charles V et la reine Jeanne de Bourbon, avec leurs enfants, l'abbé Pierre et les moines de Royaumont agenouillés(illustration de charte), 1374, Paris, AN (J.465, no 48).
- Scène de chasse au cerf en forêt avec Jeanne de Bourbon et sa mère suivies d'une suite nombreuse(miniature des Hommages du comté de Clermont). Paris, BnF fr 20082, fol.95.c
- Le couronnement de Jeanne de Bourbon; L'empereur Charles IV rendant visite à la reine Jeanne de Bourbon, femme de Charles V; Funérailles de Jeanne de Bourbon (enluminures in Grandes chroniques de France. Charles V, Paris, vers 1375-1380), Paris, BnF fr 2813, fol. 439, 477, 480v -- C. R. Sherman, The Portraits of Charles V of France (1338-1380), New York, New York University Press, 1969, figs. 3, 24, 36 ; C. Beaune, Le Miroir du pouvoir. Les manuscrits des rois de France au Moyen Âge, Bibliothèque de l'image, rééd. 1997, p.115 et 119


- «Que cette reine était couronnée avec majesté, et parée de joyaux de grand prix! Elle portait des robes royales larges, longues et flottantes, de longs manteaux de cérémonie appelés chapes, ou encore des capes royales taillées dans les plus précieuses étoffes et brochées d'or ou de soie, brodées de riches pierres étincelantes et de perles précieuses, avec des ceintures, des boutons et agrafes merveilleuses! Elle changeait de toilette plusieurs fois par jour, comme le voulaient les usages royaux et son rang. C'était un spectacle magnifique que de la voir ainsi dans ces somptueuses fêtes, accompagnée de deux ou de trois autres reines, ses devancières ou parentes, qui étaient encore de ce monde. [...] Le noble maintien de cette dame digne, si majestueuse dans ses paroles, ses gestes et ses regards, sa parfaite aisance avec toute personne, l'éclat de sa beauté à nulle autre pareille parmi les princesses, étaient pour les yeux une source d'immense plaisir et d'émerveillement» (Christine de Pizan, Livre des Faits et Bonnes Moeurs du roi Charles V le Sage, éd. Eric Hicks et Thérèse Moreau, Paris, Stock, 1997, p.75-77).

Jeanne de Bourbon
Spouses Charles V, King of France
Birth date 1338
Death 1378
Biographical entries in old dictionaries
Dictionnaire Pierre-Joseph Boudier de Villemert
Dictionnaire Marguerite Buffet
Dictionnaire Philibert Riballier et Catherine Cosson
Personal tools
In other languages