John II of France

John II (French: Jean II; 26 April 1319 – 8 April 1364), called John the Good (French: Jean le Bon), was King of France from 1350 until his death. He was the second monarch from the House of Valois.

When John II came to power, France was facing several disasters: the Black Death, which killed nearly half of its population; popular revolts known as Jacqueries; free companies (Grandes Compagnies) of routiers who plundered the country; and English aggression that resulted in disastrous military losses, including the Battle of Poitiers of 1356, in which John was captured.

While John was a prisoner in London, his son Charles became regent and faced several rebellions, which he overcame. To liberate his father, he concluded the Treaty of Brétigny (1360), by which France lost many territories and paid an enormous ransom. In an exchange of hostages, which included his second son Louis, Duke of Anjou, John was released from captivity to raise funds for his ransom. Upon his return to France, he created the franc to stabilize the currency and tried to get rid of the free companies by sending them to a crusade, but Pope Innocent VI died shortly before their meeting in Avignon. When John was informed that Louis had escaped from captivity, he voluntarily returned to England, where he died in 1364. He was succeeded by his son Charles V.

John II
Portrait on wood panel around 1350, Louvre Museum
King of France
Reign22 August 1350 – 8 April 1364
Coronation26 September 1350
PredecessorPhilip VI
SuccessorCharles V
Born26 April 1319
Le Mans, France
Died8 April 1364 (aged 44)
Savoy Palace, London, England
Bonne of Bohemia (m. 1332)

IssueCharles V of France
Louis I, Duke of Anjou
John, Duke of Berry
Philip II, Duke of Burgundy
Joan, Queen of Navarre
Marie of Valois, Duchess of Bar
Isabella, Countess of Vertus
FatherPhilip VI of France
MotherJoan of Burgundy
ReligionRoman Catholic

Early life

John was nine years old when his father had himself crowned as Philip VI of France. Philip VI's ascent to the throne was unexpected: because of the Salic law, all female descendants of his great uncle Philip the Fair were passed over; it was also disputed because it bypassed the claim of a more direct relative of Philip the Fair, his grandson, Edward III of England. Thus, as new King of France, Philip had to consolidate his power in order to protect his throne from rival claimants; therefore, he decided to marry off his son John quickly at the age of thirteen to form a strong matrimonial alliance, at the same time conferring upon him the title of Duke of Normandy.

Search for a wife and first marriage

Initially a marriage with Eleanor of Woodstock, sister of King Edward III of England, was considered, but instead Philip invited John of Luxembourg, King of Bohemia, to Fontainebleau. Bohemia had aspirations to control Lombardy and needed French diplomatic support. A treaty was drawn up. The military clauses stipulated that, in the event of war, Bohemia would support the French army with four hundred infantrymen. The political clauses ensured that the Lombard crown would not be disputed if the king of Bohemia managed to obtain it. Philip selected Bonne of Bohemia as a wife for his son, as she was closer to child-bearing age (16 years), and the dowry was fixed at 120,000 florins.

John reached the age of majority, 13 years and one day, on 27 April 1332, and received overlordship of the duchy of Normandy, as well as the counties of Anjou and Maine.[1] The wedding was celebrated on 28 July at the church of Notre-Dame in Melun in the presence of six thousand guests. The festivities were prolonged by a further two months when the young groom was finally knighted at the cathedral of Notre-Dame in Paris. As the new Duke of Normandy, John was solemnly granted the arms of a knight in front of a prestigious assembly bringing together the kings of Bohemia and Navarre, and the dukes of Burgundy, Lorraine and the Brabant.

Duke of Normandy

Accession and rise of the English and the royalty

Upon his accession as Duke of Normandy in 1332, John had to deal with the reality that most of the Norman nobility was already allied with the English camp. Effectively, Normandy depended economically more on maritime trade across the English Channel than on river trade on the Seine. The duchy had not been English for 150 years, but many landowners had holdings across the Channel. Consequently, to line up behind one or other sovereign risked confiscation. Therefore, Norman members of the nobility were governed as interdependent clans, which allowed them to obtain and maintain charters guaranteeing the duchy a measure of autonomy. It was split into two key camps, the counts of Tancarville and the counts of Harcourt, which had been in conflict for generations.[2]

Jean II denier d Or aux fleurs de lys 1351
A denier d'or aux fleurs de lys from John's reign (1351)

Tension arose again in 1341. King Philip, worried about the richest area of the kingdom breaking into bloodshed, ordered the bailiffs of Bayeux and Cotentin to quell the dispute. Geoffroy d'Harcourt raised troops against the king, rallying a number of nobles protective of their autonomy and against royal interference. The rebels demanded that Geoffroy be made duke, thus guaranteeing the autonomy granted by the charter. Royal troops took the castle at Saint-Sauveur-le-Vicomte and Geoffroy was exiled to Brabant. Three of his companions were decapitated in Paris on 3 April 1344.[3]

Meeting with the Avignon Papacy and the King of England

In 1342, John was in Avignon at the coronation of Pope Clement VI,[4] and in the latter part of 1343, he was a member of a peace parley with Edward III of England's chancery clerk.[5]

Relations with the Normans and rising tensions

By 1345, increasing numbers of Norman rebels had begun to pay homage to Edward III, constituting a major threat to the legitimacy of the Valois kings. The defeat at the Battle of Crécy on 26 August 1346, and the capitulation of Calais on 3 August 1347, after an eleven-month siege, further damaged royal prestige. Defections by the nobility, whose land fell within the broad economic influence of England, particularly in the north and west, increased. Consequently, King Philip VI decided to seek a truce. Duke John met Geoffroy d'Harcourt, to whom the king agreed to return all confiscated goods, even appointing him sovereign captain in Normandy. John then approached the Tancarville family, whose loyalty could ultimately ensure his authority in Normandy. The marriage of John, Viscount of Melun, to Jeanne, the only heiress of the county of Tancarville, ensured that the Melun-Tancarville party remained loyal to John, while Geoffroy d'Harcourt continued to act as defender for Norman freedoms and thus of the reforming party.[6]

Black Death and second marriage

On 11 September 1349, John's wife, Bonne of Bohemia (Bonne de Luxembourg), died at the Maubuisson Abbey near Paris, of the Black Death, which was devastating Europe. To escape the pandemic, John, who was living in the Parisian royal residence, the Palais de la Cité, left Paris.

On 9 February 1350 (1349 in former Julian calendar when year was beginning in March), five months after the death of his first wife, John married Joan I, Countess of Auvergne, in the royal Château de Sainte-Gemme (that no longer exists), at Feucherolles, near Saint-Germain-en-Laye.

King of France

Philip VI, John's father, died on 22 August 1350, and John's coronation as John II, king of France, took place in Reims the following 26 September. Joanna, his second wife, was crowned queen of France at the same time.[7]

In November 1350, King John had Raoul II of Brienne, Count of Eu seized and summarily executed,[8] for reasons that remain unclear, although it was rumored that he had pledged the English the County of Guînes for his release.

Negotiations with Navarre

John II ennobling his knights, BNF

In 1354, John's son-in-law and cousin, Charles II of Navarre, who, in addition to his Kingdom of Navarre in the Pyrenees mountains, border between France and Spain, 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, John signed the Treaty of Mantes with Charles on 22 February 1354. 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 following year, on 10 September 1355, John and Charles signed the Treaty of Valognes, but this second peace lasted hardly any longer than the first.

Battle of Poitiers

In 1355, the Hundred Years' War flared up again. In July 1356, Edward, the Black Prince, son of Edward III of England, took an army on a great chevauchée through France. John pursued him with an army of his own. In September the two forces met a few miles southeast of Poitiers.

John was confident of victory—his army was probably twice the size of his opponent's—but he did not immediately attack. While he waited, the papal legate went back and forth, trying to negotiate a truce between the leaders. There is some debate over whether the Black Prince wanted to fight at all. He offered his wagon train, which was heavily loaded with loot. He also promised not to fight against France for seven years. Some sources claim that he even offered to return Calais to the French crown. John countered by demanding that 100 of the Prince's best knights surrender themselves to him as hostages, along with the Prince himself. No agreement could be reached. Negotiations broke down, and both sides prepared for combat.

On the day of the Battle of Poitiers, John and 17 knights from his personal guard dressed identically. This was done to confuse the enemy, who would do everything possible to capture the sovereign on the field. In spite of this precaution, John was captured. Though he fought with valor, wielding a large battle-axe, his helmet was knocked off. Surrounded, he fought on until Denis de Morbecque, a French exile who fought for England, approached him.

"Sire," Morbecque said. "I am a knight of Artois. Yield yourself to me and I will lead you to the Prince of Wales."

Surrender and capture

King John surrendered by handing him his glove. That night King John dined in the red silk tent of his enemy. The Black Prince attended to him personally. He was then taken to Bordeaux, and from there to England.

While negotiating a peace accord, John 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. Eventually, John was taken to the Tower of London.

Prisoner of the English

Jean le Bon letter from Windsor to his son Charles about Pierre de la Batut
Letter of Jean le Bon during his captivity in Windsor, to his son Charles about Pierre de la Batut
Franc a cheval de Jean le Bon 5 decembre 1360 or 3730mg
The first franc ever minted, the "Franc à cheval", was minted upon Jean le Bon's return from captivity from 5 December 1360, and featured combative imagery. Gold, 24 karat, 3.73g. Its weight is the account value of one livre tournois.

As a prisoner of the English, John was granted royal privileges that permitted him to travel about and 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 defence 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.

Treaty of Brétigny

The Treaty of Brétigny (1360) set his ransom at 3 million 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.

Louis' escape and returning to England

On 1 July 1363, King John was informed that Louis had escaped. Troubled by the dishonour of this action, and the arrears in his ransom, John did something that shocked and dismayed his people: he announced that he would voluntarily return to captivity in England. His council tried to dissuade him, but he persisted, citing reasons of "good faith and honour." He sailed for England that winter and left the impoverished citizens of France again without a king.


John was greeted in London in 1364 with parades and feasts. A few months after his arrival, however, he fell ill with an unknown malady. He died at the Savoy Palace in April 1364. His body was returned to France, where he was interred in the royal chambers at Saint Denis Basilica.


Physical strength

John suffered from fragile health. He engaged little in physical activity, practised jousting rarely, and only occasionally hunted. Contemporaries report that he was quick to get angry and resort to violence, leading to frequent political and diplomatic confrontations. He enjoyed literature and was patron to painters and musicians.


The funeral procession of Jean II
The funeral procession of Jean II

The image of a "warrior king" probably emerged from the courage in battle he showed at the Battle of Poitiers and the creation of the Order of the Star. This was guided by political need, as John was determined to prove the legitimacy of his crown, particularly as his reign, like that of his father, was marked by continuing disputes over the Valois claim from both Charles II of Navarre and Edward III of England. From a young age, John was called to resist the decentralising forces affecting the cities and the nobility, each attracted either by English economic influence or the reforming party. He grew up among intrigue and treason, and in consequence he governed in secrecy only with a close circle of trusted advisers.


He took as his wife Bonne of Bohemia and fathered 11 children in eleven years. Due to his close relationship with Charles de la Cerda, rumours were spread by Charles II of Navarre of a romantic attachment between the two.[9] La Cerda was given various honours and appointed to the high position of connetable when John became king; he accompanied the king on all his official journeys to the provinces. La Cerda's rise at court excited the jealousy of the French barons, several of whom stabbed him to death in 1354. La Cerda's fate paralleled that of Edward II of England's Piers Gaveston and John II of Castile's Alvaro de Luna; the position of a royal favourite was a dangerous one. John's grief on La Cerda's death was overt and public.


On 28 July 1332, at the age of 13, John was married to Bonne of Luxembourg (d. 1349), daughter of John, King of Bohemia.[15] Their children were:

  1. Charles V of France (21 January 1338 – 16 September 1380)[16]
  2. Louis I, Duke of Anjou (23 July 1339 – 20 September 1384), married Marie of Blois[16]
  3. John, Duke of Berry (30 November 1340 – 15 June 1416), married Jeanne of Auvergne[16]
  4. Philip II, Duke of Burgundy (17 January 1342 – 27 April 1404), married Margaret of Flanders[16]
  5. Joan (24 June 1343 – 3 November 1373), married Charles II (the Bad) of Navarre[16]
  6. Marie (12 September 1344 – October 1404), married Robert I, Duke of Bar
  7. Agnes (9 December 1345 – April 1350)
  8. Margaret (20 September 1347 – 25 April 1352)
  9. Isabelle (1 October 1348 – 11 September 1372), married Gian Galeazzo I, Duke of Milan

On 19 February 1350, at the royal Château de Sainte-Gemme, John married Joanna I of Auvergne (d. 1361), Countess of Auvergne and Boulogne. Joanna was the widow of Philip of Burgundy, the deceased heir of that duchy, and the mother of the young Philip I, Duke of Burgundy (1344–61) who became John's stepson and ward. John and Joanna had three children, all of whom died shortly after birth:

  1. Blanche (b. November 1350)
  2. Catherine (b. early 1352)
  3. a son (b. early 1353)


John II was succeeded by his son, Charles, who reigned as Charles V of France, known as The Wise.


  1. ^ François Autrand (1994). Charles V le Sage. Paris: Fayard. p. 13.
  2. ^ Autrand, Françoise, Charles V, Fayard, Paris, 1994,
  3. ^ Favier, Jean, La Guerre de Cent Ans, Fayard, Paris, 1980, p. 140
  4. ^ Papal Coronations in Avignon, Bernard Schimmelpfennig, Coronations: Medieval and Early Modern Monarchic Ritual, ed. János M. Bak, (University of California Press, 1990), pp. 191-192.
  5. ^ Sumption, Jonathan, Trial by Battle: The Hundred Years War I, Faber & Faber, 1990, p. 436.
  6. ^ Autrand, Françoise, Charles V, Fayard, Paris, 1994, p. 60
  7. ^ Anselme de Sainte-Marie, Père (1726). Histoire généalogique et chronologique de la maison royale de France [Genealogical and chronological history of the royal house of France] (in French). 1 (3rd ed.). Paris: La compagnie des libraires. p. 105.
  8. ^ Jones, Michael. "The last Capetians and early Valois Kings, 1314-1364", Michael Jones, The New Cambridge Medieval History: Volume 6, c.1300-c.1415, (Cambridge University Press, 2000), 391.
  9. ^ Deviosse, J. Jean Le Bon, Paris, 1985, p. 223-236; Françoise Autrand, Charles V, Fayard 1994, p.106
  10. ^ a b c d Anselme 1726, pp. 100–101.
  11. ^ a b Anselme 1726, p. 103.
  12. ^ a b Anselme 1726, pp. 87–88.
  13. ^ a b Anselme 1726, pp. 542–544
  14. ^ a b Anselme 1726, pp. 83–87.
  15. ^ Joni M. Hand, Women, Manuscripts and Identity in Northern Europe, 1350-1550, (Ashgate Publishing, 2013), 12.
  16. ^ a b c d e Marguerite Keane, Material Culture and Queenship in 14th-century France: The Testament of Blanche of Navarre (1331-1398), (Brill, 2016), 17.
John II of France
Cadet branch of the Capetian dynasty
Born: 16 April 1319 Died: 8 April 1364
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Philip VI
King of France
Succeeded by
Charles V
French nobility
Title last held by
Henry III
Duke of Normandy
Succeeded by
Title last held by
Count of Anjou and Maine
Title next held by
Louis I
Battle of Poitiers

The Battle of Poitiers was a major English victory in the Edwardian phase of the Hundred Years' War. It was fought on 19 September 1356 in Nouaillé, near the city of Poitiers in Aquitaine, western France. Edward, the Black Prince, led an army of English, Welsh, Breton and Gascon troops, many of them veterans of the Battle of Crécy. They were attacked by a larger French force led by King John II of France, which included allied Scottish forces. The French were heavily defeated; an English counter-attack captured King John II along with his youngest son and much of the French nobility.The effect of the defeat on France was catastrophic, leaving Dauphin Charles to rule the country. Charles faced populist revolts across the kingdom in the wake of the battle, which had destroyed the prestige of the French upper-class. The Edwardian phase of the war ended four years later in 1360, on favourable terms for England.

Poitiers was the second major English victory of the Hundred Years' War. Poitiers was fought ten years after the Battle of Crécy (the first major victory), and about half a century before the third, the Battle of Agincourt (1415). The town and battle were often referred to as Poictiers in contemporaneous recordings, a name commemorated in several warships of the Royal Navy.

Bonne of Berry

Bonne of Berry (1362/1365 – 30 December 1435) was the daughter of John, Duke of Berry, and Joanna of Armagnac. Through her father, she was a granddaughter of John II of France.

Bonne of Luxembourg

Bonne of Luxemburg or Jutta of Luxemburg (20 May 1315 – 11 September 1349), was born Jutta (Judith), the second daughter of John the Blind, king of Bohemia, and his first wife, Elisabeth of Bohemia. She was the first wife of King John II of France; however, as she died a year prior to his accession, she was never a French queen. Jutta was referred to in French historiography as Bonne de Luxembourg. She was a member of the House of Luxembourg. Among her children were Charles V of France, Philip II, Duke of Burgundy, and Joan, Queen of Navarre.

Duchy of Burgundy

The Duchy of Burgundy (; Latin: Ducatus Burgundiae; French: Duché de Bourgogne, Dutch: Hertogdom Bourgondië) 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).

Robert became the ancestor of the ducal House of Burgundy, a cadet branch of the royal Capet dynasty, ruling over a territory which roughly conformed to the borders and territories of the modern region of Burgundy (Bourgogne). Upon the extinction of the line with the death of Duke Philip I in 1361, the duchy fell back to King John II of France and the royal House of Valois. The Burgundian duchy rose to a territorial complex of a European scale after in 1363 King John II of France ceded the duchy to his younger son Philip. By his marriage with Countess Margaret III of Flanders, he laid the foundation for a Burgundian realm further north in the Low Countries collectively known as the Burgundian Netherlands. Upon further acquisitions of the County of Burgundy, Holland and Luxemburg, the House of Valois-Burgundy came to own considerable possession of numerous French and imperial fiefs stretching from the western Alps to the North Sea, in some ways reminiscent of the Middle Frankish realm of Lotharingia.

The Burgundian sphere, in its own right, was one of the largest ducal territories that existed at the time of the emergence of Early Modern Europe. Including the thriving regions of Flanders and Brabant, it was a major centre of trade and commerce as well as a focal point of courtly culture which set the standards for European royal houses. After about one hundred years of Valois-Burgundy rule, however, the last duke, Charles the Bold, rushed to the Burgundian Wars and was killed in the 1477 Battle of Nancy. The extinction of the dynasty led to the absorption of the duchy itself into the French crown lands by King Louis XI, while the bulk of the Burgundian possessions in the Low Countries passed to the Habsburg archduke, Maximilian I of Austria, son of Emperor Frederick III, by his marriage with Charles' daughter, Mary.

The partition of the Burgundian heritage marked the beginning of the centuries-long France–Habsburg rivalry and played a pivotal role in European politics long after it lost its role as an independent political identity, due to marriages and wars over the territories between princes who were related to its former rulers. With the abdication of the Emperor Charles V (also King of Spain) in 1556, the imperial fiefs in the Burgundian Netherlands passed to the Spanish Empire of King Philip II. During the Dutch Revolt or Eighty Years War (1568–1648), the northern provinces of the Low Countries gained their independence from Spanish rule and formed the Dutch Republic (today the Netherlands), while the southern provinces remained under Spanish rule until the 18th century and became known as the Spanish Netherlands or Southern Netherlands (corresponding roughly to present day Belgium, Luxembourg, and the areas in France corresponding to the Nord department and part of the Pas-de-Calais department).

Duke of Burgundy

Duke of Burgundy (French: duc de Bourgogne) 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.

Beginning with Robert II of France, the title was held by the Capetians, the French royal family. It was granted to Robert's younger son, Robert, who founded the House of Burgundy. When the senior line of the House of Burgundy became extinct, it was inherited by John II of France through proximity of blood. John granted the duchy as an appanage for his younger son, Philip the Bold. The Valois Dukes of Burgundy became dangerous rivals to the senior line of the House of Valois. When the male line of the Valois Dukes of Burgundy became extinct, the title was confiscated by Louis XI of France.

Today, the title is used by the House of Bourbon as a revived courtesy title.

Duke of Normandy

In the Middle Ages, the Duke of Normandy was the ruler of the Duchy of Normandy in north-western France. The duchy arose out of a grant of land to the Viking leader Rollo by the French king Charles III in 911. In 924 and again in 933, Normandy was expanded by royal grant. Rollo's male-line descendants continued to rule it down to 1135. In 1202 the French king Philip II declared Normandy a forfeited fief and by 1204 his army had conquered it. It remained a French royal province thereafter, still called the Duchy of Normandy, but only occasionally granted to a duke of the royal house as an apanage.

House of Valois-Burgundy

The House of Valois-Burgundy (French: Maison de Valois-Bourgogne), or the Younger House of Burgundy, was a noble French family deriving from the royal House of Valois. It is distinct from the Capetian House of Burgundy, descendants of King Robert II of France, though both houses stem from the Capetian dynasty. They ruled the Duchy of Burgundy from 1363 to 1482 and later came to rule vast lands including Artois, Flanders, Luxembourg, Hainault, the county palatine of Burgundy (Franche-Comté), and other lands through marriage.

The term "Valois Dukes of Burgundy" is employed to refer to the dynasty which began after King John II of France granted the French Duchy of Burgundy to his youngest son, Philip the Bold in 1363.

During the Hundred Years' War, the dukes rivalled with their royal cousins uniting a great number of French and Imperial fiefs under their rule. However, their plans to establish an autonomous kingdom ultimately failed when the last duke, Charles the Bold, sparked the Burgundian Wars and was killed in the Battle of Nancy in 1477. The final ruler of the dynasty, Mary, Duchess of Burgundy, attempted to assert her authority within her domains, but failed. Her lands outside of France passed to her eldest son, Philip, to become the Habsburg Netherlands, while the Duchy of Burgundy itself returned to the kingdom of France. Mary died in 1482, thus ending the House of Valois-Burgundy.

Joan I, Countess of Auvergne

Joan I of Auvergne (8 May 1326 – 29 September 1360, Chateau d'Argilly) was ruling Countess of Auvergne and Boulogne in 1332–1360, and Queen of France by her marriage to King John II.

Joan of Valois, Queen of Navarre

Joan of France, also known as Joan or Joanna of Valois (24 June 1343, Châteauneuf-sur-Loire – 3 November 1373, Évreux), was the daughter of John II of France (called The Good), and his first wife, Bonne of Luxembourg. She married Charles II of Navarre (called The Bad), and became Queen-consort of Navarre.

John, Duke of Berry

John of Berry or John the Magnificent (French: Jean de Berry; 30 November 1340 – 15 June 1416) was Duke of Berry and Auvergne and Count of Poitiers and Montpensier. He was the third son of King John II of France and Bonne of Luxemburg; his brothers were King Charles V of France, Duke Louis I of Anjou and Duke Philip the Bold of Burgundy. He is primarily remembered as a collector of the important illuminated manuscripts and other works of art commissioned by him, such as the Très Riches Heures.

John I, Duke of Lorraine

John I (February 1346 – 23 September 1390) was the Duke of Lorraine from 1346 to his death. As an infant of six months, he succeeded his father, Rudolph, who was killed in the Battle of Crécy. His mother was Mary, daughter of Guy I of Blois.During his long minority, the regency was in the hands of his mother and Eberhard III of Württemberg. In December 1353, John did homage for the duchy to Charles IV, Holy Roman Emperor, who made him lieutenant-general of the Empire in the Moselle country. In 1354, John II of France granted him a dispensation to allow him to govern the duchy despite not yet being of age.

John participated in the Drang nach Osten and its related crusades at the sides of the Teutonic Knights against Lithuania in 1356 and again in 1365.

On 19 September 1356, he aided John II of France in the Battle of Poitiers, as his father had at Crécy, and the French cavalry were mowed down by English longbowmen as before. He survived, however, unlike his father, to fight again, although he was taken prisoner by the English. He later fought on the side of the Dauphin Charles in putting down the Parisian rebellion of Étienne Marcel. He attended Charles' coronation on 19 May 1364 in Rheims, strengthening the ties to France which had steadily been building in Lorraine for the past century.

He entered the War of the Breton Succession, as had his father, to aid his uncle Charles of Blois against John of Montfort. At the Battle of Auray on 29 September 1364 with John as undisputed duke and Charles dead on the field, John was taken prisoner.

He continued to aid Charles V and Charles VI to reconquer the provinces lost by the Treaty of Brétigny, but in his latter years, he distanced himself from the French court. Partly this was due to the free companies ravaging his lands and in part the royal officials who tried to litigate the relationship between John (an Imperial vassal) and his vassals. In the end, he entered into rapprochement with Philip II, Duke of Burgundy. Nonetheless, he died at Paris on 22 September 1390, defending himself against a charge by the people of Neufchâteau of abuse of power.

John married Sophie of Württemberg (1343–1369), daughter of Eberhard II, Count of Württemberg and Elizabeth von Henneberg-Schleusingen, in 1361.They had issue:

Charles II, Duke of Lorraine (1364–1431)

Frederick of Lorraine, Count of Vaudémont (1369–1415)

Isabelle of Lorraine (d.1423), married Enguerrand VII, Lord of Coucy.John later married Marguerite de Chini (d. 1372), who is interred at Orval Abbey.

Louis I, Duke of Anjou

Louis I (23 July 1339 – 20 September 1384) was the second son of John II of France and Bonne of Bohemia. Born at the Château de Vincennes, Louis was the founder of the Angevin branch of the French royal house. His father appointed him Count of Anjou and Count of Maine in 1356, and then raised him to the title Duke of Anjou in 1360 and Duke of Touraine in 1370.

In 1382, as the adopted son of Joanna I of Naples, he succeeded to the counties of Provence and Forcalquier. He also inherited from her a claim to the kingdoms of Naples and Jerusalem. He was already a veteran of the Hundred Years' War against the English when he led an army into Italy to claim his Neapolitan inheritance. He died on the march and his claims and titles fell to his son and namesake, Louis II, who succeeded in ruling Naples for a time.

Marie of France, Duchess of Bar

Marie of France (18 September 1344 – 15 October 1404) was the sixth child and second daughter of John II of France and Bonne of Bohemia.

Philip I, Count of Auvergne

Philip of Burgundy (November 10, 1323 – August 10, 1346) was Count of Auvergne and Boulogne (as Philip I) in right of his wife and was the only son and heir of Odo IV, Duke of Burgundy, and of Joan III, Countess of Burgundy. His mother was the daughter of King Philip V of France and of Joan II, Countess of Burgundy.He married Joan I, Countess of Auvergne and Boulogne, in c. 1338.

In 1340, he fought with his father who defended the city of Saint-Omer against the assaults of Robert III of Artois. In 1346, he participated in the siege of Aiguillon, led by John, Duke of Normandy (the future John II of France). It was during this siege that he died, after falling from his horse.His widow Joan remarried in 1349, her second husband being King John II of France. Since Philip had no other sons from his marriage to Joan, the future of the House of Burgundy was then placed in the hands of his young son Philip (1346–61), who died childless. After the death of the younger Philip, the dukedom of Burgundy became a part of the French crown, and was granted by John II of France to his youngest son (and the previous Duke’s stepbrother), Philip the Bold.His daughter, Joan (1344 – 11 September 1360), was betrothed to Amadeus VI, Count of Savoy from 1347 to 1355, and was raised at his court. When she was released from the engagement at age 10, she entered a convent at Poissy, where she remained for her final years.

Philip the Bold

Philip the Bold (French: Philippe le Hardi, Dutch: Filips de Stoute; 17 January 1342 – 27 April 1404, Halle) was Duke of Burgundy (as Philip II) and jure uxoris Count of Flanders (as Philip II), Artois and Burgundy (as Philip IV). The fourth and youngest son of King John II of France and his wife, Bonne of Luxembourg, Philip was the founder of the Burgundian branch of the House of Valois. His vast collection of territories made him the undisputed premier peer of the kingdom of France and made his successors formidable subjects, and sometimes rivals, of the kings of France.

Ransom of King John II of France

The ransom of King John II of France was an incident during the Hundred Years War between France and England. Following the English capture of the French king during the Battle of Poitiers in 1356, John was held for ransom by the English crown. The incident had serious consequences for later events in the Hundred Years War.

Siege of Saint-Jean-d'Angély (1351)

The Siege of Saint-Jean-d'Angély took place from February to August 1351 when a French army besieged an English garrison within the town of Saint-Jean-d'Angély, Saintonge, France during the Hundred Years' War. An English relief force was victorious at the Battle of Saintes, however was unable to relieve the town. With the personal appearance of King John II of France at the siege, the English garrison surrendered.


The Tard-Venus (Latecomers) were a medieval group of Bandits or bandes de routiers that ravaged the area around Lyon in the last years of the reign of King John II of France.

Treaty of Brétigny

The Treaty of Brétigny was a treaty, drafted on 8 May 1360 and ratified on 24 October 1360, between King Edward III of England and King John II of France (the Good). In retrospect it is seen as having marked the end of the first phase of the Hundred Years' War (1337–1453)—as well as the height of English power on the Continent.

It was signed at Brétigny, a village near Chartres, and later ratified as the Treaty of Calais on 24 October 1360.

Ancestors of John II of France
8. Philip III of France[12]
4. Charles I, Count of Valois[10]
9. Isabella of Aragon[12]
2. Philip VI of France
10. Charles II of Naples[10]
5. Margaret, Countess of Anjou[10]
11. Mary of Hungary[10]
1. John II of France
12. Hugh IV, Duke of Burgundy[13]
6. Robert II, Duke of Burgundy[11]
13. Yolande of Dreux[13]
3. Joan of Burgundy
14. Louis IX of France[14] (= 16)
7. Agnes of France[11]
15. Margaret of Provence[14] (= 17)
Merovingians (486–751)
Robertians and Bosonids (751–987)
House of Capet (987–1328)
House of Valois (1328–1589)
House of Lancaster (1422–1453)
House of Bourbon (1589–1792)
First Republic (1792–1804)
First Empire (1804–1815)
Bourbon Restoration (1815–1830)
July Monarchy (1830–1848)
Second Republic (1848–1852)
Second Empire (1852–1870)
Government of National Defense (1870–1871)
Third Republic (1871–1940)
Vichy France (1940–1944)
Provisional Government (1944–1947)
Fourth Republic (1947–1958)
Fifth Republic (1958–present)
House of Normandy
House of Blois
House of Plantagenet
House of Valois
(French appanage)

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