John II of Alençon


John II of Alençon

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He saw action as a young man at the Battle of Verneuil on August 17, 1424, and was captured by the English. He was held prisoner until 1429, when he was released after payment of a large ransom, which left him impoverished, and the English in control of his duchy. Before his capture at Verneuil, he had married in 1424, at Blois, Jeanne of Valois, daughter of Charles, duc d'Orléans and Isabella of Valois, but she died in 1432.

Shortly after his release, he met Joan of Arc and joined her in the fighting through the Loire Valley, becoming her most prominent supporter among the princes of the blood. He left to fight elsewhere after the end of the campaign in September 1429, preferring to attack the English around his own domains in Normandy. On April 30, 1437, at the Chateau L'Isle-Jourdain, he married Marie of Armagnac (c. 1420 – July 25, 1473, Cloister Mortagne-au-Perche), daughter of Jean IV of Armagnac.

John was discontented with the Treaty of Arras, having hoped to make good his poverty through the spoliation of the Burgundians. He fell out with Charles VII, and took part in a revolt in 1439–40, (the Praguerie) but was forgiven. He took part in the invasion of Normandy in 1449, but he had unwisely entered into correspondence with the English since 1440. (He had also accepted the Order of the Golden Fleece at this time.) Shortly after testifying at the "rehabilitation trial" of Joan of Arc in 1456, he was arrested by Jean de Dunois and imprisoned at Aigues-Mortes. In 1458, he was convicted of lèse-majesté and sentenced to death, but the sentence was commuted and he was imprisoned at Loches. He was released by Louis XI upon terms at his accession in 1461, but he refused to keep them and was imprisoned again. He was tried a second time before the Parlement of Paris and sentenced to death again on July 18, 1474, and his Duchy was confiscated. However, the sentence was not carried out, and he died in prison in the Louvre in 1476.

He had two children by his second wife, Marie:
* Catherine (1452–1505), married 1461 in Tours François Guy XIV de Montmorency, Count of Laval (d. 1500)
* René of Alençon (1454–1492)

He also had several illegitimate children:
* John (living 1483)
* Robert (living 1489)
* Jeanne (d. aft. December 4, 1481), Countess of Beaumont-le-Roger, married in 1470 Guy de Maulmont
* Madeleine, married Henri de Breuil


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