Joan the Lame

Joan the Lame

Jeanne de Bourgogne (24 June129312 September 1348), also known as Joan the Lame ( _fr. Jeanne la Boiteuse) or Joan of Burgundy, Queen consort of France, first wife of Philip VI.


Joan was the daughter of Robert II, Duke of Burgundy and princess Agnes of France. Her mother was the youngest daughter of Louis IX and Marguerite of Provence.

Her older sister, Marguerite de Bourgogne, was the first wife and Queen of Louis X of France. Her brothers were Hugh V, Duke of Burgundy, and Eudes IV, Duke of Burgundy.

She married Philippe de Valois in July 1313. From 1315 to 1328, they were Count and Countess-consort of Maine; from 1325, they were also Count and Countess-Consort of Valois and Anjou.

Intelligent and strong-willed, Jeanne proved a capable regent whilst her husband fought on military campaigns during the Hundred Years War. However, her nature and power earned both herself and her husband a bad reputation, which was accentuated by her deformity (which was considered by some to be a mark of evil), and she became known as "la male royne boiteuse" ("the lame male Queen"), supposedly the driving force behind her weaker husband. One chronicler described her as a danger to her enemies in court: "the lame Queen Jeanne de Bourgogne...was like a King and caused the destruction of those who opposed her will." [Knecht, Robert, "The Valois"]

She was also considered to be a scholarly woman and a bibliophile: she sent her son, John, manuscripts to read, and commanded the translation of several important contemporary works into vernacular French, including the "Miroir historial" of Vincent de Beauvais (c.1333) and the "Jeu d'échecs moralisés" of Jacques de Cessoles (c.1347), a task carried out by Jean de Vignay.

Jeanne died on 12 September 1348, of the Plague. She was buried in the Basilica of Saint Denis; her tomb, built by her grandson Charles V, was destroyed during the French Revolution.

Family and Children

Her children with Philip VI include:
* John II of France
* Philip of Valois, Duke of Orléans

In 1361, Jeanne's grandnephew, Philip I of Burgundy, died without legitimate issue, ending the male line of the Dukes of Burgundy. The rightful heir to Burgundy was unclear: Charles II of Navarre, grandson of Jeanne's sister Marguerite, was closer by right to the title, but John II of France (Jeanne's son) was a generation closer to the Dukes. In the end, John won.



* []
* [ JEANNE "la Boiteuse" de Bourgogne]

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