Isabella of Taranto

Isabella of Taranto

Isabella di Taranto, born Isabella de Clermont, (c. 1424 – 30 March, 1465), was a Princess of Taranto in her own right and first Queen consort of Ferdinand I of Naples.


She was the elder daughter of Tristan de Clermont, Count of Copertino, and Catherine of Taranto. She was also the niece and heiress presumptive of childless Giovanni Antonio del Balzo Orsini, Prince of Taranto. She was a granddaughter of queen Mary of Enghien (mother of Giovanni and Catherine), who had been queen consort of Naples (Queen of Jerusalem and Sicily) in 1406-1414. Thus, she was the heiress presumptive of feudal possessions in Southern Italy.


On 30 May, 1444/1445, Isabella married Ferrante di Aragona, then Duke of Calabria (1423-1494), natural son of Alfonso V of Aragon who had recently conquered the Neapolitan kingdom from French Angevins, and thus was the new liege lord of Isabella and her family.

Alfonso arranged this marriage in order to give a good future to his favorite bastard son, by giving him his own principality by marriage. Also, Alfonso wanted his loyal people (such as his own son) to have feudal fiefs in his new kingdom, which would happen in the future as soon as Ferdinand and Isabella succeeded in Taranto. The marriage also strengthened the king's grip on the current lords of Taranto.

On 27 June, 1458 her husband became, by the will of king Alfonso, King in his conquered territories and as such used the title King of Naples and Jerusalem, and Isabella became Queen consort. By that point, they had several children of their own, the eldest being the 10-year-old Alphonso.

They no longer wanted to make Taranto their principal holding, but it was still a strong possession, and in 1463 Isabella succeeded her uncle Giovanni Antonio in Taranto. Isabella also inherited the Brienne claim to the Kingdom of Jerusalem.

Isabella died on 30 March, 1465, buried in St.Pietro the Martyr. Her heir was her eldest son, Alphonso, then Duke of Calabria, the future king Alfonso II of Naples and Jerusalem.

Her widower King Ferrante (born 1423, died January 25, 1494) secondly married his paternal first cousin Joanna of Aragon, daughter of his uncle John II of Aragon and Juana Enríquez.


She had six children with Ferdinand:
*Alfonso II of Naples (November 4, 1448 - December 18, 1495).
*Leonora of Naples (June 22, 1450 - October 11, 1493). She was firstly consort of Massimiliano Sforza, Duke of Bari, and secondly consort of Ercole I d'Este, Duke of Ferrara and mother of Isabella d'Este and Beatrice d'Este. The latter daughter was consort of Ludovico Sforza.
*Frederick IV of Naples (April 19, 1452 - November 9, 1504).
*Giovanni of Naples (June 25, 1456 - October 17, 1485). Later Archbishop of Taranto (and/or "Strigonia", apparently Esztergom in Hungary) and then Cardinal.
*Beatrice of Naples (September 14/November 16, 1457 - September 23, 1508). She was Queen consort of Matthias Corvinus of Hungary and Ladislaus II of Bohemia and Hungary.
*Francesco of Naples, Duke of Sant Angelo (December 16, 1461 - October 26, 1486).

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