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Jean de Valois, Duke of Burgundy

Jean Sans Peur was the eldest son and heir to Philippe de Bourgogne, cousin to the mad King Charles VI and bitter rival to the King’s brother, Louis D’Orléans. Jean was invested as Duke of Burgundy in 1404 upon the death of his father Philip the Bold and almost immediately entered into open conflict with Duke Louis. Jean played a game of marriages by exchanging his daughter Marguerite for Michelle de France, who would marry his heir, Philippe. For her part, Marguerite was married to Dauphin Louis, Duke of Guyenne, the heir to the French throne from 1401 until his death in 1415. For all his concentration on aristocratic politics, John nonetheless did not overlook the importance of the middle class of merchants and tradesmen or the University of Paris. After his son-in-law, the Dauphin Louis, was successively kidnapped and recovered by both parties, the Duke of Burgundy managed to gain appointment by royal decree — during one of the King's "absent" periods when mental illness manifested itself — as guardian of the Dauphin and the King's children. This did not improve relations between Jean and the Duke of Orléans. Soon the two rivals descended into making open threats. Three days later, on 23.th November 1407 Louis D’Orléans was assassinated and Jean gained full power. But Louis’ followers didn’t give up and a new fraction was formed under the leadership of Bernard D’Armagnac. Civil war broke out and Jean sought the support of the English. The disaster of Agincourt didn’t change his mind. He captured Paris in 1418, murdered the rival Armagnac, but a year later the Duke was dead too: the loyal men of Charles de Ponthieu, the new and ultimate Dauphin assassinated the Fearless on the bridge of Montereau.




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