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Jeanne of Angouleme

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Title: Jeanne of Angouleme  
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Subject: Frederick V, Elector Palatine, Elizabeth Charlotte of the Palatinate (1597–1660)
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Jeanne of Angouleme

Jeanne d'Angoulême, Countess of Bar-sur-Seine (ca. 1490 – after 1531/1538), Dame de Givry, Baroness of Pagny and of Mirebeau, was the illegitimate half-sister of King Francis I of France.[1] She was created suo jure Countess of Bar-sur-Seine in 1522. She was the wife of Jean de Longwy, Seigneur of Givry, Baron of Pagny and of Mirebeau. Her youngest daughter was Jacqueline de Longwy, wife of Louis III de Bourbon, Duke of Montpensier. Her grandson was Cardinal Anne d'Escars de Givry, a Benedictine churchman who was Bishop of Lisieux and Bishop of Metz. Her granddaughter was Charlotte of Bourbon, the third wife of William The Silent.


Jeanne was born in Angoulême about 1490, the illegitimate daughter of Charles, Count of Angoulême, a claimant to the French crown, by his mistress Antoinette de Polignac, Dame de Combronde (born c.1460) who is sometimes referred to as Jeanne.[2] Antoinette served as the chatelaine of the Count's chateaux, and became a lady-in-waiting and confidante to his young wife Louise of Savoy whom he married on 16 February 1488 when the latter was eleven years old.[3]

Jeanne had a full sister, Madeleine (died 26 October 1543), who became Abbess of Fontevrault. Jeanne had a half-sister, Souveraine (died 23 February 1551), by her father's relationship with Jeanne le Conte. By her mother's marriage to Béraud, Dauphin of L'Espinasse, Seigneur de Combronde, Jeanne had another half-sister, Françoise, Dauphine of L'Espinasse, Dame de Combronde. Jeanne's legitimate half-brother, Francis (her father's only son by his marriage to Louise of Savoy) was crowned King of France on 25 January 1515, and her legitimate Angoulême half-sister was the celebrated author and patron of humanists, Marguerite of Angoulême, Queen of Navarre.

Jeanne's paternal grandparents were John, Count of Angoulême and Marguerite de Rohan, and her maternal grandparents were Foucaud de Polignac, Seigneur des Fontaines and Agnès de Chabanais, daughter of Jean de Chabanais and Marguerite Chauvet. Through her father, Jeanne was a direct, albeit illegitimate, descendant of King Charles V of France.

When her father died on 1 January 1496, Jeanne, her sisters, and her mother, Antoinette were allowed to remain in the Angoulême household now presided over by Louise of Savoy, the widowed Countess.[4] In 1499, Louise moved the family from the chateau of Cognac to the court of King Louis XII, who was the late Count's cousin, and had ascended the French throne in 1498 following the death of Charles VIII. Jeanne was raised alongside her legitimate Angoulême half-siblings, Francis, who was now the Count of Angoulême, Duke of Valois and heir presumptive to the Kingdom of France, and Marguerite.[5]

She was legitimised in Lyon in August 1501 by King Louis on the occasion of her marriage. On 24 March 1522, she was created suo jure Countess Bar-sur-Seine by her half-brother Francis, who had succeeded Louis as King in 1515.[6]

Marriages and issue

Jeanne married her first husband in August 1501, shortly after her legitimisation. He was Jean Aubin, Seigneur de Malicorne. The marriage was childless. Sometime after his death, she married secondly, Jean IV de Longwy, Seigneur de Givry, Baron of Pagny and of Mirebeau, by whom she had three daughters:

Jeanne's husband died in 1520. His titles were inherited by their eldest daughter, Françoise.

Jeanne died on an unknown date sometime after 1531/1538. Her youngest daughter, Jacqueline succeeded her as Countess of Bar-sur-Seine.

Through Jacqueline, Jeanne of Angoulême was an ancestress of the House of Hanover which reigned in Great Britain from 1714 until 1910, and from which descends the current British Royal Family. Through her daughter, Françoise, she was the great-great-grandmother of Charles II, Duke of Elbeuf, Grand Chamberlain of France, who married Catherine Henriette de Bourbon, the illegitimate daughter of King Henry IV of France by Gabrielle d'Estrées.




  1. Charles Cawley, Medieval Lands, France, Capetian Kings
  2. Francis Hackett, Francis The First, Doubleday, Doran and Company, Inc., Garden City, New York, 1937
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