History - OnThisDay - April 26th. 1319 - King John II of France

April 26th. 1319 marks the birth of John of France. This took place at
Le Mans, France.


His parents were King Philip VI of France and Joan of Burgundy,
also called Joan the Lame.

He was thus a brother of inter alia Philip, Duke of Orleans.

Love and Marriage

At first, there were rumors of a marriage between John of France
and Eleanor of Woodstock, sister of King Edward III of England.

However King Philip VI of France invited John of Luxembourg,
King of Bohemia to Fontainebleau. As a part of a treaty, John had
to marry Bonne of Bohemia.

On July 28th.1332, at the Church of Notre Dame in Melun, the
wedding between John of France and Bonne of Bohemia was celebrated.
They would have 10 children together. Bonne of Bohemia died in 1349.

On February 19th. 1350, John married  Joanna I, Countess of
Auvergne and Boulogne. She was the widow of Philip of Burgundy
and the mother of Philip I, Duke of Burgundy. She and King John II of
France would have 3 children, who all died young.

Rumors were spread by Charles II of Navarre, of a romance between
King John II of France and Charles de la Cerda. When John became
King, La Cerda accompanied him on all his official journeys to the
provinces. Finally la Cerda was murdered on January 8th. 1354.
The King's grief on La Cerda's death was overt and public.


In 1332, John became Duke of Normandy. This was very difficult
because many nobles allied with the English.

In 1342, John was in Avignon at the coronation of Pope Clement VI.

In 1346 and the following years, Black Death killed the majority
of the population. It was so deadly that John had to leave the country
until it ended.

John became King of France on August 22nd. 1350. During his
reign he gave 11 pardons. One of his major pardons during the war
was to King Edward III of England.

In 1355, the Hundred Year's War flared up again. Edward, the Black
Prince, son of King Edward III of England, took an army through

In September, King John II of France and Edward the Black Prince
met each other near Poitiers. The French lost this battle and there
were royal prisoners.

King John was held in various palaces in England, he also was taken
to the Tower of London.

In 1360, King John could return to France to collect the ransom.

On July 1st. 1363, King John announced that he would voluntarily
return to captivity in England after he heard that his son Louis I, Duke
of Anjou was escaped.

King John was greeted in London with parades and feasts.
A few months after his arrival he fell ill with an unknown
malady and he died on April 8th. 1364.

His body was returned to France and interred in the royal chambers at the
Saint Denis Basilica.

Source pictures: Wikipedia

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