Jeanne de Belleville (fl. 1343)

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Jeanne de Belleville (fl. 1343)

French noblewoman and pirate. Name variations: Jeanne de Clisson. Flourished in 1343 in France and England; married Olivier III, lord of Clisson (died 1343); married Gautier de Bentley, an English courtier; children: at least three, including Olivier IV, lord of Clisson.

A French noblewoman, Jeanne de Belleville's rebellion against Philip VI, king of France, gained her a reputation for being vicious, blood-thirsty, and vengeful. She lived rather quietly as a younger woman, marrying Olivier III, lord of Clisson, and bearing several children. But when her husband was executed for treason in 1343 on the king's orders, Jeanne revolted, gathering other discontented petty nobles and beginning a bloody rampage against the king's followers. With the troops of King Philip close after them, the rebels rode across the kingdom, killing all the royalist nobles they could find.

Her revolt found support from Edward III, king of England, who, in his desire to weaken the French king in any way possible, agreed to loan Jeanne some arms and English warships. From the coast of Brittany, Jeanne and her supporters conducted skirmishes against French soldiers. After 1344, Jeanne escaped to the protection of the English king and lived at his court, eventually marrying Gautier de Bentley, a courtier.


Echols, Anne, and Marty Williams. An Annotated Index of Medieval Women. NY: Markus Wiener, 1992.

Salmonson, Jessica. The Encyclopedia of Amazons. NY: Doubleday, 1991.

Laura York , Riverside, California

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Jeanne de Belleville (fl. 1343)

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