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Jeanne de Bourbon (1338–1378)

Jeanne de Bourbon (1338–1378)

Queen of France. Name variations: Joan of Bourbon. Born on February 3, 1338, in Bourbon (some sources erroneously cite 1326 or 1327); died on February 6, 1378, in Paris; daughter of Pierre or Peter I, duke of Bourbon, and Isabelle of Savoy (d. 1383); married

Charles V (1338–1380), king of France (r. 1364–1380), in 1350; children: Charles VI the Mad (1368–1422), king of France (r. 1380–1422); Louis (1372–1407), duke of Orléans (assassinated in 1407); Isabelle (1378–1378);Catherine of France (who married John of Montpensier).

Born in 1338, Jeanne de Bourbon was the daughter of Isabelle of Savoy and Pierre I of Bourbon. In 1350, a marriage took place between the 12-year-old girl and the French king, Charles V (r. 1364–1380). During her life, Jeanne was primarily recognized for her important religious patronage and generosity to convents. She founded a Celestine monastery among others, and was also a benevolent patron of the arts. She commissioned numerous paintings and sculptures, mostly on religious topics, including a statue of pure gold carved in the image of Mary the Virgin to adorn one of her religious houses. Like many queens, Jeanne did not assist in the administration of the kingdom, but rather spent her time presiding over a large and intellectual court. She was also noted as an avid book collector and often commissioned works to be copied for her. However, all her life she was plagued by bouts of mental instability of unknown origin. It is believed her son, King Charles VI, inherited his weak mental condition from her. Jeanne died from complications of childbirth at age 40.


Anderson, Bonnie S., and Judith P. Zinsser. A History of Their Own. Vol. I. NY: Harper and Row, 1988.

LaBarge, Margaret. A Small Sound of the Trumpet: Women in Medieval Life. Boston: Beacon Press, 1986.

Laura York , Riverside, California

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