John II the Good

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John II the Good

 

(Jean II le Bon). Born Apr. 16, 1319, in the Chateau Gue-de-Maului, near Le Mans; died Apr. 8, 1364, in London. French king (from 1350) of the Valois dynasty.

John II ruled during the Hundred Years’ War. After the French forces were defeated at Crécy in 1346, France’s military and financial position was extremely grave; John II called together the States General in 1355 for the purpose of obtaining money to conduct military operations. The States General agreed to grant subsidies, but only on the condition that they have control over the expenditures. John, however, succeeded in obtaining only part of the money he needed. In the battle of Poitiers in 1356 his forces were defeated by the English and John was taken prisoner; he was transported to London the following year. In 1359 he signed the Treaty of London, under whose terms he relinquished half his kingdom to the English and promised 4 million gold écus as ransom. (The treaty was repudiated by the dauphin Charles, who was ruling in the absence of John II.) After the Treaty of Brétigny was signed, John returned to Paris in December 1360 on the condition that he would subsequently pay 3 million gold écus as ransom. However, because of the failure to meet the ransom payment in full and because of his son’s escape from England, where he had been kept hostage, John II returned to London in 1364, where he died soon after.

References in periodicals archive ?
On his maternal side, his grandfather was the artist and writer Frederic Crowninshield, a descendant of King John II of France of the House of Valois.