John the Fearless

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John the Fearless

John the Fearless, 1371–1419, duke of Burgundy (1404–19); son of Philip the Bold. He fought against the Turks at Nikopol in 1396 and was a prisoner for a year until he was ransomed. He continued his father's feud with Louis, duc d'Orléans, brother of King Charles VI, and became popular by advocating governmental reforms. In 1407 he had Louis assassinated; he was forced to leave Paris but later returned and obtained control of the French government. Rivalry between his party and the supporters of Orléans led to open civil war in 1411 (see Armagnacs and Burgundians). In 1413, John was again forced to flee Paris as a result of a reaction against the violence of his supporters, the Cabochiens. He did not aid the government, now under Armagnac control, against the English invaders under King Henry V, and in 1418 he took advantage of French defeats to seize Paris and the king. John negotiated both with Henry V and with the dauphin (later King Charles VII), who now led the Armagnacs. At a meeting in Montereau with the dauphin, John was assassinated (1419). He was succeeded by his son, Philip the Good.
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John the Fearless

 

(Jean sans Peur). Born May 28, 1371, in Dijon; died Sept. 10, 1419, in Montereau. Duke of Burgundy from 1404.

John the Fearless was head of the Burgundian feudal faction. In 1407, during the rule of Charles VI, the feebleminded king of France (1380–1422), he organized the assassination of his rival, Louis, Duke of Orleans, head of the Armagnacs, in the struggle for power. He subsequently took a leading role in the ruling of France. He tried to make use of the Cabochien movement in his war against the Armagnacs but betrayed it at a decisive moment and in 1413 was forced from power by the Armagnacs. During the resumption of the Hundred Years’ War, John entered into a secret alliance with the king of England, Henry V, in October 1416. In 1419, John seized Paris, but, becoming alarmed by the military successes of the English, who threatened the city, he began to seek a rapprochement with the French king. During his negotiations with the dauphin (the future King Charles VII), John was killed by one of the dauphin’s followers.

REFERENCES

Pecquet de Haut-Jussé, B.-A. La France gouvernée par Jean sans Peur. Paris, 1959.
David, H. Du Nouveau sur Jean sans Peur. Dijon, 1959.
Vaughan, R. John the Fearless. London, 1966.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.