Joan of France, Duchess of Brittany

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Joan of Valois
Joan of France (1391–1433).jpg
Duchess of Brittany
Tenure 1 November 1399 – 27 September 1433
Born (1391-01-24)24 January 1391
Château de Melun, Seine-et-Marne, Kingdom of France
Died 27 September 1433(1433-09-27) (aged 42)
Vannes, Morbihan, Duchy of Brittany
Burial Vannes Cathedral
Spouse John V, Duke of Brittany
Issue Anne
Isabelle, Countess of Laval
Francis I
Peter II, Duke of Brittany
Gilles, Lord of Chantocé
House House of Valois
Father Charles VI of France
Mother Isabeau of Bavaria
Religion Roman Catholicism

Joan of France (24 January 1391 – 27 September 1433) was Duchess of Brittany through her marriage to John V. She was a daughter of Charles VI of France and his wife, Isabeau of Bavaria.

Abduction of John V by the Counts of Penthièvre

The Counts of Penthièvre had lost the Breton War of Succession in the 1340s. As a result, they lost the ducal title of Brittany to the Montforts. The conclusion to the conflict took many years to confirm until 1365 when the Treaty of Guérande was signed. Despite the military loss and the diplomatic treaty, the Counts of Penthièvre had not renounced their ducal claims to Brittany and continued to pursue them.

In 1420 they invited John V to a festival held at Châtonceaux. John came and was arrested. The Counts of Penthiève then spread rumours of his death and moved him to a new prison each day. Joan of France called upon all the barons of Brittany to respond. They besieged all the castles of the Penthièvre family one by one.

Joan ended by seizing the dowager countess of Penthièvre, Margaret of Clisson, forcing her to have the duke freed.


Joan was mother to two Dukes of Brittany. She also had notable siblings.

In 1396 Joan married John V, Duke of Brittany. Together they had seven children:

  • Anne (1409 – c. 1415)
  • Isabella (1411 – c. 1442), who in 1435 married Guy XIV of Laval and had 3 children with him.
  • Margaret (1412 – c. 1421)
  • Francis I (1414 – c. 1450), duke of Brittany
  • Catherine (1416 – c. 1421)
  • Peter II (1418 – c. 1457), duke of Brittany
  • Gilles (1420 – c. 1450), seigneur of Chantocé.

Her most notable siblings were:

Joan died in 1433, during her husband's reign.



Preceded by
Joanna of Navarre
Duchess consort of Brittany
Succeeded by
Isabella of Scotland