Wenceslaus I, Duke of Luxembourg

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Wenceslaus I
Wenceslaus of Luxembourg.jpg
Wenceslaus I of Luxembourg
Count of Luxembourg, Arlon and Durbuy
Reign 1353-13 March 1354
Predecessor Emperor Charles IV
Duke of Luxembourg
Reign 13 March 1354-7 December 1383
Successor Wenceslaus IV
Duke of Brabant and Limburg
Reign 1355-1383 with Joanna
Predecessor John III
Successor Joanna
Born (1337-02-25)25 February 1337
Died 7 December 1383(1383-12-07) (aged 46)
Burial Abbaye d'Orval, Belgium
Spouse Joanna, Duchess of Brabant
House Luxembourg
Father John of Bohemia
Mother Beatrice of Bourbon

Wenceslaus I (also Wenceslas, Venceslas, Wenzel, or Václav, often called Wenceslaus of Bohemia in chronicles) (Prague, 25 February 1337 – Luxembourg, 7 December 1383) was the first Duke of Luxembourg from 1354. He was the son of John the Blind, King of Bohemia, and Beatrice of Bourbon.


In 1353 Charles IV King of Bohemia, Count of Luxembourg and elected Holy Roman King, entrusted the county, their father's inheritance, to his half-brother Wenceslaus. In 1352, Wenceslaus married Joanna (1322 – 1406), daughter of John III, Duke of Brabant and Limburg, and Marie d'Évreux. In 1354 Charles raised Luxembourg to the status of a duchy. In 1355, Joanna inherited Brabant and Limburg. In order to guarantee the indivisibility of Brabant, Wenceslaus signed the Joyous Entry, but had to fight against his brother-in-law Louis II of Flanders, who asserted his share of the duchy. He failed to prevent the seizure of Brussels by the Flemings, but a certain Everard 't Serclaes succeeded by an audacious coup in driving them out of the city. Thereafter, Wenceslaus had to face primarily internal disorders. In 1371, he overestimated his military capacities and waged war with William II, Duke of Jülich, resulting in humiliating defeat at the Baesweiler, losing a part of his army, and several noblemen.[1] He was captured and suffered 11 months of captivity.[2]

File:Wenceslas Crypt.jpg
Burial Place in Abbaye d'Orval, Belgium

Wenceslaus died in Luxembourg, leaving Joanna as sole ruler of Brabant, and was succeeded by Wenceslaus II as duke of Luxembourg. There are speculations that he might have died of leprosy. His last wish was his heart to be displaced from his dead body and sent to his wife (Joanna stayed in Brussels). He is buried in a crypt at the now-ruined Abbaye d'Orval in Belgium.

Wenceslaus I of Luxembourg wrote the lyric poetry interpolated in Jean Froissart's Méliador, which was identified as his by Auguste Longnon in the 1890s (Wenceslas was a patron of this chronicler). His lyric output comprises 79 poems (11 ballades, 16 virelais, 52 rondeaux).



  1. Richard Vaughan, Philip the Bold, (The Boydell Press, 2009), 80.
  2. Richard Vaughan, Philip the Bold, 80.
Wenceslaus I, Duke of Luxembourg
Born: 25 February 1337 Died: 7 December 1383
Preceded by
Charles I
Count of Luxembourg
Succeeded by
Elevated to Duke
Preceded by
Elevated from Count
Duke of Luxemburg
Succeeded by
Wenceslaus II
Preceded by
John III
Duke of Brabant
with Joanna
Succeeded by
as sole ruler