08 June, 2016

Marriage Negotiations For Edward II's Two Unmarried Children, 1329/30

I've written before about Edward II's negotiations for the future marriages of three of his four children, none of which worked out because he was deposed before they came to fruition. (Eleanor of Woodstock would have married Alfonso XI of Castile, Edward of Windsor would have married Alfonso's sister Leonor, and Joan of the Tower would have married the future Pedro IV of Aragon.) Edward's eldest child Edward III in fact married Philippa of Hainault on 25 January 1328, a marriage Edward had been strongly opposed to, and his youngest child Joan of the Tower married the future David II of Scotland on 17 July 1328 just after her seventh birthday (David himself was only four). Edward would have been strongly opposed to that marriage too. Edward's elder daughter Eleanor of Woodstock married Count, late Duke, Reynald II of Guelders in May 1332, the month before her fourteenth birthday, and his younger son John of Eltham died unmarried aged twenty in September 1336. Here's some information about marriage negotiations carried out by Edward III's government for the marriages of the young king's siblings Eleanor and John in 1329/30.

On 16 June 1329, a double marriage was suggested: Eleanor of Woodstock would marry the eldest son of King Philip VI of France, and John of Eltham would marry one of Philip's daughters. This was two days before Eleanor's eleventh birthday; John of Eltham was twelve going on thirteen. Philip VI's eldest son was the future King John II of France, born on 26 April 1319 and ten months Eleanor's junior. This plan for the betrothal of Eleanor of Woodstock and the future John II was repeated on 27 January and on 10 April 1330. [Foedera 1327-44, pp. 766, 777, 785] Philip VI, the first Valois king of France, had succeeded to the throne on 1 April 1328 after his cousin Charles IV's widow Joan of Evreux gave birth to Charles' posthumous daughter Blanche, who was born exactly two months after Charles' death. Had Blanche been a boy, he would have immediately become king of France, and the whole of French history ever since would be entirely different.

On 27 January 1330, as above, arrangements were again made to negotiate for a marriage between John of Eltham and Philip VI's daughter, this time named as Marie; as far as I can tell, Marie was born in about 1326 and died as a child in 1333, having been briefly married to Duke John III of Brabant's son. In the meantime, however, on 24 September 1329, another future betrothal was suggested for John of Eltham: Maria Diaz de Haro II, who was born in about 1318 or 1320 so was slightly younger than John. [Foedera, p. 773] Maria was the daughter and heir of Juan el Tuerto, 'the One-Eyed', lord of Biscay and a kinsman of Edward II: he was the grandson of Edward's uncle Alfonso X of Castile. Maria Diaz de Haro ultimately married her cousin Juan de la Cerda, son of Alfonso X's eldest son Fernando de la Cerda (who died before his father and thus never became king).

In July 1313, the future Philip VI married Jeanne la Boiteuse de Bourgogne, Joan 'the Lame' of Burgundy. Via her mother Agnes, Joan was the granddaughter of Louis IX of France (and was thus a first cousin once removed of her husband, Louis IX's great-grandson), and was a younger sister of Marguerite of Burgundy, adulterous first wife of Louis X of France, who died in prison in 1315. Of Philip VI and Joan of Burgundy's numerous children - something like twelve or fourteen,though it's hard to tell for sure - only two, John II and Philip, duke of Orleans, lived into adulthood. Philip of Orleans was born in 1336 and was seventeen years younger than his brother the king. He married his second cousin Blanche of France, the posthumous daughter of Charles IV and the only one of Charles' children who lived into adulthood, who was eight years his senior; they were childless.

Edward III had still not given up hoping for a marriage alliance with France: in July 1331, he opened negotiations for the future marriage of his son Edward of Woodstock, then just over a year old, with another daughter of Philip VI, this time named as Joan or Jeanne. [Foedera 1327-44, p. 838; CPR 1330-4, pp. 157, 224, 273] I can find references to two daughters of Philip VI with that name, but one was born in 1317 and died shortly after so it can't be her, and the other was born and died in 1337 so it can't be her either. Either Philip VI had three daughters called Joan who died young, or this is an error by English scribes.

The marriage negotiations with England having failed, the future John II of France married Jutta of Bohemia, whose name was changed to Bonne after her marriage, in 1332. She was the daughter of John the Blind, king of Bohemia, and sister of the Holy Roman Emperor Charles IV. Jutta/Bonne's niece Anne of Bohemia, who wasn't born till 1366, married Edward III's grandson Richard II. Jutta was the mother of John II's many children, including Charles V of France, but died before John succeeded to the throne in 1350, and thus was never queen of France.


Anerje said...

I'm always surprised that John of Eltam was unmarried when he died at the age of 20, especially as Royal children married at such young ages.

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