James of Baux

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James of Baux (French: Jacques des Baux; died 7 July 1383), hereditary Duke of Andria, was the last Latin Emperor of Constantinople from 1374 to 1383 and Prince of Achaea from 1382 to 1383.

James was the son of Francesco del Balzo, 1st Duke of Andria by Margaret of Taranto (c.1325–1380), daughter of Prince Philip I of Taranto and his second wife, Catherine of Valois.[1] Margaret was thus sister of Robert of Taranto and Philip II of Taranto, both of whom reigned as princes of Achaea and titular emperors of Constantinople (Robert II and Philip III).

Baux's father married three times.[1] Francis of Baux married his first wife Luisa de San Severino in 1337; they had no issue.[1] Francis of Baux's second marriage in 1348 was to James of Baux's mother, Marguerite of Taranto.[1] Francis of Baux married thirdly in 1381, Sueva Orsini, by whom he had issue including Margherita del Balzo; mother of Jacquetta of Luxembourg.[1] By Margherita, Baux would have been a great-uncle of queen consort Elizabeth Woodville, wife of King Edward IV of England.[1]

On the childless death of Philip II of Taranton in 1373, most of the barons in the principality of Achaea recognized as his heir Queen Joanna I of Naples. When in 1376 or 1377 she leased the territory to the Knights Hospitaler for five years at four thousands ducats a year, Philip II's relatives put forward a rival candidate, James of Baux.[2]

James met with some success in 1380 but did not have complete control until Joanna's death in 1382, when he became the only legitimate claimant to Achaea. In his attempt to reclaim his inheritance, James hired the services of the Navarrese Company, which had originally been hired by the Hospitalers, with whom James was at war. James was now taking the titles "Despot of Romania" (i.e. Emperor) and "Prince of Taranto and Achaea". The Navarrese conquered much of Messenia and the towns of Androusa and Kalamata for James, but he did not enjoy this principality long.[2] He died on 7 July 1383.

In 1382, James had married Agnes, a daughter of Duke Charles of Durazzo and Maria of Calabria, the sister of Queen Joanna. The marriage remained childless.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f Douglas Richardson. Plantagenet Ancestry: Plantagenet Ancestry: A Study In Colonial And Medieval Families, 2nd Edition, 2011. pg 401.
  2. ^ a b Fine 1987, pp. 401–02.

References[edit]

  • Fine, John Van Antwerp (1994). The Late Medieval Balkans: A Critical Survey from the Late Twelfth Century to the Ottoman Conquest. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press. 
  • Lock, Peter (1995). The Franks in the Aegean, 1204–1500. New York. 
  • Zakythēnos, Dionysios A. (1932). Le despotat grec de Morée (1204–1462). Paris: Les Belles Lettres. 
James of Baux
Died: 1383
Preceded by
Philip II of Taranto
— TITULAR —
Latin Emperor of Constantinople
1374–1383
Reason for succession failure:
Conquest by Empire of Nicaea in 1261
None¹
Prince of Taranto
1374–1383
Succeeded by
Otto of Brunswick
Preceded by
Joan I of Naples
Prince of Achaea
1380–1383
Succeeded by
Charles III of Naples
Notes and references
1. Willed to Louis I of Anjou,¹ who never used the title.