John, Duke of Durazzo

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John
Duke of Durazzo, Prince of Achaea, Count of Gravina
Armoiries Anjou Durazzo.png
Spouse Matilda of Hainaut
Agnes de Périgord
Issue Charles, Duke of Durazzo
Louis of Durazzo
Robert of Durazzo
Stephen of Durazzo
Father Charles II of Naples
Mother Maria of Hungary
Born 1294
Died 5 August 1336 (aged 42)

John of Gravina (1294 – 5 April 1336), Count of Gravina 1315–1336, Duke of Durazzo 1332–1336 and ruler of the Kingdom of Albania (although he never used a royal title), was a younger son of Charles II of Naples and Maria of Hungary.

He was a younger brother of (among others) Charles Martel of Anjou, Saint Louis of Toulouse, Robert of Naples and Philip I of Taranto.

On 3 September 1313 he was named Captain-General of Calabria. In 1315, he succeeded his brother Peter, Count of Gravina after the latter was killed at the Battle of Montecatini.

The death of Louis of Burgundy in 1316 widowed Matilda of Hainaut, Princess of Achaea. Her suzerain, John's brother Philip I of Taranto, had her brought by force to Naples in 1318 to marry John, a design intended to bring the Principality of Achaea into the Angevin inheritance. The marriage, celebrated in March 1318, failed of its objective: Matilda refused to surrender her rights to Achaea to her husband and ultimately contracted a secret marriage with Hugh de La Palice. This violated the marriage contract of her mother Isabelle, which had pledged that Isabelle and all her female heirs should not marry without permission of their suzerain. On these grounds, Philip stripped her of Achaea and bestowed it upon John: the marriage was annulled for non-consummation, and Matilda was imprisoned in the Castel dell'Ovo.

On 14 November 1321, John took a second wife, Agnes de Périgord, daughter of Helie VII, Count of Périgord and Brunissende de Foix. They had three sons:

He made a military expedition, financed by the Acciaiuoli, in 1325 to claim Achaea, by now much diminished from its original extent. While he re-established his authority in Kefalonia and Zante, he was unable to recapture Skorta from the control of the Byzantine Empire.

In 1332, Philip of Taranto died and was succeeded by his son Robert of Taranto, who became the new suzerain of Achaea. Not wishing to swear fealty to his nephew, John arranged to surrender Achaea to him in exchange for Robert's rights to the Kingdom of Albania and a loan of 5,000 ounces of gold raised upon Niccolo Acciaiuoli, and thenceforth adopted the style of "Duke of Durazzo".

Ancestry[edit]

Preceded by
Peter
Count of Gravina
1315–1336
Succeeded by
Charles
Preceded by
Robert
as lord of Albania
Duke of Durazzo
1332–1336
Preceded by
Matilda
Prince of Achaea
1322–1332
Succeeded by
Robert
Preceded by
John II Orsini
Count Palatine of
Cephalonia and Zakynthos

1322–1332