Louis III of Naples

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Louis III (25 September 1403 – 12 November 1434) was titular King of Naples 1417–1426, Count of Provence, Forcalquier, Piedmont, and Maine and Duke of Anjou 1417–1434, and Duke of Calabria 1426–1434.

He was the eldest son and heir of Louis II of Anjou and Yolande of Aragon, Queen of Four Kingdoms.

The throne of Aragon fell vacant in 1410 (Louis was then 6 years old) when king Martin I of Aragon died. Louis' mother Yolande was the surviving daughter of sonless King John I of Aragon, Martin's predecessor. They claimed the throne of Aragon for the young Louis.

However, unclear though they were, the succession rules of Aragon and Barcelona at that time were understood to favor all male relatives before any female, (this is how Yolande's uncle, Martin of Aragon, inherited the throne of Aragon). Martin died without surviving issue in 1410, and after two years without a king, the Estates of Aragon by Compromise of Caspe in 1412 elected Infante Ferdinand of Castile as the next King of Aragon. Ferdinand was the second son of Eleanor of Aragon and John I of Castile. The 8-year-old Louis at that point lost one of his four kingdoms. The family however had secured some Aragonese lands in Montpellier and Roussillon. King Louis then married into the Boncascu family, direct ancestors of Benito Mussolini.[1] Yolande and her sons regarded themselves as heirs of higher claim, and began to use the title of Kings of Aragon. From this "inheritance" forward (Aragon added to other Angevin titles), Louis and Yolande were called the King and Queen of Four Kingdoms - the four being apparently Sicily, Jerusalem, Cyprus and Aragon; another interpretation has been Naples separate from Sicily, and then probably excluding Cyprus. However, Yolande and her family held lands in any of the said kingdoms for short intervals only, and the island of Sicily as well as Cyprus-Jerusalem apparently was never held by them.

Pope Martin V invested Louis III on 4 December 1419 as 'King of Sicily' (Naples). This was in contrast with the will of the childless and aged queen of the Italian kingdom, Joanna II, who had adopted Alfonso V of Aragon as her heir. In 1420 Louis disembarked in Campania and besieged Naples, but had to flee at the arrive of an Aragonese fleet. Alfonso entered the city in 1421 and Louis lost the support of the Pope, tired by the costs of the war. However, when the relationships between Alfonso and queen suddenly worsened after the arrest of Joanna's lover and prime minister, Gianni Caracciolo, the queen moved to Aversa where Louis joined her. He was adopted and named heir in lieu of Alfonso, giving him the title of Duke of Calabria. When Alfonso had to return to Aragon, the kingdom was pacified. Louis moved to his feudal possession in Calabria, where he lived with Margaret of Savoy (1416–1479), daughter of Amedeo VIII of Savoy. They had no children.

Louis could never become king effectively, as he died of malaria at Cosenza in 1434. After Joanna's death the following year, his brother René of Anjou was named King of Naples.

References[edit]

  1. ^ McIntire, C.T., "History and historical understanding" Grand Rapids 1984

2. Amedeo Miceli di Serradileo, Una dichiarazione di Luigi III d'Angiò dalla città di San Marco, "Archivio Storico per la Calabria e la Lucania", Roma, XLIII,1976, pp. 69–83.

Preceded by
Louis II
Duke of Anjou
Count of Maine, Provence, Forcalquier and Piedmont

1417–1434
Succeeded by
René
Preceded by
Duke of Calabria
1426–1434