Otto, Duke of Brunswick-Grubenhagen

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Otto, Duke of Brunswick-Grubenhagen (1320 – 1 December 1398) was the fourth and last husband of Joanna I of Naples. He also held the title of Prince of Taranto. He nickname was Otto the Tarantine.

Biography[edit]

He was the eldest son of Henry II, Duke of Brunswick-Grubenhagen (c. 1289 - 1351) and his first wife Jutta of Brandenburg.

In 1353, he married his first wife Violante of Vilaragut, a daughter of Berengar de Villaragut and widow of James III of Majorca. There were no children from this marriage. By 1372, Otto was a widower.

On 25 September 1376, Otto married his second wife, the three times widowed Queen Joanna I of Naples. The groom was fifty-six years old and the bride about forty-eight. The marriage was childless.

The so-called Western Schism started in 1378 with the election of two rival Popes, Urban VI of Rome and Clement VII of Avignon. Joanna supported Clement VII and allied herself with his main supporter Charles V of France. With no hope of having further children of her own, Joanna chose to strengthen her alliance with France by adopting Louis of Anjou, younger brother of Charles V, as her heir.

Urban VI proclaimed Joanna deposed in 1381. He named her second cousin Charles of Durazzo as his candidate for the supposedly vacant throne. Charles spent the following months gathering his army within Kingdom of Hungary and then marched against the Kingdom of Naples. Otto led the Neapolitan army in battle but was defeated.

Otto was exiled from Naples and would never return. Joanna was strangled in prison in the Castle of San Fele on 12 May 1382. Charles of Durazzo became King Charles III of Naples while Louis of Anjou became a rival candidate for his throne.

Otto survived Joanna by at least sixteen years but never remarried. He died childless at Foggia and was succeeded by his first cousin, once removed Eric I, Duke of Brunswick-Grubenhagen, previously Duke of Einbeck.

External links[edit]

Otto, Duke of Brunswick-Grubenhagen
Cadet branch of the House of Este
Born: 1320 Died: 1 December 1398
Regnal titles
Preceded by
James of Baux
Prince of Taranto
1383–1393
Succeeded by
Raimondo del Balzo Orsini