Anne of Cyprus

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Anne of Cyprus
Marie de Clèves (1426-1487).jpg
Detail of a tapestry. An art historian suggests, hypothetically, that it could represent Mary of Cleves or Anne of Cyprus
Duchess consort of Savoy
Born24 September 1418
Nicosia, Cyprus
Died11 November 1462 (aged 44)
SpouseLouis, Duke of Savoy
Amadeus IX, Duke of Savoy
Louis, King of Cyprus
Philip II, Duke of Savoy
Margaret, Margravine of Montferrat
Charlotte, Queen of France
Maria, Countess of Saint-Pol
Bona, Duchess of Milan
Jacques, Count of Romont
FatherJanus of Cyprus
MotherCharlotte of Bourbon
ReligionRoman Catholicism

Anne of Cyprus (or Anne de Lusignan) (24 September 1418 – 11 November 1462) was a Duchess of Savoy by marriage to Louis, Duke of Savoy. She was the daughter of King Janus of Cyprus and Charlotte of Bourbon; and a member of the Poitiers-Lusignan crusader dynasty. She was highly influential in the Duchy of Savoy and acted as the political advisor and the de facto ruler on the wish of her spouse.


On 9 August 1431 a marriage contract was signed between 12-year-old Anne and Prince Amadeus of Piemonte, eldest surviving son and heir of Duke Amadeus VIII of Savoy (who later became Antipope Felix V); however, the prince died only twenty days later, on 29 August.

Five months later, on 1 January 1432, was signed a second marriage contract for 13-year-old Anne, this time with Louis of Savoy, Amadeus' younger brother and new heir of the Duchy of Savoy. The wedding took place two years later, on 12 February 1434.[1] in Chambéry. A few months later, on 7 November, Duke Amadeus VIII resigned, leaving the government in the hands of his son Louis, although he officially abdicated in his favor only when he was elected as antipope, in 1440.

Anne's husband, who was more interested in poetry than his duchy, but very much in love with his wife, gradually left her to manage affairs of state. She, due to nostalgia for her own country, organized many receptions on behalf of the most powerful Cypriot lords. To impress the visitors, she decorated the castles, organized festivals, and offered gifts to the guests, the expense of which caused much protest from the peasants and nobles of the county of Vaud.

To relieve some of her debts, Anne organized a match for one of her daughters, which was an advantageous alliance for the house of Savoy. In 1451, at the age of ten years, her daughter Charlotte married the dauphin of France, the future King Louis XI. He later would claim default of the promised dowry, new strongholds, and seized several castles in Bresse and several chief towns of Vaud.

In 1452, Anne bought the Shroud of Turin from Jeanne de Charny in exchange for the castle of Varambon. Years later Pope Paul II authorised Yolande of France to deposit the relic of the Holy Shroud in the vault of the castle of Chambéry from which she raised a tower above the sacristy, as a religious symbol.


Anne died on 11 November 1462 in Geneva, Switzerland at the age of 44.


Louis and Anne had 19 children, six of whom died in childhood.

  1. Amadeus IX (Thonon, 1 February 1435 – 30 March 1472), Duke of Savoy.
  2. Marie (Morges, 10 March 1436 – Thonon, 1 December 1437), died in childhood.
  3. Louis (Geneva, 1 April 1437 – Ripaille, 12 July 1482), Count of Geneva, King of Cyprus.
  4. Philip II (Thonon, 5 February 1438 – Torino, 7 November 1497), Duke of Savoy.
  5. Marguerite (Pinerolo, April 1439 – Bruges, 9 March 1485), married firstly in December 1458 Giovanni IV Paleologo, Marquis of Montferrat and secondly Pierre II de Luxembourg, Count of St. Pol, of Brienne, de Ligny, Marle, and Soissons.
  6. Pierre (Genève, ca. 2 February 1440 – Torino, 21 October 1458), Archbishop of Tarentasia.
  7. Janus (Genève, 8 November 1440 – Annecy, 22 December 1491), Count of Faucigny and Geneva, married Helene of Luxembourg, daughter of Louis de Luxembourg, Count of Saint-Pol, and his first wife Jeanne de Bar, Countess of Marle and Soissons.
  8. Charlotte (Chambéry, 16 November 1441 – Amboise, 1 December 1483), married King Louis XI of France.
  9. Aimon (Genève, 2 November 1442 – Genève, 30 March 1443), died in childhood.
  10. Jacques (Genève, 29 November 1444 – Genève, 1 June 1445), died in childhood.
  11. Agnes (Chambéry, October 1445 – Paris, 16 March 1509), married François d'Orléans, Duke of Longueville. Their son is Louis I d'Orléans, duc de Longueville.
  12. Jean Louis (Genève, 26 February 1447 – Torino, 4 July 1482), Bishop of Genève.
  13. Maria (Pinerolo, 20 March 1448 – 13 September 1475), married Louis of Luxembourg, Count of St. Pol, of Brienne, de Ligny, and Conversano, Constable of France.
  14. Bonne (Avigliana, 12 August 1449 – Fossano, 17 November 1503), married Galeazzo Maria Sforza, Duke of Milan.
  15. Jacques/Giacomo (Genève, 12 November 1450 – Ham in Picardy, 30 January 1486), Count of Romont, Lord of Vaud.
  16. Anne (Genève, September 1452 – Genève, 1 October 1452), died in childhood.
  17. François (Annecy, 19 August 1454 – Torino 6 October 1490), Archbishop of Auch and Bishop of Geneva.
  18. Jeanne (died at birth, 1455?)
  19. François (1456-1458), died in childhood.