Joan of France, Duchess of Brittany

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Joan of Valois
Joan of France (1391–1433).jpg
Duchess of Brittany
Tenure 1 November 1399 – 27 September 1433
Born (1391-01-24)24 January 1391
Château de Melun, Seine-et-Marne, Kingdom of France
Died 27 September 1433(1433-09-27) (aged 42)
Vannes, Morbihan, Duchy of Brittany
Burial Vannes Cathedral
Spouse John V, Duke of Brittany
Issue Anne
Isabelle, Countess of Laval
Francis I, Duke of Brittany
Peter II, Duke of Brittany
Gilles, Lord of Chantocé
House Valois
Father Charles VI of France
Mother Isabeau of Bavaria
Religion Roman Catholicism

Joan of France (24 January 1391 – 27 September 1433) was Duchess of Brittany through her marriage to John V. She was a daughter of Charles VI of France and Isabeau of Bavaria.


Joan married John V, Duke of Brittany in 1396. Three years after the wedding, her spouse became duke and she duchess of Brittany.

As duchess, Joan is perhaps most known for her role during the conflict between John V and the Counts of Penthièvre. The Penthièvre branch had lost the Breton War of Succession in the 1340s. As a result, they lost the ducal title of Brittany to the Montforts. The conclusion to the conflict took many years to confirm until 1365 when the Treaty of Guérande was signed. Despite the military loss and the diplomatic treaty, the Counts of Penthièvre had not renounced their ducal claims to Brittany and continued to pursue them. In 1420, they invited John V to a festival held at Châtonceaux. He accepted the invitation, but when he arrived, he was captured and kept prisoner.

The Counts of Penthiève then spread rumours of his death, and moved him to a new prison each day. Joan of France called upon all the barons of Brittany to respond. They besieged all the castles of the Penthièvre family one by one. Joan ended the conflict by seizing the dowager countess of Penthièvre, Margaret of Clisson, and forcing her to have the duke freed.

A Book of Hours by the Bedford Master, Heures Lamoignon, was dedicated to her.


She had seven children:

  • Anne (1409 – c. 1415)
  • Isabella (1411 – c. 1442), who in 1435 married Guy XIV of Laval and had 3 children with him.
  • Margaret (1412 – c. 1421)
  • Francis I (1414 – c. 1450), duke of Brittany
  • Catherine (1416 – c. 1421)
  • Peter II (1418 – c. 1457), duke of Brittany
  • Gilles (1420 – c. 1450), seigneur of Chantocé.
The marriage of John and Joan by Froissart.

Her most notable siblings were:

Joan died in 1433, during her husband's reign.



Preceded by
Joanna of Navarre
Duchess consort of Brittany
Succeeded by
Isabella of Scotland