Rudolph, Duke of Lorraine

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Duke of Lorraine
Rudolph, Duke of Lorraine
Born 1320
Lorraine, France
Died 26 August 1346(1346-08-26)
Spouse Eleanor of Bar
Mary of Valois
Father Frederick IV, Duke of Lorraine
Mother Elisabeth of Austria

Rudolph (1320 – 26 August 1346), called the Valiant (le Vaillant), was the Duke of Lorraine from 1329 to his death.[1] He was the son and successor of Frederick IV and Elisabeth, daughter of Albert I of Germany, a Habsburg, whence his name. Though he was but nine years of age when his father died and he succeeded to the duchy under the regency of his mother (until 1334), he was a warrior prince, taking part in four separate wars in Lorraine, France, Brittany, and Iberia. He was killed at the Battle of Crécy.

In 1337, Count Henry IV of Bar refused to do homage for a few seignories he held of the duke. Rudolph was forced to devastate Pont-à-Mousson and its environs. In a series of reprisals, Henry ravaged the west of Lorraine and Rudolph attacked the Barrois. Only by the intervention of Philip VI of France was the war ended. By that time, the ties of Lorraine to France had become very strong. They were to become stronger under the half-Habsburg Rudolph. His second marriage was to the daughter of a French lord, Guy I of Blois, and niece of the king of France. He also assisted Philip with troops to lift Edward III of England's Siege of Tournai (1340) in the opening phase of the Hundred Years' War.

During a brief Anglo-French peace, he journeyed to the Iberian Peninsula to aid Alfonso XI of Castile in the Reconquista. He battled the Moors of Granada and shone in the Battle of Gibraltar on 3 November 1340.

On his return to France, he came to the aid of his French brother-in-law, Charles of Blois, in the War of the Breton Succession. He returned to Philip's side at the Battle of Crécy and was killed there, along with many illustrious French cavaliers, on 26 August 1346.

His first wife was Eleanor (Aliénor), daughter of Edward I of Bar, and Mary of Burgundy. Their marriage took place at Pont-à-Mousson in 1329, but they had no children before Eleanor's death in 1332. He was remarried to Mary (1323–1380), daughter of the aforementioned Guy and Margaret of Valois, the sister of King Philip. They had three children:

  • twins (died before 31 July 1343)
  • John (1346–1390), his successor

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Shakespeare, William; Melchiori, Giorgio (1998). King Edward III. Cambridge University Press. p. 58. ISBN 978-0-521-59673-2. 
Rudolph, Duke of Lorraine
House of Metz
Born: 1320 Died: 26 August 1346
Preceded by
Frederick IV
Duke of Lorraine
Succeeded by
John I