Louis I of Anjou

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Louis I of Anjou (July 23, 1339 - September 20, 1384) son of King John II of France. Titular King of Naples (King of Sicily and Jerusalem) and Count of Provence (1382-1384). Count (1356-1360) and then Duke (from 1360) of Anjou.

Louis was present at the Poitiers (1356), in the battalion commanded by his brother the Dauphin. They hardly fought and the whole grouped escaped in the middle of the confrontation. Despite the humiliation, the escape was useful because it allowed them to also escape capture by the English. King John II and Louis' younger brother Philip were not so fortunate and ended as prisoners of Edward, the Black Prince. Their ransom and peace conditions between France and England were agreed in the Treaty of Brétigny, signed in 1360. Amongst the complicated items of the treaty was a clause that determined the surrender of 40 high born hostages as guarantee for the payment of the king's ransom. Louis, already as Duke of Anjou, was in this group and sailed to England in October 1360. However, France was not in good economic condition and further installments of the debt were delayed. As consequence, Louis was in English custody for much more than the expected six months. He tried to negotiate his freedom in a private negotiation with Edward III of England and, having this failed, decided to escape. In his return to France, he met his father disapproval for his unknightly behavior. John II considered the family dishonored and took upon himself the fixing of the situation by surrendering himself to the English. Although a knight worthy action, according to 14th century parameters, John II volunteer surrender left France bracing with another king's ransom to pay, before the first one was due.

He was adopted by Queen Joan I of Naples to succeed her, as she was childless. She had had quarrels with her close relatives and did not want to leave her inheritance to any of them. As such, Louis also became Hereditary Count of Provence.

From 1380 to 1382 Louis served as regent for his nephew, King Charles VI of France, but left France in the latter year to claim the throne of Naples following the death of Queen Joanna I, who had been pusted and imprisoned in 1381 by her cousin Charles of Durazzo, and killed by strangling in 1382. He failed in this endeavor, being defeated by Charles of Durazzo (who managed to secure all Naples under his own rule, until his death in 1386), and died soon after in 1384. However, he succeeded in securing Provence for himself and his heirs.

Preceded by:
John
Duke of Anjou Succeeded by:
Louis II

Template:Euro-royal-stubde:Ludwig I. (Anjou) fr:Louis Ier de Naples pt:Luís I, Duque de Anjou

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