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October, 1396, Isabella became the second wife of Richard II. of England, though she was then only eight years old. After Richard was dethroned and murdered by Henry of Bolingbroke, afterwards Henry IV., in 1400, and Isabella remained in England for two years, treated with great respect as queen-dowager, but steadily refusing the hand of Henry's eldest son, who had fallen very much in love with her. In 1402, Isabella returned to Paris, and at the age of eighteen married her cousin, the celebrated archduke of Orleans, who, though some years younger than herself, she dearly loved. She died at Blois, September 13th, 1410, leaving an infant daughter only a few hours old.
ISABELLA OF LORRAINE,
ELDEST daughter of Charles II. of Lorraine,
Among the illustrious females of the fifteenth
CLEMENCE, or CLEMENZA, a lady of Toulouse in France, celebrated for her learning. She institated the Jeux Floraux, or Floral Games, in that city, where prizes were bestowed on the successful poetical competitors. She was born in 1464,
Some years afterwards the romance of her life
The queen of poetry, as her contemporaries entitled her, died in the first year of the great reign of Frances I., and Leo X. Her mortal remains were deposited in the choir of the church of Notre Dame, at Toulouse. A bronze tablet, inscribed with a highly eulogistic tribute to her fame, still remains, at the foot of a statue of Clemence. After the lapse of three centuries, it required nothing less than the convulsions of the French Revolution of 1789 to suspend the floral games; they were reinstated under Napoleon, as a municipal institution, in 1806. The memory of Clemence Isaure lived "green with immortal bays;" for centuries the Toulousians had made her their boast-but "all that beauty, all that wit e'er gave," could find no grace with the patriots of 1793. That intelligent body of citizens voted Clemence Isaure an "aristocrat," and, as such, sentenced her bronze monument to be melted down, and used for vulgar purposes. Fortunately, the honest artisan to whom the work was consigned, had a feeling which saved this venerable relic. At the risk of his head, he substituted some other bronze, and concealed the tablet till a time of political safety arrived.
JANE OF FLANDERS,
COUNTESS of Montfort, was one of the most extraordinary women of her age. Her husband, the count of Montfort, having been, in 1342, made prisoner and conducted to Paris, she assembled the inhabitants of Rennes, her place of residence, and by her eloquence, aided by the pity inspired by her infant son, moved the inhabitants of Rennes to take up arms in her behalf. The movement was participated in by all Brittany, and she soon found herself in a position to protect her rights. Having shut herself in the fortress of Hennebonne, Charles de Blois, her husband's enemy, besieged her there, after an obstinate defence, in which the countess showed many of the qualities of a commander. The repeated breaches made in the walls at length rendered it necessary for the besieged, who were diminished in numbers, and exhausted by fatigue, to treat for a capitulation. During a conference for that purpose, in which the bishop of Leon was engaged with Charles de Blois, the countess, who had mounted a high tower, which commanded a view of the sea, descried some sails at a distance, and immediately exclaimed, "Behold the succours! the English succours! no capitulation!"
This fleet, prepared by Edward III. for the relief of Hennebonne, having been detained by contrary winds, entered the harbour, under the command of Sir Walter Mauny. The garrison, by this reinforcement, animated with fresh spirits, immediately sallied forth, beat the besiegers from their posts, and obliged them to decamp. The flames of war still continued their devastations, when Charles de Blois, having invested the fortress of Roche de Rien, the Countess of Montfort, reinforced by some English troops, attacked him,
during the night, in his entrenchments, dispersed his army, and took him prisoner. His wife, in whose right he had pretended to Brittany, compelled by the captivity of her husband, assumed, in her turn, the government of the party; and opposed herself, a formidable and worthy rival, both in the cabinet and field, to he countess of Montfort.
The mediation of France and England failed to put an end to the disputes in Brittany, till Charles de Blois was at length slain, at the battle of Auray. The young count de Montfort soon after obtained possession of the duchy, and, though a zealous partizan of England, had his title acknowledged by the French king, to whom he did homage for his dominions.
JEANNE DE BOURBON,
DAUGHTER of Pierre I., duke de Bourbon, was born at Vincennes, near Paris, February 3d, 1337. April 8th, 1350, when about thirteen, she married Charles, who was nearly the same age, afterwards Charles V. of France, eldest son of king John. She was a very beautiful woman, and her husband was much attached to her. He had a high opinion of her judgment, often consulted her on state affairs, and loved to see her surrounded by all the pomp and luxury suited to her station. On days of solemnity, Charles frequently brought his wife, whom he called "the sun of his kingdom," with him to the parliament, where she took her seat by his side. By his will, he left the regency to Jeanne, although he had three brothers of mature age. However, his queen died before him, at the Hotel de St. Paul, in Paris, February 11th, 1378. Her death proved a real misfortune to France. She is spoken of, by historians, as one of the most accomplished and virtuous princesses of her time.
JEANNE OF FRANCE AND NAVARRE,
WIFE of Philip IV., surnamed the Fair, of France, was the only child and heiress of Henry I., king of Navarre and count of Champagne. The count de Bar having attacked Champagne, she placed herself at the head of a small army, forced him to surrender, and kept him a long time in prison. But her most solid title to glory, is the having founded the famous college of Navarre.
Jeanne of Navarre died at Vincennes, in 1304, aged thirty-three. Her husband was devotedly attached to her, and she fully deserved his love. Philip never took the titles of king of Navarre, or of count of Champagne and of Brie; and to all his ordinances relative to the government of these principalities, he always added that he acted with the concurrence of his dear companion; and Jeanne added her seal to that of her husband. Jeanne was married at the age of thirteen, and, during her twenty years of wedded life, she bore her husband seven children. She was equally beautiful, eloquent, generous, and courageous.
OR JANE OF NAVARRE, consort of Henry IV. of England, was the second daughter of Charles
d'Albert, king of Navarre, surnamed the Bad. Her mother was Jane, daughter of John, king of France. Joanna was born about 1370, and in 1386, she married John de Montfort, duke of Bretagne, surnamed the Valiant, by whom she was tenderly beloved, and who left her regent and sole guardian of the young duke, their eldest son, on his death, in 1399. In 1402, Joanna married Henry of Lancaster, king of England, who died in 1413; after which event, Joanna still remained in England. In 1419, she was arrested on a charge of witchcraft against the king, Henry V., her step-son. She was condemned, deprived of all her property, and imprisoned till 1422, when she was set free, and her dower restored.
She died at Havering Bower, in 1437. Joanna had nine children by the duke of Bretagne, some of whom died before her; but none by Henry IV. She was a beautiful and a very intelligent woman.
COUNTESS of Hainault and Flanders. Baldwin, count of Flanders, born in 1171, was one of the heroes of the fourth crusade. He had taken the city of Constantinople, and borne for a short time the empty title of emperor. The fortunes of war rendered him prisoner during a tedious captivity of eighteen years. In parting for the crusade, Baldwin left two young daughters, Joan and Margaret the former destined to be his heiress and successor. Their mother, Mary di Sciampagna, died at Acre, in making a pilgrimage to the Holy Land. During the absence of Baldwin, Flanders was governed by the guardian and cousin of the infants, Philip of Namur.
Joan, from early girlhood, manifested an imperious will and ardent desire for sway. Profiting by a rumour of the death of her father, which began to be spread abroad, she seized the reins of government, and caused herself, in 1209, to be declared countess of Hainault and Flanders. Two years after this she formed a marriage, which, judging from its result, must have arisen on her side from motives of policy, unmingled with affection. The husband she selected was Ferdinand,
son of Sancho, king of Portugal. Uncertain in disposition, unskilful in conduct, and weak in design, Ferdinand attempted various expeditions, and performed all with ill-success. He began by forming an alliance with Philip Augustus; then owing to some frivolous pique we find him deserting to the English, just at the time of the famous battle of Bouvines. Covered with wounds, he fell into the hands of the French, and was conveyed a prisoner to Paris, where he remained fifteen years in captivity. Joan appears to have considered him well disposed of, as she maintained an amicable relation with Philip Augustus, and afterwards with Louis VIII. These kings were her friends, supporters, and trusty allies. No doubt they consulted her wishes in retaining the unhappy Ferdinand in the Louvre, while they granted her the honours and privileges of a sovereign per se, among which was the holding an unsheathed sword before them. She seems to have governed with vigour and judgment. Her political treaties were made with a sagacity rare at that period. She had none of the tenderness of an amiable woman, but was gifted with the shrewd sense and hardness of a statesman. Circumstances soon arose before which a less stout heart would have quailed, and a more sensitive conscience refused to act.
In 1225, a broken-down, grey-haired, feeble old man made his appearance in Lisle, and declared himself to be Baldwin, the father of the countess, returned to resume his sovereignty! Joan boldly asserted that he was an impostor, and denied him admission to the palace; but his piteous tale, his venerable appearance, and the natural bias of the populace to side with the oppressed, gained him numerous partizans. Joan's residence was surrounded by a tumultuous mob, and she hastily fled to Peronne, and put herself under the protection of her trusty friend king Louis, who summoned the soi-disant Baldwin to appear before his tribunal, when as suzerain he would pronounce between the contending parties. His decision would probably have been the same had the unfortunate pretender offered the strongest evidence - as it was, the old man was unable to answer questions propounded to him about early events and persons. He pleaded that age, and trouble, and present sickness and agitation, dulled his faculties and injured his memory; but Louis gave sentence that he was an impostor, and as such, ordered him out of the kingdom, though he respected the safe-conduct under which he had presented himself, and had him carried safely beyond the frontiers. The countess being reinstated in her domains, showed by her cruelty that she did not despise the claims of the wretched veteran. She sent persons to seize him, and when under her jurisdiction, after submitting his aged limbs to the torture, she caused him to be decapitated. Kneeling on the scaffold, with one hand on the crucifix, and his head on the block, he repeated that he was the true and real Baldwin, count of Flanders. At a neighbouring window appeared a pale visage, with closed teeth and contracted muscles-it was Joan-who took a fearful satis
faction in seeing with her own eyes the fulfilment conduct of Andreas, and his haughty manners, of her dire will!
offended the Neapolitan nobility, and his Hungarian guards excited their jealousy. A conspiracy was formed by the nobles, and one night while the court was at Aversa, Andreas was strangled, and his body thrown out of a window of the castle.
Joanna went immediately to Naples, and thence issued orders for the apprehension of the murderers. Many persons were put to a cruel death as accessaries, but public opinion still implicated the queen in the murder. The same year Joanna married her cousin Louis, prince of Tarentum. Soon after Louis, king of Hungary, the brother of Andreas, came with an army to avenge his brother's death. He defeated the queen's troops, and entered Naples. Joanna then took refuge in her hereditary principality of Provence. She soon repaired to Avignon, and, before Pope Clement VI., protested her innocence and demanded a trial. She was tried and acquitted; and, out of gratitude, she gave up to the papal see the town and county of Avignon.
In the mean time, a pestilence had frightened away the Hungarians from Naples, and Joanna, returning to her kingdom, was solemnly crowned with her husband, in 1351. Joan reigned many years in peace. Having lost her husband in 1362, she married James of Arragon, a prince of Majorca, and on his death she married, in 1376, Otho, duke of Brunswick; but having no children, she gave her niece Margaret to Charles, duke of Durazzo, and appointed him her successor. On the breaking out of the schism between Urban VI. and Clement VII., Joanna took the part of the latter. Urban excommunicated her, and gave her kingdom to Charles Durazzo, who revolted against his sovereign and benefactress. With the aid of the pope he raised troops, defeated the queen, and took her prisoner. He then tried to induce Joanna to abdicate in his favour; but she firmly refused, and named Louis of Anjou, brother of Charles V., king of France, as her successor. Charles then transferred Joanna to the castle of Muro, in Basilicata, where he caused her to be murdered, in 1382. She was a woman of great accomplishments, and many good qualities.
After this scene of blood, the countess governed Flanders peacefully and prosperously for sixteen years. The justice of St. Louis when he ascended the throne of France opened the prison-doors of Ferdinand; but the privations, and sufferings, and solitude of years, had weakened his moral and physical economy-he was prematurely oldand did not live to enjoy his freedom, so long wished for. The widow princess deemed it expedient to enter into new nuptials. She espoused Thomas of Savoy. The day after this marriage, mounted in a stately car with her husband, she went in procession through the city of Lisle; but when she arrived at the place where her father had been executed, a bloody phantom rose before her-the head but half attached to the bust-and uttered the most frightful menaces. Who shall pronounce whether this apparition was the effect of a guilty conscience, stimulated by the accusations of the populace, or a nervous disorder, the beginning of divine vengeance! At all events, from that day Joan led a life of agony and terror, always haunted by the fatal spectre. Consulting holy churchmen, she was advised to build a monastery on the very spot where the phantom rose. Joan not only did this, but also erected a hospital and two convents; and that her repentance might prove still more efficacious, assumed herself the habit of a nun, and died in the cloister in the year 1241. Her death-bed was surrounded by the holy sisterhood, who lavished every comfort of religion upon her; she grasped convulsively the crucifix, and her last words were, in accents of despair, "Will God forgive me?"
Or Naples, daughter of Robert, king of Naples, of the Anjou dynasty, succeeded her father in 1343. She was then sixteen, handsome and accomplished. She had been for some time married to her cousin Andreas of Hungary; but this union was not a happy one. Andreas claimed to be king and to share his wife's authority, which, by her father's will, had been solely left to her. The
DAUGHTER of Charles Durazzo, and sister of Ladislaus, king of Naples, succeeded the latter in 1414. She was then forty-four, and was noted for her licentiousness and weakness. She married, from political motives, James, Count de la Marche, who was allied to the royal family of France. But the union proved a most unhappy one, and James fled to France, where it is said that he ended his days in a convent. Meantime unworthy favourites ruled in succession in the court of Joanna. One of them, Ser Gianni Caracciolo, of a noble family, saw his influence disputed by the famous Condottiere Sforza Attendolo, who, together with many barons that were jealous of Caracciolo, took the part of Louis of Anjou, grandson of that Louis to whom Joanna I. had bequeathed the crown. The queen sought for support in Alfonso of Arragon, king of Sicily, whom she appointed her suc
Alfonso came to Naples; but the fickle Joan, having made her peace with Sforza, revoked her adoption of Alfonso, and appointed Louis of Anjou her successor. Alfonso was obliged to return to Sicily, and soon after Caracciolo was murdered in consequence of court jealousy. Louis of Anjou died also, and was followed to the grave by Joanna herself, who appointed René of Anjou her successor. She died in 1435, leaving her kingdom in great disorder, and with the prospect of disputed succession and civil war.
DAUGHTER of Welff, a count, by some writers called the duke of Bavaria, was selected, from her beauty, to be the second wife of Louis le Debonnaire, son of Charlemagne, emperor of France. She was well educated, and succeeded in obtaining such control over the king's affections, that she governed not only in the palace, but also exercised the greatest influence in the government. Her oldest son, who afterwards reigned under the name of Charles the Bald, was born in 823; but as the king had already divided his estates between the sons of his former marriage, there was nothing left for him. Judith immediately exerted herself to obtain a kingdom for her child; and having made her god-son, Bernard, duke of Aquitaine, prime minister, a national assembly was convoked at Worms, and by the consent of Lothaire, the eldest son of Louis, the country between the Jura, Alps, Rhine, and Maine, was given to Charles, who was placed under the care of Bernard.
Pepin, the second son of Louis, having convinced Lothaire of his folly in yielding up his possessions at the request of Judith, induced him to unite with him in a rebellion against Judith and Louis. In 829 they surrounded Aix, took Judith and her husband prisoners, and accusing Judith of too great intimacy with Bernard, forced her to take the veil, in the convent of St. Radegonde, at Poitiers. They, however, permitted Judith to have a private interview with her husband, on condition that she would urge on him the necessity of an immediate abdication. Judith promised to do so; but instead, advised Louis to yield to circum
stances, and go to the monastery of St. Médard, at Soissons, but not to abdicate the crown. The king followed her advice; and, in 830, Lothaire, having quarrelled with his brother, restored the crown to Louis, who immediately recalled Judith. The pope released her from her conventual vows, and she cleared herself by an oath from the accusation of adultery that was brought against her. Bernard, who had fled to Aquitaine, also returned, and offered to prove his innocence of the crime by single combat, with any of his accusers. No one accepted the challenge, but the public feeling was so strong against him, that the empress was obliged to send him away.
In 833, the emperor was again betrayed and deposed by his children, although Judith had exerted herself in every way, even by cruelty, to retain for her weak husband the power he could not keep for himself. After a year of confinement, Louis was again placed on the throne; and by the new division of the empire, arranged in 839, Judith had the satisfaction of seeing her son placed in possession of a large share of those estates from which he had seemed forever excluded. Louis the Mild died in 840, and Judith only survived him three years. She died at Tours. Some historians, however, say that her death did not occur till 848, or even till 874. In her heart the mother's ambition was the predominating power.
WAS the daughter of a noble Phoenician, a high priest of the temple of the sun, at Emesa. Nature had blessed her with great intellectual and personal endowments; and the high gifts of beauty, wit, imagination, and discernment, were augmented by all the advantages of study and education. She is said to have been well acquainted with history, moral philosophy, geometry, and other sciences, which she cultivated through life; and her mental accomplishments won her the friendship of all the most distinguished among the learned in Rome, "where," (says one of her modern historians, in modern phrase,) "elle vint, dans l'intention de faire fortune, et y reussit."
From the time of her union with Severus,