Anne of Armagnac

Anne of Armagnac
Dame d'Albret
Countess of Dreux

Coat-of-arms of the Armagnac family
Spouse(s) Charles II d'Albret


Jean I d'Albret, Sire d'Albret, Viscount of Talvas
Arnaud Amanieu d'Albret, Sire d'Orval
Charles d'Albret, Seigneur de Sainte-Bazielle
Cardinal Louis d'Albret, Bishop of Cahors
Gilles d'Albret, Seigneur Castelmoron
Marie d'Albret
Jeanne d'Albret, Countess of Dreux
Noble family Armagnac
Father Bernard VII of Armagnac, Count of Charolais, Count of Armagnac
Mother Bonne de Berry
Born 1402
Gages, near Rodez, France
Died Before March 1473

Anne of Armagnac, Dame d'Albret, Countess of Dreux (1402[1] – before March 1473) was a French noblewoman and a member of the powerful Gascon Armagnac family which played a prominent role in French politics during the Hundred Years War and were the principal adversaries of the Burgundians throughout the Armagnac-Burgundian Civil War. Anne was the wife of Charles II d'Albret. One of her illustrious descendants was Queen Jeanne III of Navarre, mother of King Henry IV, the first Bourbon king of France.

Her illegitimate son was Jean de Lescun, known as the "bastard of Armagnac".


Anne was born in 1402 in Gages, near Rodez, France, the daughter of Bernard VII of Armagnac, Count of Charolais, Count of Armagnac, and Bonne de Berry, who was the widow of Amadeus VII of Savoy. Anne had six siblings, these included John IV of Armagnac, Bernard of Armagnac, and Bonne of Armagnac, wife of Charles, Duke of Orléans. She had three half-siblings from her mother's marriage to Count Amadeus, including Amadeus VIII of Savoy.

Her paternal gandparents were John II of Armagnac and Jeanne de Périgord, and her maternal grandparents were John, Duke of Berry and Jeanne of Armagnac.

Anne's father was head of the powerful, pro-French, pro-Orléans Armagnac party which played a prominent role in French politics in the early 15th century, and whose bitter opponents during the Armagnac-Burgundian Civil War were the pro-English Burgundians, headed by John the Fearless. On 30 December 1415, her father was appointed Constable of France. He controlled the government of the Dauphin Charles (the future King Charles VII of France). On 12 June 1418, he was assassinated in Paris by the Burgundians.[2]

Anne died on an unknown date sometime before March 1473. Her husband Charles died in 1471. The lordship of Albret passed to Alain, the grandson of Charles and Anne; the county of Dreux went to Arnaud Amanieu, but was later seized by Alain. Through Alain, who married Françoise of Châtillon-Limoges (died 1481), Anne was an ancestress of Queen Jeanne III of Navarre, mother of Henry IV. Other notable descendants of Anne of Armagnac included Charlotte of Albret, wife of Cesare Borgia, Marie of Albret, Countess of Rethel, King Charles II of England, King James II of England, and Diana, Princess of Wales.

Marriage and issue

On 28 October 1417, a marriage contract was drawn up and signed, and less than six months later, on 23 April 1418, Anne married Charles II d'Albret, Sire d'Albret and titular Count of Dreux (1401–1471). He was the eldest son of Charles d'Albret, Constable of France who had been killed at the Battle of Agincourt on 25 October 1415, as co-commander of the French Army. At the time of his marriage, Charles was only the titular Count of Dreux as the lands were in English hands. He would be confirmed as count in 1441 by King Charles VII of France. He served on the royal council of the Dauphin Charles. He participated in the military campaigns of Joan of Arc, including the Siege of Orléans, and was appointed lieutenant of the province of Berry.

Charles and Anne together had seven children:[2]

Illegitimate son

On an unknown date she gave birth to an illegitimate son, Jean de Lescun.[3][4] The baby's father was Arnaud-Gillaume de Lescun, Bishop of Aire. The boy grew up to become a celebrated soldier and Marshal of France. Legitimised in 1463, he was granted the title of Count of Comminges by King Louis XI. Jean was a staunch ally and personal favourite of the king before and after his ascension to the throne.[3]

Later years and death

In 1470, Anne is recorded as having owned une pierre pour toucher les yeux, enchassié en or (a stone for touching the eyes, set in gold). It is not known how or where she acquired this "magical stone" which allegedly had healing powers.[5]

She died sometime before March 1473.



  1. Charles Cawley, Medieval Lands, Gascony, Dukes and Nobility


  1. Charles Cawley,Medieval Lands, Gascony, Dukes and Nobility
  2. 1 2 Charles Cawley, Medieval Lands, Gascony, Dukes and Nobility
  3. 1 2 Duclos, Charles (1746). The History of Lewis XI, King of France. p.20
  4. Biographical Dictionary of the Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge, Vol. III, Part II (1844). London: Longman, Brown, Green and Longmans. p.500
  5. Evans, Joan (2004). Magical Jewels in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, Particularly in England (1922). Kessinger Publishing. p.118
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