Antoine of Navarre

King of Navarre
Reign 25 May 1555 – 17 November 1562
Predecessor Henry II
Successor Jeanne III
Co-monarch Jeanne III
Born 22 April 1518
La Fère, Picardy, France
Died 17 November 1562 (aged 44)
Les Andelys, Eure
Burial Vendôme
Spouse Jeanne III, Queen of Navarre
Issue Henry IV, King of France
Catherine, Hereditary Princess of Lorraine
House Bourbon
Father Charles, Duke of Vendôme
Mother Françoise of Alençon
Religion see details
Coat of Arms of Antoine de Bourbon and the Kings of Navarre.

Antoine (in English, Anthony; 22 April 1518 – 17 November 1562) was the King of Navarre through his marriage (jure uxoris) to Queen Jeanne III, from 1555 until his death. He was the first monarch of the House of Bourbon, of which he was head from 1537. He was the father of Henry IV of France.


He was born at La Fère, Picardy, France, the second son of Charles de Bourbon, Duke of Vendôme (1489–1537), and his wife, Françoise of Alençon (died 1550).[1] He was the older brother of Louis I de Bourbon, Prince de Condé.


On 20 October 1548, at Moulins, he married Jeanne III, Queen regnant of Navarre, daughter of Henry II of Navarre and his wife Margaret of Angoulême.[2] By his marriage, he became King of Navarre, Count of Foix, of Bigorre, of Armagnac, of Périgord, and Viscount of Béarn. It was reported that Jeanne was much in love with him,[3] but his subsequent actions show that he had little loyalty to her. The southern territory of the Kingdom of Navarre had been occupied by the Spanish since 1512, and Antoine tried to re-establish it. He was ready to sacrifice anything to his political interests.


Antoine appears not to have had real religious conviction and officially changed religions several times.[4] His reconversion to Catholicism separated him from his wife and he threatened to repudiate her.[5] He had an affair with Louise de La Béraudière de l'Isle Rouhet, "la belle Rouet," with whom he had a son, Charles III de Bourbon (1554–1610) who became archbishop of Rouen.[6]

Although his brother Louis was the head of the Protestant faction, Antoine spent most of his life fighting for the King of France. Catherine de' Medici, regent for her son Charles IX, named him lieutenant general of the kingdom in 1561.[7] When his wife allowed the Huguenots to sack the chapel of Vendôme and the churches of the town in 1562, he threatened to send her to a convent.[8] She took refuge in Béarn.

Antoine was vain and unstable. He often disappointed his followers and was manipulated by his superiors and out-witted by his adversaries.

He laid siege to Rouen and was mortally wounded on 13 November 1562.[2] He died at Les Andelys, Eure.


With his wife, Jeanne III of Navarre, he had the following issue:

With his mistress, Louise de La Béraudière de l'Isle Rouhet, King Anthony had a son named Charles. Charles was Archbishop of Rouen from 1554 until 1610.[9][10][11]


Patrilineal descent


  1. Trevor Dupuy, Curt Johnson and David L. Bongard, The Harper Encyclopedia of Military Biography, (Castle Books: Edison, 1992), 98.
  2. 1 2 Dupuy, Trevor, 98.
  3. Robin, Larsen and Levin. p. 2.
  4. Mack P. Holt, The French Wars of Religion, 1562–1629, (Cambridge University Press: New York, 2005), 52.
  5. Robin, Larsen and Levin. p. 3.
  6. David Bryson, Queen Jeanne and the Promised Land, (Koninklijke Brill NV:Leiden, 1999), 219.
  7. Duruy, Victor, John Franklin Jameson and Mabell Shippie Clarke Smith, A History of France, (Thomas Y. Crowell Co.:New York, 1920), 338.
  8. Bryson, David, 299.
  9. Bergin, Joseph, The making of the French episcopate, 1589–1661, (St. Edmundsbury Press Ltd., 1996), 581.
  10. Dussieux, Louis, Généalogie de la maison de Bourbon: de 1256 à 1871, (Lecoffre et Fils, 1872), 81.
  11. Achaintre, Nicolas Louis, Histoire généalogique et chronologique de la maison royale de Bourbon, Vol. 2, (Publisher Mansut Fils, 4 Rue de l'École de Médecine, Paris, 1825), 26.


Antoine of Navarre
Cadet branch of the Capetian dynasty
Born: 22 April 1518 Died: 17 November 1562
Navarrese royalty
Preceded by
Henry II
King of Navarre
25 May 1555 – 17 November 1562
with Joan III
Succeeded by
Joan III
French nobility
Preceded by
Charles de Bourbon
Duke of Vendôme
1537 – 17 November 1562
Succeeded by
Henry IV of France

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