John II, Duke of Bourbon

John II
Duke of Bourbon

John II, Duke of Bourbon, detail of an illumination by Jean Fouquet, Statuts de l'Order de Saint-Michel, 1470. Screen 9/76; see
Spouse(s) Joan of Valois
Catherine of Armagnac
Jeanne de Bourbon-Vendôme


John, Count of Clarmont
Louis, Count of Clermont

Full name

Jean de Bourbon
Father Charles I, Duke of Bourbon
Mother Agnes of Burgundy
Born 1426
Died 1 April 1488
Château de Moulins

John de Bourbon, Duke of Bourbon (1426 1 April 1488, Château de Moulins), sometimes referred to as John the Good and The Scourge of the English, was a son of Charles I of Bourbon and Agnes of Burgundy.[1] He was Duke of Bourbon and Auvergne from 1456 to his death.[2]


John earned his nicknames "John the Good" and "The Scourge of the English" for his efforts in helping drive out the English from France.[1]

He was made constable of France in 1483 by his brother Peter and sister-in-law Anne, to neutralize him as a threat to their regency.

In an effort to win discontented nobles back to his side, Louis XI of France made great efforts to give out magnificent gifts to certain individuals; John was a recipient of these overtures. According to contemporary chronicles, the King received John in Paris with "honours, caresses, pardon, and gifts; everything was lavished upon him".[3] In further attempts to gain the nobles' favor, the King proposed a match between his eldest legitimized daughter Marguerite to John's eldest illegitimate son Louis de Bourbon. The marriage was celebrated in Paris with royal magnificence and the wedded couple were heaped with honors and wealth by the King.[3] It has been said despite all of his brilliant marriages, nothing flattered John more than this particular marriage between his natural son and a legitimized daughter of the King.[3]

John is notable for making three brilliant alliances but leaving no legitimate issue.

First Marriage

In 1447, his father, the Duke of Bourbon, had his heir married to a daughter of Charles VII, King of France, Joan of Valois. They were duly married at the Château de Moulins. They had no surviving issue.

Second marriage

In 1484 at St. Cloud to Catherine of Armagnac, daughter of Jacques of Armagnac, Duke of Nemours, who died in 1487 while giving birth to:

Third marriage

In 1487 he married Jeanne of Bourbon-Vendôme, daughter of John of Bourbon, Count of Vendôme, by whom he had one son:

Illegitimate issue

By Louise of Albret (- 8 September 1494), daughter of Jean I of Albret (1425 - 3 January 1468), 15th Lord of Albret, Viscount of Tartas, and wife, as her second husband, Catherine of Rohan, and wife in 1480 of Jacques, Lord of Estouteville (4 December 1448 - 12 March 1489), by whom she had issue:

By Marguerite de Brunant:

By unknown women:

John II at prayer, wearing the Order of Saint-Michel, from the chapel in the crypt of the Sainte-Chapelle at Bourbon-l'Archambault, attributed to Michel Colombe (Walters Art Museum)

Death and aftermath

John died in 1488 and was succeeded by his younger brother Charles. However, this succession was strongly contested due to the political strength of Peter and Anne. Within a span of days, Charles was forced to renounce his claims to the Bourbon lands to Peter in exchange for a financial settlement. John's widow Jeanne would later remarry to John III, Count of Auvergne and by him she became the mother of Madeleine de La Tour d'Auvergne, the mother of Catherine de Medici.[4]



  1. 1 2 Bingham (1890), p. 26.
  2. de Commynes, Philippe, Jean de Troyes, and Andrew Richard Scoble, The memoirs of Philip de Commines, Lord of Argenton, (George Bell and sons:London, 1906), 9.
  3. 1 2 3 Bingham (1890), p. 27.
  4. Bingham (1890), p. 28.


Preceded by
Charles I
Duke of Auvergne and Bourbon
Count of Forez

Succeeded by
Charles II
Preceded by
Count of l'Isle-Jourdain
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