Peter II, Duke of Brittany

Peter II
Duke of Brittany
Reign 18 July 1450 – 22 September 1457
Predecessor Francis I
Successor Arthur III
Born 7 July 1418
Died 22 September 1457(1457-09-22) (aged 39)
Burial Notre-Dame de Nantes
Consort Françoise d'Amboise
House House of Montfort
Father John V, Duke of Brittany
Mother Joan of France
Religion Roman Catholicism
Coat of Arms of Peter II

Peter II (in Breton Pêr II, in French Pierre II) (1418–1457, Nantes/ Naoned), was Duke of Brittany, Count of Montfort and titular earl of Richmond, from 1450 to his death. He was son of Duke John VI and Joan of France, and thus was younger brother of Francis I.


Peter II of Britain praying before the Virgin and Child (livre d'heures de Pierre II de Bretagne)
Tomb of Pierre II and Françoise d'Amboise

While he was Count of Guingamp, he fought against the English in Normandy in 1449 and in 1450 with his brother, Francis I, Duke of Brittany, and his uncle the constable de Richemont. They took several cities, including Coutances, Saint-Lô and Ferns. Upon the death of his brother in 1450, Peter became Duke. Since Francis did not have a son, according to the provisions of the first Treaty of Guerande (1365) that did not allow the succession of girls, he appointed Peter in preference to his own daughters, Margaret and Marie, to succeed him. Peter II then pursued the murderers of his other brother, Gilles.

By 1455, Peter II and his wife, Blessed Frances d'Amboise, had failed to produce offspring. Given the health problems of Peter II, this raised the question of succession. To prevent the throne of Brittany from falling into foreign hands, the Duke decides to marry his niece, Margaret, daughter of his elder brother Francis, to his cousin, Francis, Count of Étampes. To seal this union, the Duke summoned States of Brittany at Vannes, which met on November 13, 1455, in the upper room of la Cohue. He gathered the main Breton lords and bishops, abbots and representatives of cities. All approved of the marriage union desired by Peter II.

The wedding started on November 16 with a grand mass in Saint Peter's cathedral in Vannes, presided over by the Bishop of Nantes, Guillaume de Malestroit. Then followed banquets and dances at the castle of Hermine, with jousts enlivening la place des Lices.

"During dinner, Duke led the newly espoused lady to Hermine's room, where she sat in the middle of the canopy ... The Duke dined in the room with the main Lords ... The Duke placed the bride near him, under his canopy ... After dinner, at about four hours, the dance began with the high minstrels. The Duke led the Lady Malestroit, Monsieur de Laval led the duchess, other Lords led other Ladies, and continued to dance to the night ... The next day the games began, which lasted four days; and after the Lords had passed the time in great joy, and feasts they left Vennes." - Pierre Le Baud

The relatively short reign of Duke did not make a mark on history. His contemporaries described Peter II as simple, well advised by his wife, but little suited to the ducal function, heavy mind as body, prone to mood swings. He participated in the Battle of Castillon in 1453.

While he was still living, while he was still only Count of Guingamp, he had made a tomb carved in the Notre-Dame de Nantes, which disappeared during the French Revolution. It is said that the opening of the tomb (perhaps revolutionary), inside a mannequin was discovered. The mystery of the true destiny of the Duke then started.


He married in June 1442 Françoise d'Amboise (1427–1485), daughter of Louis d'Amboise, Viscount of Thouars and Prince of Talmond,[1] to whom Church later gave the status of "blessed". He had no children from this marriage.


Peter II died in 1457 with no known issue. He was succeeded by his uncle Arthur.



  1. Diane E. Booton, Manuscripts, Market and the Transition to Print in Late Medieval Brittany, (Ashgate Publishing, 2010), 147.

See also

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Peter II of Brittany.
Peter II, Duke of Brittany
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Francis I
Duke of Brittany
Count of Montfort

Succeeded by
Arthur III
Peerage of England
Preceded by
Francis I
Earl of Richmond
Succeeded by
Arthur III
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