John II, Duke of Bourbon

Jean (John) de Bourbon, Duke of Bourbon (1426 – 1 April 1488), 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 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 [1]
Full name
Jean de Bourbon
Died1 April 1488
Château de Moulins
Spouse(s)Joan of Valois
Catherine of Armagnac
Jeanne de Bourbon-Vendôme
John, Count of Clermont
Louis, Count of Clermont
FatherCharles I, Duke of Bourbon
MotherAgnes of Burgundy


John II at prayer, wearing the collar of 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).
A portrait of John's third wife Jeanne of Bourbon-Vendome.

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.[citation needed]

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 MarriageEdit

In 1447, his father, the Duke of Bourbon, had John married to a daughter of Charles VII, King of France, Joan of Valois.[4] They were duly married at the Château de Moulins. They had no surviving issue.

Second marriageEdit

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:

  • John of Bourbon (Moulins, 1487 - 1487), styled Count of Clermont

Third marriageEdit

In 1487 he married Jeanne of Bourbon-Vendôme, daughter of John of Bourbon, Count of Vendôme (from a cadet branch of the House of Bourbon), by whom he had one son:

  • Louis of Bourbon (1488 - 1488), styled Count of Clermont

Illegitimate issueEdit

By Louise of Albret (- 8 September 1494)[a]:

  • Charles, Bastard of Bourbon (- 1502), Viscount of Lavedan jure uxoris, married before 1462 Louise du Lion (- aft. 25 February 1505), Viscountess of Lavedan, and had issue, four sons

By Marguerite de Brunant:

By unknown women:

  • Hector, Bastard of Bourbon (- 1502, bur. Toulouse), 15th Archbishop of Toulouse (1491 - 1502), 17th Bishop of Lavaur (1497 - 1500)
  • Peter, Bastard of Bourbon, died young, unmarried and without issue
  • Marie, Bastard of Bourbon (- 22 July 1482), married at the Château de Beseneins-en-Dombes in 1470 Jacques de Sainte Colombe, Lord of Thil
  • Marguerite, Bastard of Bourbon (1445 - 1482), legitimized in 1464, married in Moulins in 1462 Jean de Ferrières (- 1497)

Death and aftermathEdit

John died in 1488 at the Château de Moulins 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.[5]



  1. ^ daughter of Jean I of Albret (1425 - 3 January 1468), Lord of Albret, Viscount of Tartas, and Catherine of Rohan


  1. ^ a b 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. ^ a b c Bingham (1890), p. 27.
  4. ^ Morrison & Hedeman 2010, p. 5.
  5. ^ Bingham (1890), p. 28.


  • Bingham, Denis (1890). The Marriages of the Bourbons. New York: Scribner and Welford. ASIN B000V1RCR2.
  • Morrison, Elizabeth; Hedeman, Anne Dawson (2010). Imagining the Past in France: History in Manuscript Painting, 1250-1500. J. Paul Getty Museum.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
  • 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)
Preceded by
Charles I
Duke of Auvergne and Bourbon
Count of Forez

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