Louis I, Duke of Bourbon

Louis I, called the Lame (1279 – 22 January 1341) was a French prince du sang, Count of Clermont-en-Beauvaisis and La Marche and the first Duke of Bourbon, as well as briefly the titular King of Thessalonica from 1320 to 1321.

Louis I
Duke of Bourbon
Ludvik1 Bourb.jpg
Clermont, Oise, France
Died1341 (aged 61–62)
(m. 1310)
IssuePeter I, Duke of Bourbon
Joanna, Countess of Forez
Margaret of Bourbon
Marie, Latin Empress
Philip of Bourbon
James of Bourbon
James I, Count of La Marche
Beatrice, Queen of Bohemia
FatherRobert, Count of Clermont
MotherBeatrix of Burgundy


Louis was born in Clermont-en-Beauvaisis, the son of Robert, Count of Clermont, and a grandson of King Louis IX of France.[1] Louis' mother was Beatrix of Burgundy, heiress of Bourbon and a granddaughter of Hugh IV, Duke of Burgundy.[1]

He fought on the losing side at the Battle of the Golden Spurs (1302)[2] and at the Battle of Mons-en-Pévèle (1304),[3] but managed to escape unharmed. In 1310, he was made Grand Chambrier of France. Louis was crucesignatus in 1316 founding a confraternity called the Holy Selpulchre.[4] On 13 September 1318, Philip V of France designated Louis, who had drawn up a preliminary crusading plan, as captain-general of his crusading army, however the loss of the Franco-Papal fleet in 1319 to the Ghibbelines at Genoa sidelined their efforts.[5]

On 14 April 1320, Louis offered 40,000 livres to Odo IV, Duke of Burgundy for the rights to the title King of Thessalonica, however Philip of Taranto stepped in and offered the same amount which Odo accepted.[6] The terms of the agreement also included the marriage of Philip's oldest son and Louis' daughter, Beatrice.[6]

In 1327, Charles IV of France persuaded Louis to exchange the County of Clermont for that of La Marche, and elevated Bourbon to a duchy-peerage.[7] By 1331, Clermont was restored to him since he was part of Philip VI's small circle of trusted advisors.[8] Louis continued to be an integral part of French crusading plans until 1336, when Pope Benedict XII cancelled Philip VI's crusade.[4]

Duke Louis is reported to have been somewhat mentally unstable, in particular having nervous breakdowns. The trait is believed to have been hereditary, with his granddaughter Joanna of Bourbon, her son, King Charles VI of France, and Charles' grandson, King Henry VI of England, all displaying similar symptoms.[citation needed]

He was buried in the now-demolished church of the Couvent des Jacobins in Paris.

Family and childrenEdit

In 1310, Louis married Mary of Avesnes,[9] daughter of John II of Avesnes, Count of Hainaut and Holland by Philippa of Luxembourg. They had:

With Jeanne de Bourbon-Lancy, dame de Clessy, Louis had several illegitimate children:

  • Jean (ca. 1297–1375), "bâtard de Bourbon", knight, seigneur of Rochefort,[16] Ébreuil, Beçay le Guérant, Bellenave, Jenzat, Serrant and la Bure, advisor to the dukes of Berry and of Bourbon, lieutenant du Forez, married Agnès Chaleu for his third wife;
  • "N" (eldest daughter), "bâtarde de Bourbon", married in 1317 to Girard of Châtillon-en-Bazois;
  • Guy (vers 1299–1349), "bâtard de Bourbon", seigneur of Clessy, la Ferté-Chauderon and Montpensier (legitimized in 1346, but that same year he was again bastardized). Married in 1315 Agnès of Chastellus, then between 1330 and 1333 Isabelle of Chastelperron;
  • Jeannette, "bâtarde de Bourbon", married in 1310 to Guichard of Chastellus.


  1. ^ a b Viard 1937, p. 223.
  2. ^ Verbruggen 2002, p. 56.
  3. ^ Verbruggen 1997, p. 202.
  4. ^ a b Georgiou 2018, p. 39.
  5. ^ Georgiou 2018, p. 38.
  6. ^ a b Topping 1975, p. 115-116.
  7. ^ Henneman 1995, p. 138.
  8. ^ Desmond 2018, p. 248.
  9. ^ Warner 2016, p. 12.
  10. ^ Heers 2003, Bourbon table.
  11. ^ Nicolle 2004, p. 65.
  12. ^ a b Topping 1975, p. 132.
  13. ^ Thompson 1909, p. 527.
  14. ^ Sumption 1999, p. 479.
  15. ^ Boehm & Fajt 2005, p. xvi.
  16. ^ Boudet 1900, p. 16.


  • Boehm, Barbara Drake; Fajt, Jiří, eds. (2005). Prague: The Crown of Bohemia, 1347–1437. New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art. ISBN 1-58839-161-2.
  • Boudet, Marcellin (1900). Documents historiques inedits du XIVe siecle: Thomas de La Marche, batard de France et ses Aventures (1318-1361) (in French). Chez Ulysse Jouvet, Imprimeur-Editeur.
  • Desmond, Karen (2018). Music and the moderni, 1300–1350: The ars nova in Theory and Practice. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 9781316617793.
  • Georgiou, Constantinos (2018). Preaching the Crusades to the Eastern Mediterranean: Propaganda, Liturgy and Diplomacy, 1305–1352. London: Routledge. ISBN 978-1-138-74370-0.
  • Heers, Jacques (2003). Louis XI. Paris: Tempus Perrin. ISBN 9782262020842.
  • Henneman, John Bell Jr. (1995). "Bourbon/Bourbonnais". In Kibler, William W.; Zinn, Grover A.; Henneman, John Bell Jr.; Earp, Lawrence (eds.). Medieval France: An Encyclopedia. New York: Garland Publishing Inc. ISBN 0-8240-4444-4.
  • Nicolle, David (2004). Poitiers 1356: The capture of a king. Oxford, UK: Osprey Publishing. ISBN 1-84176-516-3.
  • Sumption, Jonathan (1999). The Hundred Years War:Trial by Fire. Vol. II. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press. ISBN 0-8122-1655-5.
  • Thompson, James Westfall (1909). The Wars of Religion in France, 1559-1576. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.
  • Topping, Peter (1975). "The Morea, 1311–1364". In Setton, Kenneth M.; Hazard, Harry W. (eds.). A History of the Crusades, Volume III: The Fourteenth and Fifteenth Centuries. Madison and London: University of Wisconsin Press. pp. 104–140. ISBN 0-299-06670-3.
  • Verbruggen, J. F. (1997). The Art of Warfare in Western Europe During the Middle Ages: From the Eighth Century to 1340. Translated by Willard, Colonel Sumner (Second ed.). Woodbridge: The Boydell Press. ISBN 0-85115-570-7.
  • Verbruggen, J. F. (2002). DeVries, Kelly (ed.). The Battle of the Golden Spurs (Courtrai, 11 July 1302). Translated by Ferguson, David Richard. Woodbridge: The Boydell Press. ISBN 978-0851158884.
  • Viard, Jules (1937). Les Grandes Chroniques de France (in French). Vol. Tome Neuvième. Paris: Société d'histoire de France.
  • Warner, Kathryn (2016). Isabella of France: The Rebel Queen. The Hill, Stroud, Gloucester, UK: Amberley Publishing. ISBN 9781445647401.
Preceded by Count of Clermont-en-Beauvaisis
New title Duke of Bourbon
Succeeded by
Title last held by
Charles the Fair
Count of La Marche
Vacant Count of Clermont-en-Beauvaisis