Louis II of Anjou
Portrait of Louis II by unknown artist, c. 1456–1465
|King of Naples|
|Coronation||1 November 1389|
|Duke of Anjou|
|Reign||20 September 1384 – 29 April 1417|
|Born||5 October 1377|
|Died||29 April 1417 (aged 39)|
Château d'Angers, Anjou
|Spouse||Yolande of Aragon (m. 1400)|
|Issue||Louis III, Duke of Anjou|
René, King of Naples
Charles, Count of Maine
Marie, Queen of France
Yolande, Duchess of Brabant
|House||House of Valois-Anjou|
|Father||Louis I of Anjou|
|Mother||Marie of Blois|
Louis was the elder of the two sons of Duke Louis I of Anjou and Marie of Blois. Louis I had received the Duchy of Anjou as a hereditary appanage from his father, King John II of France, in 1360, but he was also a "collector of royal titles". The childless Queen Joanna I of Naples adopted him as her son and heir in 1380, establishing his claim to the kingdoms of Naples (or "Sicily") and Jerusalem and to the counties of Provence and Forcalquier. Antipope Clement VII who needed the Queen's support against Pope Urban VI confirmed the adoption, but her rival, Charles of Durazzo, came to Italy to assert his claim to her realms. Pope Urban VI crowned Charles king in June 1381. Charles invaded the Kingdom of Naples, captured Joanna I and strangled her in the summer of 1382.
Louis was still a child when his father started negotiations about his marriage, because he needed support to assert his claim to Joanna I's inheritance. In late 1381, he was contemplating a marriage alliance with the Kingdom of Aragon. He wanted to engage his two sons, Louis and Charles, to the two daughters of the Crown Prince of Aragon, John, Duke of Girona, Joanna and Yolande, but the project was not completed. After Bernabò Visconti offered to support Louis II's military campaign against Charles of Durazzo on 13 March 1382, Louis was promised to Bernabò's daughter, Lucia. The seven-year-old Louis sent a ring to Lucia to strengthen their engagement on 6 May 1384, but negotiations about the marriage stopped after Bernabò was captured and killed on 6 May 1385.
Most towns in Provence revolted after the death of his father. His mother then raised an army and they traveled from town to town, to gain support. Louis was recognized as Count of Provence in 1387. He founded a university in Aix-en-Provence in 1409.
In 1386, Charles of Durazzo's son, the underage Ladislaus, was expelled from Naples soon after his father died. Louis II was crowned King of Naples by the Avignonese antipope Clement VII on 1 November 1389 and took possession of Naples the following year. He was ousted in turn by his rival in 1399.
In 1409, Louis liberated Rome from Ladislaus' occupation; in 1410, as an ally of the antipope John XXIII he attacked Ladislaus and defeated him at Roccasecca (1411). Eventually Louis lost his Neapolitan support and had to retire. His claim to Naples passed to his son, Louis III.
He married his first cousin once removed Yolande of Aragon (1384–1443) in Arles in 1400, giving him a possibility of inheriting the throne of Aragon through her right. Her father, King John I of Aragon had died in 1396, and her uncle king Martin I of Aragon died in 1410.
His son, Louis, was initially betrothed to Catherine of Burgundy, a daughter of John the Fearless, Duke of Burgundy. However, after the Duke of Burgundy instigated a mob attack on the Dauphin of France, Louis and his wife joined the Armagnac Faction. The betrothal to Catherine was repudiated, which caused the enmity of the Duke of Burgundy.
Louis II died at his chateau of Angers, the county town of Anjou; he is buried there.
Louis and Yolande had five surviving children:
- Louis III of Anjou, titular King of Naples and Duke of Anjou.
- René of Anjou, King of Naples and Duke of Anjou.
- Charles of Anjou (1414–1472), Count of Maine.
- Marie of Anjou (1404–1463), married 1422 at Bourges, King Charles VII of France.
- Yolande of Anjou (1412, Arles – 1440), married firstly Philip I, Duke of Brabant, and secondly in 1431, Francis I, Duke of Brittany.
- Abulafia, David (2014). The Western Mediterranean Kingdoms 1200–1500: The Struggle for Dominion. Routledge. ISBN 978-1-13814594-8.
- Kekewich, Margaret L. (2008). The Good King: René of Anjou and Fifteenth Century Europe. Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 1-4039-8820-X.
- Laidlaw, James (2000). "Alain Chartier and the Arts of Crisis Management, 1417–1429". In Allmand, Christopher (ed.). War, Government and Power in Late Medieval France. Liverpool University Press. pp. 37–53. ISBN 0-85323-705-0.
- Rohr, Zita Eva (2016). Yolanda of Aragon (1381–1442), Family and Power: The Reverse of the Tapestry. Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 978-1-137-49912-7.
Louis II of Anjou
Cadet branch of the Capetian dynasty
| King of Naples
1389 – 1399
| Duke of Anjou
Count of Maine,
Piedmont and Provence
1384 – 1417
|— TITULAR —|
King of Naples
1384 – 1417