René of Anjou

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René of Anjou (Rei Rainièr in Occitan) (16 January 1409 – 10 July 1480), also known as René I of Naples and Good King René (French Le bon roi René), was Duke of Anjou, Count of Provence (1434–1480), Count of Piedmont, Duke of Bar (1430–1480), Duke of Lorraine (1431–1453), King of Naples (1438–1442; titular 1442–1480), titular King of Jerusalem (1438–1480) and Aragon (1466–1480) (including Sicily, Majorca, Corsica). He was the father of the English queen Margaret of Anjou, wife of King Henry VI of England and a key figure in the Wars of the Roses.

Contents

Life

René was born in the castle of Angers, and was the second son of Louis II of Anjou, King of Sicily (i.e. King of Naples), and of Yolande of Aragon. He was the brother of Marie of Anjou, who married the future Charles VII of France and became Queen of France.

Louis II died in 1417, and his sons, together with their brother-in-law, afterwards Charles VII of France, were brought up under the guardianship of their mother. The elder, Louis III, succeeded to the crown of Sicily and to the duchy of Anjou, René being known as the Count of Guise. By his marriage treaty (1419) with Isabella, elder daughter of Charles II, Duke of Lorraine, he became heir to the Duchy of Bar, which was claimed as the inheritance of his mother Yolande, and, in right of his wife, heir to the Duchy of Lorraine.

René, then only ten, was to be brought up in Lorraine under the guardianship of Charles II and Louis, cardinal of Bar, both of whom were attached to the Burgundian party, but he retained the right to bear the arms of Anjou.

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