Alençon
Alençon's Coat of Arms
Alençon's Coat of Arms

Character Information

Alençon is another French noble. He jokes with Reignier when Joan is first brought in. Like the other French Alençon is a comic character, showing cowardice in battle, and running from the mere mention of Talbot’s name.

Historical Information

John II of Alençon (March 2, 1409, Château d'Argentan – September 8, 1476, Paris) was the son of John I of Alençon and Marie of Brittany. He succeeded his father as Duke of Alençon and Count of Perche as a minor in 1415, after the latter's death at the Battle of Agincourt.

He saw action as a young man at the Battle of Verneuil on August 17, 1424, and was captured by the English. He was held prisoner until 1429, when he was released after payment of a large ransom, which left him impoverished, and the English in control of his duchy. Before his capture at Verneuil, he had married in 1424, at Blois, Jeanne of Valois, daughter of Charles, duc d'Orléans and Isabella of Valois, but she died in 1432.

John met Jeanne d'Arc 7 March 1429, the day after she met Charles VII at Chinon. She referred to John as 'mon beau duc', and they practiced jousting together. He offered her a horse, and would later testify that Jeanne handled arms with ease. John may have been the real military commander of the royal army in the initial part of the Loire campaign of 1429. He was at the taking of Jargeau and battle of Patay. John was knighted by Charles VII on the day of Charles' coronation at Rheims (17 July 1429). John was with Jeanne at the failed siege of Paris (August 1429), but left her company when Charles VII disbanded the army on the Loire, 21 September 1429.John continued to participate in several small campaigns in Maine, Anjou, and Normandy. On April 30, 1437, at the Chateau L'Isle-Jourdain, he married Marie of Armagnac (c. 1420 – July 25, 1473, Cloister Mortagne-au-Perche), daughter of Jean IV of Armagnac.

John was discontented with the Treaty of Arras, having hoped to make good his poverty through the spoliation of the Burgundians. He fell out with Charles VII, and took part in a revolt in 1439–40, (the Praguerie) but was forgiven. He took part in the invasion of Normandy in 1449, but he had unwisely entered into correspondence with the English since 1440. (He had also accepted the Order of the Golden Fleece at this time.) Shortly after testifying at the "rehabilitation trial" of Joan of Arc in 1456, he was arrested by Jean de Dunois and imprisoned at Aigues-Mortes. In 1458, he was convicted of lèse-majesté and sentenced to death, but the sentence was commuted and he was imprisoned at Loches. He was released by Louis XI upon terms at his accession in 1461, but he refused to keep them and was imprisoned again. He was tried a second time before the Parlement of Paris and sentenced to death again on July 18, 1474, and his Duchy was confiscated. However, the sentence was not carried out, and he died in prison in the Louvre in 1476.

He had two children by his second wife, Marie:
• Catherine (1452–1505), married 1461 in Tours François Guy XIV de Montmorency, Count of Laval (d. 1500)
• René of Alençon (1454–1492)
He also had several illegitimate children:
• John (living 1483)
• Robert (living 1489)
• Jeanne (d. aft. December 4, 1481), Countess of Beaumont-le-Roger, married in 1470 Guy de Maulmont
• Madeleine, married Henri de Breuil

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