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Antoine of Navarre

Antoine of Navarre

French king consort
The basics
AKA Antoine de Bourbon
Date of birth La Fère, Aisne, Hauts-de-France, France
Date of death Nov 17, 1562 Les Andelys, canton of Andelys, arrondissement of Les Andelys, Eure
Mother: Françoise d'Alençon
Father: Charles, Duke of Vendôme
Spouse: Jeanne d'Albret
Brother(s): Jean Count of Soissons and Enghien Louis Prince of Condé Charles Cardinal de Bourbon Francis Count of Enghien
Children: Henry IV of France Catherine de Bourbon Carlo III di Borbone
Authority NNDB id Library of congress id ISNI id VIAF id
The details

Antoine (in English, Anthony; 22 April 1518 – 17 November 1562) was the King of Navarre through his marriage (jure uxoris) to Queen Jeanne III, from 1555 until his death. He was the first monarch of the House of Bourbon, of which he was head from 1537. He was the father of Henry IV of France.


Coat of Arms of Antoine de Bourbon and the Kings of Navarre

He was born at La Fère, Picardy, France, the second son of Charles de Bourbon, Duke of Vendôme (1489–1537), and his wife, Françoise d'Alençon (died 1550). He was the older brother of Louis, Prince of Condé (1530–1569).


A detailed portrait of Antoine by Corneille de Lyon (1548). Royal Castle, Warsaw

On 20 October 1548, at Moulins, he married Jeanne d'Albret, the daughter of Henry II of Navarre and his wife Margaret of Angoulême. After his father-in-law's death, he became King of Navarre, Count of Foix, of Bigorre, of Armagnac, of Périgord, and Viscount of Béarn. It was reported that Jeanne was much in love with him, but his subsequent actions show that he had little loyalty to her. The southern territory of the Kingdom of Navarre had been occupied by the Spanish since 1512, and Antoine tried to re-establish it. He was ready to sacrifice anything to his political interests.


Antoine appears not to have had real religious conviction and officially changed religions several times. His reconversion to Catholicism separated him from his wife and he threatened to repudiate her. He had an affair with Louise de La Béraudière de l'Isle Rouhet, "la belle Rouet," with whom he had a son, Charles III de Bourbon (1554–1610) who became archbishop of Rouen.

Although his brother Louis was the head of the Protestant faction, and his wife Jeanne III was likewish a convert to Calvinism who established Calvinism as the official religion of Navarre, Antoine spent most of his life fighting for the most staunchly Catholic King of France. Catherine de' Medici, regent for her son Charles IX, named him lieutenant general of the kingdom in 1561. When his wife allowed the Huguenots to sack the chapel of Vendôme and the churches of the town in 1562, he threatened to send her to a convent. She took refuge in Béarn.


Antoine was vain and unstable. He often disappointed his followers and was manipulated by his superiors and out-witted by his adversaries.


He laid siege to Rouen and was mortally wounded on 13 November 1562. He died at Les Andelys, Eure.


With his wife, Jeanne III of Navarre, he had the following children:

With his mistress, Louise de La Béraudière de l'Isle Rouhet, King Anthony had a son named Charles. Charles was Archbishop of Rouen from 1554 until 1610.


Patrilineal descent

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