Joanna, Duchess of Brabant

Duchess of Brabant
Duchess of Lothier
Duchess of Limburg
Spouse(s) William IV, Count of Holland
Wenceslaus I, Duke of Luxembourg
Noble family Reginar
Father John III, Duke of Brabant
Mother Marie d'Évreux
Born (1322-06-24)24 June 1322
Died 1 November 1406(1406-11-01) (aged 84)

Joanna, Duchess of Brabant (24 June 1322 – 1 November 1406), also known as Jeanne, was the heiress of Duke John III, who died in Brussels, 5 December 1355. Her mother was Marie d'Évreux.

Joanna's first marriage, in 1334, was to William IV, Count of Holland (13071345), who subsequently died in battle and their only son William died young, thus foiling the project of unifying their territories.

Her second marriage was to Wenceslaus of Luxemburg. The famous document, the foundation of the rule of law in Brabant called the Blijde Inkomst ("Joyous Entry"), was arrived at in January 1356, in order to assure Joanna and her consort peacable entry into their capital and to settle the inheritance of the Duchy of Brabant on her "natural heirs", who were Joanna's sisters, they being more acceptable to the burghers of Brabant than rule by the House of Luxembourg.

The document was seen as a dead letter, followed by a military incursion in 1356 into Brabant by Louis II of Flanders, who had married Margaret, Joanna's younger sister, and considered himself Duke of Brabant by right of his wife. With the Duchy overrun by Louis' forces, Joanna and Wencelaus signed the humiliating Treaty of Ath, which ceded Malines and Antwerp to Louis.[1] By August 1356 Joanna and Wencelaus had called upon the Emperor, Charles IV to support them by force of arms. Charles met at Maastricht with the parties concerned, including representatives of the towns, and all agreed to nullify certain terms of the Blijde Inkomst, to satisfy the Luxembourg dynasty.The duchy continued to deteriorate with Wencelaus's defeat and capture at the battle of Baesweiler in 1371.[2]

On Joanna's death, by agreement the Duchy passed to her great-nephew Antoine, the second son of her niece Margaret III, Countess of Flanders.

Her tomb was not erected in the Carmelite church in Brussels until the late 1450s; it was paid for in 1459 by her sister's grandson, Philip the Good. Though it was destroyed in the course of the French Revolutionary Wars, its appearance has been reconstructed from drawings and descriptions by Lorne Campbell,[3] who concluded that the tomb was an afterthought, providing an inexpensive piece of propaganda for Philip's dynastic rights.[4]


Joanna's ancestors in three generations
Joanna, Duchess of Brabant Father:
John III, Duke of Brabant
Paternal Grandfather:
John II, Duke of Brabant
Paternal Great-Grandfather:
John I, Duke of Brabant
Paternal Great-grandmother:
Margaret of Flanders
Paternal Grandmother:
Margaret of England
Paternal Great-Grandfather:
Edward I of England
Paternal Great-Grandmother:
Eleanor of Castile
Marie d'Évreux
Maternal Grandfather:
Louis d'Évreux
Maternal Great-Grandfather:
Philip III of France
Maternal Great-Grandmother:
Maria of Brabant
Maternal Grandmother:
Margaret of Artois
Maternal Great-grandfather:
Philip of Artois
Maternal Great-Grandmother:
Blanche of Brittany

See also


  1. Richard Vaughan, Philip the Bold, (The Boydell Press, 2009), 80.
  2. Richard Vaughan, Philip the Bold, 80.
  3. Campbell, "The Tomb of Joanna, Duchess of Brabant" Renaissance Studies 2.2, (1988) pp 163-72.
  4. Philip's position is outlined in Robert Stein "Philip the Good and the German Empire. The legitimation of the Burgundian succession to the German principalities", Centre Européen d'Etudes Bourguignonnes 36, 1996.
Regnal titles
Preceded by
John III
Duke of Brabant
with Wenceslaus (13551383)
Succeeded by
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