Antoine of Navarre

Antoine of Navarre

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Antoine de Bourbon, Duke of Vendôme (22 April 1518 – 17 November 1562) was head of the House of Bourbon
House of Bourbon
The House of Bourbon is a European royal house, a branch of the Capetian dynasty . Bourbon kings first ruled Navarre and France in the 16th century. By the 18th century, members of the Bourbon dynasty also held thrones in Spain, Naples, Sicily, and Parma...

 from 1537 to 1562, and jure uxoris
Jure uxoris
Jure uxoris is a Latin term that means "by right of his wife" or "in right of a wife". It is commonly used to refer to a title held by a man whose wife holds it in her own right. In other words, he acquired the title simply by being her husband....

King of Navarre from 1555 to 1562.


He was born at La Fère
La Fère
La Fère is a commune in the Aisne department in Picardy in France.-Population:-References:*...

, Picardie
Picardy is one of the 27 regions of France. It is located in the northern part of France.-History:The historical province of Picardy stretched from north of Noyon to Calais, via the whole of the Somme department and the north of the Aisne department...

, France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

, the second son of Charles de Bourbon, Duke of Vendôme (1489–1537), and his wife, Françoise of Alençon (d. 1550). He was the older brother of Louis I de Bourbon, Prince de Condé
Louis I de Bourbon, prince de Condé
Louis de Bourbon was a prominent Huguenot leader and general, the founder of the House of Condé, a cadet branch of the House of Bourbon.-Life:...



On 20 October 1548, at Moulins
Moulins, Allier
Moulins is a commune in central France, capital of the Allier department.Among its many tourist attractions are the Maison Mantin the Anne de Beaujeu Museum.-History:...

, he married Jeanne III
Jeanne III of Navarre
Jeanne d'Albret , also known as Jeanne III or Joan III, was the queen regnant of Navarre from 1555 to 1572. She married Antoine de Bourbon, Duke of Vendôme, and was the mother of Henry of Bourbon, who became King of Navarre and of France as Henry IV, the first Bourbon king...

, Queen regnant of Navarre, daughter of Henry II of Navarre
Henry II of Navarre
Henry II was the eldest son of John III of Navarre and Catherine I of Navarre, sister and heiress of Francis Phoebus, King of Navarre; he was born at Sangüesa.-King of Navarre:...

 and his wife Margaret of Angoulême. By his marriage, he became King of Navarre, Count of Foix, of Bigorre
Bigorre is region in southwest France, historically an independent county and later a French province, located in the upper watershed of the Adour, on the northern slopes of the Pyrenees, part of the larger region known as Gascony...

, of Armagnac, of Périgord
The Périgord is a former province of France, which corresponds roughly to the current Dordogne département, now forming the northern part of the Aquitaine région. It is divided into four regions, the Périgord Noir , the Périgord Blanc , the Périgord Vert and the Périgord Pourpre...

, 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 Kingdom of Navarre
Kingdom of Navarre
The Kingdom of Navarre , originally the Kingdom of Pamplona, was a European kingdom which occupied lands on either side of the Pyrenees alongside the Atlantic Ocean....

 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
Rouen , in northern France on the River Seine, is the capital of the Haute-Normandie region and the historic capital city of Normandy. Once one of the largest and most prosperous cities of medieval Europe , it was the seat of the Exchequer of Normandy in the Middle Ages...


Although his brother Louis was the head of the Protestant faction, Antoine spent most of his life fighting for the King of France. Catherine de' Medici
Catherine de' Medici
Catherine de' Medici was an Italian noblewoman who was Queen consort of France from 1547 until 1559, as the wife of King Henry II of France....

, regent for her son Charles IX
Charles IX of France
Charles IX was King of France, ruling from 1560 until his death. His reign was dominated by the Wars of Religion. He is best known as king at the time of the St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre.-Childhood:...

, named him lieutenant general of the kingdom in 1561. When his wife allowed the Huguenots to sack the chapel of Vendôme
Vendôme is a commune in the Centre region of France.-Administration:Vendôme is the capital of the arrondissement of Vendôme in the Loir-et-Cher department, of which it is a sub-prefecture. It has a tribunal of first instance.-Geography:...

 and the churches of the town in 1562, he threatened to send her to a convent. She took refuge in Béarn
Béarn is one of the traditional provinces of France, located in the Pyrenees mountains and in the plain at their feet, in southwest France. Along with the three Basque provinces of Soule, Lower Navarre, and Labourd, the principality of Bidache, as well as small parts of Gascony, it forms in the...


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
Les Andelys
Les Andelys is a commune in the Eure department in Haute-Normandie in northern France.-Geography:It lies on the Seine, about 35 km northeast of Évreux.The commune is divided into two parts, Grand-Andely and Petit-Andely.-Population:-Sights:...

, Eure
Eure is a department in the north of France named after the river Eure.- History :Eure is one of the original 83 departments created during the French Revolution on 4 March 1790...



With his wife, Jeanne III of Navarre
Jeanne III of Navarre
Jeanne d'Albret , also known as Jeanne III or Joan III, was the queen regnant of Navarre from 1555 to 1572. She married Antoine de Bourbon, Duke of Vendôme, and was the mother of Henry of Bourbon, who became King of Navarre and of France as Henry IV, the first Bourbon king...

, he had the following issue:
  • Henri de Bourbon (1551–1553), Duke of Beaumont
  • Henri de Bourbon (later Henri IV of France)
    Henry IV of France
    Henry IV , Henri-Quatre, was King of France from 1589 to 1610 and King of Navarre from 1572 to 1610. He was the first monarch of the Bourbon branch of the Capetian dynasty in France....

    , King of France (1553–1610)
  • Louis de Bourbon (1555–1557), Count of Marle
  • Madeleine de Bourbon (1556)
  • Catherine de Bourbon
    Catherine de Bourbon
    Jeanne de Bourbon was a daughter of Jean VIII, Count of Vendôme and Isabelle de Beauvau. Through her daughter Madeleine, she was the maternal grandmother of French queen consort Catherine de' Medici.-Family and lineage:...

     (1559–1604). Married Henry I, Duke of Lorraine in 1599.

With his mistress Louise de La Béraudière de l'Isle Rouhet, he had:
  • Charles de Bourbon, Archbishop of Rouen (1554–1610)