ALBRET, Jeanne D'

(1528-1572)
Queen of Navarre and mother of France's monarch Henri IV, Jeanne d'Albret was a champion of Calvinism in both France and Navarre. The only surviving child of Henri d'Albret and Marguerite de Navarre,* Jeanne d'Albret was born on 16 November 1528. Throughout her early life, Jeanne remained a pawn in the political struggles between her father and her uncle, Francois I,* the king of France, concerning Henri's desire to reestablish Navarre as a separate country. After much political wrangling and one dissolved marriage to the duke of Cleves, in 1548 Jeanne married Antoine de Bourbon, duc de Vendôme, heir to the French throne in the event that the king had no sons. The couple had only two children who survived infancy, Henri and Catherine.
Upon her father's death in 1555, Jeanne became queen of Navarre, and through her insistence, Antoine was made king. The two of them continued Henri's attempts to establish Navarre as a separate country, but gradually Jeanne became committed to a new cause, Calvinism, to which she converted openly in 1560. Her mother, Marguerite, although Catholic, had been known for her beliefs in reform and for her protection of Protestant leaders. Jeanne was to eclipse her mother's role and become one of the leaders of the Calvinist move­ment in France and Navarre.
Her influence as one of the highest-ranked Calvinists in France inspired many to convert to the new religion, and Jeanne aspired to make Navarre a Protestant country. Her decision led her into great difficulties with Catholic France and Spain, and when Pope Pius IV excommunicated Jeanne in 1563, only the ob­jections of Catherine de' Medici,* queen mother of France, who protested that the pope was transgressing on French sovereignty, protected her. In exchange for that aid, Jeanne was forced to make concessions that curtailed her personal and national independence.
When civil wars broke out in France between the Catholics and Protestants, Jeanne originally remained neutral. However, as pressure mounted on her sov­ereignty, she became one of the leaders of the third civil war, serving as both propagandist and military leader. Upon the war's ending, conditional on the marriage negotiations between Jeanne's son Henri and Marguerite de Valois,* the king's sister, Jeanne acted as a diplomat, working out the tortuous details of the peace and a marriage she opposed. The incredible strain of the negotia­tions weakened Jeanne, and she fell prey to one of the bouts of tuberculosis that had plagued her throughout her life; she died on 9 June 1572. Although rumors surfaced that Catherine de' Medici had her poisoned, the idea was almost uni­versally discredited. Her death was a great loss to the Protestant cause, and years later, in order to assume the French throne, her son Henri converted to Catholicism.
Bibliography
N. L. Roelker, Queen of Navarre: Jeanne d'Albret, 1528-1572, 1968.
Erin Sadlack

Renaissance and Reformation 1500-1620: A Biographical Dictionary. . 2001.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • D'ALBRET, JEANNE —    queen of Navarre, and mother of Henry IV. of France; came to Paris to treat about the marriage of her son to Charles IX. s sister; died suddenly, not without suspicion of foul play, after signing the treaty; she was a Protestant (1528 1572) …   The Nuttall Encyclopaedia

  • Jeanne d'Albret — Jeanne III. von Navarra, besser bekannt als Jeanne d Albret (* 7. Januar 1528 in Pau, Aquitanien, Frankreich; † 9. Juni 1572 in Paris), war von 1555 bis 1572 Königin von Navarra. I …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Jeanne III. von Navarra — Jeanne d Albret Jeanne III. von Navarra, besser bekannt als Jeanne d Albret (* 7. Januar 1528 in Pau, Aquitanien, Frankreich; † 9. Juni 1572 in Paris), war von 1555 bis 1572 Königin von Navarra. I …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Albret —   [al brɛ], südfranzösisches Adelsgeschlecht, gelangte durch Vermählung Johanns von Albret mit der Erbin von Navarra, Katharina von Foix (1484), in den Besitz dieses Königreichs. Doch verlor Johann 1512 Obernavarra an Spanien. Seine Enkelin… …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Albret — Albret, Jeanne d , s. Johanna d Albret …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Jeanne d'Albret — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Jeanne d Albret (homonymie) et Jeanne de Navarre. Jeanne III Jeanne III de Navarre …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Jeanne Ire —  Cette page d’homonymie répertorie les différents souverains partageant un même nom. Jeanne Ire d Albret (1403 1433), fille de Charles Ier d Albret Jeanne Ire (1326 1360), comtesse d Auvergne et épouse de Jean II de France Jeanne Ire …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Jeanne — Cette page d’homonymie répertorie les différents sujets et articles partageant un même nom. Jeanne est la forme féminine du prénom Jean. Ce prénom fut porté par plusieurs souveraines, figures historiques et légendaires : Jeanne d Arc Jeanne… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • JEANNE D'ALBRET —    See D ALBRET, JEANNE …   The Nuttall Encyclopaedia

  • Jeanne III De Navarre — Jeanne d Albret (reine de Navarre) Pour les articles homonymes, voir Jeanne d Albret et Jeanne de Navarre. Jeanne III …   Wikipédia en Français


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