Joanna, Duchess of Brabant

Joanna, Duchess of Brabant

Joanna, Duchess of Brabant (June 24 1322 – November 1 1406), was the heiress of Duke John III, who died in Brussels, December 5, 1355. The famous document, the foundation of the rule of law in Brabant called the "Blijde Inkomst" ("Joyous Entry"), was arrived at in January 1355/6, in order to assure Joanna and her consort Wenceslaus of Luxemburg 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.

As events transpired, the document was a dead letter, with the military incursion into Brabant of the Count of Flanders, Louis II, who had married Margaret, Joanna's younger sister, and considered himself Duke of Brabant by right of his wife. 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.

On Joanna's death, by agreement the Duchy passed to her great-nephew Antoine de Valois, the second son of her sister's daughter Margaret de Dampierre, Countess of Flanders, who had married Philip II, Duke of Burgundy.

Joanna's first marriage, in 1334, had been to William IV, Count of Holland (1307 – 1345), who had died in battle without producing an heir, thus foiling that project of unifying their territories.

See also: Dukes of Brabant family tree


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