John, Duke of Durazzo

John, Duke of Durazzo

John of Gravina (1294 – April 5 1336), Count of Gravina 1315–1336, Duke of Durazzo 1332–1336 and ruler of the Kingdom of Albania (although he never used a royal title), was a younger son of Charles II of Naples and Maria of Hungary.

He was a younger brother of (among others) Charles Martel of Anjou, Saint Louis of Toulouse, Robert of Naples and Philip I of Taranto.

On September 3 1313 he was named Captain-General of Calabria. In 1315, he succeeded his brother Peter, Count of Gravina after the latter was killed at the Battle of Montecatini.

The death of Louis of Burgundy in 1316 widowed Matilda of Hainaut, Princess of Achaea. Her suzerain, John's brother Philip I of Taranto, had her brought by force to Naples in 1318 to marry John, a design intended to bring the Principality of Achaea into the Angevin inheritance. The marriage, celebrated in March 1318, failed of its objective: Matilda refused to surrender her rights to Achaea to her husband and ultimately contracted a secret marriage with Hugh de La Palice. This violated the marriage contract of her mother Isabelle, which had pledged that Isabelle and all her female heirs should not marry without permission of their suzerain. On these grounds, Philip stripped her of Achaea and bestowed it upon John: the marriage was annulled for non-consummation, and Matilda was imprisoned in the Castel dell'Ovo.

On November 14 1321, John took a second wife, Agnes de Périgord, daughter of Helie VII, Count of Périgord and Brunissende de Foix. They had four sons:
*Charles, Duke of Durazzo (1323–1348). Married Maria of Calabria.
*Louis of Durazzo (1324–1362), Count of Gravina
*Robert of Durazzo (1326–1356)
*Stephen of Durazzo (b. c.1320), died a Crusader in Portugal.

He made a military expedition, financed by the Acciaiuoli, in 1325 to claim Achaea, by now much diminished from its original extent. While he re-established his authority in Kefalonia and Zante, he was unable to recapture Skorta from the control of the Byzantine Empire.

In 1332, Philip of Taranto died and was succeeded by his son Robert of Taranto, who became the new suzerain of Achaea. Not wishing to swear fealty to his nephew, John arranged to surrender Achaea to him in exchange for Robert's rights to the Kingdom of Albania and a loan of 5,000 ounces of gold raised upon Niccolo Acciaiuoli, and thenceforth adopted the style of "Duke of Durazzo".


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1= 1. John, Duke of Durazzo
2= 2. Charles II of Naples
3= 3. Maria of Hungary
4= 4. Charles I of Naples
5= 5. Beatrice of Provence
6= 6. Stephen V of Hungary
7= 7. Elizabeth the Cuman
8= 8. Louis VIII of France
9= 9. Blanche of Castile
10= 10. Ramon Berenguer IV, Count of Provence
11= 11. Beatrice of Savoy
12= 12. Béla IV of Hungary
13= 13. Maria Laskarina
14= 14. Kuthen, Khan of Cumania
15= 15. Mstislawna of Galicia
16= 16. Philip II of France
17= 17. Isabelle of Hainaut
18= 18. Alfonso VIII of Castile
19= 19. Leonora of England
20= 20. Alfonso II, Count of Provence
21= 21. Gersenda II of Sabran
22= 22. Thomas I of Savoy
23= 23. Marguerite of Geneva
24= 24. Andrew II of Hungary
25= 25. Gertrude of Merania
26= 26. Theodore I Laskaris
27= 27. Anna Angelina
28= 28. Suthoi, Khan of Cumania

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