JEANNE D'ALBRET, zhan dal"brê': Queen of Navarre; b. at Pau (56 m. e.s.e. of Bayonne) Jan. 7, 1528; d. at Paris June 9, 1572. She was the eldest child of Henry of Navarre and Margaret of Angoulême-Alençon, the sister of Francis I. of France. By the death of her brother John, she became heir-presumptive of Navarre-Béarn, a kingdom which was important on account of its position between France and Spain. She received a thorough education, although her trend was practical and ambitious rather than scholarly, nor could she sympathize with the intellectualism and mysticism of her famous mother. Suitors for her hand were numerous, and as early as 1535 Francis had intended to marry her to Anthony of Bourbon, but when, in 1540, Charles V. of Spain sought her as a wife for his son Philip, her uncle decided to wed her to Duke William of Cleves. Despite her resistance, the ceremony was performed on June 14, 1541, but her youth made the marriage a mere form, and her ill health obliged her to remain in France while her husband returned to Germany. The change of political conditions caused Francis to desire an annulment of the marriage, and a brief of Paul III. on Oct. 12, 1545, declared the enforced wedlock void. Three years later (Oct. 20, 1548) she married Duke Anthony of Bourbon-Vendôme. The first two children of this union died while still infants, but on Dec. 14, 1553, she gave birth at Pau to her son Henry, afterward Henry IV. of France. The death of her father on May 29, 1555, made her queen of Navarre, and she succeeded in having Anthony recognized as king, although the actual sovereignty devolved on her.

It was in her relation to the Reformation that Jeanne was most important. She had been brought up in an atmosphere favorable to the new teaching, although Margaret of Navarre never formally became a convert to Protestantism. Jeanne remained true to Roman Catholicism, even after her husband entered into correspondence with Calvin in 1557, and became the mainstay of the Reformed. Her disaffection with the Roman Catholic Church, however, steadily increased, and on Christmas of the same year she publicly renounced her former faith and received communion according to the Reformed rite. Within a year her court became


the center of the Reformed, and her zeal for her new creed and its adherents was most pronounced. She educated her son in the Reformed faith, and Navarre was thoroughly Calvinized by Raymond Merlin in 1563-64. Many statues were forcibly torn from the churches, and the monasteries were transformed into schools, while their incomes were devoted to the establishment of educational institutions.

A sudden opponent arose, however, in the person of Pius IV., who, in a bull of Sept. 28, 1563, cited her to appear before the tribunal of the Inquisition or to forfeit her territories both for herself and her children. This peril was obviated by her suzerain, Charles IX., and the bull was annulled, but the peace which she now hoped to enjoy was broken by the wars of religion which broke out anew, and she was forced to flee from Navarre and to take refuge in La Rochelle. During the war she was untiring in her encouragement of her coreligionists, and her son Henry (then sixteen years of age) was the nominal head of the Huguenot party, with Coligny and Andelot as his advisers, a course by which Jeanne increased her own prestige. Meanwhile Navarre-Béarn had been overrun by the royal troops under Terndes, Pau was captured, and only the little fortress of Navarrein still held out. Thither Jeanne sent Montgomery, who reconquered the country for its queen within two months. Jeanne thereupon forbade the exercise of the Roman Catholic religion, and expelled the priests and monks, but in Navarre, where her power was limited, she tolerated it. In the Peace of St. Germain (Aug. 8, 1570) her counsels and perseverance were important factors in obtaining favorable terms for the Protestants, and she remained at La Rochelle until Aug., 1571, declining to be present at the marriage of Charles IX. with Elizabeth of Austria (Nov. 26, 1570), but attending the third Reformed synod held at La Rochelle Apr. 2-10, 1571.

Though she had pleaded the length of the journey, she was, in reality, deeply distrustful of the court, and repeatedly declined invitations to visit it, despite the fact that she was planning a marriage of her son with Margaret, the daughter of Henry II. This match had been proposed by Henry himself as early as 1556, but had been forgotten until negotiations were renewed during the war in the autumn of 1569, and again in Jan., 1571, this time in earnest. In Nov. the reluctance of Jeanne was overcome, despite the difference in religion of Henry and Margaret, for she hoped that the princess would become a convert to Protestantism. In Jan., 1572, the queen of Navarre consented to visit the French court, and in the following month met Catherine. Negotiations for the marriage dragged, but in April it was decided that the ceremony should be performed at Paris. On Apr. 11 the marriage-contract was signed, but the pope would not give the requisite dispensation, although Charles IX. earnestly advocated the union which was so necessary for the peace of the land. Jeanne then hastened to Paris to make the final preparations for the marriage and on June 3 received communion at Vincennes with a number of her coreligionists, but died six days later. It was this marriage which was followed by the massacre of St. Bartholomew's Day.


BIBLIOGRAPHY: The best account, based on documentary evidence, of the life of Jeanne d'Albret is in the three works of A. de Ruble, Le Mariage de Jeanne d'Albret, Paris, 1877, Ant. de Bourbon et Jeanne d'Atbret, 4 vols., ib. 1881-86, and Jeanne d'Albret et la guerre civile, ib. 1897; for her later life very important is Lettres d 'Antoine de Bourbon et de Jeanne d'Albret, ib. 1877. Consult further: W. G. Soldan, Geschichte des Protestantismus in Frankreich, 2 vols., Gotha, 1856; G. von Polenz, Geschichte des französischen Calvinismus, 5 vols., Leipsic, 1857-69; N. de Boodenave, Hist. de Béarn et Navarre, Paris, 1873; J. Delaborde, Eléonore de Roye, ib. 1876; idem, Gaspard de Coligny, vol. i., ib. 1879; H. M. Baird, Hist. of the Rise of the Huguenots, 2 vols., New York, 1880; Cambridge Modern History, iii. 6, 11, 13, 17-18, New York, 1905.


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