John II of France

John II (French: Jean II; 26 April 1319 – 8 April 1364), called John the Good (French: Jean le Bon), was King of France from 1350 until his death in 1364. When he came to power, France faced several disasters: the Black Death, which killed nearly half of its population; popular revolts known as Jacqueries; free companies (Grandes Compagnies) of routiers who plundered the country; and English aggression that resulted in catastrophic military losses, including the Battle of Poitiers of 1356, in which John was captured.

John II
Portrait [fr] on wood panel around 1350, Louvre Museum
King of France
Reign22 August 1350 – 8 April 1364
Coronation26 September 1350
PredecessorPhilip VI
SuccessorCharles V
RegentCharles, the Dauphin (1356–1360)
Born26 April 1319
Le Mans, France
Died8 April 1364(1364-04-08) (aged 44)
Savoy Palace, London, England
Burial7 May 1364
Spouse
(m. 1332)

(m. 1350)
IssueCharles V of France
Louis I, Duke of Anjou
John, Duke of Berry
Philip II, Duke of Burgundy
Joan, Queen of Navarre
Marie, Duchess of Bar
Isabella, Countess of Vertus
HouseValois
FatherPhilip VI of France
MotherJoan of Burgundy

While John was a prisoner in London, his son Charles became regent and faced several rebellions, which he overcame. To liberate his father, he concluded the Treaty of Brétigny (1360), by which France lost many territories and paid an enormous ransom. In an exchange of hostages, which included his second son Louis, Duke of Anjou, John was released from captivity to raise funds for his ransom. Upon his return to France, he created the franc to stabilize the currency and tried to get rid of the free companies by sending them to a crusade, but Pope Innocent VI died shortly before their meeting in Avignon. When John was informed that Louis had escaped from captivity, he voluntarily returned to England, where he died in 1364. He was succeeded by his son Charles V.


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