John the Fearless

John the Fearless

John the Fearless, 1371-1419, duke of Burgundy (1404-19); son of Philip the Bold. He fought against the Turks at Nikopol in 1396 and was a prisoner for a year until he was ransomed. He continued his father's feud with Louis, duc d'Orléans, brother of King Charles VI, and became popular by advocating governmental reforms. In 1407 he had Louis assassinated; he was forced to leave Paris but later returned and obtained control of the French government. Rivalry between his party and the supporters of Orléans led to open civil war in 1411 (see Armagnacs and Burgundians). In 1413, John was again forced to flee Paris as a result of a reaction against the violence of his supporters, the Cabochiens. He did not aid the government, now under Armagnac control, against the English invaders under King Henry V, and in 1418 he took advantage of French defeats to seize Paris and the king. John negotiated both with Henry V and with the dauphin (later King Charles VII), who now led the Armagnacs. At a meeting in Montereau with the dauphin, John was assassinated (1419). He was succeeded by his son, Philip the Good.
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