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Isabella of Angoulême

Isabella of Angoulême (Fr. Isabelle d'Angoulême ; (1188 – May 31, 1246) was Countess of Angoulême and queen consort of England.

Queen of England

She was the only daughter and heir of Aymer Taillefer, Count of Angoulême, by Alix de Courtenay. Her paternal grandparents were William V Taillefer, Count of Angouleme and Marguerite de Turenne. Her maternal grandparents were Pierre de Courtenay and Elizabeth de Courtenay. Her maternal great-grandfather was King Louis VI of France. She became Countess of Angoulême in her own right in 1202, by which time she was already queen of England. Her marriage to King John took place on August 24, 1200, at Bordeaux, a year after he annulled his first marriage to Isabel of Gloucester. At the time of this marriage Isabella was aged about twelve, and her beauty was renowned; she is sometimes called the "Helen" of the Middle Ages by historians.

It could not be said to have been a successful marriage, as Isabella was much younger than her husband and had a fiery character to match his. Before their marriage, she had been betrothed to Hugh le Brun, Count of Lusignan, son of the then Count of La Marche. As a result of John's temerity in taking her as his second wife, King Philip II of France confiscated all his French lands, and armed conflict ensued.

Second marriage

When John died in 1216, Isabella was still in her twenties. She returned to France and in 1220 proceeded to marry Hugh X of Lusignan, now Count of La Marche, her former fiancé's son. By him, Isabella had nine more children. Their eldest son Hugh XI of Lusignan succeeded his father as Count of La Marche and Count of Angouleme in 1249.

Death and burial

Isabella was accused of plotting against King Louis IX of France in 1244; she fled to Fontevrault Abbey, where she died on May 31, 1246, and was buried there. At her own insistence she was first buried in the churchyard, as an act of repentance for her many misdeeds. On a visit to Fontevrault her son King Henry III of England was shocked to find her buried outside the Abbey and ordered her immediately moved inside. She was finally placed beside Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine. Afterwards most of her many children, having few prospects in France, set sail for England and the court of their half-brother King Henry III.

Issue

Notes

External links

References

  • Ancestral Roots of Certain American Colonists Who Came to America Before 1700 by Frederick Lewis Weis, Lines: 1-25, 80-29, 117-27, 153A-28, 154-28, 258-27, 260-29, 275-27
  • Isabelle d'Angoulême, Reine d'Angleterre, by Sophie Fougère
  • Isabella: Queen Without a Conscience, by Rachel Bard (historical novel)

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