Isabella of Angouleme

From Academic Kids

Isabella of Angouleme (c. 1187May 31, 1246) was countess of Angoulême and queen consort of England.

She was the only daughter and heir of Aymer Taillefer, Count of Angoulême, by Alix de Courtney; 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. At the time of this marriage Isabella was aged about thirteen, and her beauty was renowned; she is sometimes called the "Helen" of the Middle Ages by historians.

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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 IX de Lusignan, 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.

When John died in 1216, Isabella was still in her twenties. She returned to France and in 1220 proceeded to marry Hugh X de Lusignan, Count de la March, the son of her former fiancé.

Isabella was accused of plotting against the French king in 1244; she fled to Fontevrault Abbey, where she died on May 31, 1246, and was buried there. Afterwards most of her many children, having few prospects in France, set sail for England and the court of their half-brother King Henry.

Issue

  • With King John: 5 children, all of whom survived into adulthood, including:
  1. the eldest, who became King Henry III of England on his father's death
  2. Richard, Earl of Cornwall
  3. Joan, the wife of King Alexander II of Scotland
  4. Isabella, the wife of Emperor Frederick II
  5. the youngest daughter, Eleanor, who would marry Simon de Montfort
  • With Hugh X of Lusignan, the Count de la March: 9 children, all of whom survived into adulthood, including:
  1. Hugh XI of Lusignan, Count de la March and Count of Angoulême (1221-1260)
  2. Aymer de Valence, Bishop of Winchester (1222-1260)
  3. Agnés de Lusignan (1223-1269), married William II de Chauvigny
  4. Alice de Lusignan (1224-1256), married John de Warenne, 7th Earl of Surrey
  5. Guy de Lusignan, died 1264 at the Battle of Lewes
  6. Geoffrey de Lusignan, died 1274
  7. William de Valence, 1st Earl of Pembroke
  8. Marguerite de Lusignan, died 1288, married (1) Raymond VII of Toulouse; (2) Aimery IX de Thouars, Viscount of Thouars
  9. Isabelle de Lusignan (1234-1299), married Geoffrey de Ranconsv:Isabella av Angouleme
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