Arthur III (Brittany)

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Duke Francis I of Brittany and Arthur de Richemont.
(Illumination from the Vigiles du roi Charles VII by Martial d'Auvergne, 15th century)

Arthur III (* August 24, 1393 ; † December 26, 1458 in Nantes ) was a Connétable of France and Duke of Brittany . He was the second son of Duke John V of Brittany and Joan of Navarre .

Arthur had been designated by his father as heir to the English county of Richmond , which was traditionally associated with the Breton ducal house. In fact, however, the English king had confiscated this county after the death of Duke John V and later conferred it within the English royal family. Still, Arthur was best known as the Connétable de Richemont .

He received the counties of Montfort-l'Amaury , Dreux and Ivry , as well as the barony of Parthenay , as own property .


Equestrian statue of the Connétable de Richemont in Vannes
Arthur's coat of arms as Count of Richmond (Connétable de Richemont)

Arthur fought the English from a young age, was wounded and captured at the Battle of Azincourt in 1415 , and therefore stayed in England for the next five years . On October 10, 1423, he married Margaret of Burgundy , daughter of Duke John Fearless of Burgundy , in Dijon , and on March 7, 1425, King Charles VII appointed him Connétable. At the royal court in Bourges , Arthur was patronized by Jolanthe of Aragón and rivaled Georges de La Trémoille . After Arthur's brother, Duke Johann VI. of Brittany , entered into an alliance with England in 1427, Arthur briefly fell out of favor with the king.

With Joan of Arc and Dunois at his side, Arthur commanded the French army in 1429 and defeated the English at Beaugency and Patay . After Trémoille was overthrown by intrigue in 1433, Arthur took a leading position at court again. Through his mediation, the Treaty of Arras came about in 1435 , in which King Charles VII was reconciled with the Duke of Burgundy. On April 13, 1436 Arthur made a solemn entry into liberated Paris and in the following years drove the English out of Normandy and part of the Guyenne . He fought off the attempt to recapture the British in Normandy on April 15, 1450 at the Battle of Formigny . For this he was awarded the duchy of Touraine as a reward . Arthur made a contribution to the French army by reintroducing discipline there and creating the Compagnies d'Ordonnance , from which today's French gendarmes have developed.

Arthur had married Jeanne , a daughter of Charles II. D'Albret , on August 29, 1442 in Nérac , and on July 2, 1445, Catherine , a daughter of Count Peter I of Saint-Pol, married. He became Duke of Brittany after the death of his nephew, Peter II , in September 1457, but only ruled for about 14 months. Since Arthur died without heirs, the duchy passed to his nephew Franz II , the son of his younger brother, Count Richard d'Étampes . Arthur is buried in Nantes Cathedral.

His biography is best known through the report by Guillaume Gruels , one of his squires, under the title La Chronique d'Arthur III .

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predecessor Office successor
Peter II Duke of Brittany 1457-1458
Blason region for Brittany.svg
Francis II