(called the Bastard
( born 23.11. 1402 )


Pierre Deny
Jean de Dunois

Coat of arms of the Counts of Dunois

Jean de Dunois


John of Orléans, Count of Dunois (French Jean d'Orléans, Comte de Dunois, was the illegitimate son of Louis d'Orléans, Duke of Orléans.
The term "Bastard of Orléans" (bâtard d'Orléans) was the usual name for most of his career. In his era this was a term of respect since it acknowledged him as a first cousin to the king and acting head of a cadet branch.

Cadet branch is a term in genealogy to describe the lineage of the descendants of the younger sons of a monarch or patriarch. In the ruling dynasty and nobility families of much of Europe and Asia, the family's major assets – titles, realms, fiefs, property and income – have historically been passed from a father to his firstborn. His father died in 1407. His half legitimate brother became an English prisoner at the Battle of Agincourt.This left him the only adult male of the house of Orléans.

Marriages and progeny

He married Marie Louvet (d. 1426) in April 1422 at Bourges, by whom he had no children. He married a second time to Marie of Harcourt (d. 1464), Lady of Parthenay October 26, 1439 and had two children: 

François d'Orléans-Longueville (1447–1491), Count of Dunois, Tancarville, Longueville, and Montgomery, Baron of Varenguebec, Viscount of Melun, Chamberlain of France, Governor of Normandy and the Dauphiné, Constable and Chamberlain of Normandy, married July 2, 1466 to Agnès de Savoie (1445–1508)

Catherine d'Orléans (1449–1501), married May 14, 1468 to John VII of Saarbrucken (1430–1492), Count of Roucy


Lord of Valbonais

 Count of Mortain
 Viscount of Saint-Sauveur
 Count of Périgord
 Count of Dunois
 Count of Longueville

Born at Paris (1403) Jean was the natural son of Louis I Duc d'Orléans and Mariette d'Enghien, Dame de Cany. Jean was adopted and raised faithfully by Louis' wife, Valentina Visconti. As such Jean was close to Charles, the letigimate heir and subsequent duc d'Orléans. Charles was captured at the battle of Agincourt and held prisoner for many years by the English. The Orléanist cause (as well as that of the dauphin's) was briefly defended by Charles d'Orléans younger brother, Philippe, comte de Vertus, who died suddenly in 1420. Before his death Philippe arranged to ransom the release of Jean, who had been held captive by the Burgundians since 1418.

He joined the civil war in France in the time of Charles VI. on the side of the Armagnacs, and was captured by the Burgundians in 1418. Released in 1420, he entered the service of the Dauphin Charles VII of France. 

Jean, who by his own insistance, went proudly by the title "The Bastard of Orléans" continued to fight for the French Valois king and for the protection of the dukedom against the English. 

Jean took up with La Hire (Etienne de Vignolles) and Jean Poton de Xaintrailles in confronting the English when the opportunities arose. This small force managed to make the English occupation uncomfortable, even re-captured Le Mans for a short time. Jean was present at dauphanist's victory at Baugé (22 March 1421) and defeats at Cravant (1423) and Verneuil (August 1424).  

Jean and La Hire reinforced Montargis (1427) with 1,600 troops, forcing Warwick to break off his siege. He became one of the most active leaders in the defense of Orléans when the city was besieged by the English in 1428.

Minature of Jean de Dunois

Châteaudun, home of Jean de Dunois

Jean de Dunois was one of the first military commanders to value Jeanne d'Arc's participation. His tactful dealing with her contributed significantly in the success of her mission to relieve the town of Orléans and took part in the coronation of Charles VII. In 1436 he aided in the capture of Paris.

Jean was an active commander in the post-Orléans campaign of 1429, where he directed forces in the capture of Jargeau and was one of the French commanders at the victory of Patay.

 He received (1439) the county of Dunois from his half-brother Charles, Duc d'Orléans. Charles VII later made him count of Longueville. Dunois was prominent in the conquest of Guyenne and Normandy in the final years of the Hundred Years War.

Made comte de Dunois, Jean (still preferring to go by the expression 'the Bastard') led the army that captured Le Mans the last time (1448), and Rouen (1449). He was made lieutenant-general of Charles VII's army, a position just below that of Constable.


Surrender of Mantes by the English
to Jean de Dunois

Jean de Dunois, de Brézé
and Jacques Coeur
in the campain Guyenne

Dunois was the dauphin Louis' forces that relieved Dieppe (August 1443). Dunois was one of the commanders in the successful 1450 reconquest of Normandy. For Dunois' heroic defense of the Orléanists lands, duc Charles d'Orléans, upon being released from captivity in England, presented his half-brother the castle of Châteaudun.

After Charles VII's victory over the English, Dunois joined in an uprising against the king. However, he realigned himself back with Charles VII. Later, under the monarachy of Louis XI, Dunois participated in an uprising of nobles against the king, the League of the Public Weal (bien publique = general welfare) (1464-65).

Louis XI managed to settle with the nobles, and accepted Dunois back into royal favor. Dunois, became head of Louis XI's Council of Thirty-Six (a kind of supreme court of inquiry and public policy in Paris).


Jean de Dunois 
modern statue at Châteaudun

 Military commander and diplomat, important in France’s final victory over England in the Hundred Years’ War.


He died November 24, 1468



wikipedia and various sources of the Internet 2009
 © 2008  - 2019 Linda Compagnoni Walther