Post-classical history

John of Nevers (1371-1419)

John the Fearless (Fr. Jean sans Peur), count of Nevers and later second duke of Burgundy (1404-1419) of the Valois line, was the leader of the Burgundian army in the Crusade of Nikopolis (1396).

John was the eldest son of Philip the Bold, duke of Burgundy (d. 1404), and Margaret of Flanders. He was given the county of Nevers in 1383. After Philip’s idea of going on crusade with Louis, duke of Orléans, and John of Gaunt, duke of Lancaster, foundered (1395), the French royal court produced a new plan to launch a campaign against the Ottoman Turks. Duke Philip gave the leadership of the Burgundian forces to John, who left Dijon on 30 April 1396 and joined forces with King Sigismund of Hungary at Buda in July. John was knighted at Vidin, and the united Christian forces reached Nikopolis (mod. Nikopol, Bulgaria) on the Danube on 10 September. A disastrous battle with the Turks took place on 25 September, in which John was taken prisoner. He was liberated on 24 June 1397 after a ransom was paid. He came back to France via Venice. John became duke of Burgundy in 1404 and count of Flanders in 1405; he was assassinated at Montereau in 1419. He was succeeded by his son Philip the Good.

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