JOHN I. (d. 1294), duke of Brabant and Lorraine, surnamed the Victorious, one of the most gifted and chivalrous princes of his time, was the second son of Duke Henry III. and Aleidis of Burgundy. In 1267 his elder brother Henry, being infirm of mind and body, was deposed in his favour. In 1271 John married Margaret, daughter of Louis IX. of France, and on her death in childbirth he took as his second wife (1273) Margaret of Flanders, daughter of Guy de Dampierre. His sister Marie was espoused in 1275 to Philip III. (the Bold) of France, and during the reign of Philip and his son Philip IV. there were close relations of friendship and alliance between Brabant and France. In 1285 John accompanied Philip III. in his expedition against Peter III., king of Aragon, but the duchy of Limburg was the scene of his chief activity and greatest successes. After the death of Waleran IV. in 1279 the succession to this duchy was disputed. His heiress, Ermengarde, had married Reinald I. count of Gelderland. She died childless, but her husband continued to rule in Limburg, although his rights were disputed by Count Adolph of Berg, nephew to Waleran IV. (see Limburg). Not being strong enough to eject his rival, Adolph sold his rights to John of Brabant, and hostilities broke out in 1283. Harassed by desultory warfare and endless negotiations, and seeing no prospect of holding his own against the powerful duke of Brabant, Reinald made over his rights to Henry III. count of Luxemburg, who was a descendant of Waleran III. of Limburg. Henry III. was sustained by the archbishop of Cologne and other allies, as well as by Reinald of Gelderland. The duke of Brabant at once invaded the Rhineland and laid siege to the castle of Woeringen near Bonn. Here he was attacked by the forces of the confederacy on the 5th of June 1288. After a bloody struggle John of Brabant, though at the head of far inferior numbers, was completely victorious. Limburg was henceforth attached to the duchy of Brabant. John consolidated his conquest by giving his daughter in marriage to Henry of Luxemburg (1291). John the Victorious was a perfect model of a feudal prince in the days of chivalry, brave, adventurous, excelling in every form of active exercise, fond of display, generous in temper. He delighted in tournaments, and was always eager personally to take part in jousts. On the 3rd of May 1294, on the occasion of some marriage festivities at Bar, he was wounded in the arm in an encounter by Pierre de Bausner, and died from the effects of the hurt.
Bibliography.-H. Barlandus, Rerum gestarum a Brabantiae ducibus historic usque in annum 1526 (Louvain, 1566); G. C. van der Berghe, Jean Victorieux, duc de Brabant (1259-1294), (Louvain, 1857); K. F. Stallaert, Gesch. v. Jan I. van Braband en zijne tijdvak (Brussels, 1861); A. Wauters, Le Duc Jean i" et le Brabant sous le reine de ce prince (Brussels, 1859).
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