• Into the Rabbit Hole

Ep. 3 The French Made Me Do It.

Updated: Jul 28, 2019

A Red Revenge Pirate Queen. Be still my heart.

Revenge is often brutal and violent, leaving no fluffy feel good moments. However. This Pirate Queen is someone to 100% look up to. Come on Disney, make this shit a movie already!

Jeanne de Clisson – The Lioness of Brittany

• Born, as Jeanne de Belleville in 1300 to a noble family, Belle-sur-Vie, which is in France

• Married at age 12 to a 19 yr old man named Geoffrey de Chateaubriant VIII, a Breton nobleman

◦ Had 2 children

◦ Geoffrey died in 1326

• In 1328 Jeanne married Guy of Penthievre, a nobleman widower

◦ Mostly to protect her young children, it’s thought

◦ His family didn’t like her though so they petitioned some powerful people which resulted in the marriage beig annuled by the Pope in 1330

• But don’t worry, because in 1330, Jeanne married for the THIRD time

◦ This time to a man named Olivier de Clisson IV

◦ Dude had a castle, a manor house, and lands throughout the country

◦ With the areas that Jeanne herself controlled as an inheritance from her first husband, this made them the Senior Lord of an area

▪ I don’t know what that means, but it sounds at least somewhat important

◦ They had 5 children together

◦ By all accounts they actually had a happy marriage

• During the Breton War of Succession (aka the hundred year war) Olivier went to fight for his king, Philip VI

◦ But he was captured by the English

◦ Although he was released in a prisoner exchange, it only cast suspicion on him

◦ Philip VI suspected that he’d lost the battle on purpose because he was secretly working with the English

◦ On January 19 1343, a truce between France and England was signed. Philip VI inivited Olivier to Paris to celebrate the truce, but once he was there the King had him arrested

◦ He was executed on August 2 1343 by beheading. His head was actually sent to Brittany to be displayed as a warning to others

◦ Many other nobles were shocked by this all. There was no publicly revealed evidence to support the King’s theory, and nobles bodies were not usually treated as such

• Jeanne was NOT HAPPY and now this becomes a revenge story

◦ So, pissed off beyond belief, Jeanne sells all of her estates, and raises a force of loyal men.

◦ Legend says she actually took her sons to see their father’s head in order to sear a deep hatred in their hearts

◦ She goes to a fort that had previously been under her husbands control, and burned it to the ground before the Kings soldiers could reclaim it. SUCK IT!

◦ She also attacks 2 castles and massacres the entire garrison except one person.

• Piracy Begins!

◦ With assistance from the English King, and sympathizers, Jeanne outfitted 3 warships. They were all painted black and their sails dyed red. They would become known as The Black Fleet

◦ Her ship, the flagship, was named My Revenge

◦ These ships would sail the English Channel, hunting down French ships.

◦ She’d attack from the fog without warning, leaving only one survivor to spread the word

◦ After her men slaughtered the French crew, Jeanne would personally behead any aristocrats on board with her ax

◦ This is where she earned her nickname Lioness of Brittany, or Tigress of Brittany depending on the translation.

◦ She continued her piracy from 13 years

◦ But at one point her flagship sunk, leaving Jeanne and her two sons adrift for 5 days. The youngest, Guillaume died of exposure. Jeanne and her son Oliver survived and were rescued.

• And then she just quit piracy. She was never caught or tried.

• In 1356 Jeanne married for a FOURTH time to Walter Bentley, an English Lord.

• She died in 1359 from unknown causes


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