1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Louis, kings of Naples

LOUIS, the name of three kings of Naples, members of the house of Anjou.

Louis I., duke of Anjou and count of Maine (1339–1384), was the second son of John II., king of France, and was born at Vincennes on the 23rd of July 1339. Having been given the duchy of Anjou in 1356 he led a wing of the French army at the battle of Poitiers and was sent to England as a hostage after the conclusion of the treaty of Brétigny in 1360, but he broke his parole in 1363 and so brought about King John’s return into captivity. He took part in the war against England which was renewed in 1369, uniting the rival houses of Foix and Armagnac in the common cause, and in other ways rendering good service to his brother, King Charles V. Anjou’s entrance into the troubled politics of Italy was one result of the papal schism which opened in 1378. Anxious to secure the support of France, the antipope Clement VII. persuaded the queen of Naples, Joanna I., to name Louis as her heir, and about the same time the death of Charles V. (September 1380) placed the duke in the position of regent of France. Neglecting France to prosecute his ambitions in Italy, he collected money and marched on Naples; but although helped by Amadeus VI., count of Savoy, he was unable to drive his rival, Charles, duke of Durazzo, from Naples. His army was destroyed by disease and Louis himself died at Biseglia, near Bari, on the 20th of September 1384, leaving two sons, his successor, Louis II., and Charles, duke of Calabria.

Louis II., duke of Anjou (1377–1417), born at Toulon on the 7th of October 1377, took up the struggle for Naples after his father’s death and was crowned king by Clement VII. in 1389. After carrying on the contest for some years his enemies prevailed and he was compelled to take refuge in France, where he took part in the intestine strife which was desolating that kingdom. A few years later he made other attempts to secure the kingdom of Naples, which was now in the possession of Ladislas, a son of his father’s foeman, Charles of Durazzo, and he gained a victory at Roccoserra in May 1411. Soon, however, he was again driven back to France, and after sharing anew in the civil wars of his country he died at Angers on the 29th of April 1417. His wife was Yolande, a daughter of John I., king of Aragon, and his son was his successor, Louis III.

Louis III., duke of Anjou (1403–1434), born on the 25th of September 1403, made in his turn an attempt to conquer Naples. This was in 1420, and he had met with considerable success in his task when he died at Cosenza on the 15th of November 1434. In 1424 Louis received from King Charles VII. the duchy of Touraine.

Another titular king of Naples of this name was Louis, a son of Philip, prince of Taranto. In 1346 he became the husband of Joanna I., queen of Naples, and in 1352 he was crowned king. After making an attempt to conquer Sicily he died on the 26th of May 1362.