The Houses of Orange (Baix, Chalon and Nassau)
According to the legens the first Count of Orange was William (Guillaume´ with the horn, a courtier of Charlemagne, who had conquered the city of Orange on the Saracens in 793. As part of the old Kingdom of Bourgondy the county belonged to the Holy Roman Empire since 1032. The countly house splt in two lines in 1150. One of those was elevated in the Empires Pirncedoms by Emperor Frederick Barbarossa. The territory of the second line was inherited after the death of Raimbaud III, through his sister Tiburge III to her husband Bertrand I of Baux. The territory of the countly line first was donated to the order of St. John but Bertrand III reunited Orange in 1308.
After the death of Raimond V of Baux his daughter Maria ingherited the Principality. Through her husband, John III of Chalon it went to the House of Chalon. When the last male memeber of this family, Phillibert of Chalon died, the Principality was inherited by his nephew Count Rene of Nassau, son of Philliberts sister Claudia of Chalon and Henri of Nassau-Breda. Under Rene the territory of Orange became a source of disagreement between Emperor Charles V and the French King Francois I and it was occupied by France several times. Because Rene was without children he named his nephew Willem of Nassau as his heir.
This Willem ´The Taciturn´
, later Stadholder of various Dutch provinces, became Prince of Orange in 1544 and started the dynasty of Orange-Nassau. But in reality he had to wait untill 1559 untill he could actually rule the principality. Under his rule Orange became occupied several times too. After his death Orange was inherited by his sons Philips-Willem, Maurits and Frederik-Hendrik. The heir of the latter was his son Willem II, who was in his turn succeeded by his own son Willem III in 1650. After the Dutch war started in 1673 King Louis XIV of France occupied the territory. Willem III got it back at the peace of Nijmegen in 1678 but in 1685, when 3645se re-ea3ed the edict 6f Nantes the territory was occupied once again. The piece of Rijswijk in 1697 saw another change, the territory was handed over to Willem III again.
After Willem III´s death in 1702 a succession conflict started between Stadholder Johan-Willem-Friso and King Friedrich I of Prussia. The first was, as grandson of Frederik-Hendriks daughter Albertina-Agnes appointed as heir in Willem´s will. But Friedrich, as grandson of Frederik-Hendriks eldest daughter Louise-Henriette also had a claim on the territory according to the will of Frederik-Hendrik. In the mean time Louis XIV declared Orange was part of the French crown. The parlament in Paris gave the principality to Louis pretender, Francois-Louis de Conti, who acknowledged French soubvereinity over Orange. The treaty of Utrecht underlined this decission and gave the Prussians the right to use the weapon and title of Prince of Orange.
Johan-Willem-Friso also hold on to his title Prince of Orange. His son was entitled to this in reality due to a treaty with Prussia in 1732. Since his grandson Willem VI became King WIllem I of The Netherlands the title is bestowed on the eldest son of the King. Today that is the Crownprince Willem-Alexander and the head of the Prussian RF, Prince Georg-Friedrich.
House of Baux
- 1171-1181: Bertrand I
- 1182-1218: Willem I
- 1218-1282: Raimond I
- 1281-1314: Bertrand IV
- 1314-1340: Raimond IV
- 1340-1393: Raimond V
This site deals with the House of baux and the territories of the family. It is in French only.
House of Châlon
- 1393-1418: John III x Maria of Baux (daughter of Raimond V)
- 1418-1463: Louis
- 1463-1475: William
- 1475-1502: John IV
- 1502-1530: Philibert
The main members will be discussed in the next posts.
John III of Châlon (? - Paris, 2 Sept 1418), Lord of Arlay and Cerlier, was the first Prince of Orange from the Chalon dynasty. He was the son of Louis of Chalon, Lord of Arguel and Cuiseaux and ,Margarita of Vienne. In 1368 he married Marie of Baux, only child of Raymond V of baux and Jeanne of Genevois. When his father-in-law died in 1393 John inherited the Principality of Orange.
Chateau Arlay, residence of John III:
Louis ´the Good´ of Châlon-Arlay (around 1388 - 3 Dec 1463), Lord of Arlay, was Prince van Orange and the son of John III of Chalon and Marie of Baux. Louis was an ambitious man. He tried to get the Dauphiné under his authority but that failed. He did manage to expand his territory to the east, from Neuchatel to Lausanne. In his battles to gain more territory he switched loyalties easily. At times he would be loyal to the French King and at other times to the German Emperor or to the Duke of Burgondy. Because of this he wasn´t really trusted by any party. Louis also became active in The Netherlands: in 1425 he served as militairy commander under Philip the Good, who was supporting Duke John IV of Brabant.
Louis has also been named Count of Genevois several times, a title he could claim due to his mothers inheritance. However he didn´t manage to actually get the territory of Genevois after the death of Count Amadeo VIII of Savoy. After a complicated legal battle the German Emperor decided that the county would stay property of the House of Savoy. In his will Louis decided that the children from his second marriage would have advantage over those from his first marriage, which caused a long legal battle between his children and their descendants. Louis married twice:
1. Jehanne van Montbéliard daughter of Count Henri II of Montbéliard and Marie of Chatillon.
2. Eleonore van Armagnac, daughter of John IV van Armagnac and Isabelle of Navarra.
His son William of Châlon-Arlay, from his first marriage, succeeded him as Prince of Orange.
William of Châlon-Arlay (around 1417 - 27 Oct 1475), Lord of Arlay, was Prince of Orange. On Aug. 19th 1438 he married Catharina, daughter of Count Richard of Etampes and Maria of Orleans. With his brothers from his fathers second marriage he had a long legal battle about the inheritance. In 1473 he was captured by the governor of Franche-Comté on the orders of King Louis XI. He was released on Sept. 15th 1475, after which he had to hand over the souverenity of Orange to the French King.
John IV of Châlon-d'Arlay (around 1444 - April 1502) was Prince of Orange. He was the grandfather of René of Nassau (René of Châlon), the first Nassau who hold the title Prince of Orange.
John IV of Châlon was a son of William van Châlon-Arlay, Prince of Orange, and Cathérine d'Etampes. He maried in Brussels in 1457 to Jeanne de Bourbon, daughter of Charles I of Bourbon. Jeanne died in 1493 without any offspring. After her death John married in 1495 to Philliberta of Luxembourg, daghter of Antoine de Ligny (Ligne). Three children were born from this marriage:
1. Claudia of Châlon, who married Hendrik III of Nassau and who is the mother of René of Nassau
2. Claude of Châlon, Lord of d'Arguel, sdied when he was not even one year old in 1500
3. Philibert of Châlon, heir of the pocessions and titles of his father. He used the title Prince d'Orange. In his will he appointed his nephew René of Nassau as his sole heir.
Philibert of Châlon (Lons-le-Saunier, 18 March 1502 – near Florence, 3 Aug 1530) was Prince of Orange. After his death he was succeeded by his nephew René van Châlon, who was the first Nassau who used the title Prince of Orange.
Philibert was a son of John IV of Châlon-d'Arlay and Philiberte of Luxembourg. Initially he was on the side of the King of France, as his was raised at the French court since 1508. But later he choose the side of Emperor Charles V.
In his will he appointed his nephew 'Regney de Nassaou' (René of Nassau) as his heir. From 1528 Philibert was also viceroy of Napels. He was killed in 1530 near Florence during the war of the Liga of Cognac. His body was burried in the Church of the Cordeliers in Lons-le-Saunier.
Claudia of Châlon (1498 - 31 May 1521, Diest) was the wife of Hendrik III of Nassau, who she married in 1515. She was the mother of René of Châlon Lord of Breda.
Claudia of Châlon was a daughter of John IV of Châlon-d'Arlay and Philiberte of Luxembourg Ligny. ZShe was raised mostly at the French court and would make the connection between the houses of Nassau and Châlon. She died at Diest on May 31st 1521. Her body was burried at the Grote Church of Breda.
Her husband, Hendrik III of Nassau/Breda:
House of Nassau (Oranje-Nassau)
- 1530-1544: René (zoon van Claudia of Châlon and Hendrik III of Nassau-Breda)
- 1544-1584: Willem I
- 1584-1618: Filips Willem
- 1618-1625: Maurits
- 1625-1647: Frederik Hendrik
- 1647-1650: Willem II
- 1650-1702: Willem III
- 1702-1711: Johan Willem Friso
After this the Principality ceased to exsist. Below I will only discuss Prince René as the others already have a thread of their own.
René of Châlon (Breda, 5 Feb. 1519 - Saint-Dizier, 15 July 1544), also René/Renatus/Reynaert of Nassau, Count of Nassau and Vianden, Lord of Breda and the Lek, from 1540 untill his death Stadholder of Holland, Zeeland, Utrecht and from 1543 also of Guelders. From 1530 he was also Prince of Orange. He was the son of Count Hendrik III of Nassau-Breda and Claudia of Châlon.
In 1530 he uiinherited from his uncle Philibert of Chalon (1502-1530) the independant princedom of Orange. Réne is the first Nassau who can call himself Prince of Orange and who became a souvereign Prince. From that time he called himself 'De Châlon'. He also takes ofer the families 'Je Maitendrai Chalon', which he would change later to 'Je maintendrai Nassau'. The Dutch 'Je Matendrai' thus comes from the Chalons.
René of Châlon marries on Aug. 20 1540 in Bar-le-Duc Princess Anna of Lorraine (1522-1568). They get a daughter, Maria who would only live untill her 3rd week and who is barried in Breda.In the service of Emperor Charles V he died during the battle of Saint-Dizier in 1544 and was succeeded by his nephew Willem I. René van Châlon is burried in Breda.
Rene and his wife:
The principality of Orange (green) surrounded by the county of Venaissoi in 1547 and 1601:
Here a site of the city of Orange and the relation to its Princes and COunts. In French only.
Orange belongs to the 'Square of Orange cities': Breda. Orange, Dillenburg and Diest.
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