Violante Visconti

Violante Visconti
Duchess of Clarence
Marchioness of Montferrat
Violante e Gian Galeazzo Visconti.jpg
Violante Visconti with her brother, Gian Galeazzo
Born 1354
Died November 1386 (aged 31–32)
(m. 1368; died 1368)

(m. 1377; died 1378)

Ludovico Visconti
(m. 1381)
Issue Giovanni Visconti
Violante (Jolantha) Visconti
House Visconti
Father Galeazzo II Visconti
Mother Bianca of Savoy

Violante (Jolantha) Visconti (1354 – November 1386) was the second of three children of Galeazzo II Visconti, Lord of Milan and Pavia, and Bianca of Savoy.[1] Her father gave to her the provinces of Alba, Mondovì, Kenites, Cherasco, and Demonte as an inheritance.

As a 13-year-old, with the promise of a large dowry from her father, in addition to her territories, she was married to the third son of King Edward III of England, Lionel of Antwerp, 1st Duke of Clarence, in the church of Santa Maria Maggiore, predecessor of the Cathedral of Santa Maria Nascente, Milan, on 28 May 1368.[2][3] The wedding festivities were lavish and ostentatious.[4] The banquet, held outside, included 30 courses of meat and fish presented fully gilded. Between the courses the guests were given gifts such as suits of armor, bolts of cloth, war horses, arms, and hunting dogs.[3] Among the guests were Geoffrey Chaucer,[5] Petrarch,[6] Jean Froissart and John Hawkwood.[7] The marriage was short-lived. Lionel died in Alba on 17 October that year, just five months after the wedding. His death may have been due to food poisoning.[8] The Duchess of Clarence had no issue by the Duke.[2]

On 2 August 1377, Violante's father negotiated a second marriage, to Secondotto, Marquess of Montferrat. Sixteen months later, on 16 December 1378, Secondotto was assassinated after a battle at Piacenza (or Asti).[9] They had no issue.[3]

On 18 April 1381, she married a third time to her cousin Ludovico Visconti, lord governor of Lodi and Parma. He was the son of her paternal uncle Bernabò Visconti and his wife, Beatrice Regina della Scala. They had a son, Giovanni Visconti, who was born after 1382.[10] Barbara Tuchman suggests that her brother may have killed her third husband.[3]

Violante died in Pavia in November 1386, at the age of 32.[11]



  1. ^ Cawley, Charles (16 December 2009), Milan, Medieval Lands database, Foundation for Medieval Genealogy,[self-published source][better source needed]
  2. ^ a b Leese, T. Anna (1996). Blood Royal: Issue of the kings and queens of medieval England, 1066–1399 : the Normans and Plantagenets. Bowie, Md. p. 149. ISBN 9780788405259. OCLC 35870708.
  3. ^ a b c d Tuchman, Barbara W. (August 1978). A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th century (1st ed.). New York: Knopf. pp. 239–243, 254. ISBN 978-0-394-40026-6. OCLC 3870107.
  4. ^ Effinger, J. R. (1907). "Chapter VI". Women of the Romance countries. Woman in all ages and in all countries. 6. Philadelphia, PA: G. Barrie. OCLC 9128840. Retrieved 3 April 2010.
  5. ^ Coulton, G. G. (George Gordon) (1908). Chaucer and his England. London: Methuen & co. pp. 48–49. hdl:2027/mdp.39015068314585. ISBN 978-1-112-08627-4. OCLC 287618468. Retrieved 25 October 2011.
  6. ^ Hollway-Calthrop, Henry Calthrop (1907). Petrarch: his life and times. New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons. pp. 279–280. OCLC 263026782. Retrieved 27 March 2010.
  7. ^ Waters, Robert Edmond Chester (1878). Genealogical memoirs of the extinct family of Chester of Chicheley their ancestors and descendants. 1. London, UK: Robson & Sons. hdl:2027/njp.32101073398685. ISBN 978-1-146-96690-0. OCLC 609150822.
  8. ^ Field, Graham (30 June 2008). "Lionel Plantaganet". Middlesex, England, UK: Mediaeval Combat Society. Retrieved 25 October 2011.
  9. ^ Bertelli, Sergio; Cardini, Franco; Zorzi, Elvira Garbero; Acanfora, Elisa; Chesne, Giuliana; Griffo, Daphiné; Fantoni, Marcello; Florescu, Ileana; Galli, Daniela Mignani (1986). The courts of the Italian Renaissance. New York, NY: Facts on File. p. 58. OCLC 13792156.
  10. ^ Maximilian Genealogy Master Database 2000, 19 November 2009. Retrieved 3 April 2010
  11. ^ Maximilian Genealogy Master Database 2000, 19 November 2009. Retrieved 3 April 2010

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