1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Jacoba

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JACOBA, or Jacqueline (1401–1436), countess of Holland, was the only daughter and heiress of William, duke of Bavaria and count of Holland, Zeeland and Hainaut. She was married as a child to John, duke of Touraine, second son of Charles VI., king of France, who on the death of his elder brother Louis became dauphin. John of Touraine died in April 1417, and two months afterwards Jacoba lost her father. Acknowledged as sovereign in Holland and Zeeland, Jacoba was opposed by her uncle John of Bavaria, bishop of Liége. She had the support of the Hook faction in Holland. Meanwhile she had been married in 1418 by her uncle, John the Fearless, duke of Burgundy, to her cousin John IV., duke of Brabant. By the mediation of John the Fearless, a treaty of partition was concluded in 1419 between Jacoba and John of Bavaria; but it was merely a truce, and the contest between uncle and niece soon began again and continued with varying success. In 1420 Jacoba fled to England; and there, declaring that her marriage with John of Brabant was illegal, she contracted a marriage with Humphrey, duke of Gloucester, in 1422. Two years later Jacoba, with Humphrey, invaded Holland, where she was now opposed by her former husband, John of Brabant, John of Bavaria having died of poison. In 1425 Humphrey deserted his wife, who found herself obliged to seek refuge with her cousin, Philip V., duke of Burgundy, to whom she had to submit, and she was imprisoned in the castle of Ghent. John of Brabant now mortgaged the two counties of Holland and Zeeland to Philip, who assumed their protectorate. Jacoba, however, escaped from prison in disguise, and for three years struggled gallantly to maintain herself in Holland against the united efforts of Philip of Burgundy and John of Brabant, and met at first with success. The death of the weak John of Brabant (April 1427) freed the countess from her quondam husband; but nevertheless the pope pronounced Jacoba’s marriage with Humphrey illegal, and Philip, putting out his full strength, broke down all opposition. By a treaty, made in July 1428, Jacoba was left nominally countess, but Philip was to administer the government of Holland, Zeeland and Hainaut, and was declared heir in case Jacoba should die without children. Two years later Philip mortgaged Holland and Zeeland to the Borselen family, of which Francis, lord of Borselen, was the head. Jacoba now made her last effort. In 1432 she secretly married Francis of Borselen, and endeavoured to foment a rising in Holland against the Burgundian rule. Philip invaded the country, however, and threw Borselen into prison. Only on condition that Jacoba abdicated her three countships in his favour would he allow her liberty and recognize her marriage with Borselen. She submitted in April 1432, retained her title of duchess in Bavaria, and lived on her husband’s estates in retirement. She died on the 9th of October 1436, leaving no children.

Bibliography.—F. von Löher, Jakobäa von Bayern und ihre Zeit (2 vols., Nördlingen, 1862–1869); W. J. F. Nuyens, Jacoba van Beieren en de eerste helft der XV. eeuw (Haarlem, 1873); A. von Overstraten, Jacoba van Beieren (Amsterdam, 1790). (G. E.)