m. c. 1270
m. Mar 1318
Facts and Events
John of Gravina (1294 – 5 April 1336), Count of Gravina 1315–1336, Duke of Durazzo 1332–1336 and ruler of the Kingdom of Albania (although he never used a royal title), was a younger son of Charles II of Naples and Maria of Hungary.
The death of Louis of Burgundy in 1316 widowed Matilda of Hainaut, Princess of Achaea. Her suzerain, John's brother Philip I of Taranto, had her brought by force to Naples in 1318 to marry John, a design intended to bring the Principality of Achaea into the Angevin inheritance. The marriage, celebrated in March 1318, failed of its objective: Matilda refused to surrender her rights to Achaea to her husband and ultimately contracted a secret marriage with Hugh de La Palice. This violated the marriage contract of her mother Isabelle, which had pledged that Isabelle and all her female heirs should not marry without permission of their suzerain. On these grounds, Philip stripped her of Achaea and bestowed it upon John: the marriage was annulled for non-consummation, and Matilda was imprisoned in the Castel dell'Ovo.
On 14 November 1321, John took a second wife, Agnes de Périgord, daughter of Helie VII, Count of Périgord and Brunissende de Foix. They had three sons:
He made a military expedition, financed by the Acciaiuoli, in 1325 to claim Achaea, by now much diminished from its original extent. While he re-established his authority in Kefalonia and Zante, he was unable to recapture Skorta from the control of the Byzantine Empire.
In 1332, Philip of Taranto died and was succeeded by his son Robert of Taranto, who became the new suzerain of Achaea. Not wishing to swear fealty to his nephew, John arranged to surrender Achaea to him in exchange for Robert's rights to the Kingdom of Albania and a loan of 5,000 ounces of gold raised upon Niccolo Acciaiuoli, and thenceforth adopted the style of "Duke of Durazzo".