Jan I was one of the most gifted and chivalrous princes of his time. In 1267 his elder brother Henry, being infirm of mind and body, was deposed in his favour. The greatest victory of Jan I was the famous battle of Woeringen by which Jan I came to reign over the Duchy of Limburg. In 1288 Limburg was attached to Brabant. Jan I is said to be a perfect model of a feudal prince in the days of chivalry: brave, adventurous, excelling in every form of active exercise, fond of display, generous in temper. This made him very popular in Middle Age poetry and literature. Even today there exists an ode to him. It is so well-known that it is a potential candidate to be the Noord-Brabant anthem. Jan delighted in tournaments and was always eager to take part in jousts. He was also famous for the many illegitimate children he had.
On May 3 1294 at some marriage festivities at Bar, France, Jan I was wounded in the arm in an encounter and died of the effects. He was buried in the church of the Mindebroeders in Louvain, but since the Protestant Iconoclasm in 1566 there is nothing left of his tomb.
|Duke of Brabant||