Short Essay on the History of the del Balzo/Orsini family
Genealogy Orsini / del Balzo (see page Genealogy and family tree del
188.8.131.52.6.Hugues de Baux, Sn de Gaudissart, Cte di Soleto, died a
m.c.a. 11 Dec 1310 Jacopa della Marra
184.108.40.206.6.1.Raimondo del Balzo, Cte di Soleto, Marshal of the Kingdom
d.1375, bur Naples;
marr.1st before 1332 Margherita d'Aquino;
marr..2d before 11 Feb 1337 Isabelle d'Appes
220.127.116.11.6.2.Sveva del Balzo; marr.1330 Roberto Orsini, Cte di Nola;
her descendants inherited the estates of her brother Raimondo del
Balzo Count of Soleto and took the surname Orsini del Balzo :
had issue: Raimondo Orsini del Balzo Prince of Taranto died 1406
m.Marie d'Enghien Ctss of Lecce c.a 1380 had issues (three sons)
1). Giovanni Antonio Orsini del Balzo Prince of Tarant
m.Anna Colonna ( d.1465 )
2).Gabriel Orsini del Balzo Duc of Venosa d.1465 m.Jeanne Caracciolo
had issue : (two daughters )
1.Maria Donata Orsini del Balzo d. ca 1487
marr.Pirro del Balzo 4th Duc of Andria
2.Ramondina Orsini del Balzo d.ca 1490
marr. Roberto Sanseverino Prince of Salerno
3).Caterina Orsini del Balzo m.Tristan di Chiaramonte Cte of Copertno
had issue : (two daughters)
- Isabella di Chiaramonte m. Ferrante I King of Naples d.1494 ;
- Sancia di Chiaromonte, m. Francesco II 3rd Duc of Andria d.1482
Raimondello Orsini del Balzo, Prince of Taranto (XIV sec. - Taranto 1406),
son cadet of Roberto Orsini, Count of Nola.
In 1380 , he returned from the East occupies with violence the Earldom
of Soleto and some other lands pertaining to his mother inheritance.
In May 1382 Roberto , in order to fight the rebellious son, asks king
Charles III of Durazzo for help. Charles , however, was engaged in the
fight against Luigi I of Angiò and he profits of the friendship
and the alliance of the young del Balzo, because he wants him to its flank
against the Angevin.
After few years , Raimondello revolts against Charles III and he passes
from the part of Luigi I of Angiò. In the fight with the father
Roberto , Raimondello, succeeds to obtain the fiefdoms and lands that
they were up for inheritance.
Following the advise of the Angevin , in 1384, married Maria of
Enghien, Countess of Lecce and owner of important Fiefdoms.
When in 1384 Luigi I of Angiò died , Raimondello continues in
its politics in favour of the House of Anjou , supporting Luigi II of
Angiò and in March of 1385, helps the Pontiff Urbano VI threatened
in Nocera by the troops of Carl III of Durazzo.
The pope UrbanVI is liberated in 1385 , the Pontiff grants to Count
Raimondello Orsini del Balzo licence to build a Convent , an Hospital
and a Church " sub vocabulo Sanctae Chatarinae" in S. Peter
With the inheritance from the wedding with Maria of Enghien , together
with his vast Lands , Raimondello becomes one of the most powerful Lord
of Southern Italy and his switch from Luigi II of Angiò to Ladislao
the Magnanimous , during the dynastic fights for the Realm , he becomes
the key player for the defeat and the final dissolution of the Anjou-Naples
Raimondello again came in contrast with Ladislao of the Durazzo
branch. The king had placed under besieges the city of Taranto, Raimondello,
was there to defense his own Lands and died in 1406 , but the resistance
and the fight continued, even if for a short period, from the widow
Maria of Enghien.
Giovanni Antonio (or Giannantonio) Orsini del Balzo, son of Raimondello
and Maria of Enghien cannot succeed in 1407 the father, because of the
wedding between his mother and the king Ladislao the Magnanimous .
With this wedding, in fact, it was intentional to prevent the celebration
of the one with Maria of Anjou -Valois, daughter of Luigi II, that would
have established an opposite military political alliance, in contrast
to what was the purpose of his mother original marriage.
Later, in 1417, he married the grandaughter of Pope Martino V, Anna
of the princes Colonna.
He become Prince of Taranto in 1414 , was then involved in the dynastic
fights during the Reign of Giovanna II, greater sister of Ladislao ,
who was very hostile to him.
He was by the side of Alfonso V of Aragon (Alfonso I°, king
of Naples) and was opposed to his son , Ferrante (Ferdinando I ) king
of Naples. He died in 1463, in Altamura, assassinated, and its fiefdoms
were returned to the the Crown.
(see full genealogy on the del Balzo family Tree)