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About Michiel de Savoie
Count of Romont and Lord of Vaud
He was the 7th son of Louis, Duke of Savoy and Anne de Lusignan.
The House of Savoy possessed the Lordship of Vaud since the 12th century, when it wrested control from the original owners, the House of Zähringen. Savoy extended its influence by supporting the city of Berne against the House of Habsburg. After the Battle of Laupen, Savoy and Berne became allies, but as the power of Berne increased, they became enemies at the beginning of the Burgundian Wars.
When Amadeus IX became head of the House of Savoy in 1465, he gave his brother Jacques as an appanage the region of Vaud with the title of Count of Romont, Lord of Vaud and the towns of Murten, Avenches, Payerne, Romont, Moudon, Rue and Yverdon.
Amadeus suffered from epilepsy and let his wife, Yolande of Valois, and his brother, the Count of Bresse govern for him. He died in 1472 and was succeeded by his son Philibert, who was only 6 years old. The young Duke's mother, Yolande, became his regent and tutor.
Several alliances were formed within the family. Peter, Prince-Bishop of Geneva and brother of Amadeus, became a counsellor at Yolande's court. The Count of Bresse sought the favor of Louis XI of France. Jacques of Savoy joined the army of the powerful Duke of Burgundy, Charles de Bold. Jacques took the opportunity of a conflict with his sister-in-law Yolande to grab several fortified places that Amadeus IX had retained, and an arbitration by Berne and Fribourg in 1471 awarded them to him. However, these different alliances and clever political manoeuvering by King Louis XI eventually led to the loss of all the territories belonging to the Count of Romont in Vaud.
After the battles of Grandson and Murten, both decisive Swiss victories, Vaud was again conquered by the Swiss and lost to Jacques of Savoy. Berne demanded Vaud and threatened Geneva and Savoy. Meanwhile, Duchess Yolande had fallen into the hands of Charles the Bold. King Louis XI intervened in favor of his sister and forced the Swiss to accept an armistice. On 14 April 1476 the Swiss Confederacy and Savoy concluded a peace treaty under the sponsorship of the French King.
The Treaty of Fribourg stipulated that the Swiss would be paid to return the territories of Savoy. However, the House of Savoy was unable to raise the ransom, so the territories remained in the hands of Berne. The Treaty also prevented the "Barony of Vaud" from being separated from Savoy in appanage and excluded the Count of Romont forever as Lord of Vaud. In this way, Jacques of Savoy lost all rights to his fiefs.
After the loss of his possessions in Vaud and the death of Charles the Bold before the walls of Nancy, Jacques of Savoy joined the court of Charles's daughter and heiress, Mary of Burgundy, wife of the Habsburg emperor Maximillian I. In 1478, he was awarded the Order of the Golden Fleece. He participated courageously in the Battle of Guinegate in 1479, where he was wounded, helping to beat the army of King Louis XI of France and keeping the County of Flanders for Mary.
In 1483 (in Ath), Jacques of Savoy married his neice, Marie de Luxembourg (1462–1546), granddaughter of Louis of Luxembourg-Saint-Pol, Count of Saint-Pol. They had one child, Françoise Louise of Savoy (1485–1511). She married Henry III of Nassau-Breda but died without issue. No mention of any other children.
Jacques received Saint-Pol from King Charles VIII of France, with other fiefs in Flanders and Brabant out of the inheritance of Louis of Luxembourg.
Jacques of Savoy died on 30 June 1486 in the Castle of Ham, an old possession of the Counts of Saint-Pol.