- (ca. 1254-1294)John I "the Victorious" was born probably in Brussels. He became duke of Brabant in 1267. During his reign the first town wall was completed. He improved coinage by making it heavier, and he decreed printing the image of Saint Michael the Archangel on coins, which served as inspiration for the city's seal. In return for services rendered by the townsmen of Brussels at the Battle of Woeringen (5 June 1288), by which Brabant acquired Limburg, John granted urban privileges, including cession to the city both of ducal rights to duties levied at gates and of taxes imposed on use of the weigh scales and the crane at the port. John also wrote love poems. His reign marked the apogee of the duchy's power under the house of Leuven. Chronicler Louis Van Velthem said, "He loved and honored Brussels above all other cities." John died on 3 May 1294 in the duchy of Bar, now in France, from wounds suffered in a tournament.
Historical Dictionary of Brussels. Paul F. State.
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