1461 - 1522 (~ 61 years)
|2. ||Louis XI King Of FRANCE was born 03 Jul 1423, Bourges (son of Charles VII King Of FRANCE and Marie Of ANJOU); died Between 24 and 30 Aug 1483; was buried , Notre-Dame de Clery, Montils. |
Excerpt from Wikipedia:
Louis XI the Prudent (French: Louis XI le Prudent) (July 3, 1423 ? August 30, 1483), also informally nicknamed l'universelle aragne (old French for "universal spider"), or the "Spider King," was King of France (1461?1483). He was the son of Charles VII of France and Mary of Anjou, a member of the Valois Dynasty, grandson of Charles VI and Isabeau de Bavi╦re and one of the most successful kings of France in terms of uniting the country. His 22-year reign was marked by political machinations, which earned him his nickname.
His scheming and love for intrigue made him many enemies, in particular those who bore the name "Charles":
Charles VII, his own father,
Charles de Valois, Duc de Berry, his brother, and
Charles the Bold, Duke of Burgundy, who was to be his greatest foe.
Louis is known to have been shrewd and often vicious. But, in curbing the power of the dukes, he re-established the power of the monarchy, and ensured the survival of the French nation itself. For all his diabolical qualities, he used them to create tremendous good for his country.
He was born at Bourges, Cher in 1423, during the period when the English held northern France. His father Charles the Dauphin (or "crown prince") held only the centre and south. Louis was the grandson of the strong-willed Yolande of Aragon, the princess who was the driving force in saving France from the English. Louis despised his father, regarding him as a weakling. His marriage on June 24, 1436 to Margaret of Scotland, daughter of King James I of Scotland, was forced upon him and did not help their relationship.
In 1440 Louis was part of the uprising known as the Praguerie, which sought to submit Charles and install Louis as Regent. The uprising failed and Louis was forced to submit to the King, who forgave him. Louis continued soldiering. In 1444 he fought the Swiss at the Battle of Brise and was impressed by their military might.
Louis still loathed Charles however and on the 27 September 1446 he was ordered out of court and sent to his own province of Dauphin╚, where he was ordered to establish order. Despite frequent summons by the King, the two would never to meet again. In Dauphin╚, Louis ruled as King in all but name, continuing his intrigues against his father. On February 14, 1451, Louis, 27, married again, without Charles' consent. It was a strategic marriage to the eight-year-old Charlotte of Savoy (1443- December 1, 1483). It would not be consummated until she was fourteen and their children included:
Anne of France, (April, 1461 ? November 14, 1522), who became Duchess of Bourbon,
Jeanne (April 23, 1464 ? February 4, 1505), who became Duchess of Orleans,
Charles VIII of France (June 30, 1470 ? April 8, 1498)
Finally in August 1456, Charles sent an army to Dauphin╚. Louis fled to Burgundy where he was granted refuge by Duke Philip the Good and his son Charles the Bold and settled in the castle of Genappe. King Charles was furious when Philip refused to hand Louis over; he knew the man and warned that the Duke was "giving shelter to a fox who will eat his chickens".
In 1461 Louis learned that his father was dying. He thus hurried to Reims to be crowned in case his brother, Charles, Duke de Berry, beat him to it.
The Entry of Louis XI. into Paris.--Facsimile of a Miniature in the "Chroniques" of Monstrelet, Manuscript of the Fifteenth Century (Imperial Library of Paris).
Louis as King
Ironically, after being such a thorn in his father's side, Louis pursued many of the same interests as he had done less successfully: submitting the powers of the Dukes and Barons of France. He justified this as sheer Realpolitik: it was now in his best interests, since he was now the king. He suppressed many of his former co-conspirators, who had thought him their friend. He became extremely fiscally prudent, whereas he had previously been lavish and extravagant. He wore rough and simple clothes and mixed with ordinary people and merchants.
A candid account of some of Louis' activities is given by the courtier, Philippe de Commines, in his memoirs of the period.
The Feud with Charles the Bold
Philip the Good was keen to start a Crusade and Louis gave him money in exchange for a number of territories including Picardie and Amiens. But Philip's son, Charles, was angry, feeling that he was being deprived of his inheritance. He joined a rebellion called the League of the Public Weal, led by Louis' brother Charles. Although the rebels were largely unsuccessful in battle, Louis was forced to grant an unfavourable peace as a matter of political expediency.
Upon becoming Duke in 1467, Charles seriously considered having an independent Kingdom of his own. But he had many problems with his territories, especially with the people of Liege who were constantly rising against him. Louis was their ally.
In 1468 Louis and Charles met in Peronne, but in the course of the negotiations they learned that the Liegois had again risen up and killed the Burgundian governor. Charles was furious. Commines and the Duke's other advisors had to calm him down for fear that he might hit the King. Louis was forced into a humiliating treaty, giving up many of the lands he had acquired and witnessing the siege of Liege in which hundreds were massacred.
But once out of Charles' reach, Louis declared the treaty invalid and set about building up his forces. His aim was to destroy Burgundy once and for all. War broke out in 1472, but Charles' siege of Beauvais and other towns were unsuccessful and he finally sued for peace. Commines rallied to the King's side and was made welcome.
Dealings with England
Meanwhile England was going through its own civil conflict known as the Wars of the Roses. Louis had an interest in this conflict since Charles the Bold was allied with the Yorkists who opposed King Henry VI. When the Earl of Warwick fell out with Edward IV, whom he had placed on the throne, Louis granted him refuge in France. He then encouraged Warwick to form an alliance with his bitter enemy, Margaret of Anjou, in order to restore her husband Henry VI to the throne. The plan worked and Edward was forced into exile, but he later returned and Warwick the Kingmaker was killed at the Battle of Barnet in 1471.
Now the undisputed master of England, Edward invaded France in 1475, but Louis was able to negotiate the Treaty of Picquigny by which the English gave up their claim to the French throne once and for all. Louis bragged that although his father had driven the English out by force of arms, he'd driven them out by force of pét╚, venison and good wine.
Settling with Charles the Bold
Louis still had to take care of the Duke of Burgundy and for this he employed the Swiss, whose military might was renown and which he had admired at Brise.
War broke out between Charles and the Swiss, but it was a disastrous campaign for the Duke and he was finally killed at the Battle of Nancy on January 5, 1477.
Louis had won over his sworn enemy. Other lords who still favoured the Feudal system gave in to his authority. Others like Jacques d'Armagnac, Duke of Nemours were executed.
Louis then started developing the Kingdom. He encouraged trade fairs and the building and maintenance of roads. He is seen as one of the first modern Kings of France, taking it out of the Middle Ages.
Louis XI was very superstitious. He surrounded himself with astrologers. Interested in science, he once pardoned a man sentenced to death on condition that he serve as a guinea pig in a gallstone operation.
By war, by cunning and with sheer guile, Louis XI overcame France's feudal lords, and at the time of his death in the chateau at Plessis-lez-Tours, he had united France and laid the foundations of a strong monarchy. He was however a secretive, isolated and reclusive man and few mourned his passing.
Louis XI died in August of 1483 and was interred in the Notre-Dame de Cl╚ry Basilica  in Cl╚ry-Sant-Andr╚ in the Arrondissement of Orl╚ans. His wife Charlotte died a few months later and is interred with him. Louis XI was succeeded by his son, Charles VIII, who was thirteen, and his eldest daughter Anne of France became Regent.
Walter Scott's posthumous attack on Louis XI
Louis XI's undermining of the Feudal system and of the knightly code of Chivalry rooted in that system earned him the uncompromising posthumous enmity of the Nineteenth Century Romantic writer Sir Walter Scott.
Scott's foreword to the novel "Quentin Durward" constitutes a bitter attack on the French king, three and a half centuries dead at the time of writing (1831). Scott wrote that "(...) Among those who were the first to ridicule and abandon the self-denying principles in which the young knight was instructed, and to which he was so carefully trained up, Louis XI was the chief. That Sovereign was of a character so purely selfish - go guiltless of entertaining any purpose unconnected with his ambition, covetousness and desire of selfish enjoyment - that he seems almost an incarnation of the devil himself, permitted to do his utmost to corrupt our ideas of honour at the very source."
Later in the same essay, Scott compared Louis XI to Goethe's Mephistopheles.
Louis married Charlotte Of SAVOY 14 Feb 1451. Charlotte was born 1443; died 01 Dec 1483. [Group Sheet]
|4. ||Charles VII King Of FRANCE was born 22 Feb 1403 (son of Charles VI King Of FRANCE and Isabeau Of BAVARIA); died 21 Jul 1461, Mehun-sur-Yevre. |
Excerpt from Wikipedia
Charles VII the Victorious, or the Well-Served (French: Charles VII le Victorieux, or le Bien-Servi) (February 22, 1403 ? July 22, 1461) was king of France from 1422 to 1461, a member of the Valois Dynasty.
Born in Paris, Charles was the fifth and only surviving son of Charles VI of France and Isabeau de Bavi╦re. Four of his elder brothers were dauphin in their turn but died without issue during the lifetime of their parents: Charles (1386), Charles (1392-1401), Louis, Duke of Guyenne (1397-1415) and Jean, Duke of Touraine (1398-1417). Charles, being the fifth dauphin, added to instability of the kingdom, which was under English attack. His survival was in doubt (apparently his own parents were not eager to protect him nor keep him as heir). There was also considerable doubt about his legitimacy, his mother being renowned for her affairs.
As a young man he was taken in by his future mother-in-law Yolande of Aragon, Queen of the Four Kingdoms, kept away from the royal court, and kept protected. On the death of his father in 1422, the French throne did not pass to Charles but to his infant nephew, King Henry VI of England in accordance with his father's Treaty of Troyes signed in 1420. The English right to the throne of France had been granted as part of the Treaty in an effort to put an end to the raging Hundred Years' War. Under the Treaty, King Henry of England ruled Northern France through a regent in Normandy; the Dauphin was disinherited and pronounced a bastard by Queen Isabeau. Charles and his advisors, who did not accept the treaty, set up court in a fortified castle at Chinon.
Without any organized French army, the English strengthened their grip over France until March 8, 1429 when Joan of Arc, claiming divine inspiration, urged Charles to declare himself king and raise an army to liberate France from the English.
One of the important factors that aided in the ultimate success of Charles VII was the support from the powerful and wealthy family of his wife Marie d'Anjou (1404-1463), particularly the mother-in-law the Queen Yolande of Aragon. Despite whatever affection he had for his wife, the great love of Charles VII's life was his mistress, Agn╦s Sorel.
After the French won the Battle of Patay, Charles was crowned King Charles VII of France on July 17, 1429, in Reims Cathedral. Over the following two decades, King Charles VII recaptured Paris from the English and eventually recovered all of France with the exception of the northern port of Calais.
While Charles VII's legacy is far overshadowed by the deeds and eventual martyrdom of Joan of Arc, he did something his predecessors had failed to do by uniting most of the country under one French king and, starting with the general parliament at Orleans in 1439, creating for the first time a standing army, which would yield the powerful gendarme cavalry companies notable in the wars of the sixteenth century. He established the University of Poitiers in 1432 and his policies brought some economic prosperity to the citizens. Although his leadership was sometimes marked by indecisiveness, hardly any other leader left a nation so much better improved than when he came on the scene.
King Charles VII died on July 22, 1461 at Mehun-sur-Y╦vre, but his latter years were marked by an open revolt by his son who succeeded him as Louis XI.
Charles married Marie Of ANJOU 1422. Marie (daughter of Louis II Of Naples And ANJOU and Yolande Of ARAGON) was born 1404; died 1463. [Group Sheet]
|8. ||Charles VI King Of FRANCE was born 03 Dec 1368 (son of Charles V The Wise Of FRANCE and Jeanne DE BOURBON); died 21 Oct 1422. |
He was born in Paris, the son of King Charles V and Jeanne de Bourbon. At the age of eleven, he was crowned King of France in 1380 in the cathedral at Reims. He married Isabeau of Bavaria in 1385. Until he took complete charge as king in 1388, France was ruled by his uncle, Philip the Bold.
Charles VI was known both as Charles the Well Beloved and later as Charles the Mad, since, beginning in his mid-twenties, he experienced bouts of psychosis. These fits of madness would recur for the rest of his life. Based on his symptoms, doctors believe the king may have suffered from schizophrenia, porphyria or Bipolar disorder.
 The King goes mad
His first known fit occurred in 1392 when his friend and advisor, Olivier de Clisson, was the victim of an attempted murder. Although Clisson survived, Charles was determined to punish the would-be assassin Pierre de Craon who had taken refuge in Brittany. Contemporaries said Charles appeared to be in a "fever" to begin the campaign and appeared disconnected in his speech. Charles set off with an army on July 1, 1392. The progress of the army was slow, nearly driving Charles into a frenzy of impatience.
While travelling through a forest on a hot August morning, a barefoot man dressed in rags rushed up to the King's horse and grabbed his bridle. "Ride no further, noble King!" he yelled. "Turn back! You are betrayed!" The king's escorts beat the man back but did not arrest him, and he followed the procession for a half-hour, repeating his cries.
The company emerged from the forest at noon. A page who was drowsy from the sun dropped the king's lance, which clanged loudly against a steel helmet carried by another page. Charles shuddered, drew his sword and yelled "Forward against the traitors! They wish to deliver me to the enemy!" The king spurred his horse and began swinging his sword at his companions, fighting until his chamberlain and a group of soldiers were able to grab him from his mount and lay him on the ground. He laid still and did not react, falling into a coma. The king killed at least one knight in his delirium, and possibly more (the exact numbers differ in the chronicles from the time).
Charles' uncle Philip II, Duke of Burgundy (aka Philip the Bold) assumed the regency on the spot, dismissing Charles' advisers in the process. This was to be the start of a major feud which would divide the Kings of France and the Dukes of Burgundy for the next 85 years.
The king would suffer from periods of mental illness throughout his life. During one attack in 1393, Charles could not remember his name, did not know he was king and fled in terror from his wife. He did not recognize his children, though he knew his brother and councillors and remembered the names of people who had died. In later attacks, he roamed his palaces howling like a wolf, refused to bathe for months on end and suffered from delusions that he was made of glass.
 The Bal des Ardents
In January 1393, Queen Isabeau de Bavi╦re organised a party to celebrate the marriage of one of her ladies-in-waiting. The King and five other lords dressed up as wild men and danced about chained to one another. They were "in costumes of linen cloth sewn onto their bodies and soaked in resinous wax or pitch to hold a covering of frazzled hemp, "so that they appeared shaggy & hairy from head to foot"". In view of the obvious danger of fire, there was a ban on torches in the room. Nonetheless, the King's brother, Louis of Valois, Duke of Orl╚ans, approached with a lighted torch, according to some accounts teasing the dancers with it. One of the dancers caught fire and there was panic. The Duchesse de Berry, who recognized Charles, hid him under her dress and saved his life. Four of the other men perished. This incident became known as the Bal des Ardents (the 'Ball of the Burning Men').
Most accounts seem to agree that Louis' action was an accident; he was merely trying to find his brother. Be that as it may, Louis soon afterwards pursued an affair with the Queen and was murdered by his political rival John, Duke of Burgundy (aka John the Fearless) in 1407.
Charles' royal secretary Pierre Salmon spent much time in discussions with the king while he was suffering from his intermittent but incapacitating psychosis. In an effort to find a cure for the king's illness, stabilize the turbulent political situation, and secure his own future, Salmon supervised the production of two distinct versions of the beautifully illuminated guidebooks to good kingship known as Pierre Salmon's Dialogues.
 Dealing with England
Charles VI's reign was marked by the continuing war with the English (the Hundred Years' War). An early attempt at peace occurred in 1396 when Charles' daughter, the seven-year-old Isabella of Valois married the 29-year-old Richard II of England.
The peace in France did not last. The feud between the Royal family and the house of Burgundy led to chaos and anarchy. Taking advantage, Henry V of England led an invasion which culminated in 1415 when the French army was defeated at the Battle of Agincourt. In 1420, Charles -- now utterly incapacitated by his disease -- signed the Treaty of Troyes which recognized Henry as his successor, declared his son a bastard and bethrothed his daughter, Catherine of Valois, to Henry (see English Kings of France).
In fact there really were many doubts as to the Dauphin Charles' legitimacy, his mother being notorious for her affairs. He was also of a weak and feeble nature which caused conflict with both her and his own son, the future Louis XI.
Many people, including Joan of Arc, believed that the king only agreed to such disastrous and unprecedented terms under the mental stress of his illness and that, as a result, France could not be held to them.
Charles VI died in 1422 at Paris and is interred with his wife, Isabeau de Bavi╦re in Saint Denis Basilica.
He was eventually succeeded by his son Charles VII. Apparently Catherine of Valois passed Charles' mental illness onto her son, Henry VI. His inability to govern helped spark the Wars of the Roses.
Charles married Isabeau Of BAVARIA 17 Jul 1385. Isabeau (daughter of Stephen III Duke Of BAVARIA and Taddea VISCONTI) was born 1371; died 24 Sep 1435. [Group Sheet]
|9. ||Isabeau Of BAVARIA was born 1371 (daughter of Stephen III Duke Of BAVARIA and Taddea VISCONTI); died 24 Sep 1435. |
Isabeau de Bavi╦re (also Isabella of Bavaria-Ingolstadt; ca. 1370 ? September 24, 1435) was a Queen Consort of France (1385 - 1422) after marrying Charles VI of France, a member of the Valois Dynasty, on July 17, 1385. She assumed a prominent role in public affairs during the disastrous later years of her husband's reign.
Isabeau of Bavaria was the daughter of Stephen III of Bavaria-Ingolstadt and Taddea Visconti.
Her paternal grandparents were Stephen II, Duke of Bavaria, a son of Emperor Louis IV, and Elisabeth of Sicily (whose name Isabella received), daughter of king Frederick III of Sicily and his wife Eleonora of Anjou. Eleonora was herself a daughter of Charles II of Naples and Maria Arpad of Hungary. Maria was a daughter of Stephen V of Hungary and Elizabeth of the Cumans (whose namesake her great-granddaughter, and through that, ultimately queen Isabella became). Elizabeth was daughter of Koteny (Kuthens, Zayhan) of the Cumans, a chieftain apparently descending from the Kipchaks and lord of the clan of Kun which had settled to Hungary after Mongol pressure drove them westwards.
Her maternal grandparents were Barnab┌ Visconti, Lord of Milan and Regina-Beatrice della Scala. Regina was daughter of Mastino II della Scala, Lord of Verona from 1329 to 1351 and his wife Taddea di Carrara.
Isabeau of Bavaria was the prominent and unpopular queen of an unsuccessful reign. She assumed an unusually powerful role in government to fill the gap left by her husband's frequent bouts of insanity. Around this time she organised the disastrous Bal des Ardents, or 'Ball of the Burning Men'. She was named Regent due to her husband suffering greatly from what now is believed to have been schizophrenia, and she successfully replaced herself with a royal mistress, Odette de Champdivers. Her husband was never the wiser, and rarely made any public appearances.
Others who vied for power in the place of the King included the King's brother Louis of Valois, Duke of Orl╚ans, and their cousin John the Fearless, Duke of Burgundy. Queen Isabeau's strong partisanship for the Duke of Orl╚ans led to rumors of an extramarital affair. Orleans' bitter feud with Burgundy reached a crisis point when the former was assassinated in 1407. Bitter resentment continued and the late duke's supporters became known as the Armagnacs.
Henry V of England took advantage of French internal strife and invaded the northwest coast. He delivered a crushing defeat to the French at Agincourt. Nearly an entire generation of military leaders died or fell prisoner in a single day. John the Fearless, still feuding with Queen Isabeau, remained neutral as Henry V conquered towns in northern France.
Most of Isabeau's twelve children did not survive to adulthood. Shortly after her fifth and final son assumed the title of dauphin as heir to the throne, the sixteen-year-old future Charles VII of France negotiated a truce with John the Fearless in 1418. Armagnac partisans murdered John while the two met on a bridge under Charles's guarantee of protection.
The new Duke of Burgundy Philip the Good entered an active alliance with the English. With most of northern France under foreign domination, Isabeau agreed to the Treaty of Troyes in 1420. This arranged the marriage of her daughter Catherine of Valois to Henry V and assigned the French royal succession to Henry V and their children. Isabeau's detractors and the Dauphin's political enemies cited this treaty as evidence that he was not the legitimate son of Charles VI. The treaty did not have its intended effect on the French royal succession but did have an ultimate effect on English royal succession. Catherine's second marriage resulted in the eventual Tudor dynasty.
Both Charles VI and Henry V died within two months of each other in 1422. Charles VII, now fully grown, claimed that the Treaty of Troyes was illegal and assumed leadership of the Armagnac party, ruling what was left of central and southern France, and taking his father's former mistress, Odette de Champdivers, as his own.
Isabeau and her son Charles VII shared no apparent love for each other. Charles was to face a similar relationship with his own son Louis XI. Charles' principal female mentor was his childhood guardian Yolande of Aragon.
Isabeau moved to English-controlled territory and exerted no further influence over public affairs. She died in Paris in 1435 and is interred in the Saint Denis Basilica.
Posterity has not been kind to Isabeau of Bavaria. A popular saying late in her life was that France had been lost by a woman and would be recovered by a girl. Many took this to be a prediction of Joan of Arc.
In fairness to Isabeau it must be noted that her leadership confronted double prejudice as a woman and a foreigner. There are a few bright spots in her reign, such as her artistic patronage. Isabeau aided the era's most significant French author Christine de Pizan and sponsored artisans who developed innovative techniques in decorative arts.