Louis XI (3 July 1423 – 30 August 1483), called "Louis the Prudent" (French: le Prudent), was King of France from 1461 to 1483, the sixth from the House of Valois. He succeeded his father Charles VII.
Louis entered into open rebellion against his father in a short-lived revolt known as the Praguerie in 1440. The king forgave his rebellious vassals, including Louis, to whom he entrusted the management of the Dauphiné, then a province in southeastern France. Louis's ceaseless intrigues, however, led his father to banish him from court. From the Dauphiné, Louis led his own political establishment and married Charlotte of Savoy, daughter of Louis, Duke of Savoy, against the will of his father. Charles VII sent an army to compel his son to his will, but Louis fled to Burgundy, where he was hosted by Philip the Good, the Duke of Burgundy, Charles' greatest enemy.
When Charles VII died in 1461, Louis left the Burgundian court to take possession of his kingdom. His taste for intrigue and his intense diplomatic activity earned him the nicknames "the Cunning" (Middle French: le rusé) and "the Universal Spider" (Middle French: l'universelle aragne), as his enemies accused him of spinning webs of plots and conspiracies.
In 1472, the subsequent Duke of Burgundy, Charles the Bold, took up arms against his rival Louis. However, Louis was able to isolate Charles from his English allies by signing the Treaty of Picquigny (1475) with Edward IV of England. The treaty formally ended the Hundred Years' War. With the death of Charles the Bold at the Battle of Nancy in 1477, the dynasty of the dukes of Burgundy died out. Louis took advantage of the situation to seize numerous Burgundian territories, including Burgundy proper and Picardy.
Without direct foreign threats, Louis was able to eliminate his rebellious vassals, expand royal power, and strengthen the economic development of his country. He died on 30 August 1483, and was succeeded by his minor son Charles VIII.
|Louis XI the Prudent|
Louis XI wearing his Order of Saint Michael
|King of France|
|Reign||22 July 1461 − 30 August 1483|
|Coronation||15 August 1461, Reims|
|Born||3 July 1423|
Bourges, Berry, France
|Died||30 August 1483 (aged 60)|
Château de Plessis-lez-Tours, France
Margaret of Scotland
(m. 1436; died 1445)
Charlotte of Savoy
(m. 1451; died 1483)
|Anne, Duchess of Bourbon|
Joan, Queen of France
Charles VIII, King of France
|Father||Charles VII, King of France|
|Mother||Marie of Anjou|
Louis was born in Bourges on 3 July 1423, the son of King Charles VII of France. At the time of the Hundred Years War, the English held northern France, including the city of Paris, and Charles VII was restricted to the centre and south of the country. Louis was the grandson of Yolande of Aragon, who was a force in the royal family for driving the English out of France, which was at a low point in its struggles. Just a few weeks after Louis's christening at the Cathedral of St. Étienne on 4 July 1423, the French army suffered a crushing defeat by the English at Cravant. Shortly thereafter, a combined Anglo-Burgundian army threatened Bourges itself.
During the reign of Louis's grandfather Charles VI (1380–1422), the Duchy of Burgundy was very much connected with the French throne, but because the central government lacked any real power, all the duchies of France tended to act independently. Duke Philip II ("The Bold") was the reigning Duke of Burgundy while he was king. Philip was an uncle of King Charles VI, and he actually served on a council of regents for King Charles. The Dukes of Anjou, Berry, and Bourbon, all uncles of Charles VI, also served on this council of regents. All effective power in France actually lay with this council of dukes.
In its position of independence from the French throne, Burgundy had grown in size and power. By the reign of Louis's father Charles VII, Philip III ("the Good") was reigning as Duke of Burgundy, and the duchy had expanded its borders to include all the territory in France from the North Sea in the north to the Jura Mountains in the south and from the Somme River in the west to the Moselle River in the east. During the Hundred Years War, the Burgundians allied themselves with England against the French crown. Indeed, the Burgundians were responsible for the capture of Joan of Arc and her execution on 31 May 1431.
In 1429, young Louis found himself at Loches in the presence of Joan of Arc, fresh from her first victory over the English at the Siege of Orléans, which initiated a turning point for the French in the Hundred Years War. Joan later led troops in other victories at the Battle of Jargeau and the Battle of Patay. Although Joan was unable to liberate Paris during her lifetime, the city was liberated after her death, and Louis and his father Charles VII were able to ride in triumph into the city on 12 November 1437. Nevertheless, Louis grew up aware of the continuing weakness of the French nation. He regarded his father as a weakling, and despised him for this.
On 24 June 1436, Louis met Margaret of Scotland, daughter of King James I of Scotland, the bride his father had chosen for diplomatic reasons. There are no direct accounts from Louis or his young bride of their first impressions of each other, and it is mere speculation whether they actually had negative feelings for each other. Several historians think that Louis had a predetermined attitude to hate his wife, but it is universally agreed that Louis entered the ceremony and the marriage itself dutifully, as evidenced by his formal embrace of Margaret upon their first meeting.
Louis's marriage with Margaret resulted from the nature of medieval royal diplomacy and the precarious position of the French monarchy at the time. The wedding ceremony—very plain by the standards of the time—took place in the chapel of the castle of Tours on the afternoon of 25 June 1436, and was presided over by Renaud of Chartres, the Archbishop of Reims. The 13-year-old Louis clearly looked more mature than his 11-year-old bride, who was said to resemble a beautiful doll and was treated as such by her in-laws. Charles wore "grey riding pants" and "did not even bother to remove his spurs". The Scottish guests were quickly hustled out after the wedding reception, as the French royal court was quite impoverished at this time. They simply could not afford an extravagant ceremony or to host their Scottish guests for any longer than they did. The Scots, however, saw this behaviour as an insult to their small but proud country.
Following the ceremony, "doctors advised against consummation" because of the relative immaturity of the bride and bridegroom. Margaret continued her studies, and Louis went on tour with Charles to loyal areas of the kingdom. Even at this time, Charles was taken aback by the intelligence and temper of his son. During this tour, Louis was named Dauphin of France by Charles, as was traditional for the eldest son of the king. The beautiful and cultured Margaret was popular at the court of France, but her marriage to Louis was not a happy one, in part because of his strained relations with her father-in-law, who was very attached to her. She died childless at the age of 20 in 1445.
In 1440, Louis, aged 16, took part in an uprising known as the Praguerie, which sought to neutralize Charles and install Louis as regent of France. The uprising failed, and Louis was forced to submit to the king, who chose to forgive him. In this revolt, Louis came under the influence of Charles I, Duke of Bourbon, whose troops were in no condition to mount such a serious threat to royal authority. Louis was forced to retreat to Paris, but was "by no means trounced". In fact, before his final defeat, "[Louis's]...military strength, combined with antipathy of the masses for great lords, won him the support of the citizens of Paris." This was a great learning experience for Louis. James Cleugh notes:
Like other strong-minded boys, he had found at last he could not carry all before him by mere bluster. Neither as prince nor as king did he ever forget his lesson. He never acted on pure impulse, without reflection, though to his life’s end he was constantly tempted to take such a risk.
Louis continued soldiering. In 1444, he led an army of "écorcheurs" (bands of mercenary soldiers) against the Swiss at the Battle of St. Jakob an der Birs and was impressed by the latter's military might. He still quarreled with his father, however, and his objectionable scheming, which included disrespectful behavior directed against his father's beloved mistress Agnès Sorel, caused him to be ordered out of court on 27 September 1446 and sent to his own province of Dauphiné. He lived mainly in Grenoble, in the tour de la Trésorerie. Despite frequent summons by the king, the two would never meet again. In Dauphiné, Louis ruled as king in all but name, continuing his intrigues against his father. On 14 February 1451, Louis, who had been widowed for six years, made a strategic marriage to the eight-year-old Charlotte of Savoy, without Charles' consent. This marriage was to have long-ranging effects on foreign policy as the beginning of French involvement in the affairs of the Italian peninsula.
Finally, in August 1456, Charles sent an army to Dauphiné. Louis fled to Burgundy, where he was granted refuge by Duke Philip the Good and settled in the castle of Genappe. King Charles was furious when Philip refused to hand over Louis and warned the duke that he was "giving shelter to a fox who will eat his chickens."
In 1461, Louis learned that his father was dying. He hurried to Reims to be crowned, in case his brother, Charles, Duke of Berry, should try to do the same. Louis XI became King of France on 25 July 1461.
Louis pursued many of the same goals that his father had, such as limiting the powers of the dukes and barons of France, with consistently greater success. Among other initiatives, Louis instituted reforms to make the tax system more efficient. He suppressed many of his former co-conspirators, who had thought him their friend, and he appointed to government service many men of no rank, but who had shown promising talent. He particularly favored the associates of the great French merchant, Jacques Coeur. He also allowed enterprising nobles to engage in trade without losing their privileges of nobility. He eliminated offices within the government bureaucracy, and increased the demand on other offices within the government in order to promote efficiency. Louis spent a large part of his kingship on the road. Travelling from town to town in his kingdom, Louis would surprise local officials, investigate local governments, establish fairs, and promote trade regulations. Perhaps the most significant contribution of Louis XI to the organization of the modern state of France was his development of the system of royal postal roads. In this system, relays at instant service to the king operated on all the high roads of France; this communications network spread all across France and led to the king gaining the nickname, the "Universal Spider".
As king, Louis became extremely prudent fiscally, 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 his activities is recorded by the courtier Philippe de Commines in his memoirs of the period. Louis made a habit of surrounding himself with valuable advisers of humble origins, such as Commines himself, Olivier Le Daim, Louis Tristan L'Hermite, and Jean Balue. Louis was anxious to speed up everything, transform everything, and build his own new world. In recognition of all the changes that Louis XI made to the government of France, he has the reputation of a leading "civil reformer" in French history, and his reforms were in the interests of the rising trading and mercantile classes that would later become the bourgeoisie classes of France.
Louis XI also involved himself in the affairs of the Church in France. In October 1461, Louis abolished the Pragmatic Sanction that his father had instituted in 1438 to establish a French Gallican Church free of the controls of the popes in Rome.
Philip III was the Duke of Burgundy at the time that Louis came to the throne, and was keen to initiate a Crusade to the Holy Lands. However, he needed funds to organize such an enterprise. Louis XI gave him 400,000 gold crowns for the Crusade in exchange for a number of territories, including Picardy and Amiens. However, Philip's son, the future Charles I, Duke of Burgundy (known as the Count of Charolais at the time of Louis's accession) was angry about this transaction, feeling that he was being deprived of his inheritance. He joined a rebellion called the League of the Public Weal, led by Louis's brother Charles, the Duke of Berry. Although the rebels were largely unsuccessful in battle, Louis had no better luck. Louis XI fought an indecisive battle against the rebels at Montlhéry and was forced to grant an unfavourable peace as a matter of political expediency.
When the Count of Charolais became Duke of Burgundy in 1467 as Charles I ("the Bold"), he seriously considered declaring an independent kingdom of his own. However, Louis's progress toward a strong centralized government had advanced to the point where the dukes of Burgundy could no longer act as independently as they had in the past. The duchy now faced many problems and revolts in its territories, especially from the people of Liège, who conducted the Liège Wars against the Duke of Burgundy. In the Liège Wars, Louis XI allied himself at first with the people of Liège.
In 1468, Louis and Charles met at Péronne, but during the course of negotiations, they learned that the citizens of Liège had again risen up against Charles and killed the Burgundian governor. Charles was furious. Philippe de Commines, at that time in the service of the duke of Burgundy, had to calm him down with the help of the duke's other advisors for fear that he might hit the king. Louis was forced into a humiliating treaty. He gave up many of the lands he had acquired from Philip the Good, turned on his erstwhile allies in Liege and swore to help Charles put down the uprising in Liege. Louis then witnessed a siege of Liège in which hundreds were massacred.
However, once out of Charles's reach, Louis declared the treaty invalid, and set about building up his forces. His aim was to destroy Burgundy once and for all. Nothing was more odious to Louis' dream of a centralized monarchy than the existence of an over-mighty vassal such as the Duke of Burgundy. War broke out in 1472. Duke Charles laid siege to Beauvais and other towns. However, these sieges proved unsuccessful; the Siege of Beauvais was lifted on 22 July 1472, and Charles finally sued for peace. Philippe de Commines was then welcomed into the service of King Louis.
In 1469, Louis founded the Order of St. Michael, probably in imitation of the prestigious Burgundian Order of the Golden Fleece, founded by Charles' father Philip the Good, just as King John II of France had founded the now defunct Order of the Star in imitation of the Order of the Garter of King Edward III of England. In both cases, a French king appears to have been motivated to found an order of chivalry to increase the prestige of the French royal court by the example of his chief political adversary.
|Coin of Louis XI, struck ca. 1470|
|Obverse: Medieval image of Louis XI||Reverse: Fleurs-de-lis|
At the same time that France and Burgundy were fighting each other, England was experiencing a bitter civil conflict known as the Wars of the Roses. Louis had an interest in this war, for the Duke of Burgundy, Charles the Bold, was allied with the Yorkists who opposed King Henry VI. When the Earl of Warwick fell out with the Yorkist King Edward IV, after helping Edward attain his throne, Louis granted Warwick refuge in France. Through Louis's diplomacy, Warwick then formed 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 to England. Warwick was then killed at the Battle of Barnet in 1471. King Henry VI was soon murdered afterwards.
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 army left France in return for a large sum of money. The English renounced their claim to French lands such as Normandy, and the Hundred Years' War could be said to be finally over. Louis bragged that although his father had driven the English out by force of arms, he had driven them out by force of pâté, venison, and good French wine.
Just as his father had done, Louis spent most of his reign dealing with political disputes with the reigning Duke of Burgundy, and for this purpose he employed the Swiss, whose military might was renowned. He had admired it himself at the Battle of St. Jakob an der Birs.
War broke out between Charles and the Swiss after he invaded Switzerland. The invasion proved to be a tremendous mistake. On 2 March 1476, the Swiss attacked and defeated the Burgundians at Grandson. The duke was killed at the Battle of Nancy on 5 January 1477, an event that marked the end of the Burgundian Wars.
Louis thus was able to see the destruction of his sworn enemy. Other lords who still favored the feudal system gave in to his authority. Still others, such as Jacques d'Armagnac, Duke of Nemours, were executed. The lands belonging to the Duchy of Burgundy as constituted by Louis's great-great-grandfather John II for the benefit of his son Philip the Bold reverted to the crown of France.
As noted above, the marriage on 14 February 1451 between Louis and the eight year-old Charlotte of Savoy was the true beginning of French involvement in the affairs of Italy. The Italian peninsula was a tightly compacted and politically competitive space dominated by five powers: Venice, Milan, Florence, the Papacy, and the Kingdom of Naples. Beside these five great regional powers, there were about a dozen smaller states in Italy that were constantly changing policies and shifting alliances between and towards the various regional powers. The city/state of Genoa and the rising state of Savoy, which centered on the city of Turin, were examples of these lesser powers in northern Italy. Even the Italic League – the combination of the five major powers of Italy that had been born out of the Treaty of Lodi of 1454 – was constantly undergoing internal realignments.
Both Louis XI and his father Charles VII had been too busy with their struggles with Burgundy to pay much attention to political affairs smoldering in Italy. Additionally, Louis had his attention drawn away from Italy by disagreements with the rulers of England and his struggles with Maximilian of Austria, who married the sole surviving heir of Charles the Bold, Mary of Burgundy, and wanted to keep her territorial inheritance intact. However, the death of the Duke of Burgundy in 1477, which conclusively settled the issue of Burgundy's position under the French throne, the conclusion of the Treaty of Picquigny with England in 1475 and the peaceful resolution in 1482 of the disposition of the "Burgundian inheritance" left to Mary of Burgundy finally allowed Louis XI to turn his attention to Italy.
Viewed from the Italian states, the death of the Duke of Burgundy in 1477 and the resultant downfall of his duchy as a threat to the French throne signalled vast changes in the states' relationships with the kingdom of France. Despite his connection by marriage to the royal house of Savoy, Louis XI continuously courted a strong relationship with Francesco I Sforza, the Duke of Milan, who was a traditional enemy of Savoy. As a confirmation of the close relationship between Milan and the king of France, Sforza sent his son Galeazzo Maria Sforza to aid Louis XI in his war against the League of Public Weal in 1465 at the head of a large army. Later, differences arose between France and Milan that caused Milan to seek ways of separating itself from dependence on the French. However, with the downfall of Burgundy in 1477, France was seen in a new light by Milan, which now hurriedly repaired its relationship with Louis XI. Likewise, France's old enemy King Ferdinand I of Naples began to seek a marriage alliance between the Kingdom of Naples and France. Louis XI also opened new friendly relations with the Papal States, forgetting the past devotion of the popes for the Duke of Burgundy. In January 1478, Louis XI also signed a favorable treaty with the Republic of Venice.
French involvement in the affairs of Italy would be carried to new levels by Louis XI's son Charles VIII in 1493, when he answered an appeal for help from Ludovico Sforza, the younger son of Francesco Sforza, that lead to an invasion of Italy. This would become a significant turning point in Italian political history.
Louis XI died in August 1483 and was interred in the Basilica of Notre-Dame de Cléry in Cléry-Saint-André in the Arrondissement of Orléans. 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 years of age. His eldest daughter Anne of France became regent on his behalf.
Louis developed his kingdom by encouraging trade fairs and the building and maintenance of roads. Louis XI pursued the organization of the kingdom of France with the assistance of bourgeois officials. In some respects, Louis XI perfected the framework of the modern French Government which was to last until the French Revolution. Thus, Louis XI is one of the first modern kings of France who helped take it out of the Middle Ages.
Louis XI was very superstitious and surrounded himself with astrologers. Interested in science, he once pardoned a man sentenced to death on condition that he serve as a guinea pig for a gallstone operation.
Through wars and guile, Louis XI overcame France's mostly independent feudal lords, and at the time of his death in the Château de Plessis-lez-Tours, he had united France and laid the foundations of a strong monarchy. He was, however, a secretive, reclusive man, and few mourned his death.
Despite Louis XI's political acumen and overall policy of Realpolitik, Niccolò Machiavelli criticized him harshly in Chapter 13 of The Prince, calling him shortsighted and imprudent for abolishing his own infantry in favor of Swiss mercenaries.
Louis's marriage with Charlotte of Savoy was not consummated until she was fourteen. Their children included:
Louis XI of France
Cadet branch of the Capetian dynastyBorn: 3 July 1423 Died: 30 August 1483
| King of France
1461 – 1483
| Dauphin of Viennois
1423 – 1461
|Annexation by France|
Events from the year 1423 in France1451 in France
Events from the year 1451 in France1483 in France
Events from the year 1483 in FranceCharles, Count of Maine
Charles du Maine (1414–1472) was a French prince of blood and an advisor to Charles VII of France, his brother-in-law, during the Hundred Years' War. He was the third son of Louis II, Duke of Anjou and King of Naples, and Yolande of Aragon.In 1434, he married Cobella Ruffo (d. 1442), Countess of Montalto and Corigliano. They had one son, named Jean Louis Marin, who died as an infant.
In 1437, he took up arms on behalf of King Charles VII of France, participating in the capture of Montereau, and that of Pontoise, in 1441. At this time, his brother, René of Anjou, ceded to him the County of Maine. He continued to take part in King Charles' campaigns.
By his second marriage, in 1443, to Isabelle of Luxembourg (d. 1472), daughter of Peter I of Luxembourg, Count of Saint-Pol, he had two children:
Louise of Anjou (1445–1477, Carlat), married in 1462 at Poitiers, Jacques d'Armagnac, Duke of Nemours (d. 1477).
Charles IV, Duke of Anjou (1446–1481)A dispute over the county of Guise between Charles and Isabelle's brother, Louis of Luxembourg, Count of Saint-Pol, was settled by settling it upon Isabelle as a dowry.
Charles also had an illegitimate daughter, Mary of Anjou, who married Thomas Courtenay, 6th Earl of Devon.He led the rearguard for King Louis XI of France at the Battle of Montlhéry.Charles I, Count of Armagnac
Charles d'Armagnac, born 1425, died June 3, 1497 in Castelnau-de-Montmiral at the age of 72 years, was Count of Armagnac and Rodez from 1473 to 1497. He was the son of John IV, Count of Armagnac and Rodez, and Isabella d'Évreux. His older brother, Count John V, was a leader of the League of the Public Weal against King Louis XI of France, causing Charles to be imprisoned for fifteen years. John was killed in a skirmish, allowing Charles to inherit the title of Count of Armagnac.Charles IV, Duke of Anjou
Charles IV, Duke of Anjou, also Charles of Maine, Count of Le Maine and Guise (1446 – 10 December 1481) was the son of the Angevin prince Charles of Le Maine, Count of Maine and Isabelle of Luxembourg.He succeeded his father as Count of Maine, Guise, Mortain and Gien in 1472. He succeeded his uncle René I of Naples in 1480 as forth Duke of Anjou and Count of Provence, according to the will of René who had no surviving son. René's surviving daughter Yolande received Bar and was already Duchess of Lorraine.
He also used the title of Duke of Calabria, in token of the claims to Naples he inherited from René.In 1474 he married Joan of Lorraine (1458 – 25 January 1480), daughter of Frederick II of Vaudémont, but they had no children. He died on 10 December 1481.
He willed his inheritance to his cousin Louis XI of France, whose heirs thus obtained a claim to the affairs of Italy, pursued in the next decades.Charlotte (given name)
Charlotte is a female given name, a female form of the male name Charlot, a diminutive of Charles. It is of French origin meaning "free man" or "petite". The name dates back to at least the 14th century. King Charles II of England had two illegitimate daughters with the name, the second wife of King Louis XI of France was Charlotte of Savoy, and Charlotte de Bourbon-La Marche (1388-1422) was Queen of Cyprus. Other names for Charlotte are Charlie, Lottie, Lotte, Carlota and Carlotta.
These women are usually identified as Charlotte with an appended title rather than a surname:
Princess Charlotte of Cambridge
Charlotte Stuart, Duchess of Albany
Charlotte, Grand Duchess of Luxembourg
Charlotte, Princess Royal, later Queen Charlotte of Württemberg
Charlotte of Belgium, Empress of Mexico
Charlotte of Bourbon, Queen of Cyprus (1388-1422)
Charlotte of Cyprus (1444-1487), Queen of Jerusalem and Armenia
Charlotte FitzRoy, Countess of Yarmouth (1650-1684)
Charlotte Lee, Countess of Lichfield (1664-1718)
Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz ("Queen Charlotte"), the queen consort of George III
Charlotte of Savoy (1441-1483), wife of Louis XI of France
Charlotte Amalie of Hesse-Cassel (or Hesse-Kassel), Queen of Denmark
Princess Charlotte, Duchess of Valentinois, Princess of Monaco
Charlotte Casiraghi, eighth in line to the Monegasque throne after her mother, Caroline, Princess of Hanover
Princess Charlotte Augusta of Wales, only legitimate child of George IV of the United Kingdom
Archduchess Charlotte of Austria
Amber O'Neal, a professional wrestler, who has also performed under the ring name Charlotte
Princess Charlotte (disambiguation), several women with the name
Queen Charlotte (disambiguation), several women with the nameChâteau de Plessis-lez-Tours
The Royal Château de Plessis-lèz-Tours is the remains of a late Gothic château located in the town of La Riche in the Indre-et-Loire department, in the Loire Valley of France. Around three fourths of the former royal residence were pulled down during the French Revolution in 1796.
Plessis-lèz-Tours was the favorite residence of King Louis XI of France, who died there on 30 August 1483. It was also the scene of the 1589 meeting between King Henry III of France and the future King Henry IV of France which resulted in their alliance against the Catholic League.
The present building is only a small part of the château originally built by Louis XI in the 15th century. The original château had three wings in the shape of a U. The room where Louis XI died can be visited. It has late 15th-century wooden linenfold panelling. The first floor has paintings and sculpture devoted to St. Francis of Paola, whom Louis XI summoned to live near him until his death. Inside the château is a display of iron cages which were suspended from the ceiling and used to hold prisoners. The cages were so small that the prisoners were unable to stand.
The remaining wing, which had long been used as a dairy farm and a buckshot factory, has been listed as a monument historique since 1927 by the French Ministry of Culture.County of Saint-Pol
The county of Saint-Pol (or Sint-Pols) was a county around the French city of Saint-Pol-sur-Ternoise (Sint-Pols-aan-de-Ternas) on the border of Artois and Picardy, formerly the county of Ternois.
For a long time the county belonged to the county of Flanders, and then from the early 11th century until the end of the 12th century it remained in the hands of the Campdavaine family, before passing to the Châtillon family then the Luxemburg family.
The best-known count was Louis, the constable of Saint-Pol. He was extradited to Louis XI of France by Charles the Bold, and in 1475 Louis beheaded him for high treason. In 1493, Saint-Pol was transferred to the Holy Roman Empire by the Treaty of Senlis. In 1537, Emperor Charles V destroyed the city. The county was annexed to France in 1659 by the Treaty of the Pyrenees.Duke of Burgundy
Duke of Burgundy (French: duc de Bourgogne) was a title borne by the rulers of the Duchy of Burgundy, a small portion of traditional lands of Burgundians west of river Saône which in 843 was allotted to Charles the Bald's kingdom of West Franks. Under the Ancien Régime, the Duke of Burgundy was the premier lay peer of the kingdom of France.
Beginning with Robert II of France, the title was held by the Capetians, the French royal family. It was granted to Robert's younger son, Robert, who founded the House of Burgundy. When the senior line of the House of Burgundy became extinct, it was inherited by John II of France through proximity of blood. John granted the duchy as an appanage for his younger son, Philip the Bold. The Valois Dukes of Burgundy became dangerous rivals to the senior line of the House of Valois. When the male line of the Valois Dukes of Burgundy became extinct, the title was confiscated by Louis XI of France.
Today, the title is used by the House of Bourbon as a revived courtesy title.Nicholas I, Duke of Lorraine
Nicholas of Anjou (July 1448 – 27 July 1473) was the son of John II, Duke of Lorraine and Marie de Bourbon.
Nicholas was born and died in Nancy. He succeeded his father in 1470 as Duke of Lorraine, and assumed the titles of Marquis of Pont-à-Mousson, Duke of Calabria, and Prince of Girona, as heir apparent of Bar, Naples, and Aragon respectively.
He was engaged to Anne of France, Viscountess of Thouars, and used her title, but he did not marry her and had only one illegitimate daughter, Marguerite, wife of John IV of Chabannes, Count of Dammartin (d. 1503).
Some said he had been poisoned by agents of King Louis XI of France.
On his death the Duchy of Lorraine went to his aunt Yolande.Order of Saint Michael
The Order of Saint Michael (French: Ordre de Saint-Michel) is a French dynastic order of chivalry, founded by Louis XI of France on 1 August 1469, in competitive response to the Burgundian Order of the Golden Fleece founded by Philip the Good, duke of Burgundy, Louis' chief competitor for the allegiance of the great houses of France, the Dukes of Orléans, Berry, and Brittany. As a chivalric order, its goal was to confirm the loyalty of its knights to the king. Originally, there were a limited number of knights, at first thirty-one, then increased to thirty-six including the king. An office of Provost was established in 1476. The Order of St Michael was the highest Order in France until it was superseded by the Order of the Holy Spirit.Although officially abolished by the government authorities of the July Revolution in 1830 following the French Revolution, its activities carried on. It is still recognised by the International Commission on Orders of Chivalry.Order of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary
The Order of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Latin: Ordo de Annuntiatione Beatæ Mariæ Virginis), also known as Sisters of the Annunciation or Annonciades, is a enclosed religious order of contemplative nuns founded in honor of the Annunciation in 1501 at Bourges by Joan de Valois, also known as Joan of France, daughter of King Louis XI of France, and wife of Louis, the Duke of Orléans, later King Louis XII of France.Treaty of Conflans
The Treaty of Conflans (or the Peace of Conflans) was signed on 5 October 1465 between King Louis XI of France and Count Charles of Charolais. This treaty was signed months after the Battle of Montlhéry (July 13, 1465) where the French dukes of Alençon, Burgundy, Berry, Bourbon, and Lorraine fought King Louis to a standstill.Treaty of Picquigny
The Treaty of Picquigny was a peace treaty negotiated on 29 August 1475 between the Kingdom of England and the Kingdom of France. It followed from an invasion of France by Edward IV of England in alliance with Burgundy and Brittany. It left Louis XI of France free to deal with the threat posed by Charles the Bold, Duke of Burgundy.Treaty of Péronne (1468)
The Treaty of Péronne was signed in Péronne (in the county of Vermandois, a then Burgundian territory) on October 14, 1468 between Charles the Bold, Duke of Burgundy and Louis XI of France. Based on the terms of the treaty, Charles especially acquired the English claimed county of Ponthieu. On the Burgundian side the accord was discussed by Charles, mainly assisted by his long-time favorite Guillaume de Bische and his councillor Ferry de Clugny ; on the French side it was negotiated by the king Louis himself and the cardinal de La Balue.Treaty of Senlis
The Treaty of Senlis concerning the Burgundian succession was signed at Senlis, Oise in May 1493 between Maximilian I of Habsburg and King Charles VIII of France.
After the last Valois Duke of Burgundy, Charles the Bold, had died without male heir at the 1477 Battle of Nancy, his cousin Louis XI of France was determined to come into his inheritance, especially the Burgundian Netherlands with the thriving County of Flanders. However, Mary the Rich, daughter of Charles the Bold, and her husband Maximilian also claimed their rights, which led to clashes of arms culminating at the 1479 Battle of Guinegate, concluded in favour of Mary and Maximilian. Nevertheless, Mary died in 1482 and according to the Treaty of Arras, Maximilian had to cede Burgundy, the County of Artois including the City of Arras and several minor lordships to France as dowry for the proposed marriage of their daughter, Margaret, with Louis' son Charles.
When Charles VIII, now King of France, married Anne of Brittany – who was at that time married in proxy to Maximilian – instead of Margaret, Maximilian urged the return of his daughter and the retrieval of the County of Burgundy, Artois and Charolais. In 1493, Charles VIII, stuck in the conflict with King Alfonso II of Naples, finally had to acknowledge the claims. Based on the terms of the Senlis Treaty, all hostilities between France and the Seventeen Provinces were officially over. Moreover, the disputed territories were relinquished to the House of Habsburg and Artois and Flanders were annexed by the Holy Roman Empire. However, France was still able to retain powerful legal claims and outposts in both provinces.
The Duchy of Burgundy (with capital Dijon and not to be confused with the Free County of Burgundy with capital Dole), which had also been ceded to France in 1482, remained in French hands.University of Valence
The University of Valence was founded 26 July 1452, by letters patent from the Dauphin Louis, afterwards Louis XI of France, in a move to develop the city of Valence, then part of his domain of Dauphiné. It existed until the French Revolution.Wolfert VI of Borselen
Wolfert VI of Borselen (c. 1433 – 29 April 1486, Saint-Omer) was stadholder of Holland, Friesland and Zeeland, Admiral of the Netherlands outside Flanders and Lord of Veere.
He was the son of Henry II of Borselen, and was able, through his fathers good relations, to marry in 1444 with Princess Maria Stewart, daughter of King James I of Scotland. By his marriage he became Earl of Buchan. They had two sons.
After the death of Mary on 20 March 1465, Wolfert remarried in 1468 with Charlotte of Bourbon-Montpensier (1445–1478), youngest daughter of Louis I, Count of Montpensier. They had two daughters.
In 1464 he was made Marshal of France by Louis XI of France.
In 1466 he became Admiral of the Netherlands outside Flanders (general admiral de la mer d'Artois, Boulonnais, Hollande, Zélande et Frise).
The next year, he became stadholder of Holland and Zeeland, and in 1478 Knight in the Order of the Golden Fleece.
When Wolfert VI of Borselen could no longer control the situation in the Holland and Zeeland, during the Hook and Cod wars in 1479, he was replaced by Joost de Lalaing.
He held his other functions, but when he chose the side of the Flemish Revolt against Maximilian of Austria, he lost all his powers.
|Ancestors of Louis XI of France|
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