Louis of Cyprus
Louis of Savoy was King of Cyprus, reigning together with and in the right of his wife, Charlotte of Cyprus. He was the second son and namesake of Louis, Duke of Savoy, his wife Anne of Lusignan, daughter of King Janus of Cyprus, he was born in Geneva. Louis was born, according to Samuel Guichenon, in June 1431, in Geneva, but the historian specifies in note that he was born in 1436; the birth in June 1436 is therefore that adopted by contemporary authors. Guichenon specifies that the prince is 8 years old when he married in 1444; some mention a period between 1436-1437 for this last year the Swiss historian Édouard Mallet. On 14 December 1444, at Stirling Castle, he was betrothed to Annabella, youngest daughter of King James I of Scotland and sister of King James II of Scotland; the marriage never took place and the betrothal was annulled in 1456. On 7 October 1458, Louis married Queen Charlotte of Cyprus, his cousin, became King of Cyprus as well as the titular King of Jerusalem and of the Armenian Kingdom of Cilicia for the brief period of her reign from 1458 to 1460, when they were deposed.
Louis died in April 1482, at the priory of Ripaille
John of Gaunt
John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster was an English prince, military leader, statesman. He was the third of the five sons of King Edward III of England. Due to his royal origin, advantageous marriages, some generous land grants, Gaunt was one of the richest men of his era, an influential figure during the reigns of both his father and his nephew, Richard II; as Duke of Lancaster, he is the founder of the royal House of Lancaster, whose members would ascend to the throne after his death. His birthplace, corrupted into English as Gaunt, was the origin for his name; when he became unpopular in life, scurrilous rumours and lampoons circulated that he was the son of a Ghent butcher because Edward III was not present at the birth. This story always drove him to fury. John's early career was spent in Spain fighting at the Hundred Years' War, he made an abortive attempt to enforce a claim to the Crown of Castile that came through his second wife, for a time styled himself as King of Castile. As Edward the Black Prince, Gaunt's elder brother and heir to the ageing Edward III, became incapacitated due to poor health, Gaunt assumed control of many government functions, rose to become one of the most powerful political figures in England.
He was faced with military difficulties abroad and political divisions at home, disagreements as to how to deal with these crises led to tensions between Gaunt, the English Parliament, the ruling class, making him an unpopular figure for a time. John exercised great influence over the English throne during the minority of King Richard II, the ensuing periods of political strife, he mediated between the king and a group of rebellious nobles, which included Gaunt's own son and heir, Henry Bolingbroke. Following Gaunt's death in 1399, his estates and titles were declared forfeit to the Crown, his son, now disinherited, was branded a traitor and exiled. Henry Bolingbroke returned from exile shortly after to reclaim his inheritance, deposed Richard, he reigned as King Henry IV of England, the first of the descendants of John of Gaunt to hold the English throne. The House of Lancaster would rule England from 1399 until the time of the Wars of the Roses, when the English crown was disputed with the House of York.
Gaunt fathered five children outside marriage. They were legitimised by royal and papal decrees, but which did not affect Henry IV's bar to their having a place in the line of succession. Despite that restriction, through these offspring, surnamed "Beaufort", Gaunt is ancestor to all Scottish monarchs beginning in 1437, of all English monarchs of the houses of Lancaster and Tudor as well as, York. John was the third surviving son of King Edward III of England, his first wife, Blanche of Lancaster, was his third cousin. They married in 1359 at Reading Abbey as a part of the efforts of Edward III to arrange matches for his sons with wealthy heiresses. Upon the death of his father-in-law, the 1st Duke of Lancaster, in 1361, John received half his lands, the title "Earl of Lancaster", distinction as the greatest landowner in the north of England as heir of the Palatinate of Lancaster, he became the 14th Baron of Halton and 11th Lord of Bowland. John inherited the rest of the Lancaster property when Blanche's sister Maud, Countess of Leicester, died without issue on 10 April 1362.
John received the title "Duke of Lancaster" from his father on 13 November 1362. By well established, he owned at least thirty castles and estates across England and France and maintained a household comparable in scale and organisation to that of a monarch, he owned land in every county in England, a patrimony that produced a net income of between £8,000 and £10,000 a year. After the death in 1376 of his older brother Edward of Woodstock, John of Gaunt contrived to protect the religious reformer John Wycliffe to counteract the growing secular power of the church. However, John's ascendancy to political power coincided with widespread resentment of his influence. At a time when English forces encountered setbacks in the Hundred Years' War against France, Edward III's rule was becoming unpopular due to high taxation and his affair with Alice Perrers, political opinion associated the Duke of Lancaster with the failing government of the 1370s. Furthermore, while King Edward and the Prince of Wales were popular heroes due to their successes on the battlefield, John of Gaunt had not won equivalent military renown that could have bolstered his reputation.
Although he fought in the Battle of Nájera, for example, his military projects proved unsuccessful. When Edward III died in 1377 and John's ten-year-old nephew succeeded as Richard II of England, John's influence strengthened. However, mistrust remained, some suspected him of wanting to seize the throne himself. John took pains to ensure; as de facto ruler during Richard's minority, he made unwise decisions on taxation that led to the Peasants' Revolt in 1381, when the rebels destroyed his home in London, the Savoy Palace. Unlike some of Richard's unpopular advisors, John was away from London at the time of the uprising and thus avoided the direct wrath of the rebels. In 1386 John left England to seek the throne of Castile, claimed in jure ux
Margaret Stewart, Dauphine of France
See Margaret Stewart. Margaret of Scotland was the Dauphine of France, she was the firstborn child of King James I of Queen Joan Beaufort. She married the eldest son of the king of France, Dauphin of France, at eleven years old, their marriage was unhappy, she died childless at age 20 of a fever. She was born in Perth, Scotland to James I of Scotland and Joan Beaufort, a cousin of Henry VI of England. Margaret was the first of twin sons born to her parents. Margaret was Charles VII of France's diplomatic choice for daughter-in-law; the marriage was forced upon Charles's thirteen-year-old son, which did not help their relationship. However, royal marriages in the 15th century were always political. There are no direct accounts from Louis or Margaret of their first impressions of each other, it is mere speculation to say whether or not they had negative feelings for each other. Several historians think that Louis had a predetermined attitude to hate his wife because she was his father’s choice of bride.
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 on 24 June 1436, the day before their wedding. Margaret and Louis' marriage shows both the nature of medieval royal diplomacy and the precarious position of the French monarchy; the marriage took place 25 June 1436 in the afternoon in the chapel of the castle of Tours and was presided by the Archbishop of Reims. By the standards of the time, it was a plain wedding. Louis, looked more mature than his bride, eleven. Margaret looked like a beautiful “doll,” because she was treated as such by her in-laws. Charles wore “grey riding pants” and “did not bother to remove his spurs.” The Scottish guests were hustled out after the wedding reception. This was seen as something of a scandal by the Scots. King Charles’ attire and the speed with which the guests were hustled out was considered an insult to Scotland, an important ally in France's war with the English.
However, this spoke to the impoverished nature of the French court at this time. They could not afford an extravagant ceremony or to host their Scottish guests for any longer than they did. 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. At this time, Charles was taken aback by the intelligence and temper of his son. During this tour, Louis was named Dauphin by Charles, as is traditional for the eldest son of the king. Margaret was considered lovely and beautiful, with a certain ability to write poetry and rhymes, though no example of her compositions survived destruction at her husband's hands after her death, she was very interested in the French court's social and gallant life. She was a favourite of her father-in-law Charles VII of France and popular among the courtiers. However, she became depressed, she had a strained relationship with her husband, the future king of France because of Louis' hatred of his father.
Charles VII ordered the marriage, Margaret supported the king against her husband. It is said that she wore a strongly-tied corset because of her fear of pregnancies, ate green apples and drank apple vinegar, her unhappy marriage furthered her depression, as did the gossip regarding her by supporters of Louis. On 16 August 1445, between ten and eleven at night, she died in Châlons-sur-Marne, France at the age of 20. On Saturday, 7 August and her ladies had joined the court on a short pilgrimage, it was hot, when she returned, she undressed in her stone chamber. The next morning she was feverish, the doctor diagnosed the inflammation of the lungs, she died, raving against a Jamet de Tillay, a Breton soldier, in favour of her father-in-law, King Charles. 1 Melancholic and distressed by slander against her, she sank into a final languor before dying. Her last words, in response to others' urgings to rouse herself and live, were Fi de la vie! qu'on ne m'en parle plus. She was buried in the Deux-Sèvres department of France.
Five and a half years after her death, her husband married Charlotte of Savoy, by whom he had three surviving children: Charles VIII of France, two daughters, Anne of France and Jeanne. Margaret is famous for the legend that she was kissed or kissed by poet Alain Chartier while asleep in her own rooms, though her age and location at the time of Chartier's death would have made that impossible. Ruth Putnam, Charles the Bold Kendall, P. M. Louis XI: The Universal Spider, London, 2001, pp. 66, 393-395
Charles VII of France
Charles VII, called the Victorious or the Well-Served, was King of France from 1422 to his death in 1461, the fifth from the House of Valois. In the midst of the Hundred Years' War, Charles VII inherited the throne of France under desperate circumstances. Forces of the Kingdom of England and the Duchy of Burgundy occupied Guyenne and northern France, including Paris, the most populous city, Reims, the city in which the French kings were traditionally crowned. In addition, his father Charles VI had disinherited him in 1420 and recognized Henry V of England and his heirs as the legitimate successors to the French crown instead. At the same time, a civil war raged in France between the Burgundian party. With his court removed to Bourges, south of the Loire River, Charles was disparagingly called the “King of Bourges”, because the area around this city was one of the few remaining regions left to him. However, his political and military position improved with the emergence of Joan of Arc as a spiritual leader in France.
Joan of Arc and other charismatic figures led French troops to lift the siege of Orléans, as well as other strategic cities on the Loire river, to crush the English at the battle of Patay. With the local English troops dispersed, the people of Reims switched allegiance and opened their gates, which enabled the coronation of Charles VII in 1429 at Reims Cathedral; this long-awaited event boosted French morale. Following the battle of Castillon in 1453, the French expelled the English from all their continental possessions except for the Pale of Calais; the last years of Charles VII were marked by conflicts with his turbulent son, the future Louis XI of France. Born at the Hôtel Saint-Pol, the royal residence in Paris, Charles was given the title of comte de Ponthieu at his birth in 1403, he was the eleventh child and fifth son of Charles VI of Isabeau of Bavaria. His four elder brothers, Charles and John had each held the title of Dauphin of France in turn. All died childless. After his accession to the title of Dauphin, Charles had to face threats to his inheritance, he was forced to flee from Paris on 29 May 1418 after the partisans of John the Fearless, Duke of Burgundy, had entered the city the previous night.
By 1419, Charles had established a Parlement in Poitiers. On 11 July of that same year and John the Fearless attempted a reconciliation by signing, on a small bridge near Pouilly-le-Fort, not far from Melun where Charles was staying, the Treaty of Pouilly-le-Fort known under name of Paix du Ponceau, they decided that a further meeting should take place the following 10 September. On that date, they met on the bridge at Montereau; the Duke assumed that the meeting would be peaceful and diplomatic, thus he brought only a small escort with him. The Dauphin's men reacted to the Duke's arrival by killing him. Charles' level of involvement has remained uncertain to this day. Although he claimed to have been unaware of his men's intentions, this was considered unlikely by those who heard of the murder; the assassination marked the end of any attempt of a reconciliation between the two factions Armagnacs and Burgundians, thus playing into the hands of Henry V of England. Charles was required by a treaty with Philip the Good, the son of John the Fearless, to pay penance for the murder, which he never did.
At the death of his father, Charles VI, the succession was cast into doubt. The Treaty of Troyes, signed by Charles VI in 1420, mandated that the throne pass to the infant King Henry VI of England, the son of the deceased Henry V and Catherine of Valois, daughter of Charles VI. For those who did not recognize the treaty and believed the Dauphin Charles to be of legitimate birth, he was considered to be the rightful heir to the throne. For those who did not recognize his legitimacy, the rightful heir was recognized as Charles, Duke of Orléans, cousin of the Dauphin, in English captivity. Only the supporters of Henry VI and the Dauphin Charles were able to enlist sufficient military force to press for their candidates; the English in control of northern France, were able to enforce the claim of their king in the regions of France that they occupied. Northern France, including Paris, was thus ruled by an English regent, Henry V's brother, John of Lancaster, 1st Duke of Bedford, based in Normandy.
In his adolescent years, Charles was noted for his flamboyant style of leadership. At one point after becoming Dauphin, he led an army against the English dressed in the red and blue that represented his family. However, in July 1421, upon learning that Henry V was preparing from Mantes to attack with a much larger army, he withdrew from the siege of Chartres in order to avoid defeat, he went south of the Loire River under the protection of Yolande of Aragon, known as "Queen of the Four Kingdoms" and, on 22 April 1422, married her daughter, Marie of Anjou, to whom he had been engaged since December 1413 in a ceremony at the Louvre Palace. Charles, claimed the title King of Franc
Charlotte, Queen of Cyprus
Charlotte was Queen of Cyprus, as well as titular Queen of Jerusalem and Armenia and titular Princess of Antioch. She was the eldest and only surviving daughter of King John II of Helena Palaiologina. At the age of 14, she succeeded to the Cypriot throne upon the death of her father in 1458, her illegitimate half-brother, challenged her right to the crown. With the support of the Egyptians, he forced her to flee the island in 1463, he was crowned king, she made a military attempt to regain her throne, but was unsuccessful, died childless in Rome. Charlotte was born in Nicosia on 28 June 1444, the eldest and only surviving daughter of King John II of Cyprus and Helena Palaiologina, her younger sister Cleopha died in June 1448, shortly before Charlotte's fourth birthday, leaving her the sole legitimate heir to the Cypriot throne and her father's titles. She had an illegitimate half-brother, born to her father's Greek mistress Marietta de Patras, she spoke fluent Greek, which she learned from her mother.
She could write French and Latin, but throughout her life spoke Greek. Due to her outspoken manner, Pope Pius II called her the "Greek torrent". Charlotte succeeded as Princess of Antioch in 1456 the same year she married her first husband, John of Portugal, she was widowed in 1457, on 28 July 1458 her father died. At the age of fourteen Charlotte became Queen of Cyprus and was crowned at St. Sophia Cathedral on 7 October 1458, her reign was not successful. She had a tenuous hold on the kingdom as her right to the throne was being challenged by her illegitimate half-brother James. On 7 October 1459, she married Louis of Savoy, Count of Geneva; this marriage had been arranged by the Genoese who promised their assistance in retaining her crown against the claims by James. In 1460 he managed to capture Famagusta and Nicosia with aid from the Egyptian sultanate of Sayf ad-Din Inal. After being blockaded in the castle of Kyrenia for three years and Louis fled to Rome in 1463, whereupon her half-brother was crowned King James II.
She took up residence at the Convertendi Palace in Trastevere. Pope Pius II, acquainted with her described Charlotte as "a woman of about twenty-four, of middle height: bright eyes, complexion betwixt dark and pale, she formed a small court on the Greek island of Rhodes. She made an unsuccessful military attempt to regain her throne with papal support, she intrigued against the Regent of Cyprus, Catherine Cornaro but failed to oust her from power. In November 1483 she was received by Pope Sixtus IV in the Vatican Palace and was seated in a chair of the same "height and dignity" as the pope. In Rome, she lived in a house in Piazza Scossacavalli in Borgo which had hosted queen Catherine of Bosnia, she died childless on 16 July 1487, shortly after her forty-third birthday. She had adopted as her son, Alfonso of Aragon, the illegitimate child of King Ferdinand II of Naples, married to her half-brother's illegitimate daughter, Charlotte de Lusignan. However, in February 1485, in exchange for an annual pension of 4,300 florins, she instead ceded her claims to her cousin's son Charles I of Savoy, the next in the legitimate line of succession.
Charlotte is buried in Saint Gregory, St. Peter's Basilica, her funeral was paid for by Pope Innocent VIII. Charlotte married twice: Infante John of Portugal known as John of Coimbra, in May 1456 in Nicosia, he was made a titular Prince of Antioch. It is rumoured that his death was a murder due to poisoning, arranged by Queen Helena, leaving Charlotte free to make a second marriage. Louis of Savoy, Count of Geneva; the couple were married on 7 October 1459 a year after Charlotte's coronation. Louis was her cousin: he was the second son and namesake of Louis, Count of Savoy by Anne de Lusignan, daughter of King Janus of Cyprus, became a King of Cyprus from 1459 to 1462 and a titular King of Jerusalem. By her second husband Louis, Charlotte had an unnamed son, born in July 1464, but the boy died within a month of his birth. Borgatti, Mariano. Borgo e S. Pietro nel 1300 - 1600 - 1925. Federico Pustet, Roma