Louis VII of France
Louis VII was King of the Franks from 1137 until his death. He was the son and successor of King Louis VI of France, hence his nickname, immediately after the annulment of her marriage, Eleanor married Henry Plantagenet, Duke of Normandy and Count of Anjou, to whom she conveyed Aquitaine. When Henry became King of England in 1154, as Henry II, Henrys efforts to preserve and expand on this patrimony for the Crown of England would mark the beginning of the long rivalry between France and England. Louis VIIs reign saw the founding of the University of Paris and he died in 1180 and was succeeded by his son Philip II. Louis was born in 1120 in Paris, the son of Louis VI of France. The early education of Prince Louis anticipated an ecclesiastical career, in October 1131, his father had him anointed and crowned by Pope Innocent II in Reims Cathedral. He spent much of his youth in Saint-Denis, where he built a friendship with the Abbot Suger, an advisor to his father who served Louis well during his early years as king.
Following the death of William X, Duke of Aquitaine, Louis VI moved quickly to have Prince Louis married to Eleanor, Duchess of Aquitaine, heiress of the late duke, on 25 July 1137. In this way, Louis VI sought to add the large, on 1 August 1137, shortly after the marriage, Louis VI died, and Prince Louis became king of France, reigning as Louis VII. The pairing of the monkish Louis and the high-spirited Eleanor was doomed to failure, she once declared that she had thought to marry a king. Louis and Eleanor had two daughters and Alix, in the first part of his reign, Louis VII was vigorous and zealous in his prerogatives. His accession was marked by no other than uprisings by the burgesses of Orléans and Poitiers. He soon came into violent conflict with Pope Innocent II, the pope thus imposed an interdict upon the king. As a result, Champagne decided to side with the pope in the dispute over Bourges, the war lasted two years and ended with the occupation of Champagne by the royal army. Louis VII was personally involved in the assault and burning of the town of Vitry-le-François, more than a thousand people who had sought refuge in the church died in the flames.
Overcome with guilt and humiliated by ecclesiastical reproach, Louis admitted defeat, removed his armies from Champagne and he accepted Pierre de la Chatre as archbishop of Bourges and shunned Raoul and Petronilla. Desiring to atone for his sins, he declared his intention of mounting a crusade on Christmas Day 1145 at Bourges, bernard of Clairvaux assured its popularity by his preaching at Vezelay on Easter 1146. In the meantime, Geoffrey V, Count of Anjou, completed his conquest of Normandy in 1144, in exchange for being recognised as Duke of Normandy by Louis, Geoffrey surrendered half of the Vexin — a region vital to Norman security — to Louis
Francis I of France
Francis I was the first King of France from the Angoulême branch of the House of Valois, reigning from 1515 until his death. He was the son of Charles, Count of Angoulême, and he succeeded his cousin and father-in-law Louis XII, who died without a male heir. Francis reign saw important cultural changes with the rise of absolute monarchy in France, the spread of humanism and Protestantism, Jacques Cartier and others claimed lands in the Americas for France and paved the way for the expansion of the first French colonial empire. For his role in the development and promotion of a standardized French language, he became known as le Père et Restaurateur des Lettres. He was known as François au Grand Nez, the Grand Colas, following the policy of his predecessors, Francis continued the Italian Wars. In his struggle against Imperial hegemony, he sought the support of Henry VIII of England at the Field of the Cloth of Gold. When this was unsuccessful, he formed a Franco-Ottoman alliance with the Muslim sultan Suleiman the Magnificent, a controversial move for a Christian king at the time.
Francis was born on 12 September 1494 at the Château de Cognac in the town of Cognac, which at that time lay in the province of Saintonge, today the town lies in the department of Charente. Francis was the son of Charles, Count of Angoulême, and Louise of Savoy. His family was not expected to inherit the throne, as his third cousin King Charles VIII was still young at the time of his birth, as was his fathers cousin the Duke of Orléans, King Louis XII. However, Charles VIII died childless in 1498 and was succeeded by Louis XII, the Salic Law prevailed in France, thus females were ineligible to inherit the throne. Therefore, the four-year-old Francis became the heir presumptive to the throne of France in 1498 and was vested with the title of Duke of Valois. In 1505, Louis XII, having fallen ill, ordered that his daughter Claude and Francis be married immediately, Claude was heiress to the Duchy of Brittany through her mother, Anne of Brittany. Following Annes death, the took place on 18 May 1514.
Louis died shortly afterwards and Francis inherited the throne and he was crowned King of France in the Cathedral of Reims on 25 January 1515, with Claude as his queen consort. As Francis was receiving his education, ideas emerging from the Italian Renaissance were influential in France, some of his tutors, such as François Desmoulins de Rochefort and Christophe de Longueil, were attracted by these new ways of thinking and attempted to influence Francis. His academic education had been in arithmetic, grammar, reading, Francis came to learn chivalry and music and he loved archery, horseback riding, jousting, real tennis and wrestling. He ended up reading philosophy and theology and he was fascinated with art, literature and his mother, who had a high admiration for Italian Renaissance art, passed this interest on to her son
Louis VI of France
Louis VI, called the Fat, was King of the Franks from 1108 until his death. Chronicles called him roi de Saint-Denis, Louis VI managed to reinforce his power considerably and became one of the first strong kings of France since the division of the Carolingian Empire in 843. Louis was a king but by his forties his weight had become so great that it was increasingly difficult for him to lead in the field. Louis was born on 1 December 1081 in Paris, the son of Philip I and his first wife, and. How valiant he was in youth, and with what energy he repelled the king of the English, William Rufus, when he attacked Louis inherited kingdom. Louis married Lucienne de Rochefort, a French crown princess, in 1104, on 3 August 1115 Louis married Adelaide of Maurienne, daughter of Humbert II of Savoy and Gisela of Burgundy, and niece of Pope Callixtus II. Adelaide was one of the most politically active of all Frances medieval queens and her name appears on 45 royal charters from the reign of Louis VI. During her tenure as queen, royal charters were dated with both her regnal year and that of the king, suger became Louiss adviser before he became king and he succeeded his father at the age of 26 on 29 July 1108.
Louiss half-brother prevented him from reaching Rheims, and so Daimbert, Archbishop of Sens, ralph the Green, Archbishop of Rheims, sent envoys to challenge the validity of the coronation and anointing, but to no avail. When Louis ascended the throne the Kingdom of France was a collection of feudal principalities, beyond the Isle de France the French Kings had little authority over the great Dukes and Counts of the realm but slowly Louis began to change this and assert Capetian rights. This process would take two centuries to complete but began in the reign of Louis VI, the second great challenge facing Louis was to counter the rising power of the Anglo-Normans under their capable new King, Henry I of England. From early in his reign Louis faced the problem of the barons who resisted the Kings authority and engaged in brigandry. In 1108, soon after he ascended the throne, Louis engaged in war with Hugh of Crecy, who was plaguing the countryside and had captured Eudes, Count of Corbeil, Louis besieged that fortress to free Eudes.
In early 1109, Louis besieged his half-brother, the son of Bertrade de Montfort, philips plots included the lords of Montfort-lAmaury. Amaury III of Montfort held many castles which, when linked together, in 1108-1109 a seigneur named Aymon Vaire-Vache seized the lordship of Bourbon from his nephew, Archambaud, a minor. Louis demanded the boy be restored to his rights but Aymon refused the summons, Louis raised his army and besieged Aymon at his castle at Germigny-sur-lAubois, forcing its surrender and enforcing the rights of Archambaud. In 1122, Bishop of Clermont, appealed to Louis after William VI, Count of Auvergne, had driven him from his episcopal town. When William refused Louis summons, Louis raised an army at Bourges, and marched into Auvergne, supported by some of his vassals, such as the Counts of Anjou, Brittany. Louis seized the fortress of Pont-du-Chateau on the Allier, attacked Clermont, four years William rebelled again and Louis, though his increasing weight made campaigning difficult, marched again
Louis XVI of France
Louis XVI, born Louis-Auguste, was the last King of France and Navarre before the French Revolution, during which he was known as Louis Capet. In 1765, at the death of his father, Dauphin of France and heir apparent of Louis XV of France, Louis XVI was guillotined on 21 January 1793. The first part of his reign was marked by attempts to reform France in accordance with Enlightenment ideas and these included efforts to abolish serfdom, remove the taille, and increase tolerance toward non-Catholics. The French nobility reacted to the reforms with hostility. Louis implemented deregulation of the market, advocated by his liberal minister Turgot. In periods of bad harvests, it would lead to food scarcity which would prompt the masses to revolt, from 1776, Louis XVI actively supported the North American colonists, who were seeking their independence from Great Britain, which was realized in the 1783 Treaty of Paris. The ensuing debt and financial crisis contributed to the unpopularity of the Ancien Régime and this led to the convening of the Estates-General of 1789.
In 1789, the storming of the Bastille during riots in Paris marked the beginning of the French Revolution. Louiss indecisiveness and conservatism led some elements of the people of France to view him as a symbol of the tyranny of the Ancien Régime. The credibility of the king was deeply undermined, and the abolition of the monarchy, Louis XVI was the only King of France ever to be executed, and his death brought an end to more than a thousand years of continuous French monarchy. Louis-Auguste de France, who was given the title Duc de Berry at birth, was born in the Palace of Versailles. Out of seven children, he was the son of Louis, the Dauphin of France. His mother was Marie-Josèphe of Saxony, the daughter of Frederick Augustus II of Saxony, Prince-Elector of Saxony and King of Poland. A strong and healthy boy, but very shy, Louis-Auguste excelled in his studies and had a taste for Latin, history and astronomy. He enjoyed physical activities such as hunting with his grandfather, and rough-playing with his brothers, Louis-Stanislas, comte de Provence.
From an early age, Louis-Auguste had been encouraged in another of his hobbies, upon the death of his father, who died of tuberculosis on 20 December 1765, the eleven-year-old Louis-Auguste became the new Dauphin. His mother never recovered from the loss of her husband, and died on 13 March 1767, throughout his education, Louis-Auguste received a mixture of studies particular to religion and humanities. His instructors may have had a hand in shaping Louis-Auguste into the indecisive king that he became
Henry III of France
Henry III was a monarch of the House of Valois who was elected the monarch of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth from 1573 to 1575 and ruled as King of France from 1574 until his death. He was the last French monarch of the Valois dynasty, as the fourth son of King Henry II of France and Catherine de Medici, Henry was not expected to assume the throne of France. He was thus a candidate for the vacant Commonwealth throne. Henrys rule over Commonwealth was brief, but notable, the Henrician Articles he signed into law accepting the Commonwealth throne established Poland as an elective monarchy subject to free election by the Polish nobility. Of his three brothers, two would live long enough to ascend the French throne, but both died young and without a legitimate male heir. He abandoned Commonwealth upon receiving word that he had inherited the throne of France at the age of 22, Henry III was himself a politique, arguing that a strong and religiously tolerant monarchy would save France from collapse.
Henry IIIs legitimate heir was his distant cousin Henry, King of Navarre, the Catholic League, led by Henry I, Duke of Guise, sought to exclude Protestants from the succession and championed the Catholic Charles, Cardinal of Bourbon, as Henry IIIs heir. Henry was born at the royal Château de Fontainebleau, the son of King Henry II and Catherine de Medici and grandson of Francis I of France. His older brothers were Francis II of France, Charles IX of France and he was made Duke of Angoulême and Duke of Orléans in 1560, Duke of Anjou in 1566. He was his mothers favourite, she called him chers yeux and lavished fondness and his elder brother, grew to detest him, partially because he resented his better health. In his youth, Henry was considered the best of the sons of Catherine de Medici, unlike his father and elder brothers, he had little interest in the traditional Valois pastimes of hunting and physical exercise. Although he was fond of fencing and skilled in it, he preferred to indulge his tastes for the arts.
These predilections were attributed to his Italian mother, at one point in his youth he showed a tendency towards Protestantism as a means of rebelling. At the age of nine, calling himself a little Huguenot, he refused to attend Mass, sang Protestant psalms to his sister Margaret and his mother firmly cautioned her children against such behaviour, and he would never again show any Protestant tendencies. Instead, he became nominally Roman Catholic, reports that Henry engaged in same sex relations with his court favourites, known as the mignons, date back to his own time. Certainly he enjoyed relationships with them. The scholar Louis Crompton provides substantial contemporary evidence of Henry IIIs homosexuality, and it is difficult, he writes, to reconcile the king whose use of favourites is so logically strategic with the man who goes to pieces when one of them dies. In 1570, discussions commenced to arrange for Henry to court Queen Elizabeth I of England, almost 37, was expected by many parties in her country to marry and produce an heir
Louis X of France
Louis was the eldest son of Philip IV of France and Joan I of Navarre. Louis uncle—Charles of Valois, leader of the feudalist party—managed to convince the king to execute Enguerrand de Marigny, Louis allowed serfs to buy their freedom, abolished slavery, and readmitted French Jews into the kingdom. In 1305, Louis had married Margaret of Burgundy, with whom he had Joan II of Navarre, Margaret was convicted of adultery and died in prison, possibly murdered by strangulation. In 1315, Louis married Clementia of Hungary, who gave birth to John I of France a few months after the kings death, johns untimely death led to a disputed succession. Louis was born in Paris, the eldest son of Philip IV of France and he inherited the kingdom of Navarre on the death of his mother, on 4 April 1305, being crowned 6 June 1313. On 21 September 1305, at age 16, he married Margaret of Burgundy and they had a daughter, Louis was known as the Quarreler as the result of the tensions prevailing throughout his reigns.
Both Louis and Margaret became involved in the Tour de Nesle affair towards the end of Philips reign, in 1314, Margaret and Joan—the latter two being the wives of Louis brothers Charles and Philip, respectively—were arrested on charges of infidelity. Margaret and Blanche were both tried before the French parliament that year and found guilty and their alleged lovers were executed, and the women had their hair shorn and were sentenced to life imprisonment. Philip stood by his wife Joan, who was found innocent. Margaret would be imprisoned at Chateau Gaillard, where she died, on the death of his father in 1314, Louis became King of France. Louis and Clementia were crowned at Reims on 24 August 1315, Louis was king of Navarre for eleven years and king of France for less than two years. In 1315, Louis X published a decree proclaiming that France signifies freedom and this prompted subsequent governments to circumscribe slavery in the overseas colonies. Leagues of regional nobles began to form around the country, demanding changes, when these failed, Charles convinced Louis to bring sorcery charges against him instead, which proved more effective and led to de Marignys execution at Vincennes in April 1315.
Other former ministers were similarly prosecuted and this, combined with the halting of Philips reforms, the issuing of numerous charters of rights and a reversion to more traditional rule, largely assuaged the regional leagues. In practical terms, Louis X effectively abolished slavery within the Kingdom of France in 1315, Louis continued to require revenues and alighted on a reform of French serfdom as a way of achieving this. Arguing that all men are free, Louis declared in 1315 that French serfs would therefore be freed. A body of commissioners was established to undertake the reform, establishing the peculium, or value, of each serf. For serfs owned directly by the King, all of the peculium would be received by the Crown – for serfs owned by subjects of the King, Louis was responsible for a key shift in policy towards the Jews
John I of France
John I, called the Posthumous, was King of France and Navarre, as the posthumous son and successor of Louis X, for the five days he lived in 1316. Although considered a king today, his status was not recognized until chroniclers and historians in centuries began numbering John II, if his reign is recognized, it is the shortest of any French king. He is the person to be considered King of France since birth and, the youngest person to be King of France. John reigned for five days under the regency of his uncle Philip the Tall, the infant King was buried in Saint Denis Basilica. He was succeeded by Philip, whose contested legitimacy led to the re-affirmation of the Salic law, the cause of his death is still not known today. The premature death of John brought the first issue of succession of the Capetian dynasty. When Louis X, his father, died without a son to succeed him and it was decided to wait until his pregnant widow, Clementia of Hungary, delivered the child. The kings brother, Philip the Tall, was in charge of the regency of the kingdom against his uncle Charles of Valois, the birth of a male child was expected to give France its king.
The problem of succession returned when John died five days after birth, Philip ascended the throne at the expense of Johns four-year-old half-sister, daughter of Louis X and Margaret of Burgundy. Various legends circulated about this royal child, first, it was claimed that his uncle Philip the Tall had him poisoned. Then a strange story a few decades came to start the rumor that the little King John was not dead, during the captivity of John the Good, a man named Giannino Baglioni claimed to be John I and thus the heir to the throne. He tried to assert his rights, but was captured in Provence, shortly after they met in 1354, di Rienzo was assassinated, and Baglioni waited two years to report his claims. He went to the Hungarian court where Louis I of Hungary, nephew of Clemence of Hungary, recognized him as the son of Louis, in 1360, Baglioni went to Avignon, but Pope Innocent VI refused to receive him. After several attempts to gain recognition, he was arrested and imprisoned in Naples, maurice Druons historical novel series Les Rois maudits dramatises this theory.
In La Loi des mâles, the infant John is temporarily switched with the child of Guccio Baglioni and he is subsequently poisoned by Mahaut, Countess of Artois, in order to place Johns uncle, Count of Poitiers, on the throne. Marie is coerced into secretly raising John as her own son, an adult Giannino was portrayed by Jean-Gérard Sandoz in the 1972 French miniseries adaptation of the series, and by Lorans Stoica in the 2005 adaptation. List of shortest reigning monarchs of all time Summaries of Foreign Reviews, Natura ed Arte - Giannino Baglioni
Philip I of France
Philip I, called the Amorous, was King of the Franks from 1060 to his death. His reign, like that of most of the early Capetians, was long for the time. The monarchy began a modest recovery from the low it reached in the reign of his father and he added to the royal demesne the Vexin, Philip was born 23 May 1052 at Champagne-et-Fontaine, the son of Henry I and his wife Anne of Kiev. Unusual at the time for Western Europe, his name was of Greek origin, although he was crowned king at the age of seven, until age fourteen his mother acted as regent, the first queen of France ever to do so. Baldwin V of Flanders acted as co-regent, following the death of Baldwin VI of Flanders, Robert the Frisian seized Flanders. Baldwins wife, Richilda requested aid from Philip, who defeated Robert at the battle of Cassel in 1071, Philip first married Bertha in 1072. Although the marriage produced the heir, Philip fell in love with Bertrade de Montfort. He repudiated Bertha and married Bertrade on 15 May 1092, in 1094, he was excommunicated by Hugh of Die, for the first time, after a long silence, Pope Urban II repeated the excommunication at the Council of Clermont in November 1095.
In France, the king was opposed by Bishop Ivo of Chartres, Philip appointed Alberic first Constable of France in 1060. A great part of his reign, like his fathers, was spent putting down revolts by his power-hungry vassals, in 1077, he made peace with William the Conqueror, who gave up attempting the conquest of Brittany. In 1082, Philip I expanded his demesne with the annexation of the Vexin, in 1100, he took control of Bourges. It was at the aforementioned Council of Clermont that the First Crusade was launched, Philip at first did not personally support it because of his conflict with Urban II. Philips brother Hugh of Vermandois, was a major participant, Philip died in the castle of Melun and was buried per request at the monastery of Saint-Benoît-sur-Loire – and not in St Denis among his forefathers. He was succeeded by his son, Louis VI, whose succession was, according to Abbot Suger, Philip‘s children with Bertha were, married Hugh I of Champagne before 1097 and then, after her divorce, to Bohemund I of Antioch in 1106
Louis XIII of France
Louis XIII was a monarch of the House of Bourbon who ruled as King of France from 1610 to 1643 and King of Navarre from 1610 to 1620, when the crown of Navarre was merged with the French crown. Shortly before his birthday, Louis became king of France. His mother, Marie de Medici, acted as regent during his minority, Louis XIII, taciturn and suspicious, relied heavily on his chief ministers, first Charles dAlbert, duc de Luynes Cardinal Richelieu, to govern the kingdom of France. King and cardinal are remembered for establishing the Académie française, the reign of Louis the Just was marked by the struggles against Huguenots and Habsburg Spain. This battle marked the end of Spains military ascendancy in Europe and foreshadowed French dominance in Europe under Louis XIV, his son, born at the Château de Fontainebleau, Louis XIII was the oldest child of King Henry IV of France and his second wife Marie de Medici. As son of the king, he was a Fils de France and his father Henry IV was the first French king of the House of Bourbon, having succeeded his ninth cousin, Henry III of France, in application of Salic law.
Louis XIIIs paternal grandparents were Antoine de Bourbon, duc de Vendôme and his maternal grandparents were Francesco I de Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany, and Joanna of Austria, Grand Duchess of Tuscany. Eleonora de Medici, his aunt, was his godmother. His mother Marie de Medici acted as Regent until 1617, although Louis XIII became of age at thirteen, his mother did not give up her position as Regent until 1617. Marie maintained most of her husbands ministers, with the exception of Maximilien de Béthune, Duke of Sully and she mainly relied on Nicolas de Neufville, seigneur de Villeroy, Noël Brûlart de Sillery, and Pierre Jeannin for political advice. Marie pursued a policy, confirming the Edict of Nantes. She was not, able to prevent rebellion by nobles such as Henri, Prince of Condé second in line to the throne after Maries second surviving son Gaston, Duke of Orléans. Condé squabbled with Marie in 1614, and briefly raised an army, but he found support in the country. Nevertheless, Marie agreed to call an Estates General assembly to address Condés grievances, the assembly of this Estates General was delayed until Louis XIII formally came of age on his thirteenth birthday.
Although Louiss coming-of-age formally ended Maries Regency, she remained the de facto ruler of France, the Estates General accomplished little, spending its time discussing the relationship of France to the Papacy and the venality of offices, but reaching no resolutions. Beginning in 1615, Marie came to rely increasingly on the Italian Concino Concini, Concini was widely unpopular because he was a foreigner. This further antagonised Condé, who launched another rebellion in 1616, Huguenot leaders supported Condés rebellion, which led the young Louis XIII to conclude that they would never be loyal subjects. Eventually, Condé and Queen Marie made peace via the Treaty of Loudun, which allowed Condé great power in government, but did not remove Concini
Louis IX of France
Louis IX, commonly known as Saint Louis, was King of France from 1226 until his death. Louis was crowned in Reims at the age of 12, following the death of his father Louis VIII the Lion, although his mother, Blanche of Castile, ruled the kingdom until he reached maturity. During Louiss childhood, Blanche dealt with the opposition of rebellious vassals, as an adult, Louis IX faced recurring conflicts with some of the most powerful nobles, such as Hugh X of Lusignan and Peter of Dreux. Simultaneously, Henry III of England tried to restore his continental possessions and his reign saw the annexation of several provinces, notably Normandy and Provence. Louis IX was a reformer and developed French royal justice, in which the king is the judge to whom anyone is able to appeal to seek the amendment of a judgment. He banned trials by ordeal, tried to prevent the private wars that were plaguing the country, to enforce the correct application of this new legal system, Louis IX created provosts and bailiffs.
According to his vow made after an illness, and confirmed after a miraculous cure. He was succeeded by his son Philip III, Louiss actions were inspired by Christian values and Catholic devotion. He decided to punish blasphemy, interest-bearing loans and prostitution and he expanded the scope of the Inquisition and ordered the burning of Talmuds. He is the only canonized king of France, and there are many places named after him. Much of what is known of Louiss life comes from Jean de Joinvilles famous Life of Saint Louis, two other important biographies were written by the kings confessor, Geoffrey of Beaulieu, and his chaplain, William of Chartres. The fourth important source of information is William of Saint-Parthus biography, while several individuals wrote biographies in the decades following the kings death, only Jean of Joinville, Geoffrey of Beaulieu, and William of Chartres wrote from personal knowledge of the king. Louis was born on 25 April 1214 at Poissy, near Paris, the son of Prince Louis the Lion and Princess Blanche, and baptised in La Collégiale Notre-Dame church.
His grandfather on his fathers side was Philip II, king of France, while his grandfather on his mothers side was Alfonso VIII, tutors of Blanches choosing taught him most of what a king must know—Latin, public speaking, military arts, and government. He was 9 years old when his grandfather Philip II died, a member of the House of Capet, Louis was twelve years old when his father died on 8 November 1226. He was crowned king within the month at Reims cathedral, because of Louiss youth, his mother ruled France as regent during his minority. Louis mother trained him to be a leader and a good Christian. She used to say, I love you, my son, as much as a mother can love her child
Louis XV of France
Louis XV, known as Louis the Beloved, was a monarch of the House of Bourbon who ruled as King of France and Navarre from 1 September 1715 until his death. He succeeded his great-grandfather Louis XIV at the age of five, Cardinal Fleury was his chief minister from 1726 until the Cardinals death in 1743, at which time the young king took sole control of the kingdom. During his reign, Louis returned the Austrian Netherlands, territory won at the Battle of Fontenoy of 1745, Louis ceded New France in North America to Spain and Great Britain at the conclusion of the Seven Years War in 1763. He incorporated the territories of Lorraine and Corsica into the kingdom of France and he was succeeded by his grandson Louis XVI in 1774. French culture and influence were at their height in the first half of the eighteenth century, many scholars believe that Louis XVs decisions damaged the power of France, weakened the treasury, discredited the absolute monarchy, and made it more vulnerable to distrust and destruction.
Evidence for this view is provided by the French Revolution, which broke out 15 years after his death, norman Davies characterized Louis XVs reign as one of debilitating stagnation, characterized by lost wars, endless clashes between the Court and Parliament, and religious feuds. A few scholars defend Louis, arguing that his negative reputation was based on propaganda meant to justify the French Revolution. Jerome Blum described him as a perpetual adolescent called to do a mans job, Louis XV was born in the Palace of Versailles on 15 February 1710 during the reign of Louis XIV. His grandfather, Louis Le Grand Dauphin, had three sons with his wife Marie Anne Victoire of Bavaria, Duke of Burgundy, Duke of Anjou, and Charles, Duke of Berry. Louis XV was the son of the Duke of Burgundy and his wife Marie Adélaïde of Savoy, the eldest daughter of Victor Amadeus II, Duke of Savoy. At birth, Louis XV received a title for younger sons of the French royal family. In April 1711, Louis Le Grand Dauphin suddenly died, making Louis XVs father, the Duke of Burgundy, at that time, Burgundy had two living sons, Duke of Brittany and his youngest son, the future Louis XV.
A year later, Marie Adélaïde, Duchess of Burgundy, contracted smallpox and her husband, said to be heartbroken by her death, died the same week, having contracted smallpox. Within a week of his death, it was clear that the two children had been infected. The elder son was treated by bloodletting in an unsuccessful effort to save him. Fearing that the Dauphin would die, the Court had both the Dauphin and the Duke of Anjou baptised, the Dauphin died the same day,8 March 1712. His younger brother, the Duke of Anjou, was treated by his governess, Madame de Ventadour. The two year old Dauphin survived the smallpox, on 1 September 1715, Louis XIV died of gangrene, having reigned for 72 years
Henry IV of France
Henry IV, known by the epithet Good King Henry, was King of Navarre from 1572 to 1610 and King of France from 1589 to 1610. He was the first French monarch of the House of Bourbon, baptised as a Catholic but raised in the Protestant faith by his mother Jeanne dAlbret, Queen of Navarre, he inherited the throne of Navarre in 1572 on the death of his mother. As a Huguenot, Henry was involved in the French Wars of Religion, barely escaping assassination in the St. Bartholomews Day massacre, and led Protestant forces against the royal army. Henry, as Head of the House of Bourbon, was a direct descendant of Louis IX of France. Upon the death of his brother-in-law and distant cousin Henry III of France in 1589 and he initially kept the Protestant faith and had to fight against the Catholic League, which denied that he could wear Frances crown as a Protestant. To obtain mastery over his kingdom, after four years of stalemate, as a pragmatic politician, he displayed an unusual religious tolerance for the era.
Notably, he promulgated the Edict of Nantes, which guaranteed religious liberties to Protestants and he was assassinated in 1610 by François Ravaillac, a fanatical Catholic, and was succeeded by his son Louis XIII. Considered a usurper by some Catholics and a traitor by some Protestants, an unpopular king immediately after his accession, Henrys popularity greatly improved after his death, in light of repeated victories over his enemies and his conversion to Catholicism. The Good King Henry was remembered for his geniality and his concern about the welfare of his subjects. He was celebrated in the popular song Vive le roi Henri, Henry was born in Pau, the capital of the joint Kingdom of Navarre with the sovereign principality of Béarn. His parents were Queen Joan III of Navarre and her consort, Antoine de Bourbon, Duke of Vendôme, although baptised as a Roman Catholic, Henry was raised as a Protestant by his mother, who had declared Calvinism the religion of Navarre. As a teenager, Henry joined the Huguenot forces in the French Wars of Religion, on 9 June 1572, upon his mothers death, he became King of Navarre.
At Queen Joans death, it was arranged for Henry to marry Margaret of Valois, daughter of Henry II, the wedding took place in Paris on 18 August 1572 on the parvis of Notre Dame Cathedral. On 24 August, the Saint Bartholomews Day Massacre began in Paris, several thousand Protestants who had come to Paris for Henrys wedding were killed, as well as thousands more throughout the country in the days that followed. Henry narrowly escaped death thanks to the help of his wife and he was made to live at the court of France, but he escaped in early 1576. On 5 February of that year, he formally abjured Catholicism at Tours and he named his 16-year-old sister, Catherine de Bourbon, regent of Béarn. Catherine held the regency for nearly thirty years, Henry became heir presumptive to the French throne in 1584 upon the death of Francis, Duke of Anjou and heir to the Catholic Henry III, who had succeeded Charles IX in 1574. Because Henry of Navarre was the senior agnatic descendant of King Louis IX, King Henry III had no choice