Battle of Roche-au-Moine
The Battle of Roche-au-Moine was a battle between the Kingdom of France and the Kingdom of England in 1214. When John besieged the castle, he retreated after he was refused support from Angevin nobles, in 1214 John began his final campaign to reclaim Normandy from Philip. Nonetheless, when John left for Poitou in February 1214, many refused to provide military service. Johns plan was to split Philips forces by pushing north-east from Poitou towards Paris, whilst Otto and Ferdinand, supported by William Longespée, marched south-west from Flanders. The first part of the campaign went well, with John outmanoeuvring the forces under the command of Prince Louis, John besieged the castle of Roche-au-Moine, a key stronghold, forcing Louis to give battle against Johns larger army. The local Angevin nobles refused to advance with the king, left at something of a disadvantage, shortly afterwards, Philip won the hard-fought battle of Bouvines in the east against Otto and Johns other allies, bringing an end to Johns hopes of retaking Normandy.
A peace agreement was signed in which John returned Anjou to Philip and paid the French king compensation, John arrived back in England in October. The Feudal Kingdom of England, 1042–1216, the Struggle for Mastery, The Penguin History of Britain 1066–1284
Charles I of Anjou
Thereafter, he claimed the island, though his power was restricted to the peninsular possessions of the kingdom, with his capital at Naples. Charles was the child and youngest son of Louis VIII of France and Blanche of Castile. He conquered the Kingdom of Sicily from the Hohenstaufen and acquired lands in the eastern Mediterranean, the War of the Sicilian Vespers forced him to abandon his plans to reassemble the Latin Empire. By marriage to Beatrice of Provence, heiress of Raymond Berengar IV of Provence, he was Count of Provence, in 1247, his brother Louis IX made him Count of Anjou and Maine, as appanages of the French crown. By conquest and self-proclamation, he became King of Albania in 1272, by the testament of William II of Villehardouin, he inherited the Principality of Achaea in 1278. Charles was born in March 1227, four months after the death of his father, like his immediate older brother, Philip Dagobert, he did not receive a county as appanage, as had their older brothers. In 1232, his brothers Philip Dagobert and John, Count of Anjou and Maine, Charles became the next in line to receive the Counties, but was formally invested only in 1247.
The affection of his mother Blanche seems largely to have bestowed upon his brother Louis. The self-reliance this engendered in Charles may account for the drive, upon his accession as Count of Provence and Forcalquier in 1246, Charles rapidly found himself in difficulties. Furthermore, while Provence was technically a part of the Burgundy and hence of the Holy Roman Empire, recent counts had governed with a light hand, and the nobilities and cities had enjoyed great liberties. Three cities, Marseille and Avignon were Imperial cities technically separate from the county. In 1247, while Charles was in France to receive the counties of Anjou and Maine, the local nobility joined with Beatrice, unfortunately for Charles, he had promised to join his brother on the Seventh Crusade. For the time being, Charles compromised with Beatrice, allowing her to have Forcalquier, rich Provence provided the funds that supported his wider career. His rights as landlord were, on the whole, of recent establishment, from the Church, unlike his brothers in the north, he received virtually nothing.
Charles agents were efficient, the towns were prosperous, the peasants were buying up the duties of corvée and establishing self-governing consulats in the villages, Charles sailed with the rest of the Crusaders from Aigues-Mortes in 1248 and fought at Damietta and in the struggle around Mansourah, Egypt. However, his piety does not seem to have matched that of his brother, during his absence, open rebellion had broken out in Provence. Charles moved to suppress it, and Arles, Marseille held out until July 1252, but sued for peace. Charles imposed a lenient peace, but insisted on the recognition of his full rights, in November 1252, the death of his mother Blanche of Castile caused him to go north to Paris and assume the joint regency of the kingdom with his brother Alphonse
Isabelle of France (saint)
Isabelle of France was the daughter of Louis VIII of France and Blanche of Castile. She was a sister of King Louis IX of France and of Alfonso, Count of Poitiers. In 1256, she founded the Poor Clare Monastery of Longchamp in the part of the Forest of Rouvray and she is honored as a saint by the Franciscan Order. Isabelles father died and it was Isabelles mother, who oversaw her education and she could read both Latin, and the vernacular, and enjoyed tales of chivalry as well as devotional texts. While pursuing the traditional feminine interests such as embroidery, she took pleasure in working on priestly vestments. When still a child at court, Isabelle was already devoted to religion, by the papal bull of 26 May 1254, Pope Innocent IV allowed her to retain some Franciscan friars as her special confessors. She was even more devoted to the Franciscan Order than her royal brother, she refused the hand of Conrad IV of Germany, son of Frederick II, Holy Roman Emperor, although was pressed to accept him by everyone, even by Innocent IV.
As Isabelle wished to found a monastery of Poor Clares, her brother King Louis began in 1255 to acquire the land in the Forest of Rouvray, not far from the Seine. On 10 June 1256, the first slide of the church was laid. Not as strict as that rule, the community was allowed to hold property, the monastery was named the Monastery of the Humility of the Blessed Virgin. In the Rule the nuns were called the Sisters of the order of servants of the most Blessed Virgin Mary. The nuns were subject to the Friars Minor, some of the first nuns came from the Poor Clare monastery in Reims. Isabelle never joined the community herself, but did live in the monastery in a separate from the nun’s cells. She suffered from illnesses during her life, which prevented her from following the rule of life for the nuns, Isabelle refused to become abbess, which allowed her to retain her wealth and resources, so she could support them and continue to give to the poor. She kept a discipline of silence for most of her day, Isabelle died at Longchamp on 23 February 1270, and was buried in the monastery church.
After nine days her body was exhumed, when it showed no signs of decay, in 1521 Pope Leo X allowed the Monastery of Longchamp to celebrate her feast day with a special Office. On 4 June 1637, a second took place. The Monastery of Longchamp had many vicissitudes, the French Revolution closed it, and in 1794 the empty building was offered for sale, but, as no one wished to purchase it, it was destroyed
First Barons' War
King John in June 1215 was forced to put his seal to The Articles of the Barons by a group of powerful barons who could no longer stand Johns failed leadership and despotic rule. The kings Great Seal was attached to it on 15 June 1215, in return, the barons renewed their oaths of fealty to King John on 19 July 1215. A formal document to record the agreement was created by the chancery on 15 July. The law of the land is one of the great watchwords of Magna Carta, the Magna Carta of 1215 contained clauses which in theory noticeably reduced the power of the king, such as clause 61, the security clause. After a few months of half-hearted attempts to negotiate in the summer of 1215, the war began over the Magna Carta but quickly turned into a dynastic war for the throne of England. The rebel barons, faced with a king, turned to Louis and heir apparent of King Philip II of France. The Norman invasion had occurred only 149 years before, and the relationship between England and France was not so simply adversarial as it became.
The contemporary document called the annals of Waverley sees no contradiction in stating that Louis was invited to invade in order to prevent the realm being pillaged by aliens, at first, in November 1215, Louis simply sent the barons a contingent of knights to protect London. However, even at that stage he agreed to an invasion, despite discouragement from his father. This came in May 1216, when watchmen on the coast of Thanet detected sails on the horizon, and on the next day, John decided to escape to the Saxon capital of Winchester, and so Louis had little resistance on his march to London. He entered London, with little resistance, and was received by the rebel barons and citizens of London. Many nobles gathered to give homage to him, including Alexander II of Scotland, many of Johns supporters, sensing a tide of change, moved to support the barons. Gerald of Wales remarked, The madness of slavery is over, on 14 June Louis captured Winchester and soon conquered over half of the English kingdom.
In the meantime, the King of France taunted his son for trying to conquer England without first seizing its key, Dover. The royal castles at Canterbury and Rochester, their towns, and indeed, most of Kent had already fallen to Louis and its constable, Hubert de Burgh, had a well-supplied garrison of men. The first siege began on 19 July, with Louis taking the ground to the north of the castle. His men successfully undermined the barbican and attempted to topple the castle gate, in the meantime Louiss occupation of Kent was being undermined by a guerrilla force of Wealden archers raised and led by William of Cassingham. After three months spent besieging the castle, and with a part of his forces diverted by the siege, Louis called a truce on 14 October
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
Blanche of Castile
Blanche of Castile was Queen of France by marriage to Louis VIII. She acted as regent twice during the reign of her son, Louis IX, during his minority from 1226 until 1234 and she was born in Palencia, Spain,1188, the third daughter of Alfonso VIII, king of Castile, and Eleanor of England. Eleanor was a daughter of Henry II of England and Eleanor of Aquitaine, in her youth, she visited the Abbey of Santa María la Real de Las Huelgas, founded by her parents, several times. In consequence of the Treaty of Le Goulet between Philip Augustus and John of England, Blanches sister, was betrothed to Philips son, Louis. Their grandmother Eleanor of Aquitaine, after meeting the two sisters, judged that Blanches personality was more fit for a consort of France. In the spring of 1200, Eleanor crossed the Pyrenees with her, the marriage was celebrated the next day, at Port-Mort on the right bank of the Seine, in Johns domains, as those of Philip lay under an interdict. Blanche was twelve years of age, and Louis was only a year older so the marriage was consummated a few years later, Blanche bore her first child in 1205.
During the English barons rebellion of 1215-16 against King John, it was Blanches English ancestry as granddaughter to Henry II that led to Louis being offered the throne of England as Louis I. However, with the death of John in October 1216, the changed their allegiance to Johns son. Louis continued to claim the English crown in her right, only to find a nation against him. Philip Augustus refused to help his son, and Blanche was his sole support, Blanche raised money from her father-in-law by threatening to put up her children as hostages. She established herself at Calais and organized two fleets, one of which was commanded by Eustace the Monk, and an army under Robert I, Latin Emperor. With French forces defeated at Lincoln in May 1217 and routed on their way back to their London stronghold, on 24 August, the English fleet destroyed the French fleet carrying those reinforcements off Sandwich and Louis was forced to sue for peace. Philip died in July 1223, and Louis VIII and Blanche were crowned on August 6, upon Louis death in November 1226 from dysentery, he left Blanche, by 38, regent and guardian of his children.
Of her twelve or thirteen children, six had died, and Louis and she had him crowned within a month of his fathers death in Reims and forced reluctant barons to swear allegiance to him. The situation was critical, since Louis VIII had died without having completely subdued his southern nobles, the kings minority made the Capetian domains even more vulnerable. To gain support, she released Ferdinand, Count of Flanders and she ceded land and castles to Philip I, Count of Boulogne, son of Philip II and his controversial wife Agnes of Merania. Several key barons, led by Peter Mauclerc, refused to recognize the coronation of the young king, shortly after the coronation and Louis were traveling south of Paris and nearly captured
The Albigensian Crusade or Cathar Crusade was a 20-year military campaign initiated by Pope Innocent III to eliminate Catharism in Languedoc, in the south of France. The reforms were a reaction against the scandalous and dissolute lifestyles of the Catholic clergy in southern France. They became known as the Albigensians, because there were many adherents in the city of Albi, Innocent IIIs diplomatic attempts to roll back Catharism met with little success. After the murder of his legate, Pierre de Castelnau, in 1208 and he offered the lands of the Cathar heretics to any French nobleman willing to take up arms. After initial successes, the French barons faced an uprising in Languedoc which led to the intervention of the French royal army. The Albigensian Crusade had a role in the creation and institutionalization of both the Dominican Order and the medieval inquisition. By the 12th century, organized groups of dissidents, such as the Waldensians and Cathars, were beginning to appear in the towns and cities of newly urbanized areas.
In western Mediterranean France, one of the most urbanized areas of Europe at the time, the Cathars grew to represent a mass movement. Relatively few believers took the consolamentum to become full Cathars, the theology of the Cathars was dualistic, a belief in two equal and comparable transcendental principles, the force of good, and Satan, or the demiurge, the force of evil. They held that the world was evil and created by this demiurge. Rex Mundi encompassed all that was corporeal and powerful, the Cathar understanding of God was entirely disincarnate, they viewed God as a being or principle of pure spirit and completely unsullied by the taint of matter. He was the God of love and peace, jesus was an angel with only a phantom body, and the accounts of him in the New Testament were to be understood allegorically. As the physical world and the body were the creation of the evil principle. Civil authority had no claim on a Cathar, since this was the rule of the physical world, deriving from earlier varieties of gnosticism, Cathar theology found its greatest success in the Languedoc.
The Cathars were known as Albigensians because of their association with the city of Albi, in Languedoc, political control was divided among many local lords and town councils. Before the crusade there was fighting in the area and it had a fairly sophisticated polity. Western Mediterranean France itself was at that time divided between the Crown of Aragon and the county of Toulouse, on becoming Pope in 1198, Innocent III resolved to deal with the Cathars and sent a delegation of friars to the province of Languedoc to assess the situation. One of the most powerful, Count Raymond VI, Count of Toulouse, openly supported the Cathars and he refused to assist the delegation
Louis VIII of France
Louis VIII the Lion was King of France from 1223 to 1226. He claimed the title King of England from 1216 to 1217, Louis VIII was born in Paris, the son of King Philip II of France and Isabelle of Hainaut, from whom he inherited the County of Artois. While Louis VIII only briefly reigned as king of France, he was a leader in his years as crown prince. During the First Barons War of 1215-17 against King John of England, after his victory at the Battle of Roche-au-Moine in 1214, he invaded southern England and was proclaimed King of England by rebellious barons in London on the 2 June 1216. He was never crowned and renounced his claim after being excommunicated and repelled, in 1217, Louis started the conquest of Guyenne, leaving only a small region around Bordeaux to Henry III of England. Louiss short reign was marked by an intervention using royal forces into the Albigensian Crusade in southern France that decisively moved the conflict towards a conclusion and he died in 1226 and was succeeded by his son Louis IX.
In summer 1195, a marriage between Louis and Eleanor of Brittany, niece of Richard I of England, was suggested for an alliance between Philip II and Richard, but it failed and this led to a sudden deterioration in relations between Richard and Philip. On 23 May 1200, at the age of 12, Louis was married to Blanche of Castile, daughter of King Alfonso VIII of Castile and Eleanor of England, the marriage could only be concluded after prolonged negotiations between King Philip II of France and Blanches uncle John. In 1214, King John of England began his campaign to reclaim the Duchy of Normandy from Philip II. John was optimistic, as he had built up alliances with Holy Roman Emperor Otto IV, Count Renaud of Boulogne. Johns plan was to split Philips forces by pushing north-east from Poitou towards Paris, while Otto and Ferdinand, supported by the Earl of Salisbury, marched south-west from Flanders. Whereas Philip II took personal command of the front against the emperor and his allies. The first part of the campaign went well for the English, with John outmanoeuvring the forces under the command of Prince Louis, John besieged the castle of Roche-au-Moine, a key stronghold, forcing Louis to give battle against Johns larger army.
The local Angevin nobles refused to advance with the king, left at something of a disadvantage, shortly afterwards, Philip won the hard-fought Battle of Bouvines in the north against Otto and Johns other allies, bringing an end to Johns hopes of retaking Normandy. In 1215, the English barons rebelled against the unpopular King John in the First Barons War, the barons offered the throne to Prince Louis, who landed unopposed on the Isle of Thanet in eastern Kent, England, at the head of an army on 21 May 1216. There was little resistance when the prince entered London, and Louis was proclaimed king at Old St Pauls Cathedral with great pomp and celebration in the presence of all of London. Even though he was not crowned, many nobles, as well as King Alexander II of Scotland on behalf of his English possessions, on 14 June 1216, Louis captured Winchester and soon controlled over half of the English kingdom. But just when it seemed that England was his, King Johns death in October 1216 caused many of the barons to desert Louis in favour of Johns nine-year-old son
Alphonse, Count of Poitiers
Alphonse or Alfonso was the Count of Poitou from 1225 and Count of Toulouse from 1249. Born at Poissy, Alphonse was a son of Louis VIII, King of France and he was a younger brother of Louis IX of France and an older brother of Charles I of Sicily. In 1229, his mother, who was regent of France and it stipulated that a brother of King Louis was to marry Joan of Toulouse, daughter of Raymond VII of Toulouse, and so in 1237 Alphonse married her. Since she was Raymonds only child, they became rulers of Toulouse at Raymonds death in 1249, by the terms of his fathers will he received an appanage of Poitou and Auvergne. To enforce this Louis IX won the battle of Taillebourg in the Saintonge War together with Alphonse against a revolt allied with king Henry III of England, Alphonse took part in two crusades with his brother, St Louis, in 1248 and in 1270. For the first of these, he raised a large sum and he sailed for home on 10 August 1250. His father-in-law had died while he was away, and he went directly to Toulouse to take possession.
There was some resistance to his accession as count, which was suppressed with the help of his mother Blanche of Castile who was acting as regent in the absence of Louis IX, the county of Toulouse, since then, was joined to Alphonses appanage. In 1252, on the death of his mother, Blanche of Castile, aside from the crusades, Alphonse stayed primarily in Paris, governing his estates by officials, inspectors who reviewed the officials work, and a constant stream of messages. His main work was on his own estates, there he repaired the evils of the Albigensian war and made a first attempt at administrative centralization, thus preparing the way for union with the crown. The charter known as Alphonsine, granted to the town of Riom and he is noted for ordering the first recorded local expulsion of Jews, when he did so in Poitou in 1249. When Louis IX again engaged in a crusade, Alphonse again raised a sum of money. This time, however, he did not return to France, dying while on his way back, probably at Savona in Italy, Alphonses death without heirs raised some questions as to the succession to his lands.
One possibility was that they should revert to the crown, another that they should be redistributed to his family. The latter was claimed by Charles of Anjou, but in 1283 Parlement decided that the County of Toulouse should revert to the crown, Alphonses wife Joan had attempted to dispose of some of her inherited lands in her will. But, her will was invalidated by Parlement in 1274, one specific bequest in Alphonses will, giving his wifes lands in the Comtat Venaissin to the Holy See, was allowed, and it became a Papal territory, a status that it retained until 1791. Hallam, Elizabeth M. Capetian France, 987-1328, women rulers throughout the ages, an illustrated guide. The Feudal Monarchy in France and England from the Tenth to the Thirteenth Century, in R. L. Wolff, H. W. Hazard
Robert I, Count of Artois
Robert I, called the Good, was the first Count of Artois, the fifth son of Louis VIII of France and Blanche of Castile. He received Artois as an appanage, in accordance with the will of his father on attaining his majority in 1237. In 1240 Pope Gregory IX, in conflict with the Emperor Frederick II, offered to crown Robert as emperor in opposition to Frederick, on 14 June 1237 Robert married Matilda, daughter of Henry II of Brabant and Marie of Hohenstaufen. They had two children, Blanche Robert II, who succeeded to Artois, while participating in the Seventh Crusade, Robert died while leading a reckless attack on Al Mansurah, without the knowledge of his brother King Louis IX. He and the Templars after fording a river, charged a Mamluk outpost in which the Mamluk commander, enbolded by his success, the Templar knights, and a contingent of English troops charged into the town and became trapped in the narrow streets. According to Jean de Joinville, he defended himself for some time in a house there, Jean Dunbabin, Charles I of Anjou, Power and State-Making in Thirteenth-Century, Routledge,2014.
Jean-François Nieus, Un pouvoir comtal entre Flandre et France, Saint-Pol, 1000-1300, a History of the Crusades, Vol. II, ed. Kenneth M. Setton, University of Wisconsin,1969, Charles T. Wood, The French Apanages and the Capetian Monarchy, Harvard University Press,1966