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Charibert I

Charibert I was the Merovingian King of Paris, the second-eldest son of Chlothar I and his first wife Ingund. His elder brother Gunthar died sometime before their father's death, he shared in the partition of the Frankish kingdom that followed his father’s death in 561, receiving the old kingdom of Childebert I, with its capital at Paris. Charibert married Ingoberga and they had four children: Blithide of Cologne married to Ansbertus, Gallo-Roman senator Chrodobertus Bertha, who married Æthelberht of KentCharibert had several concubines. By Merofleda, a wool carder's daughter, her sister Marcovefa, he had daughters: Berteflede and Clothilde. By Theodogilda, a cowherd's daughter. Charibert married his daughter Bertha to the pagan King of Kent, she took Bishop Liudhard with her as her private confessor. Her influence in the Kentish court was instrumental in the success of St. Augustine of Canterbury's mission in 597, effecting the conversion to Christianity of the first Anglo-Saxon ruler. In 556, Chlothar sent his sons Charibert and Gunthram against their stepmother, "Chunna," and younger stepbrother, "Chramn," who were in revolt.

During ongoing negotiations, Chramn was hiding out on Black Mountain in the Limousin. When the negotiations failed, the two armies prepared for battle. However, a thunderstorm prevented any engagement, Chramn sent forged letters to his brothers in which he falsely reported the death of their father. Charibert and Guntram returned to Burgundy to secure their positions. After the actual death of Chlothar in 561, the Frankish kingdom was divided between his sons in a new configuration; each son ruled a distinct realm, not geographically coherent but could contain two unconnected regions. Their kingdoms were named after the city. Charibert received Neustria and Novempopulana with Paris as his capital, his other chief cities were Rouen, Poitiers, Bordeaux, Toulouse and Albi. Guntram received Burgundy. Sigebert received Austrasia with his capital at Metz, the youngest brother Chilperic received a compact kingdom with Soissons as its capital. Though Charibert was eloquent and learned in the law, Gregory of Tours found him one of the most dissolute of the early Merovingians.

He maintained four concurrent wives, two of them sisters, this resulted in his excommunication by Germanus. This was the first excommunication of a Merovingian king; as a result, he was buried in disgrace at Blavia castellum, a stronghold in the Tractatus Armoricani. At his death, his brothers divided his realm between them, agreeing at first to hold Paris in common, his surviving queen, proposed a marriage with Guntram, though a council held at Paris in 557 had outlawed such matches as incestuous. Guntram decided to house her more safely, though unwillingly, in a nunnery at Arles; the main source for Charibert's life is Gregory of Tours' History of the Franks, from the English perspective Bede's Ecclesiastic History of the English People. Bachrach, Bernard S. Merovingian Military Organization, 481–751. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1971. Historia Francorum Books I-IX at Medieval Sourcebook

Joan of France, Duchess of Berry

Joan of France, was Queen of France as wife of King Louis XII, in between the death of her brother, King Charles VIII, the annulment of her marriage. After that, she retired to her domain, where she soon founded the monastic Order of the Sisters of the Annunciation of Mary, where she served as abbess. From this Order sprang the religious congregation of the Apostolic Sisters of the Annunciation, founded in 1787 to teach the children of the poor, she was canonized on 28 May 1950 and is known in the Roman Catholic Church as Saint Joan of Valois, O. Ann. M.. Joan was born on 23 April 1464 in the castle of Pierre II de Brézé, a trusted supporter of her grandfather, King Charles VII of France, at Nogent-le-Roi in the County of Dreux, she was the second daughter of King Louis XI of France and of his second wife Charlotte of Savoy. Shortly after her birth, the king signed an agreement to marry her to his second cousin Louis, the Duke of Orléans King Louis XII of France, aged two at the time. Joan was born sickly and deformed.

In Women Saints – Lives of Faith and Courage, Kathleen Jones says that Joan had a hump on her back and walked with a limp, suggesting that she had curvature of the spine. Away on royal duties, King Louis entrusted his daughters and Anne, to the Baron François de Linières and his wife, Anne de Culan; the couple, who were childless, lavished affection on Joan. Taking charge of her education, they had her taught both poetry and mathematics, painting and how to play the lute; the couple were faithful Catholics and instilled in the members of their household a solid grounding in the faith. At a young age, her father asked her to name the confessor, she gave him the only name she knew, that of Friar Jean de La Fontaine, Guardian of the Franciscan friary in Amboise. The king appointed the friar to this post. Despite the distance between them, he would travel to hear the princess's confession. Joan began to develop a strong pleasure in prayer, would pass long periods in the castle chapel; the baron supported her in this and had a path paved between the castle and the chapel built for easier walking in poor weather.

Under the friar's guidance she was admitted into the Third Order of St. Francis. In 1471 King Louis XI ordered the practice of praying the Hail Mary throughout the kingdom for peace. Joan had a strong attachment to this particular prayer, she would write that it was in that same year that she had received a prophecy from the Virgin Mary that some day she would found a religious community in honor of Our Lady. In 1473 King Louis had signed marriage contracts for his daughters. On 8 September 1476, at the age of 12, Joan was married to the young Louis, Duke of Orléans in Montrichard. Louis of Orléans was compelled to be married to his handicapped and sterile cousin Joan. By doing so, Louis XI hoped to extinguish the Orléans cadet branch of the House of Valois. Louis was displeased at the forced marriage, his treatment of his new wife reflected this. King Louis died in 1483 and was succeeded by his son Charles, but as he was still a child, his sister, Anne de Beaujeu, was made Regent of the kingdom.

By 1484, the duke had begun a series of military campaigns against the kingdom. This lasted until 1488. During this period, he fathered an illegitimate son, Michel de Bussy, appointed the Bishop of Bourges. Joan administered his domain during his imprisonment the Italian cities of Milan and Asti. Joan, imagining virtues in her husband that did not exist, exerted herself to mitigate his sufferings and to get him freed. Duke Louis was released in 1491. Within a few years, he accompanied King Charles in his military campaign in Italy; when Louis ascended to the throne in April 1498 after the accidental death of Joan's brother, King Charles VIII, he appealed to the pope to have the marriage annulled in order to marry the late king's widow, Anne of Brittany, in the hope of annexing the Duchy of Brittany to the French Crown. In what has been described as "one of the seamiest lawsuits of the age", Louis did not, as might be expected, argue the marriage to be void due to consanguinity. Louis argued that he had been below the legal age of consent to marry and that the marriage had never been consummated due to her physical deformity, provided a rich variety of detail as to how she was malformed.

Joan, fought this uncertain charge fiercely, producing witnesses to Louis boasting of having "mounted my wife three or four times during the night." Louis claimed that his sexual performance had been inhibited by witchcraft. Joan would have won, for Louis's case was exceedingly weak, however Pope Alexander VI was committed for political reasons to grant the annulment; the commission of investigation appointed by the pope established that the marriage with Joan was invalid for lack of consent and that it never had been consummated. Accordingly, he ruled against the Queen; the annulment was declared on 15 December 1498. Joan stepped aside, she was retired to Bourges, capital of the duchy. Once settled in her new domain, Joan confided to her spiritual director, the Blessed Gabriel Mary, O. F. M, her call to monastic life. He supported her in this venture, she began to make plans for the Order of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, a new enclosed

John W. Wilton

Captain John W. Wilton was a lawyer and politician in Manitoba, Canada, he was born in High Bluff, the son of Henry Wilton and Jean Barron, was educated in Morden and at Manitoba University. Wilton taught school for five years before coming to Winnipeg in 1901, he was called to the Manitoba bar in 1906 and practised law in Winnipeg. In 1905, Wilton married Lily L. Hobkirk, he was president of the National Loan & Investment Corporation and vice-president of the Central Canada Investment Corporation. His sister Winifred Wilton Wilson was the first woman called to the Manitoba bar and one of the first two women to practice law in the province. Wilton served in the Legislative Assembly of Manitoba from 1915 to 1920, as a member of the Liberal Party, he first ran for the Manitoba legislature in the 1914 provincial election, finished second against Conservative John Thomas Haig in the Winnipeg-area constituency of Assiniboia. He ran again in the 1915 campaign, defeated Labour candidate William Bayley by fifty-five votes.

The Liberals won a landslide victory in this election, Wilton served as a backbench supporter of Tobias Norris's government for the next five years. Wilton introduced the Workers Compensation Act and the Soldiers' Taxation Relief Act into the legislature, he appears to have left the Liberal Party just before the 1920 provincial election: campaigning for re-election as an independent, he lost to William Bayley by 103 seats. In 1916, Wilton joined the Canadian forces as a private, he served overseas and reached the rank of captain. Wilton died in Winnipeg at the age of 63 after suffering a heart attack