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
Louis Alphonse, Duke of Anjou
Louis Alphonse of Bourbon, Duke of Anjou is a member of the Royal House of Bourbon, and one of the current pretenders to the defunct French throne as Louis XX. He is related to the British royal family, being the grandson of Queen Victoria of England. Louis Alphonse is a great-grandson of King Alfonso XIII of Spain, through his mother, he is a great-grandson of Spains former dictator General Francisco Franco. Louis Alphonse was born in Madrid, the son of Alfonso de Borbón, Duke of Anjou and Cádiz. Alfonso was at time the dauphin according to those who supported the claim of his father, Infante Jaime. On 20 March 1975, the Infante Jaime died, Alfonso asserted his claim to be both Head of the House of Bourbon and Legitimist claimant to the throne of France. As such, he took the title Duke of Anjou, Louis Alphonses parents separated in 1982, and their Catholic marriage was annulled in 1986. From that date Louis Alphonse was recognised as the apparent to his father by the Legitimists. As such, he was given the additional title Duke of Bourbon on 27 September 1984 by his father, on 30 January 1989, his father died in a skiing accident near Vail, Colorado.
Later, in 1994 Louis Alphonse would receive 150 million pesetas following a lawsuit against Vail Associated, Louis Alphonse was recognised by some members of the Capetian dynasty as Chef de la Maison de Bourbon and took the title Duke of Anjou, but not his fathers Spanish dukedom. He is considered the rightful pretender to the French throne by adherents of the Legitimist movement, louis’ father was elected by the French Society of the Cincinnati to be the representative of Louis XVI. On 16 June 1994, Louis Alphonse was elected to succeed his father as the representative of Louis XVI, in accordance to the statutes of this society, he represents the French king by order of succession as the eldest male of the senior collateral line. In addition to his Spanish citizenship, Louis Alphonse acquired French nationality through his grandmother, Emmanuelle de Dampierre. He attended the Lycée Français de Madrid, obtaining his COU in June 1992 and he worked several years for BNP Paribas, a French bank in Madrid.
Although he regularly visited France, where his mother lived for several years, Louis Alphonses engagement to marry Venezuelan María Margarita Vargas Santaella, the daughter of Victor Vargas, was announced in November 2003. They were married civilly in Caracas on 5 November 2004 and religiously on 6 November 2004 in La Romana, none of the members of the Spanish royal family attended the wedding. As from 2005, the couple resided in Venezuela, where he worked at Banco Occidental de Descuento, they currently live in Madrid. Louis Alphonse and Maria Margarita had their first child, a daughter, named Eugénie, on 5 March 2007, at Mount Sinai Medical Center and she was baptised at the papal nunciature in Paris in June 2007
Charles III, Duke of Bourbon
He was the Constable of France from 1515 to 1521. Also known as the Constable of Bourbon, he was the last of the feudal lords to oppose the King of France himself. He commanded the Imperial troops of Holy Roman Emperor Charles V in what known as the Sack of Rome in 1527. Charles was born at Montpensier, the son of Gilbert. Clara was a daughter of Federico I Gonzaga, Marquess of Mantua, Gilbert died in 1496, and his elder son Louis II, Count of Montpensier died unwed in 1501, leaving Charles the heir to the familys titles and extensive lands in Auvergne. On 10 May 1505, Charles married his second cousin, Suzanne. It was a match, intended to settle the question of succession to the Bourbon estates, which had arisen because Suzannes father. Charles was the scion of the next-senior Bourbon line, and thus the heir male of the House of Bourbon, with the marriage, Charless position as Duke of Bourbon became undisputed. However, Francis was uneasy with the proud and wealthy duke, the death of his wife in 1521 provoked the final breach between Charles and Francis I.
Suzanne had left all her estates to Charles, but the Kings mother, Louise of Savoy, claimed them as the heir in proximity in blood, due to their previous entailments. She proposed to settle the question by marrying Charles, he refused the proposal because Louise was over forty-five years of age, on behalf of his mother, Francis confiscated a portion of the Bourbon estates before the lawsuit had even been opened. Seeing no hope of prevailing, Charles made an agreement to betray his King. The Emperor, the Constable, and King Henry VIII of England devised a plan to partition France. This however came to nothing because the plot was discovered, Charles was stripped of his offices and he fled into Italy in 1523. In 1524, he drove the French under Bonnivet from Lombardy, the Emperor gave Duke Charles command of a mixed Spanish-German army sent to chastise Pope Clement VII. He neglected to supply this army with money or food, though Clement arranged a truce with the Emperor, the army continued its advance, reaching Rome in May 1527.
By Suzanne, Charles was the father of twins and of Francis of Bourbon, the county of Montpensier and dauphinate of Auvergne were returned to his sister Louise
Louis XI of France
Louis XI, called the Prudent, was a monarch of the House of Valois who ruled as King of France from 1461 to 1483. He succeeded his father Charles VII. Louis was a devious, the king forgave his rebellious vassals, including Louis, to whom he entrusted the management of the Dauphiné, a province in southeastern France. Louiss ceaseless intrigues, led his father to 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, when Charles VII died in 1461, Louis left the Burgundian court to take possession of his kingdom. His taste for intrigue and his diplomatic activity earned him the nicknames the Cunning. In 1472, the subsequent Duke of Burgundy, Charles the Bold, Louis was able to isolate Charles from his English allies by signing the Treaty of Picquigny 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, 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 in 1483 and was succeeded by his son Charles VIII, 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 family for driving the English out of France. Just a few weeks after Louiss christening at the Cathedral of St. Étienne on 4 July 1423, shortly thereafter, a combined Anglo-Burgundian army threatened Bourges itself.
Duke Philip II was the reigning Duke of Burgundy while he was king, phillip was an uncle of King Charles VI, and he actually served on a council of regents for King Charles. The Dukes of Anjou and Bourbon, all uncles of Charles VI, 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, 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, Joan led troops in other victories at the Battle of Jargeau and the Battle of Patay. Nevertheless, Louis grew up aware of the weakness of the French nation
Charles II, Duke of Bourbon
Charles II, Duke of Bourbon, was Archbishop of Lyon from an early age and a French diplomat under the rule of Louis XI of France. He had a 2-week tenure as Duke of Bourbon in 1488, being ousted afterward by his brother and successor, Peter II. This election followed the death of Amedée de Talaru and the renunciation of John III of Bourbon, illegitimate offspring of his grandfather John I, Duke of Bourbon. In January 7,1469 Charles II signed a letters patent as the kings adviser, at Plessis-lèz-Tours. As namesake, he was, along with Joan of Valois, Duchess of Bourbon and Edward of Westminster, when Louis XI ends the Hundred Years War in 1475, the archbishop assisted him in diplomatic matters while the king lives with Charles II at the Notre-Dame-de-la-Victoire-lès-Senlis abbey near Senlis. He arrives with Louis XI and his elder brother John II of Bourbon in August 19 at Picquigny to sign the eponymous treaty, later, in October 16 he signed in the abbey a letters patent to reestablish peaceable relations with Francis II, Duke of Brittany.
Again, in January 8,1476, as the head of the Kings Council, Charles II signs four letters patent, from 1472 to 1476, he was incumbent as the papal legate at Avignon though he only arrived there November 23,1473. In May 23,1474, the Pope Sixtus IV appoints his nephew Giuliano della Rovere as bishop of Avignon and this set Louis XI and the pope into conflict, with the royal army and papal troops coming to bear. In June 15,1476, to resolve this difficulty, the king welcomed Giuliano della Rovere at Lyon and this is the reason why, in 1476, he became the administrator of the diocese of Clermont and was made a Cardinal by Sixtus IV. It seems that after leaving Avignon, Charles II followed again in the wake of Louis XI, the cardinal was present with the king at Arras in March 18,1477, during the campaign following the death of Charles the Bold. He was in 1486 the first commendatory abbot of the Priory Notre-Dame de La Charité-sur-Loire and he was Duke of Bourbon and Auvergne for a short period of time in April 1488, succeeding his elder brother, John II when the latter died in April 1.
This prompted Charles II, as his brothers nearest heir, to claim the inheritance in the Bourbonnais. The move was not tolerated by his brother and Peters wife, Anne of France. Charles died in the year in mysterious circumstances. His brief tenure of the title during the period 1 April-15 April would, however, be confirmed in 1505. Charles II had with Gabrielle Bartine an illegitimate daughter, made legitimate by Charles VIII, Charles II of Bourbon features in Victor Hugos novel The Hunchback of Notre-Dame
Louis XII of France
Louis XII was a monarch of the House of Valois who ruled as King of France from 1498 to 1515 and King of Naples from 1501 to 1504. The son of Charles, Duke of Orléans, and Maria of Cleves, he succeeded his cousin Charles VIII, who died without a closer heir in 1498. Before his accession to the throne of France, he was known as Louis of Orléans and was compelled to be married to his disabled and supposedly sterile cousin Joan by his second cousin, king Louis XI. By doing so, Louis XI hoped to extinguish the Orléans cadet branch of the House of Valois, Louis of Orléans was one of the great feudal lords who opposed the French monarchy in the conflict known as the Mad War. At the royal victory in the Battle of Saint-Aubin-du-Cormier in 1488, Louis was captured and he subsequently took part in the Italian War of 1494–1498 as one of the French commanders. When Louis XII became king in 1498, he had his marriage with Joan annulled by Pope Alexander VI and instead married Anne of Brittany and this marriage allowed Louis to reinforce the personal Union of Brittany and France.
Louis persevered in the Italian Wars, initiating a second Italian campaign for the control of the Kingdom of Naples, Louis conquered the Duchy of Milan in 1500 and pushed forward to the Kingdom of Naples, which fell to him in 1501. Proclaimed King of Naples, Louis faced a new coalition gathered by Ferdinand II of Aragon and was forced to cede Naples to Spain in 1504. A popular king, Louis was proclaimed Father of the People in 1506 by the Estates-General of Tours for his reduction of the tax known as taille, legal reforms, Louis XII died in 1515 without a male heir. He was succeeded by his cousin Francis from the Angoulême cadet branch of the House of Valois, Louis was born on 27 June 1462 in the Château de Blois, Touraine. The son of Charles, Duke of Orléans, and Marie of Cleves, Louis XI may have been more influenced in this opinion by his opposition to the entire Orleanist faction of the royal family than by the actual facts of this paternity case. Despite any alleged doubts that King Louis XI may have had, King Louis XI died on 30 August 1483.
He was succeeded to the throne of France by his thirteen year-old son, nobody knew the direction which the new king would take in leading the kingdom. Accordingly, on 24 October 1483, a call went out for a convocation of the Estates General of the French kingdom, in January 1484, deputies of the Estates General began to arrive in Tours, France. The deputies represented three different estates in society, the First Estate was the Church, in France this meant the Roman Catholic Church. The Second Estate was composed of the nobility and the royalty of France, the Third Estate was generally composed of commoners and the class of traders and merchants in France. Louis, the current Duke of Orleans and future Louis XII, each estate brought their chief complaints to the Estates General in hopes to have some impact on the policies that the new King would pursue. The First Estate wanted a return to the Pragmatic Sanction, the Pragmatic Sanction had been first instituted by King Charles VII, the current King Charles VIIIs grandfather
Robert, Count of Clermont
Robert of Clermont was created Count of Clermont in 1268. He was the son of King Louis IX of France and Margaret of Provence, in 1272, Robert married Beatrice of Burgundy, heiress of Bourbon and had the following issue, Louis I, le Boiteux, first Duke of Bourbon. Blanche of Clermont, married in 1303 in Paris Robert VII, Count of Auvergne and Boulogne, grandmother of Joan I, john of Clermont, Baron of Charolais, married c.1309 Jeanne dArgues, widow of Hugh, Count of Soissons, and had issue. During his first joust, in 1279, Robert suffered head injuries which rendered him an invalid for the remainder of his life, Robert is mentioned in the prologue of the Coutumes de Beauvaisis by Philippe de Beaumanoir. He was buried in the church of the Couvent des Jacobins in Paris. Robert is a character in Les Rois maudits, a series of French historical novels by Maurice Druon. He was portrayed by Alexandre Rignault in the 1972 French miniseries adaptation of the series, Bourbon family tree French monarchs family tree
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