County of Burgundy
It should not be confused with the more westerly Duchy of Burgundy, a fiefdom of Francia since 843. The area once formed part of the Kingdom of the Burgundians, in 982, Otto-William, son of Adalbert of Lombardy, Count at Mâcon in the Duchy of Burgundy, received the County of Burgundy from his mother, Gerberga of Dijon. In 1002, Otto-William claimed the Duchy of Burgundy upon the death of his stepfather Duke Henry I. However, the duchy was seized as a fief by King Robert II of France two years later, and he was only able to maintain rule over the Arelat county with his residence at Dole. The development of commercial routes across the Jura and the development of salt mines assured the prosperity of the county, guy of Burgundy, brother of Renaud II, became pope and negotiated the Concordat of Worms with Emperor Henry V. In the 12th century, Imperial protection allowed for the development of Besançon, Burgundy was from on called Franche-Comté, the free county. Upon Emperor Fredericks death in 1190, his younger son Otto I, received the county of Burgundy and assumed the rare title of an archcount.
He was succeeded by his daughter, Beatrice II, and her husband Otto I, Duke of Merania, they were in turn followed by their son, Otto III, Count of Burgundy, and their daughter, Adelaide. The authority of the counts was re-established only by the marriage of Hugh of Chalon with Adelaide, this did not prevent a younger son, John of Chalon-Arlay, from taking control of the vassal states. Otto IV, son of Hugh and Adelaide, was the last of the counts of Burgundy. He married first the daughter of the Count of Bar, the grandniece of King Louis IX of France and this marriage brought the county under French influence. The daughters of Otto IV and Mahaut and Blanche, married respectively Philip V and Charles IV of France, Jeanne became Queen of France after having been one of the heroines in the Tour de Nesle Affair. In that same affair Blanche was found guilty of adultery and was imprisoned for the rest of her life and these events are retold in the French historical novel series Les Rois maudits by Maurice Druon.
By marrying their daughter and heir Joan, Duke Eudes IV of Burgundy reunited the duchy, in 1382 she bequeathed her estates to her son Count Louis II of Flanders. The county and the duchy were again ruled in personal union by his descendants from the House of Valois-Burgundy until the death of Duke Charles the Bold at the 1477 Battle of Nancy. His cousin King Louis XI of France immediately occupied the county, fiercely opposed by Archduke Maximilian I of Habsburg, with the Netherlands, the County of Burgundy was held by Habsburg Spain until it was finally incorporated into France by the Treaty of Nijmegen in 1678. List of counts of Burgundy Kingdom of Burgundy Kings of Burgundy Duchy of Burgundy Duke of Burgundy Dukes of Burgundy family tree The History Files, Frankish Kingdom of Burgundy
Rudolph of France
Rudolph or Rudolf was the elected King of France from 923 until his death in 936. Prior to his election as king, he was Duke of Burgundy and he was the son of Richard, Duke of Burgundy and Adelaide of Auxerre inheriting the Duchy of Burgundy from his father. He married Emma of France, daughter of king Robert I of France and he is frequently confused with his uncle Rudolph I of Burgundy. Rudolph was elected king of West Francia in 923 by an assembly of Frankish nobles and he was crowned by Walter, Archbishop of Sens at St. Médard in Soissons on Sunday,13 July 923. On assuming the crown he passed the Duchy of Burgundy to his younger brother Hugh the Black, in contemporary Latin documents, his name is usually Rodulfus, from the Germanic roots hruod and wulf, wolf. Rodulf and Rudolf are variants of this name, the French form is Rodolphe, by contrast, the king is normally known as Raoul in modern French, a name which derives from Radulfus, from Germanic rad and wulf. Although this name is of different origin, it was used interchangeably by contemporaries with Rodulfus.
The king himself, always, used Rodulfus, as on his personal seal, nonetheless, he is sometimes called Ralph or Radulf in English. The deposed Charles the Simple was still alive and claimed the throne and this was solved when Rudolphs brother-in-law, Herbert II, Count of Vermandois, who was married to Emmas sister, tricked Charles, a fellow Carolingian, into meeting and took him prisoner. Rudolphs first act was to lead an army against the king of East Francia Henry the Fowler, after trying to annex Lotharingia Henry met Rudolph with a considerably-sized army and made peace again. However, in 925 Henry attacked Gilbert, Duke of Lorraine and took over Lotharingia permanently, in 924 Vikings made a fresh series of raids into West Francia. From the Loire Valley they threatened Hugh the Great, brother of Queen Emma, soon they attacked Burgundy, domain of Rudolphs brother and were repulsed, moving on to Melun, where they threatened the royal lands. Joined only by his vassals and Herbert, he recruited troops in Burgundy.
After Vikings left, the Normans, whom Charles the Simple had settled in Duchy of Normandy in 911, in that year, Rudolph conversed with Louis the Blind, king of Provence, over the Magyars, the newest barbarian migrants to Europe, menacing Louis. In 930 Magyars invaded the region around Rheims, but left before the king could engage them, in 935 Magyars invaded Burgundy and Rudolph brought a large army against them, causing their retreat without a battle. West Francia was temporarily safe from both Vikings and Magyars at Rudolphss death, the complaints from Rudolph led Herbert II to bring Charles before William Longsword, Count of Rouen, for homage and to Rheims to press Charles claim on Pope John X. In 928 Herbert II finally got possession of Laon, but the next year Charles died at Péronne, in 929 Rudolph attempted to reduce the power of Ebalus, Duke of Aquitaine. He withdrew from him access to Berry, and in 932 granted the title of prince of Gothia to the count of Toulouse, Raymond Pons and he transferred the title Count of Auvergne to Raymond
Peerage of France
The Peerage of France was a hereditary distinction within the French nobility which appeared in 1180 in the Middle Ages, and only a small number of noble individuals were peers. The prestigious title and position of Peer of France was held by the greatest, French peerage thus differed from British peerage, for the vast majority of French nobles, from baron to duke, were not peers. The title of Peer of France was an honour granted only to a small number of dukes, counts. It was analogous to the rank of Grandee of Spain in this respect, the French word pairie is equivalent to the English peerage. The individual title, pair in French and peer in English, derives from the Latin par and it signifies those noblemen and prelates considered to be equal to the monarch in honour, and it considers the monarch thus to be primus inter pares, or first among equals. The main uses of the word refer to two historical traditions in the French kingdom and after the First French Empire of Napoleon I, the word exists to describe an institution in the Crusader states.
Some etymologists posit that the French word baron, taken from the Latin baro, such a derivation would fit the early sense of baron, as used for the whole peerage and not simply as a noble rank below the comital rank. Medieval French kings conferred the dignity of a peerage on some of their pre-eminent vassals, some historians consider Louis VII to have created the French system of peers. A peerage was attached to a territorial jurisdiction, either an episcopal see for episcopal peerages or a fief for secular ones. Peerages attached to fiefs were transmissible or inheritable with the fief, the traditional number of peers is twelve. But since the first two were absorbed into the early in the recorded history of the peerage, the Duke of Burgundy has become the premier lay peer. In their heyday, the Duke of Normandy was undoubtedly the mightiest vassal of the French crown, the constitution of the peerage first became important in 1202, for the court that would try King John of England in his capacity as vassal of the French crown.
In 1216, Erard of Brienne claimed the County of Champagne through the right of his wife, again this required the peers of France, so the County of Champagne is a peerage. Six of the peers were identified in the charter - the archbishop of Reims, the bishops of Langres, Chalons and Noyon. The tenth peerage that could be identified in the documents is the County of Flanders, in that year John de Nesle entered a complaint against Joan of Flanders, the countess responded that she could only be cited by a peer. Thus, though there had been differences in the dates of the identification of the peers, they were probably instituted simultaneously. Parallels may be seen with the mythical Knights of the Round Table under King Arthur, in periods peers held up by poles a baldaquin or cloth of honour over the king during much of the ceremony. This paralleled the arch-offices attached to the electorates, the more prestigious and powerful first college in the Holy Roman Empire
Philip the Bold
Philip the Bold was Duke of Burgundy and jure uxoris Count of Flanders and Burgundy. The fourth and youngest son of King John II of France and his wife, Bonne of Luxembourg and his vast collection of territories made him the undisputed premier peer of the kingdom of France and made his successors formidable rivals of the kings of France. Born in Pontoise in 1342, Philip gained his cognomen the Bold at the age of 14 and he remained in the custody of the English with his father until the terms of their ransom were agreed to in the Treaty of Brétigny of 1360. His father had been the ruler of the duchy since the death of Duke Philip I in 1361, Philip would rule the duchy as Philip II until his death. He was actually the stepbrother of Philip I of Burgundy, whose mother Joan was married to King John II of France, Philip the Bolds father, Margaret became the widow of Philips stepbrother Duke Philip I of Burgundy while still a child of about 11. As her fathers heiress, Margaret would bring rich possessions to Philip the Bold.
From 1379 to 1382, Philip helped his father-in-law Louis II put down revolts in Flanders, particularly in Ghent, the revolts were finally ended in 1385, following the death of Louis II, with the Peace of Tournai. As jure uxoris Count of Flanders, he would keep in mind the interests of the Flemish cities. Philip was very active at the court of France, particularly after the death in 1380 of his brother King Charles V, among Philips acts while regent was the suppression of a tax revolt in 1382 known as the Harelle. The regency lasted until 1388, always with Philip assuming the dominant role, Louis of Bourbon was largely an unimportant figure due to his personality and his status. In 1392, events conspired to allow Philip to seize power once more in France, Charles VIs friend and advisor Olivier de Clisson had recently been the target of an assassination attempt by agents of John V, Duke of Brittany. The would-be assassin, Pierre de Craon, had taken refuge in Brittany, outraged at these events, determined to punish Craon, and on 1 July 1392 led an expedition against Brittany.
While traveling to Brittany, the king, already overwrought by the progress, was shocked by a madman who spent half-an-hour following the procession to warn the king that he had been betrayed. When a page dropped a lance, the king reacted by killing several of his knights and had to be wrestled to the ground, who was present, immediately assumed command and appointed himself regent, dismissing Charles advisors. He was the ruler of France until 1402. His seizure of power, had consequences for the unity of the House of Valois. This struggle only served to enhance the reputation of Philip, since he appeared to be a sober and honest reformer in comparison to the profligate and irresponsible Louis. Although Charles VI confirmed his brother as regent in 1402 in a moment of sanity, Louiss misrule allowed Philip to regain control of France as regent in 1404
Charles the Bald
Charles the Bald was the King of West Francia, King of Italy and Holy Roman Emperor. After a series of wars during the reign of his father, Louis the Pious. He was a grandson of Charlemagne and the youngest son of Louis the Pious by his second wife and he was born on 13 June 823 in Frankfurt, when his elder brothers were already adults and had been assigned their own regna, or subkingdoms, by their father. The attempts made by Louis the Pious to assign Charles a subkingdom, first Alemannia, at a diet in Aachen in 837, Louis the Pious bade the nobles do homage to Charles as his heir. Pepin of Aquitaine died in 838, whereupon Charles at last received that kingdom, which angered Pepins heirs, the death of the emperor in 840 led to the outbreak of war between his sons. In the following year, the two confirmed their alliance by the celebrated Oaths of Strasbourg. The war was brought to an end by the Treaty of Verdun in August 843, Louis received the eastern part of the Carolingian Empire, known as East Francia and as Germany.
Lothair retained the title and the Kingdom of Italy. He received the regions from Flanders through the Rhineland. The first years of Charless reign, up to the death of Lothair I in 855, were comparatively peaceful, during these years the three brothers continued the system of confraternal government, meeting repeatedly with one another, at Koblenz, at Meerssen, and at Attigny. In 858, Louis the German, invited by disaffected nobles eager to oust Charles, Charles was so unpopular that he was unable to summon an army, and he fled to Burgundy. He was saved only by the support of the bishops, who refused to crown Louis the German king, and by the fidelity of the Welfs, in 860, he in his turn tried to seize the kingdom of his nephew, Charles of Provence, but was repulsed. On the death of his nephew Lothair II in 869, Charles tried to seize Lothairs dominions, besides these family disputes, Charles had to struggle against repeated rebellions in Aquitaine and against the Bretons. Led by their chiefs Nomenoë and Erispoë, who defeated the king at the Battle of Ballon and the Battle of Jengland, the Bretons were successful in obtaining a de facto independence.
Charles fought against the Vikings, who devastated the country of the north, the valleys of the Seine and Loire, at the Vikings successful siege and sack of Paris in 845 and several times thereafter Charles was forced to purchase their retreat at a heavy price. By the same edict, he ordered fortified bridges to be put up at all rivers to block the Viking incursions, two of these bridges at Paris saved the city during its siege of 885–886. In 875, after the death of the Emperor Louis II, Charles the Bald, supported by Pope John VIII, traveled to Italy, receiving the crown at Pavia. Louis the German, a candidate for the succession of Louis II, revenged himself by invading and devastating Charles dominions, and Charles had to return hastily to West Francia
John II of France
John II, called John the Good, was a monarch of the House of Valois who ruled as King of France from 1350 until his death. While John was a prisoner in London, his son Charles became regent and faced several rebellions, to liberate his father, he concluded the Treaty of Brétigny, by which France lost many territories and paid an enormous ransom. In an exchange of hostages, which included his second son Louis, Duke of Anjou, when John was informed that Louis had escaped from captivity, he voluntarily returned to England, where he died in 1364. He was succeeded by his son Charles V, John was nine years old when his father had himself crowned as Philip VI of France. Initially a marriage with Eleanor of Woodstock, sister of King Edward III of England, was considered, Bohemia had aspirations to control Lombardy and needed French diplomatic support. The military clauses stipulated that, in the event of war, the political clauses ensured that the Lombard crown would not be disputed if the king of Bohemia managed to obtain it.
Philip selected Bonne of Bohemia as a wife for his son, as she was closer to child-bearing age, and the dowry was fixed at 120,000 florins. John reached the age of majority,13 years and one day, on 27 April 1332, the wedding was celebrated on 28 July at the church of Notre-Dame in Melun in the presence of six thousand guests. The festivities were prolonged by a two months when the young groom was finally knighted at the cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris. Upon his accession as Duke of Normandy in 1332, John had to deal with the reality that most of the Norman nobility was already allied with the English camp, Normandy depended economically more on maritime trade across the English Channel than on river trade on the Seine. The Duchy had not been English for 150 years, but many landowners had holdings across the Channel, consequently, to line up behind one or other sovereign risked confiscation. Therefore, Norman members of the nobility were governed as interdependent clans and it was split into two key camps, the counts of Tancarville and the counts of Harcourt, which had been in conflict for generations.
King Philip, worried about the richest area of the breaking into bloodshed, ordered the bailiffs of Bayeux. Geoffroy dHarcourt raised troops against the king, rallying a number of nobles protective of their autonomy, the rebels demanded that Geoffroy be made duke, thus guaranteeing the autonomy granted by the charter. Royal troops took the castle at Saint-Sauveur-le-Vicomte and Geoffroy was exiled to Brabant, three of his companions were decapitated in Paris on 3 April 1344. In 1342, John was in Avignon at the coronation of Pope Clement VI, by 1345, increasing numbers of Norman rebels had begun to pay homage to Edward III, constituting a major threat to the legitimacy of the Valois kings. The defeat at the Battle of Crécy on 26 August 1346, defections by the nobility, whose land fell within the broad economic influence of England, particularly in the north and west, increased. Consequently, King Philip VI decided to seek a truce, Duke John met Geoffroy dHarcourt, to whom the king agreed to return all confiscated goods, even appointing him sovereign captain in Normandy
Hugh III, Duke of Burgundy
Hugh III of Burgundy was duke of Burgundy between 1162 and 1192. Hugh was the eldest son of duke Odo II and Marie of Champagne, daughter of Theobald, the rule of Hugh III marked the ending of a period of relative peace in the duchy of Burgundy. Hugh was a belligerent man and soon was involved in conflicts against king Louis VII of France over their borders, when King Philip Augustus succeeded Louis in 1180, Hugh seized the opportunity and forced several men to change their allegiance to Burgundy. Philip II was not happy with the loss of his vassals and invaded the duchy, the town fell and with it, its garrison, commanded by Eudes, Hughs heir. A peace was negotiated and Hugh had to pay a ransom for his son. In 1187, Hugh transferred the capital of Burgundy to Dijon, Hugh turned his energies to the Holy Land, embarking in the Third Crusade in the retinue of Philip II. When Philip returned to France, he left Hugh in charge of the French troops, Hugh played a major role in the victory of the battle of Arsuf and at the siege of Acre, where he died August 1192.
He was married twice, Firstly, in 1165, to Alice of Lorraine, daughter of Matthias I, Duke of Lorraine, he repudiated her in 1183