Counts of Blois
The County of Blois was originally centred on Blois, south of Paris, France. One of the cities, along with Blois itself, was Chartres. Blois was associated with Champagne Province, the House of Châtillon, theobald I, Count of Blois served as Regent to Drogo, Duke of Brittany. Bertha of Blois, the daughter of Odo II of Blois, became Duchess Consort of Brittany through her marriage to Alan II, Stephen Henrys son Stephen of Blois became King of England. Upon the death of his son, Guy II, Count of Blois sold the county to Louis I, Duke of Orléans. Blois was important during the Hundred Years War, Joan of Arc based herself there, the extent of the county varied over time. The northern portion, bordering on Normandy, was sometimes alienated as the County of Chartres and these lands were finally sold to the crown by Joan, Countess of Blois in 1291. In 1439, the area around Châteaudun was separated as Dunois for Jean de Dunois, Duke of Orléans To the royal demesne permanently
John I, Count of Blois
John I of Châtillon, was count of Blois from 1241 to 1280 and lord of Avesnes. He was the son of Hugh I of Châtillon and Marie of Avesnes, in 1254, John married Alix of Brittany, Dame de Pontarcy, daughter of John I, Duke of Brittany and Blanche of Navarre. In 1256, he reunited Chartres with Blois on the death of his cousin Matilda of Amboise and he passed these lands on to Joan before his death. John and his wife founded several institutions, including the Monastery of La Guiche. In 1260 John granted the parish of Chouzy the right to organize a match of joule on Whitsun and it was an example for other parishes, who obtained similar privileges from their lords. He was named Lieutenant General of France in 1270, counts of Blois Arms in the Armorial du Hérault Vermandois
The Avesnes family played an important role during the Middle Ages. The family has its roots in the small village Avesnes-sur-Helpe, in the north of France, one branch produced a number of Counts of Holland during the 13th century. The family died out in the 16th century, the first emperor of the Latin Empire of Constantinople, was as Baldwin IX Count of Flanders and as Baldwin VI Count of Hainaut. Baldwin had only daughters and was in turn succeeded by his daughters Joan, in 1212 Margaret II married Bouchard dAvesnes, a prominent Hainaut nobleman. This was apparently a love match, though it was approved by Margarets sister Joan, the two sisters subsequently had a falling-out over Margarets share of their inheritance, which led Joan to attempt to get Margarets marriage dissolved. She alleged that the marriage was invalid, and without much inspection of the facts of the case Pope Innocent III condemned the marriage, though he did not formally annul it. Bourchard and Margaret continued as a couple, having 3 children, as their conflict with Joan grew violent.
He was released in 1221 on the condition that the couple separate, while he was in Rome, Joan convinced Margaret to remarry, this time to William II of Dampierre, a nobleman from Champagne. From this marriage Margaret had two sons, William II, Count of Flanders and Guy of Dampierre and this situation caused something of a scandal, for the marriage was possibly bigamous, and violated the churchs strictures on consanguinity as well. In 1246 king Louis IX of France, acting as an arbitrator, gave the right to inherit Flanders to the Dampierre children, and this would seem to have settled the matter, but in 1253 problems arose again. William of Holland was theoretically, as king, overlord for these territories, Margaret did not rest in her defeat and did not recognise herself as overcome. She instead granted Hainault to Charles of Anjou, the brother of King Louis, Charles took up her cause and warred with John I of Avesnes, but failed to take Valenciennes and just missed being killed in a skirmish.
When Louis returned in 1254, he reaffirmed his earlier arbitration, with this second arbitration of the holy king, the conflict closed and John I of Avesnes was secure in Hainault. The following decades saw further strife between the Dampierres and the Avesnes, who by the start of the 14th century had inherited the County of Holland and Zeeland. Ida de Mortagne Nicholas le Beau m, mathilde de La Roche James of Avesnes m. Ameline de Guise Walter II of Avesnes m, marguerite de Blois Bouchard IV of Avesnes m. Margaret of Flanders John I of Avesnes m. Adelaide of Holland John II of Avesnes count of Hainaut and Holland m, philippa of Luxembourg William III of Avesnes m. Joan of Valois William IV of Avesnes m. Joanna, Duchess of Brabant Margaret II of Hainaut m, the History Files, The Kings of Holland
Alix of Brittany, Dame de Pontarcy
Alix of Brittany, Dame de Pontarcy, Countess of Blois, was a Breton noblewoman and a member of the House of Dreux as the eldest daughter of John I, Duke of Brittany. She married John I, Count of Blois, Alix was known for founding religious houses including the Monastery of La Guiche, where she was buried. Alix, named after her grandmother, Alix of Thouars, was born on 6 June 1243 at the Château de Suscinio in Sarzeau, Morbihan. She was the eldest daughter of John I, Duke of Brittany and Blanche of Navarre, daughter of Theobald I of Navarre, Alix held the title Dame de Pontarcy in her own right. Sometime after a contract was signed on 11 December 1254, she married John I, thereafter she was styled Countess of Blois. She brought as her dowry her titles of Pontarcy and de Brie-Comte-Robert, the marriage produced one child, a daughter Jeanne, who was heiress to her fathers title and estates. In 1270, her husband was appointed Lieutenant General of France, through Alixs marriage to John, the Château de Brie-Comte-Robert passed to the Châtillon family.
Alix and John founded several houses including the Monastery of La Guiche near Blois in 1277. She became a widow on 28 June 1279, in 1287, the year before her own death, Alix travelled to Palestine. From there she journed on to Syria, where she commissioned the erection of two towers at Ptolemais. Alix died on 2 August 1288 and was buried in the Monastery of La Guiche which she had founded and her father, Duke John had died just two years earlier. Her daughter, who was the suo jure Countess of Blois had married Peter, Count of Perche and Alençon, however, as her two sons by that marriage both died in early infancy, Alixs line became extinct upon her death
Crown lands of France
The crown lands, crown estate, royal domain or domaine royal of France refers to the lands and rights directly possessed by the kings of France. In the tenth and eleventh centuries, the first Capetians—while being the kings of France—were among the least powerful of the feudal lords of France in terms of territory possessed. Patiently, through the use of law, annexation, skillful marriages with heiresses of large fiefs, and even by purchase. However, the system of appanage alienated large territories from the royal domain. During the Wars of Religion, the alienation of lands and fiefs from the domain was frequently criticized. These lands were largely the inheritance of the Robertians, the ancestors of the Capetians. 988, Montreuil-sur-Mer, the first port held by the Capetians, is acquired though the marriage of the crown prince Robert with Rozala,1016, acquisition of the Duchy of Burgundy. The king was the nephew of Duke Henry of Burgundy, who died without heirs, other additions to the royal domain include, Montlhéry and Châteaufort, Corbeil, Meung-sur-Loire, Châteaurenard and Saint-Brisson.
1137, marriage of Louis with Eleanor of Aquitaine, Duchess of Aquitaine and Gascony, by this marriage, Louis hopes to attach most of South-West France to the royal domain. 1137, Louis gives Dreux to his brother Robert,1151, separation of Louis VII and of Eleanor of Aquitaine, who in 1152 weds Henry Plantagenet, Count of Anjou, Count of Maine and Duke of Normandy, who becomes in 1154, King of England. Eleanors lands come to Henry in her dowry,1160, gives Norman Vexin to his daughter Margaret as a dowry. Margaret is forced to surrender her dowry,1185, by the Treaty of Boves, gains Amiens and Montdidier, Choisy-au-Bac, and Thourotte and rights to the inheritance of Vermandois and Valois. 1187, seizes Tournai from the bishop, confiscates Meulan and other castles. 1191, at the death of Philip of Alsace, Count of Flanders, the County of Artois and its dependencies and these areas would not become integrated into the royal domain until 1223 when Louis becomes king. 1191, the County of Vermandois is acquired by the king, after the death of Elisabeth of Vermandois, confirmed in 1213, by Eléonore of Vermandois sister of Elisabeth.
1200, the Norman Vexin is annexed 1200 the County of Évreux and Issoudun are annexed,1204, confiscation of the Duchy of Normandy, the Touraine, Saintonge and, temporarily, of the Poitou from John of England. 1208, La Ferté-Macé confiscated from Guillaume IV of Ferté-Macé1220,1223, Philip Hurepel, half-brother of the king, received in appanage the Counties of Boulogne, and of Clermont, as well as the fiefs of Domfront and Aumale. Poitou, Angoumois, Périgord and a part of the Bordelais were confiscated from the king of England,1241, the king confirms the appanage grant of Poitou for his brother Alfonso, Count of Poitou
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
Duke of Chartres
Originally, the Duchy of Chartres was the comté de Chartres, a County. The title of comte de Chartres thus became duc de Chartres and this duchy–peerage was given by Louis XIV of France to his nephew, Philippe II dOrléans, at his birth in 1674. Philippe II was the son and heir of the kings brother, Philippe de France. 882-886 Hastings, Norman Chief, beat Carloman II of France in 879, agreed to settle and he sold it in 886 to finance an expedition during which he disappeared. The northern portion of the County of Blois, bordering on Normandy, was sometimes alienated as the County of Chartres, but the Counts of Blois who possessed it did not use a separate title for it. In 1391, the death of the son of Guy II, Count of Blois prompted him to sell the inheritance of the County of Blois to Louis of Valois, Duke of Orléans. Married to Adela of Normandy 1102-1151 Theobald II, Count of Champagne, Count of Blois and Meaux, married 1123 to Mathilde of Carinthia 1151-1191 Theobald V, Count of Blois, Count of Blois and Chartres, son of the former.
In 1286, she sells the county of Chartres to Philip IV of France The kings of France installed Vidame of Chartres to administer the city and county, but it seems that the title was given to princes of blood. Renée de France, Duchesse de Chartres, daughter of Louis XII and Anne Brittany, married to Hercules dEste, Duke of Ferrara Alfonso II dEste, Duke of Ferrara, access to power in 1830 under the name of Louis-Philippe Ier. 1810-1830, Ferdinand-Philippe son of preceding Robert, a brother of the comte de Paris was titled duc de Chartres. The title is held, as a courtesy title, by Charles-Louis, duc de Chartres, son of the Orléanist claimant to the throne of France, Jacques
Philip IV of France
Philip IV, called the Fair or the Iron King, was King of France from 1285 until his death. By virtue of his marriage with Joan I of Navarre, he was Philip I, Philip relied on skillful civil servants, such as Guillaume de Nogaret and Enguerrand de Marigny, to govern the kingdom rather than on his barons. Philip and his advisors were instrumental in the transformation of France from a country to a centralized state. Philip, who sought an uncontested monarchy, compelled his vassals by wars and his ambitions made him highly influential in European affairs. His goal was to place his relatives on foreign thrones, princes from his house ruled in Naples and Hungary. He tried and failed to make relative the Holy Roman Emperor. He began the advance of France eastward by taking control of scattered fiefs. To further strengthen the monarchy, he tried to control the French clergy and this conflict led to the transfer of the papal court to the enclave of Avignon in 1309. In 1306, Philip the Fair expelled the Jews from France and, in 1307, Friday 13th, Philip was in debt to both groups and saw them as a state within the state.
His final year saw a scandal amongst the family, known as the Tour de Nesle Affair. His three sons were kings of France, Louis X, Philip V, and Charles IV. A member of the House of Capet, Philip was born in the fortress of Fontainebleau to the future Philip III. He was the second of four born to the couple. His father was the heir apparent of France at that time, in August 1270, when Philip was two years old, his grandfather died while on Crusade, his father became king, and his elder brother Louis became heir apparent. Only five months later, in January 1271, Philips mother died after falling from a horse, a few months later, one of Philips younger brothers, died. Philips father was crowned king at Rhiems on 15 August 1271. Six days later, he married again, Philips step-mother was Marie, in May 1276, Philips elder brother Louis died, and the eight year old Philip became crown prince. It was suspected that Louis had been poisoned, and that his stepmother, one reason for these rumours was the fact that the queen gave birth to her own eldest son in the same month as the death of the crown prince
Margaret of Provence
Margaret of Provence was Queen of France as the wife of King Louis IX. Margaret was born in the spring of 1221 in Forcalquier and she was the eldest of four daughters of Ramon Berenguer IV, Count of Provence, and Beatrice of Savoy. Her younger sisters were Queen Eleanor of England, Queen Sanchia of Germany and she was especially close to Eleanor, to whom she was close in age, and with whom she sustained friendly relationships until they grew old. Margaret and her father entertained the knight well, and soon Blanche was negotiating with the count of Provence, Margaret was chosen as a good match for the king more for her religious devotion and courtly manner than her beauty. She was escorted to Lyon by her parents for the treaty to be signed. From there, she was escorted to her wedding in Sens by her uncles from Savoy, William, on 27 May 1234 at the age of thirteen, Margaret became wife of Louis IX of France and queen consort of France. She was crowned the following day, the wedding and her coronation as queen were celebrated at the cathedral of Sens.
The marriage was a one in numerous aspects. Blanche still wielded strong influence over her son, and would throughout her life, as a sign of her authority, shortly after the wedding Blanche dismissed Margarets uncles and all of the servants she had brought with her from her childhood. Margaret resented Blanche and vice versa from the beginning, like her sisters, was noted for her beauty, she was said to be pretty with dark hair and fine eyes, and in the early years of their marriage she and Louis enjoyed a warm relationship. Her Franciscan confessor, William de St. Pathus, related that on cold nights Margaret would place a robe around Louis shoulders and they enjoyed riding together and listening to music. The attentions of the king and court being drawn to the new queen only made Blanche more jealous, Margaret accompanied Louis on Seventh Crusade. Though initially the crusade met with success, like the capture of Damietta in 1249, it became a disaster after the kings brother was killed. Queen Margaret was responsible for negotiations and gathering enough silver for his ransom and she was thus for a brief time the only woman ever to lead a crusade.
In 1250, while in Damietta, where she earlier in the year successfully maintained order. She convinced some of those who had been about to leave to remain in Damietta, when she realized her mistake, she burst into laughter and ordered the messenger, Tell your master evil days await him, for he has made me kneel to his camelines. However, Joinville remarked with noticeable disapproval that Louis rarely asked after his wife, Margaret could only reply that she dared not make such a vow without the kings permission, because when he discovered that she had done so, he would never let her make the pilgrimage. In the end, Joinville promised her that if she made the vow he would make the pilgrimage for her, and her leadership during the crusade had brought her international prestige and after she returned to France, Margaret was often asked to mediate disputes