Cardinal Henry Beaufort, Bishop of Winchester, was an English prelate and statesman who held the offices of Bishop of Lincoln Bishop of Winchester and was from 1426 a Cardinal of the Church of Rome. He played an important role in English politics, he was a member of the royal House of Plantagenet, being the second son of the four legitimised children of John of Gaunt by his mistress Katherine Swynford. Beaufort was born in Anjou, an English domain in France, educated for a career in the Church. After his parents were married in early 1396, his two brothers and one sister were declared legitimate by Pope Boniface IX and legitimated by Act of Parliament on 9 February 1397, but they were barred from the succession to the throne; this proviso was promulgated with the exact phrase excepta regali dignitate by their half-brother Henry IV with dubious authority. On 27 February 1398, he was nominated Bishop of Lincoln, on 14 July 1398, he was consecrated. After Henry of Bolingbroke deposed Richard II and took the throne as Henry IV in 1399, he made Bishop Beaufort Lord Chancellor of England in 1403, but Beaufort resigned in 1404 when he was appointed Bishop of Winchester on 19 November.
Between 1411 and 1413, Bishop Beaufort was in political disgrace for siding with his nephew, the Prince of Wales, against the king, but when King Henry IV died and the prince became King Henry V, he was made Chancellor once again in 1413, but he resigned the position in 1417. Pope Martin V offered him the rank of Cardinal, but King Henry V would not permit him to accept the offer. Henry V died in 1422, two years after he had married Catherine of Valois, daughter of King Charles VI, who had disowned his son Charles in favor of Henry in the Treaty of Troyes. Henry and Catherine's infant son Henry VI, the Bishop's great-nephew, succeeded Henry as King of England, and, in accordance with the Treaty, succeeded Charles as King of France. Bishop Beaufort and the child king's other uncles formed the Regency government, in 1424, Beaufort became Chancellor once more, but was forced to resign in 1426 because of disputes with the king's other uncles, in particular Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester. Pope Martin V appointed Beaufort as Cardinal in 1426.
In 1427, he made him the Papal Legate for Germany and Bohemia, directed him to lead the fourth "crusade" against the Hussites heretics in Bohemia. Beaufort's forces were routed by the Hussites at the Battle of Tachov on 4 August 1427. After the English captured Joan of Arc in 1431, legend has it that Beaufort was present to observe some of the heresy trial sessions presided over by Bishop Pierre Cauchon of Beauvais. However, the full record of the trial, which lists all those who took part in her trial on a daily basis shows that he was not there, his sole appearance is on the day of her abjuration. The formal record does not include Beaufort's presence at her execution but legend has it that he wept as he viewed the horrible scene as she was burned at the stake; this legend derives from what is now known as the Rehabilitation Trial of Joan of Arc which culminated in an examination of numerous witnesses in 1455 and 1456 in which one of the 27 Articles of Enquiry was that Joan had died in "such a manner as to draw from all those present, from her English enemies, effusions of tears."
A number of witnesses at this re-trial inferred or declared his presence including one of the original trial judges, one Andre Marguerie, Canon of Rouen, who asserted that Beaufort had reprimanded his chaplain for complaining that the Bishop of Beauvais's sermon was too favourable to Joan. However, it is not clear to. In a spirit of contrition and reconciliation, in 1922 a statue of Joan of Arc was placed beside the entrance to the Lady Chapel in Winchester Cathedral diagonally facing Cardinal Beaufort’s tomb and chantry chapel. Beaufort continued to be active in English politics for years, fighting with the other powerful advisors to the king, he died on 11 April 1447. When Henry was Bishop of Lincoln, he had an affair with Alice FitzAlan, the daughter of Richard FitzAlan and Elizabeth de Bohun and the widow of John Charleton, 4th Baron Cherleton. Henry fathered Jane Beaufort, in 1402, who some make Alice's daughter. Both Jane and her husband, Sir Edward Stradling, were named in Cardinal Beaufort's will.
Their marriage about 1423 brought Sir Edward into the political orbit of his shrewd and assertive father-in-law, to whom he may have owed his appointment as chamberlain of South Wales in December 1423, a position he held until March 1437. Cokayne, George E.. The Complete Peerage of England, Ireland, Great Britain, the United Kingdom, Extinct, or Dormant. XII. Gloucester, UK: A. Sutton. ISBN 0-904387-82-8. Fryde, E. B.. E.. Handbook of British Chronology. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-56350-X. Griffiths, Ralph A.. The Reign of King Henry VI: The Exercise of Royal Authority, 1422–1461. University of California Press. ISBN 978-0-520-04372-5. Harriss, G. L. "Beaufort, Henry". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Press. Doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/1859
Order of the Garter
The Order of the Garter is an order of chivalry founded by Edward III in 1348 and regarded as the most prestigious British order of chivalry in England and the United Kingdom. It is dedicated to the image and arms of England's patron saint. Appointments are made at the Sovereign's sole discretion. Membership of the Order is limited to the Sovereign, the Prince of Wales, no more than 24 living members, or Companions; the order includes supernumerary knights and ladies. New appointments to the Order of the Garter are announced on St George's Day, as Saint George is the order's patron saint; the order's emblem is a garter with the motto Honi soit qui mal y pense in gold lettering. Members of the order wear it on ceremonial occasions. King Edward III founded the Order of the Garter around the time of his claim to the French throne; the traditional year of foundation is given as 1348. However, the Complete Peerage, under "The Founders of the Order of the Garter", states the order was first instituted on 23 April 1344, listing each founding member as knighted in 1344.
The list includes Sir Sanchet D'Abrichecourt, who died on 20 October 1345. Other dates from 1344 to 1351 have been proposed; the King's wardrobe account shows Garter habits first issued in the autumn of 1348. Its original statutes required that each member of the Order be a knight and some of the initial members listed were only knighted that year; the foundation is to have been inspired by the Spanish Order of the Band, established in about 1330. The earliest written mention of the Order is found in Tirant lo Blanch, a chivalric romance written in Catalan by Valencian Joanot Martorell, it was first published in 1490. This book devotes a chapter to the description of the origin of the Order of the Garter. At the time of its foundation, the Order consisted of King Edward III, together with 25 Founder Knights, listed in ascending order of stall number in St George's Chapel: King Edward III Edward, the Black Prince, Prince of Wales Henry of Grosmont, Earl of Lancaster Thomas de Beauchamp, 11th Earl of Warwick Jean III de Grailly, Captal de Buch Ralph de Stafford, 1st Earl of Stafford William de Montacute, 2nd Earl of Salisbury Roger Mortimer, 2nd Earl of March John de Lisle, 2nd Baron Lisle Bartholomew de Burghersh, 2nd Baron Burghersh John de Beauchamp, 1st Baron Beauchamp John de Mohun, 2nd Baron Mohun Sir Hugh de Courtenay Thomas Holland, 1st Earl of Kent John de Grey, 1st Baron Grey de Rotherfield Sir Richard Fitz-Simon Sir Miles Stapleton Sir Thomas Wale Sir Hugh Wrottesley Sir Nele Loring Sir John Chandos Sir James Audley Sir Otho Holand Sir Henry Eam Sir Sanchet D'Abrichecourt Sir Walter Paveley They are all depicted in individual portraits in the Bruges Garter Book made c.
1431, now in the British Library. Various legends account for the origin of the Order; the most popular involves the "Countess of Salisbury", whose garter is said to have slipped from her leg while she was dancing at a court ball at Calais. When the surrounding courtiers sniggered, the king picked it up and returned it to her, exclaiming, "Honi soit qui mal y pense!", the phrase that has become the motto of the Order. However, the earliest written version of this story dates from the 1460s, it seems to have been conceived as a retrospective explanation for the adoption of what was seen as an item of female underclothing as the symbol of a band of knights. In fact, at the time of the Order's establishment in the mid-14th century, the garter was predominantly an item of male attire. According to another legend, King Richard I was inspired in the 12th century by St George the Martyr while fighting in the Crusades to tie garters around the legs of his knights, who subsequently won the battle. King Edward recalled the event in the 14th century when he founded the Order.
This story is recounted in a letter to the Annual Register in 1774: In Rastel's Chronicle, I. vi. under the life of Edward III is the following curious passage: "About the 19 yere of this kinge, he made a solempne feest at Wyndesore, a greate justes and turnament, where he devysed, perfyted substanegally, the order of the knyghtes of the garter. And afterwarde they were called the knyghtes of the blew thonge." I am obliged for this passage to Esq.. Hence some affirm, that the origin of the garter is to be dated from Richard I* and that it owes its pomp and splendor to Edward III. *Winstanley, in his Life of Edward III says that the original book of the institution deduces the invention from King Richard the First. The motto in fact refers to Edward's claim to the French throne, the Order of the Garter was created to help pursue this claim; the use of the garter as an emblem may have derived from straps used t
Charles, Duke of Orléans
Charles of Orléans was Duke of Orléans from 1407, following the murder of his father, Louis I, Duke of Orléans, on the orders of John the Fearless, Duke of Burgundy. He was Duke of Valois, Count of Beaumont-sur-Oise and of Blois, Lord of Coucy, the inheritor of Asti in Italy via his mother Valentina Visconti, daughter of Gian Galeazzo Visconti, Duke of Milan, he is now remembered as an accomplished medieval poet owing to the more than five hundred extant poems he produced, written in both French and English, during his 25 years spent as a prisoner of war and after his return to France. Charles was born in Paris. Acceding to the duchy at the age of thirteen after his father had been assassinated, he was expected to carry on his father's leadership against the Burgundians, a French faction which supported the Duke of Burgundy; the latter was never punished for his role in Louis' assassination, Charles had to watch as his grief-stricken mother Valentina Visconti succumbed to illness not long afterwards.
At her deathbed and the other boys of the family were made to swear the traditional oath of vengeance for their father's murder. During the early years of his reign as duke, the orphaned Charles was influenced by the guidance of his father-in-law, Bernard VII, Count of Armagnac, for which reason Charles' faction came to be known as the Armagnacs. After war with the Kingdom of England was renewed in 1415, Charles was one of the many French noblemen at the Battle of Agincourt on 25 October 1415, he was discovered unwounded but trapped under a pile of corpses, incapacitated by the weight of his own armour. He was taken prisoner by the English, spent the next twenty-four years being moved from one castle to another in England, including the Tower of London, Pontefract Castle – the castle where England's young King Richard II, cousin once removed of the incumbent English King Henry V, had been imprisoned and died 15 years earlier at the age of 33; the conditions of his confinement were not strict.
However, he was not offered release in exchange for a ransom, since the English King Henry V had left instructions forbidding any release: Charles was the natural head of the Armagnac faction and in the line of succession to the French throne, was therefore deemed too important to be returned to circulation. After his capture, his entire library was moved by Yolande of Aragon to Saumur, to prevent it from falling into enemy hands It was during these twenty-four years that Charles would write most of his poetry, including melancholy works which seem to be commenting on the captivity itself, such as En la forêt de longue attente, he is credited with writing the first Valentine's Day poem. The majority of his output consists of two books, one in French and the other in English, in the ballade and rondeau fixed forms. Though once controversial, it is now abundantly clear that Charles wrote the English poems which he left behind when he was released in 1440, his acceptance in the English canon has been slow.
A. E. B. Coldiron has argued that the problem relates to his "approach to the erotic, his use of puns and rhetorical devices, his formal complexity and experimentation, his stance or voice: all these place him well outside the fifteenth-century literary milieu in which he found himself in England."One of his poems Is she not passing fair?, translated by Louisa Stuart Costello, was set to music by Edward Elgar. Claude Debussy set three of his poems to music in his Trois Chansons de Charles d'Orléans, L.92, for unaccompanied mixed choir. Freed in 1440 by the efforts of his former enemies, Philip the Good and Isabella of Portugal, the Duke and Duchess of Burgundy, he set foot on French soil again after 25 years, by now a middle aged man at 46 and "speaking better English than French," according to the English chronicler Raphael Holinshed. Philip the Good had made it a condition that the murder of Charles' father Louis of Orleans by Philip's own father, John the Fearless, would not be avenged.
Charles agreed to this condition prior to his release. Meeting the Duchess of Burgundy after disembarking, the gallant Charles said: "M'Lady, I make myself your prisoner." At the celebration of his third marriage, with Marie of Cleves, he was created a Knight of the Golden Fleece. His subsequent return to Orléans was marked by a splendid celebration organised by the citizens, he made an unsuccessful attempt to press his claims to Asti in Italy, before settling down as a celebrated patron of the arts. He died at Amboise in his 71st year. Charles married three times, his first wife Isabella of Valois, whom he married in Compiègne in 1406, died in childbirth. Their daughter, Joan married John II of Alençon in 1424 in Blois. Afterwards, he married Bonne of Armagnac, the daughter of Bernard VII, Count of Armagnac, in 1410. Bonne died; the couple had no issue. On his return to France in 1440, Charles married Marie of Cleves in Saint-Omer and had three children: Marie of Orléans. Married Jean of Foix in 1476.
Louis XII of France Anne of Orléans, Abbess of Fontevrault and Poitiers. Kingdom of France – Duchy of Orléans: Grand Master and Knight of the Order of the Porcupine Duchy of Burgundy: Knight of the Order of the Golden Fleece Charles appears as "Duke of Orléans" in William Shakespeare's Henry V. In the 2012 television adaptation The Hollow Crown, Charles is played by French actor Stanley Weber and is inaccurately po
Dorset is a county in South West England on the English Channel coast. The ceremonial county comprises the unitary authority areas of Bournemouth and Poole and Dorset. Covering an area of 2,653 square kilometres, Dorset borders Devon to the west, Somerset to the north-west, Wiltshire to the north-east, Hampshire to the east; the county town is Dorchester, in the south. After the reorganisation of local government in 1974 the county's border was extended eastward to incorporate the Hampshire towns of Bournemouth and Christchurch. Around half of the population lives in the South East Dorset conurbation, while the rest of the county is rural with a low population density; the county has a long history of human settlement stretching back to the Neolithic era. The Romans conquered Dorset's indigenous Celtic tribe, during the early Middle Ages, the Saxons settled the area and made Dorset a shire in the 7th century; the first recorded Viking raid on the British Isles occurred in Dorset during the eighth century, the Black Death entered England at Melcombe Regis in 1348.
Dorset has seen much civil unrest: in the English Civil War, an uprising of vigilantes was crushed by Oliver Cromwell's forces in a pitched battle near Shaftesbury. During the Second World War, Dorset was involved in the preparations for the invasion of Normandy, the large harbours of Portland and Poole were two of the main embarkation points; the former was the sailing venue in the 2012 Summer Olympics, both have clubs or hire venues for sailing, Cornish pilot gig rowing, sea kayaking and powerboating. Dorset has a varied landscape featuring broad elevated chalk downs, steep limestone ridges and low-lying clay valleys. Over half the county is designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Three-quarters of its coastline is part of the Jurassic Coast Natural World Heritage Site due to its geological and palaeontologic significance, it features notable landforms such as Lulworth Cove, the Isle of Portland, Chesil Beach and Durdle Door. Agriculture was traditionally the major industry of Dorset but is now in decline and tourism has become important to the economy.
There are no motorways in Dorset but a network of A roads cross the county and two railway main lines connect to London. Dorset has ports at Poole and Portland, an international airport; the county has a variety of museums and festivals, is host to the Great Dorset Steam Fair, one of the biggest events of its kind in Europe. It is the birthplace of Thomas Hardy, who used the county as the principal setting of his novels, William Barnes, whose poetry celebrates the ancient Dorset dialect. Dorset derives its name from the county town of Dorchester; the Romans established the settlement in the 1st century and named it Durnovaria, a Latinised version of a Common Brittonic word meaning "place with fist-sized pebbles". The Saxons named the town Dornwaraceaster and Dornsæte came into use as the name for the inhabitants of the area from "Dorn"—a reduced form of Dornwaraceaster—and the Old English word "sæte" meaning people, it is first mentioned in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle in AD 845 and in the 10th century the county's archaic name, "Dorseteschyre", was first recorded.
The first human visitors to Dorset were Mesolithic hunters, from around 8000 BC. The first permanent Neolithic settlers appeared around 3000 BC and were responsible for the creation of the Dorset Cursus, a 10.5-kilometre monument for ritual or ceremonial purposes. From 2800 BC onwards Bronze Age farmers cleared Dorset's woodlands for agricultural use and Dorset's high chalk hills provided a location for numerous round barrows. During the Iron Age, the British tribe known as the Durotriges established a series of hill forts across the county—most notably Maiden Castle, one of the largest in Europe; the Romans arrived in Dorset during their conquest of Britain in AD 43. Maiden Castle was captured by a Roman legion under the command of Vespasian, the Roman settlement of Durnovaria was established nearby. Bokerley Dyke, a large defensive ditch built by the county's post-Roman inhabitants near the border with modern-day Hampshire, delayed the advance of the Saxons into Dorset for 150 years. However, by the end of the 7th century Dorset had fallen under Saxon control and been incorporated into the Kingdom of Wessex.
The Saxons established a diocese at Sherborne and Dorset was made a shire—an administrative district of Wessex and predecessor to the English county system—with borders that have changed little since. In 789 the first recorded Viking attack on the British Isles took place in Dorset on the Portland coast, they continued to raid into the county for the next two centuries. After the Norman Conquest in 1066, feudal rule was established in Dorset and the bulk of the land was divided between the Crown and ecclesiastical institutions; the Normans consolidated their control over the area by constructing castles at Corfe and Dorchester in the early part of the 12th century. Over the next 200 years Dorset's population grew and additional land was enclosed for farming to provide the extra food required; the wool trade, the quarrying of Purbeck Marble and the busy ports of Weymouth, Melcombe Regis, Lyme Regis and Bridport brought prosperity to the county. However, Dorset was devastated by the bubonic plague in 1348 which arrived in Melcombe Regis on a ship from Gascony.
The disease, more known as the Black Death, created an epidemic that spread a
Anjou is a historical province of France straddling the lower Loire River. Its capital was Angers and it was coextensive with the diocese of Angers, it bordered Brittany to Maine to the north, Touraine to the east and Poitou to the south. The adjectival form of Anjou is Angevin, inhabitants of Anjou are known as Angevins. During the Middle Ages, the County of Anjou, ruled by the Counts of Anjou, was a prominent fief of the French crown; the region takes its name from the Celtic tribe of the Andecavi, which submitted to Roman rule following the Gallic Wars. Under the Romans, the chief fortified settlement of the Andecavi became the city of Juliomagus, the future Angers; the territory of the Andecavi was organized as a civitas. Under the Franks, the city of Juliomagus became Angers. Under the Merovingians, the history of Anjou is obscure, it is not recorded as a county until the time of the Carolingians. In the late ninth and early tenth centuries the viscounts usurped comital authority and made Anjou an autonomous hereditary principality.
The first dynasty of counts of Anjou, the House of Ingelger, ruled continuously down to 1205. In 1131, Count Fulk V became the King of Jerusalem; the territories ruled by Henry and his successors, which stretched from Ireland to the Pyrenees, are called the Angevin Empire. This empire was broken up by the French king Philip II, who confiscated the dynasty's French lands, including Anjou in 1205; the county of Anjou was united to the royal domain between 1205 and 1246, when it was turned into an apanage for the king's brother, Charles I of Anjou. This second Angevin dynasty, a branch of the Capetian dynasty, established itself on the throne of Naples and Hungary. Anjou itself was united to the royal domain again in 1328, but was detached in 1360 as the Duchy of Anjou for the king's son, Louis I of Anjou; the third Angevin dynasty, a branch of the House of Valois ruled for a time the Kingdom of Naples. The dukes had the same autonomy as the earlier counts, but the duchy was administered in the same fashion as the royal domain and the royal government exercised the ducal power while the dukes were away.
When the Valois line failed and Anjou was incorporated into the royal domain again in 1480, there was little change on the ground. Anjou remained a province of crown until the French Revolution. Under the kingdom of France, Anjou was identical with the diocese of Angers, bound on the north by Maine, on the east by Touraine, on the south by Poitou and the Mauges, the west by the countship of Nantes or the duchy of Brittany, it occupied the greater part of. On the north, it further included Candé, Bazouges, Le Lude. Anjou's political origin is traced to the ancient Gallic state of the Andes. After the conquest by Julius Caesar, the area was organized around the Roman civitas of the Andecavi; the Roman civitas was afterward preserved as an administrative district under the Franks with the name first of pagus—then of comitatus or countship—of Anjou. At the beginning of the reign of Charles the Bald, the integrity of Anjou was menaced by a twofold danger: from Brittany to the west and from Normandy to the north.
Lambert, a former count of Nantes, devastated Anjou in concert with duke of Brittany. By the end of the year 851, he had succeeded in occupying all the western part as far as the Mayenne; the principality which he thus carved out for himself was occupied on his death by Erispoé, duke of Brittany. By him, it was handed down to his successors, in whose hands it remained until the beginning of the 10th century; the Normans raided the country continuously as well. A brave man was needed to defend it; the chroniclers of Anjou named a "Tertullus" as the first count, elevated from obscurity by Charles the Bald. A figure by that name seems to have been the father of the count Ingelger but his dynasty seems to have been preceded by Robert the Strong, given Anjou by Charles the Bald around 861. Robert met his death in 866 in a battle at Brissarthe against the Normans. Hugh the Abbot succeeded him in the countship of Anjou as in most of his other duties. Odo acceded to the throne of France in 888, but he seems to have delegated the country between the Maine and the Mayenne to Ingelger as a viscount or count around 870 owing to the connections of his wife Adelais of Amboise.
Their son Fulk the Red succeeded to his father's holdings in 888, is mentioned as a viscount after 898, seems to have been granted or usurped the title of count by the second quarter of the 10th century. His descendants continued to bear that rank for three centuries, he was succeeded by his son Fulk II the Good, author of the proverb that an unlettered king is a wise ass, in 938. He was succeeded in turn by his son Geoffrey I Grisegonelle around 958. Geoffrey inaugurated a policy of expansion, having as its objects the extension of the boundaries of the ancient countship and the reconquest of those parts of it, annexed by other states.
Hundred Years' War
The Hundred Years' War was a series of conflicts waged from 1337 to 1453 by the House of Plantagenet, rulers of the Kingdom of England, against the French House of Valois, over the right to rule the Kingdom of France. Each side drew many allies into the war, it was one of the most notable conflicts of the Middle Ages, in which five generations of kings from two rival dynasties fought for the throne of the largest kingdom in Western Europe. The war marked both the height of chivalry and its subsequent decline, the development of strong national identities in both countries. Tensions between the crowns of France and England can be traced back to the origins of the English royal family itself, French in origin. For this reason, English monarchs had held not only the English Crown, but titles and lands within France, the possession of which made them vassals to the kings of France; the status of the English King's French fiefs was a major source of conflict between the two monarchies throughout the Middle Ages.
French monarchs systematically sought to check the growth of English power, stripping away lands as the opportunity arose whenever England was at war with Scotland, an ally of France. Over the centuries, English holdings in France had varied in size, at some points dwarfing the French royal domain. In 1316, a principle was established denying women succession to the French throne. In 1328, Charles IV of France died without brothers, his closest male relative was his nephew Edward III of England, whose mother, Isabella of France, was sister of the deceased King. Isabella claimed the throne of France for her son, but the French rejected it, maintaining that Isabella could not transmit a right she did not possess. Furthermore, political sentiment favoured a Frenchman for the crown rather than a foreign prince; the throne passed instead to Philip, Count of Valois, a patrilineal cousin of Charles IV, who would become Philip VI of France, the first king of the House of Valois. The English had not expected their claim to meet with success, did not press the matter when it was denied.
However, disagreements between Philip and Edward induced the former to confiscate the latter's lands in France, in turn prompted Edward III to reassert his claim to the French throne. Several overwhelming English victories in the war—especially at Crécy, Agincourt—raised the prospects of an ultimate English triumph, convinced the English to continue pouring money and manpower into the war over many decades. However, the greater resources of the French monarchy prevented the English kings from completing the conquest of France. Starting in 1429, decisive French victories at Orléans, Patay and Castillon concluded the war in favour of the House of Valois, with England permanently losing most of its possessions on the continent. Historians divide the war into three phases separated by truces: the Edwardian War, the Caroline War, the Lancastrian War. Local conflicts in neighbouring areas, which were contemporarily related to the war, including the War of the Breton Succession, the Castilian Civil War, the War of the Two Peters in Aragon, the 1383–85 crisis in Portugal, were availed by the parties to advance their agendas.
Historians adopted the term "Hundred Years' War" as a historiographical periodisation to encompass all of these events, thus constructing the longest military conflict in European history. The war owes its historical significance to multiple factors. By its end, feudal armies had been replaced by professional troops, aristocratic dominance had yielded to a democratisation of the manpower and weapons of armies. Although a dynastic conflict, the war gave impetus to ideas of French and English nationalism; the wider introduction of weapons and tactics supplanted the feudal armies where heavy cavalry had dominated, artillery became important. The war precipitated the creation of the first standing armies in Western Europe since the time of the Western Roman Empire, thus helping to change their role in warfare. With respect to the belligerents, in France, civil wars, deadly epidemics and bandit free-companies of mercenaries reduced the population drastically. In England, political forces over time came to oppose the costly venture.
The dissatisfaction of English nobles, resulting from the loss of their continental landholdings, as well as the general shock at losing a war in which investment had been so great, became factors leading to the Wars of the Roses. The root causes of the conflict can be found in the demographic and political crises of 14th century Europe; the outbreak of war was motivated by a gradual rise in tension between the kings of France and England about Gascony and Scotland. The dynastic question, which arose due to an interruption of the direct male line of the Capetians, was the official pretext; the question of female succession to the French throne was raised after the death of Louis X in 1316. Louis X left only a daughter, his posthumous son John I lived only a few days. Furthermore, the paternity of his daughter was in question, as her mother, Margaret of Burgundy, had been exposed as an adulterer in the Tour de Nesle affair. Philip, Count of Poitiers, brother of Louis X, positioned himself to take the crown, advancing the stance that women should be ineligible to succeed to the French throne.
Through his political sagacity he won over his adversaries and succeeded to the French throne as Philip V. By the same law that he procured, his daughters were denied the succession, whi
Charles VII of France
Charles VII, called the Victorious or the Well-Served, was King of France from 1422 to his death in 1461, the fifth from the House of Valois. In the midst of the Hundred Years' War, Charles VII inherited the throne of France under desperate circumstances. Forces of the Kingdom of England and the Duchy of Burgundy occupied Guyenne and northern France, including Paris, the most populous city, Reims, the city in which the French kings were traditionally crowned. In addition, his father Charles VI had disinherited him in 1420 and recognized Henry V of England and his heirs as the legitimate successors to the French crown instead. At the same time, a civil war raged in France between the Burgundian party. With his court removed to Bourges, south of the Loire River, Charles was disparagingly called the “King of Bourges”, because the area around this city was one of the few remaining regions left to him. However, his political and military position improved with the emergence of Joan of Arc as a spiritual leader in France.
Joan of Arc and other charismatic figures led French troops to lift the siege of Orléans, as well as other strategic cities on the Loire river, to crush the English at the battle of Patay. With the local English troops dispersed, the people of Reims switched allegiance and opened their gates, which enabled the coronation of Charles VII in 1429 at Reims Cathedral; this long-awaited event boosted French morale. Following the battle of Castillon in 1453, the French expelled the English from all their continental possessions except for the Pale of Calais; the last years of Charles VII were marked by conflicts with his turbulent son, the future Louis XI of France. Born at the Hôtel Saint-Pol, the royal residence in Paris, Charles was given the title of comte de Ponthieu at his birth in 1403, he was the eleventh child and fifth son of Charles VI of Isabeau of Bavaria. His four elder brothers, Charles and John had each held the title of Dauphin of France in turn. All died childless. After his accession to the title of Dauphin, Charles had to face threats to his inheritance, he was forced to flee from Paris on 29 May 1418 after the partisans of John the Fearless, Duke of Burgundy, had entered the city the previous night.
By 1419, Charles had established a Parlement in Poitiers. On 11 July of that same year and John the Fearless attempted a reconciliation by signing, on a small bridge near Pouilly-le-Fort, not far from Melun where Charles was staying, the Treaty of Pouilly-le-Fort known under name of Paix du Ponceau, they decided that a further meeting should take place the following 10 September. On that date, they met on the bridge at Montereau; the Duke assumed that the meeting would be peaceful and diplomatic, thus he brought only a small escort with him. The Dauphin's men reacted to the Duke's arrival by killing him. Charles' level of involvement has remained uncertain to this day. Although he claimed to have been unaware of his men's intentions, this was considered unlikely by those who heard of the murder; the assassination marked the end of any attempt of a reconciliation between the two factions Armagnacs and Burgundians, thus playing into the hands of Henry V of England. Charles was required by a treaty with Philip the Good, the son of John the Fearless, to pay penance for the murder, which he never did.
At the death of his father, Charles VI, the succession was cast into doubt. The Treaty of Troyes, signed by Charles VI in 1420, mandated that the throne pass to the infant King Henry VI of England, the son of the deceased Henry V and Catherine of Valois, daughter of Charles VI. For those who did not recognize the treaty and believed the Dauphin Charles to be of legitimate birth, he was considered to be the rightful heir to the throne. For those who did not recognize his legitimacy, the rightful heir was recognized as Charles, Duke of Orléans, cousin of the Dauphin, in English captivity. Only the supporters of Henry VI and the Dauphin Charles were able to enlist sufficient military force to press for their candidates; the English in control of northern France, were able to enforce the claim of their king in the regions of France that they occupied. Northern France, including Paris, was thus ruled by an English regent, Henry V's brother, John of Lancaster, 1st Duke of Bedford, based in Normandy.
In his adolescent years, Charles was noted for his flamboyant style of leadership. At one point after becoming Dauphin, he led an army against the English dressed in the red and blue that represented his family. However, in July 1421, upon learning that Henry V was preparing from Mantes to attack with a much larger army, he withdrew from the siege of Chartres in order to avoid defeat, he went south of the Loire River under the protection of Yolande of Aragon, known as "Queen of the Four Kingdoms" and, on 22 April 1422, married her daughter, Marie of Anjou, to whom he had been engaged since December 1413 in a ceremony at the Louvre Palace. Charles, claimed the title King of Franc