Louis VII of France
Louis VII was King of the Franks from 1137 until his death. He was the son and successor of King Louis VI of France, hence his nickname, immediately after the annulment of her marriage, Eleanor married Henry Plantagenet, Duke of Normandy and Count of Anjou, to whom she conveyed Aquitaine. When Henry became King of England in 1154, as Henry II, Henrys efforts to preserve and expand on this patrimony for the Crown of England would mark the beginning of the long rivalry between France and England. Louis VIIs reign saw the founding of the University of Paris and he died in 1180 and was succeeded by his son Philip II. Louis was born in 1120 in Paris, the son of Louis VI of France. The early education of Prince Louis anticipated an ecclesiastical career, in October 1131, his father had him anointed and crowned by Pope Innocent II in Reims Cathedral. He spent much of his youth in Saint-Denis, where he built a friendship with the Abbot Suger, an advisor to his father who served Louis well during his early years as king.
Following the death of William X, Duke of Aquitaine, Louis VI moved quickly to have Prince Louis married to Eleanor, Duchess of Aquitaine, heiress of the late duke, on 25 July 1137. In this way, Louis VI sought to add the large, on 1 August 1137, shortly after the marriage, Louis VI died, and Prince Louis became king of France, reigning as Louis VII. The pairing of the monkish Louis and the high-spirited Eleanor was doomed to failure, she once declared that she had thought to marry a king. Louis and Eleanor had two daughters and Alix, in the first part of his reign, Louis VII was vigorous and zealous in his prerogatives. His accession was marked by no other than uprisings by the burgesses of Orléans and Poitiers. He soon came into violent conflict with Pope Innocent II, the pope thus imposed an interdict upon the king. As a result, Champagne decided to side with the pope in the dispute over Bourges, the war lasted two years and ended with the occupation of Champagne by the royal army. Louis VII was personally involved in the assault and burning of the town of Vitry-le-François, more than a thousand people who had sought refuge in the church died in the flames.
Overcome with guilt and humiliated by ecclesiastical reproach, Louis admitted defeat, removed his armies from Champagne and he accepted Pierre de la Chatre as archbishop of Bourges and shunned Raoul and Petronilla. Desiring to atone for his sins, he declared his intention of mounting a crusade on Christmas Day 1145 at Bourges, bernard of Clairvaux assured its popularity by his preaching at Vezelay on Easter 1146. In the meantime, Geoffrey V, Count of Anjou, completed his conquest of Normandy in 1144, in exchange for being recognised as Duke of Normandy by Louis, Geoffrey surrendered half of the Vexin — a region vital to Norman security — to Louis
Margaret of France, Queen of England and Hungary
Margaret of France was, by her two marriages, queen of England and Croatia. She was the eldest daughter of Louis VII of France by his second wife Constance of Castile and her older half-sisters and Alix, were older half-sisters of her future husband. She was betrothed to Henry the Young King on 2 November 1160, Henry was the second of five sons born to King Henry II of England and Eleanor of Aquitaine. He was five years old at the time of this agreement while Margaret was three, margarets dowry was the vital and much disputed territory of Vexin. Her husband became co-ruler with his father in 1170, because Archbishop Thomas Becket was in exile, Margaret was not crowned along with her husband on 14 July 1170. This omission and the coronation being handled by a greatly angered her father. To please the French King, Henry II had his son, when Margaret became pregnant, she did her confinement period in Paris, where she gave birth prematurely to their only son William on 19 June 1177, who died three days on 22 June.
She was accused in 1182 of having an affair with William Marshal, 1st Earl of Pembroke. Henry may have started the process to have their marriage annulled, ostensibly due to her adultery, Margaret was sent back to France, according to E. Hallam and Amy Kelly, to ensure her safety during the civil war with Young Henrys brother Richard the Lionheart. Her husband died in 1183 while on campaign in the Dordogne region of France, by virtue of her marriage to Young King Henry, duke of Anjou, she was installed as the duchess. The coronet he and she would have worn was chronicled in about 1218 as the traditional ring-of-roses coronet of the house of Anjou, Margaret may have taken her coronet to Hungary in 1186 when she married King Bela III. A ring-of-roses coronet was discovered in a convent grave in Budapest in 1838, after receiving a substantial pension in exchange for surrendering her dowry of Gisors and the Vexin, she became the second wife of Béla III of Hungary in 1186. The difficult delivery of her only child in 1177 seems to have rendered her sterile.
She was widowed for a time in 1196 and died on pilgrimage to the Holy Land at St John of Acre in 1197. She was buried at the Cathedral of Tyre, according to Ernoul, Margaret was portrayed by Lucy Durham-Matthews and Tracey Childs in the 1978 BBC TV drama series The Devils Crown, which dramatised the reigns of Henry II, Richard I and John
Henry of France, Archbishop of Reims
Henry of France, Bishop of Beauvais, Archbishop of Reims, was the third son of Louis the Fat, King of France and his second wife Adélaide de Maurienne. As the third son of the King Henry was destined for a place in the church from an age, tonsured at the age of thirteen. He advanced by stages through the hierarchy, probably with a view to preparing him for a position of the highest rank. In 1146, however, he was converted from his life as a wealthy secular cleric by St. Bernard of Clairvaux. Pope Eugenius III, himself a former Cistercian monk, speaks of Henry in 1147 as humbly washing dishes at Clairvaux, in 1149, on the death of Bishop Odo III of Beauvais, the cathedral chapter, persuaded by Bernard of Clairvaux, elected Henry as their bishop. Henry was ill-prepared for the political responsibilities of his new office, King Louis backed the town, while Henry was supported by his younger brother Robert, Count of Dreux. The conflict was settled by Pope Eugenius III in 1151. In 1161 Henry became Archbishop of Reims, succeeded at Beauvais by Bartholomew of Montcornet, Henry organised an important church council at Reims in 1164.
He again found himself in conflict with the populace of his city, the revolt was suppressed and Archbishop Henry devoted himself to beautifying and fortifying Reims, which included building the castles of Septsaulx and Cormicy. “Henri de France, ” in Alfred Baudrillart, et al. eds, dictionnaire d’histoire et de géographie ecclésiastiques, XXIII, cols. Henri de France, archevêque de Reims, “Henri de France et Louis VII. L’Évêque cistercien et son frère le roi, ” [in Les Serviteurs de l’État au Moyen Âge, actes du XXIXe Congrès de la Société des historiens médiévistes de l’enseignement supérieur public. Ludwig Falkenstein, “Alexandre III et Henri de France, Conformités et conflits, ” in, Rolf Grosse, dietrich Lohrmann, “Autour d’un acte d’Henri, évêque de Beauvais, concernant trois granges de Froidmont, ” in Michel Parisse, ed. A Propos des actes d’évêques, Hommage à Lucie Fossier, Presses Universitaires de Nancy,1991, pp. 161–167
Isabella of France, Queen of Navarre
Isabella of France was a daughter of Louis IX of France and Margaret of Provence. She was married to Theobald II of Navarre, eldest son of Theobald I of Navarre, isabelle became Queen consort of Navarre. Louis IX wanted to make peace with Navarre so he married Isabella off to Theobald, the Archbishop of Rouen celebrated the marriage between Isabella and Theobald II, King of Navarre and Count of Champagne, on 6 April 1255 in Melun. The bridegroom was 16 and the bride 14 years old, together with her husband and her father, the very pious Isabella travelled with the Eighth Crusade in July 1270. Her father died there in August of the same year, then, in December, Isabellas husband died of an epidemic while in Sicily. After the deaths of both her father and husband, Isabella returned to France and lived in Provence until her only two months in 1271. Isabella is buried next to her husband in Provins, list of Navarrese royal consorts French monarchs family tree Media related to Isabella of France at Wikimedia Commons Marek, Miroslav
Robert I, Count of Artois
Robert I, called the Good, was the first Count of Artois, the fifth son of Louis VIII of France and Blanche of Castile. He received Artois as an appanage, in accordance with the will of his father on attaining his majority in 1237. In 1240 Pope Gregory IX, in conflict with the Emperor Frederick II, offered to crown Robert as emperor in opposition to Frederick, on 14 June 1237 Robert married Matilda, daughter of Henry II of Brabant and Marie of Hohenstaufen. They had two children, Blanche Robert II, who succeeded to Artois, while participating in the Seventh Crusade, Robert died while leading a reckless attack on Al Mansurah, without the knowledge of his brother King Louis IX. He and the Templars after fording a river, charged a Mamluk outpost in which the Mamluk commander, enbolded by his success, the Templar knights, and a contingent of English troops charged into the town and became trapped in the narrow streets. According to Jean de Joinville, he defended himself for some time in a house there, Jean Dunbabin, Charles I of Anjou, Power and State-Making in Thirteenth-Century, Routledge,2014.
Jean-François Nieus, Un pouvoir comtal entre Flandre et France, Saint-Pol, 1000-1300, a History of the Crusades, Vol. II, ed. Kenneth M. Setton, University of Wisconsin,1969, Charles T. Wood, The French Apanages and the Capetian Monarchy, Harvard University Press,1966
Cecile of France
Cecile of France was a daughter of Philip I of France and Bertrade de Montfort. Her parentage is recorded by William of Tyre, who records her marriages and her first marriage was arranged while Bohemond I of Antioch was visiting the French court seeking support against Alexios I Komnenos. She sailed for Antioch at the end of 1106 and became Lady of Tarsus and Mamistra, Cecile married firstly Tancred, Prince of Galilee, Regent of Antioch, who succeeded in 1111 as Prince of Antioch. While dying in 1112, Tancred made Pons of Tripoli, promise to marry her, and Tancred gave her the fortresses of Arcicanum and Rugia as a dowry. In 1133, Pons was besieged at his castle of Montferrand by Imad ad-Din Zengi, atabeg of Mosul, in 1133, Zengi abandoned the siege, but during a second siege in 1137, Pons was captured and killed. He was succeeded by his son with Cecile, Raymond II, Raymond II, Count of Tripoli Philip. Agnes wife of Renaud II, Lord of Margat
Charles I of Anjou
Thereafter, he claimed the island, though his power was restricted to the peninsular possessions of the kingdom, with his capital at Naples. Charles was the child and youngest son of Louis VIII of France and Blanche of Castile. He conquered the Kingdom of Sicily from the Hohenstaufen and acquired lands in the eastern Mediterranean, the War of the Sicilian Vespers forced him to abandon his plans to reassemble the Latin Empire. By marriage to Beatrice of Provence, heiress of Raymond Berengar IV of Provence, he was Count of Provence, in 1247, his brother Louis IX made him Count of Anjou and Maine, as appanages of the French crown. By conquest and self-proclamation, he became King of Albania in 1272, by the testament of William II of Villehardouin, he inherited the Principality of Achaea in 1278. Charles was born in March 1227, four months after the death of his father, like his immediate older brother, Philip Dagobert, he did not receive a county as appanage, as had their older brothers. In 1232, his brothers Philip Dagobert and John, Count of Anjou and Maine, Charles became the next in line to receive the Counties, but was formally invested only in 1247.
The affection of his mother Blanche seems largely to have bestowed upon his brother Louis. The self-reliance this engendered in Charles may account for the drive, upon his accession as Count of Provence and Forcalquier in 1246, Charles rapidly found himself in difficulties. Furthermore, while Provence was technically a part of the Burgundy and hence of the Holy Roman Empire, recent counts had governed with a light hand, and the nobilities and cities had enjoyed great liberties. Three cities, Marseille and Avignon were Imperial cities technically separate from the county. In 1247, while Charles was in France to receive the counties of Anjou and Maine, the local nobility joined with Beatrice, unfortunately for Charles, he had promised to join his brother on the Seventh Crusade. For the time being, Charles compromised with Beatrice, allowing her to have Forcalquier, rich Provence provided the funds that supported his wider career. His rights as landlord were, on the whole, of recent establishment, from the Church, unlike his brothers in the north, he received virtually nothing.
Charles agents were efficient, the towns were prosperous, the peasants were buying up the duties of corvée and establishing self-governing consulats in the villages, Charles sailed with the rest of the Crusaders from Aigues-Mortes in 1248 and fought at Damietta and in the struggle around Mansourah, Egypt. However, his piety does not seem to have matched that of his brother, during his absence, open rebellion had broken out in Provence. Charles moved to suppress it, and Arles, Marseille held out until July 1252, but sued for peace. Charles imposed a lenient peace, but insisted on the recognition of his full rights, in November 1252, the death of his mother Blanche of Castile caused him to go north to Paris and assume the joint regency of the kingdom with his brother Alphonse
House of Capet
The House of Capet or the Direct Capetians, called the House of France, or simply the Capets, ruled the Kingdom of France from 987 to 1328. It was the most senior line of the Capetian dynasty – itself a derivative dynasty from the Robertians, historians in the 19th century came to apply the name Capetian to both the ruling house of France and to the wider-spread male-line descendants of Hugh Capet. It was not a contemporary practice and they were sometimes called the third race of kings, the Merovingians being the first, and the Carolingians being the second. The name is derived from the nickname of Hugh, the first Capetian King, the direct succession of French kings, father to son, from 987 to 1316, of thirteen generations in almost 330 years, was unparallelled in recorded history. The direct line of the House of Capet came to an end in 1328, with the death of Charles IV, the throne passed to the House of Valois, descended from a younger brother of Philip IV. He proceeded to make it hereditary in his family, by securing the election and coronation of his son, Robert II, the throne thus passed securely to Robert on his fathers death, who followed the same custom – as did many of his early successors.
Louis VIII – the eldest son and heir of Philip Augustus – married Blanche of Castile, a granddaughter of Aliénor of Aquitaine and Henry II of England. In her name, he claimed the crown of England, invading at the invitation of the English Barons and these lands were added to the French crown, further empowering the Capetian family. Louis IX – Saint Louis – succeeded Louis VIII as a child, unable to rule for several years, the government of the realm was undertaken by his mother, at the death of Louis IX, France under the Capetians stood as the pre-eminent power in Western Europe. Unfortunately for the Capetians, the proved a failure. Philip IV had married Jeanne, the heiress of Navarre and Champagne, by this marriage, he added these domains to the French crown. More importantly to French history, he summoned the first Estates General – in 1302 – and in 1295 established the so-called Auld Alliance with the Scots and it was Philip IV who presided over the beginning of his Houses end. The first quarter of the century saw each of Philips sons reign in rapid succession, Louis X, Philip V, Louis – unwilling to release his wife and return to their marriage – needed to remarry.
He arranged a marriage with his cousin, Clementia of Hungary and this proved the case, but the boy – King John I, known as the Posthumous – died after only 5 days, leaving a succession crisis. Eventually, it was decided based on several reasons that Joan was ineligible to inherit the throne, which passed to the Count of Poitiers. Marie died in 1324, giving birth to a stillborn son, the last of the direct Capetians were the daughters of Philip IVs three sons, and Philip IVs daughter, Isabella. Since they were female, they could not transmit their Capetian status to their descendants, the wife of Edward II of England, Isabella overthrew her husband in favour of her son and her co-hort, only for Edward III to execute Mortimer and have Isabella removed from power. Joan, the daughter of Louis X, succeeded on the death of Charles IV to the throne of Navarre, she now being – questions of paternity aside – the unquestioned heiress
Alphonse, Count of Poitiers
Alphonse or Alfonso was the Count of Poitou from 1225 and Count of Toulouse from 1249. Born at Poissy, Alphonse was a son of Louis VIII, King of France and he was a younger brother of Louis IX of France and an older brother of Charles I of Sicily. In 1229, his mother, who was regent of France and it stipulated that a brother of King Louis was to marry Joan of Toulouse, daughter of Raymond VII of Toulouse, and so in 1237 Alphonse married her. Since she was Raymonds only child, they became rulers of Toulouse at Raymonds death in 1249, by the terms of his fathers will he received an appanage of Poitou and Auvergne. To enforce this Louis IX won the battle of Taillebourg in the Saintonge War together with Alphonse against a revolt allied with king Henry III of England, Alphonse took part in two crusades with his brother, St Louis, in 1248 and in 1270. For the first of these, he raised a large sum and he sailed for home on 10 August 1250. His father-in-law had died while he was away, and he went directly to Toulouse to take possession.
There was some resistance to his accession as count, which was suppressed with the help of his mother Blanche of Castile who was acting as regent in the absence of Louis IX, the county of Toulouse, since then, was joined to Alphonses appanage. In 1252, on the death of his mother, Blanche of Castile, aside from the crusades, Alphonse stayed primarily in Paris, governing his estates by officials, inspectors who reviewed the officials work, and a constant stream of messages. His main work was on his own estates, there he repaired the evils of the Albigensian war and made a first attempt at administrative centralization, thus preparing the way for union with the crown. The charter known as Alphonsine, granted to the town of Riom and he is noted for ordering the first recorded local expulsion of Jews, when he did so in Poitou in 1249. When Louis IX again engaged in a crusade, Alphonse again raised a sum of money. This time, however, he did not return to France, dying while on his way back, probably at Savona in Italy, Alphonses death without heirs raised some questions as to the succession to his lands.
One possibility was that they should revert to the crown, another that they should be redistributed to his family. The latter was claimed by Charles of Anjou, but in 1283 Parlement decided that the County of Toulouse should revert to the crown, Alphonses wife Joan had attempted to dispose of some of her inherited lands in her will. But, her will was invalidated by Parlement in 1274, one specific bequest in Alphonses will, giving his wifes lands in the Comtat Venaissin to the Holy See, was allowed, and it became a Papal territory, a status that it retained until 1791. Hallam, Elizabeth M. Capetian France, 987-1328, women rulers throughout the ages, an illustrated guide. The Feudal Monarchy in France and England from the Tenth to the Thirteenth Century, in R. L. Wolff, H. W. Hazard
Robert I, Count of Dreux
Robert I of Dreux, nicknamed the Great, was the fifth son of Louis VI of France and Adélaide de Maurienne. Through his mother he was related to the Carolingians and to the Marquess William V of Montferrat, in 1137 he received the County of Dreux as an appanage from his father. He held this title until 1184 when he granted it to his son Robert II, in 1139 he married Agnes de Garlande. In 1145, he married Hawise of Salisbury, Robert I participated in the Second Crusade and was at the Siege of Damascus in 1148. In 1158 he fought against the English and participated in the Siege of Séez in 1154,1. Agnes de Garlande, daughter of Anseau de Garlande, count of Rochefort. Simon, lord of La Noue 2, alice or Adelheid 3. Agnes de Baudemont, Countess of Braine. Robert II, count of Dreux and Braine, bishop of Orléans Alix, married Raoul I, lord of Coucy Philippe, bishop of Beauvais. Isabella, married Hugh III of Broyes Peter William, lord of Braye, gislebertus of Mons, Chronicle of Hainaut, Trans. Medieval France, an encyclopedia, Ed.
William W. Kibler, Edmond, Histoire de la ville de Brie-Comte-Robert, Vol.1, Dujarric & Cie,1902. M. A. Pollock, Scotland and France After the Loss of Normandy, 1204-1296, Auld Amitie, Daniel, The Norman frontier in the twelfth and early thirteenth centuries, Cambridge University Press,2004