Blanche of France, Infanta of Castile
Blanche of France was a daughter of King Louis IX of France and Margaret of Provence, and sister of King Philip III of France and Queen Isabella of Navarre. Blanche was born in 1253 in Jaffa, County of Jaffa and Ascalon during the Seventh Crusade led by her father and they had four sons and three daughters. Ferdinand, who married Juana Núñez de Lara, called la Palomilla, Lady of Lara and Herrera, daughter of Juan Núñez I de Lara and they had one son and three daughters. One daughter, Blanca de La Cerda y Lara, was the mother-in-law of King Henry II of Castile, ferdinand predeceased his father in 1275 at Ciudad Real. Blanche and Ferdinands sons did not inherit the throne of their grandfather, since their uncle, blanches brother Philip warned Sancho that he would invade Castile on behalf of his two nephews. Blanche left Castile never to return and her sons were sent to live with their grandmother Violant of Aragon who had them sent to the fortress of Játiva so they would be safe from Sancho. Blanche died at the Monastère des Clarisses de l’Ave Maria, in Paris, in 1323
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
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
Robert II of France
Robert II, called the Pious or the Wise, was King of the Franks from 996 until his death. The second reigning member of the House of Capet, he was born in Orléans to Hugh Capet, immediately after his own coronation, Roberts father Hugh began to push for the coronation of Robert. Lewis has observed, in tracing the phenomenon in this line of kings who lacked dynastic legitimacy, ralph Glaber, attributes Hughs request to his old age and inability to control the nobility. Robert was eventually crowned on 25 December 987, Robert had begun to take on active royal duties with his father in the early 990s. In 991, he helped his father prevent the French bishops from trekking to Mousson in the Kingdom of Germany for a synod called by Pope John XV and she was the widow of Arnulf II of Flanders, with whom she had two children. Robert divorced her within a year of his fathers death in 996 and he tried instead to marry Bertha, daughter of Conrad of Burgundy, around the time of his fathers death. She was a widow of Odo I of Blois, but was Roberts cousin, for reasons of consanguinity, Pope Gregory V refused to sanction the marriage, and Robert was excommunicated.
After long negotiations with Gregorys successor, Sylvester II, the marriage was annulled, finally, in 1001, Robert entered into his final and longest-lasting marriage to Constance of Arles, the daughter of William I of Provence. Her southern customs and entourage were regarded with suspicion at court, after his companion Hugh of Beauvais urged the king to repudiate her as well, knights of her kinsman Fulk III, Count of Anjou had Beauvais murdered. The king and Bertha went to Rome to ask Pope Sergius IV for an annulment so they could remarry, after this was refused, he went back to Constance and fathered several children by her. Her ambition alienated the chroniclers of her day, who blamed her for several of the kings decisions and Robert remained married until his death in 1031. Robert was a devout Catholic, hence his sobriquet the Pious and he was musically inclined, being a composer and poet, and made his palace a place of religious seclusion where he conducted the matins and vespers in his royal robes.
Roberts reputation for piety resulted from his lack of toleration for heretics and he is credited with advocating forced conversions of local Jewry. He supported riots against the Jews of Orléans who were accused of conspiring to destroy the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem, Robert reinstated the Roman imperial custom of burning heretics at the stake. In 1003, his invasion of the Duchy of Burgundy was thwarted, the pious Robert made few friends and many enemies, including his own sons, Hugh and Robert. They turned against their father in a war over power. Hugh died in revolt in 1025, in a conflict with Henry and the younger Robert, King Roberts army was defeated, and he retreated to Beaugency outside Paris, his capital. He died in the middle of the war with his sons on 20 July 1031 at Melun and he was interred with Constance in Saint Denis Basilica and succeeded by his son Henry, in both France and Burgundy
Marie of France, Countess of Champagne
Marie of France was a French princess and Countess consort of Champagne. She was regent of the county of Champagne in 1179-1181, and she was the elder daughter of King Louis VII of France and Duchess Eleanor of Aquitaine. Her parents marriage was annulled in 1152, and custody of Marie and her sister, both Louis and Eleanor remarried quickly, with Eleanor becoming Queen of England as the spouse of King Henry II. Marie had numerous half-siblings, including kings Philip II of France and John, in 1160, when Louis married Adele of Champagne, he betrothed Marie and Alix to Adeles brothers. After her betrothal, Marie was sent to the abbey of Avenay in Champagne for her education, in 1164, Marie married Henry I, Count of Champagne. While her husband was away, Maries father died and her half-brother, Philip and he confiscated his mothers dower lands and married Isabelle of Hainaut, who was previously betrothed to Maries eldest son. This prompted Marie to join a party of disgruntled nobles—including Queen Adele, relations between Marie and her royal brother improved.
Her husband died soon after his return from the Holy Land, now a widow with four young children, Marie considered marrying Philip of Flanders, but the engagement was broken off suddenly for unknown reasons. Marie resumed regency when her son went on Crusade, governing Champagne from 1190 to Henrys death in 1197. She retired to the nunnery of Fontaines-les-Nones near Meaux, and died there in 1198, on 25 June 1562, the Huguenots took over the town of Meaux and devastated many edifices, including the Cathedral. Backed up by Parisian refugees, the Huguenots of the Meaux region called a meeting in the district and chose a leader, Louis de Meaux. They took the keys to the town, put guards at the gates and they attacked the sculpted stone decorations and liturgical furniture, it is on this occasion that the tomb of Marie de Champagne, in the choir, was destroyed. Marie was a patron of literature, including Andreas Capellanus, who served in her court and she was literate in French and Latin and maintained her own library.
A deep affection existed between Marie and her half-brother King Richard, and his celebrated poem Ja nuns hons pris, Eleanor of Aquitaine and Lady,2002 Evergates, Theodore. Aristocratic Women in Medieval France,1999
Peter I of Courtenay
Peter I of Courtenay was the youngest son of Louis VI of France and his second wife, Adélaide de Maurienne. He was the father of the Latin Emperor Peter II of Courtenay, Peter was born in France and died in Palestine. In about 1150, he married Elizabeth de Courtenay, the daughter of Renaud de Courtenay and Hawise du Donjon and he is buried in a tomb in the floor of Exeter Cathedral, next to Elizabeth. Their eldest son was Peter of Courtenay, Lord of Conches, Seigneur of Tanlay Isabella Constance
Philip II of France
Philip II, known as Philip Augustus, was King of France from 1180 to 1223, a member of the House of Capet. Philips predecessors had been known as kings of the Franks, but from 1190 onward, Philip became the first French monarch to style himself king of France. The son of King Louis VII and his wife, Adèle of Champagne, he was originally nicknamed Dieudonné God-given because he was the first son of Louis VII. Philip was given the nickname Augustus by the chronicler Rigord for having extended the Crown lands of France so remarkably, the military actions surrounding the Albigensian Crusade helped prepare the expansion of France southward. Philip did not participate directly in these actions, but he allowed his vassals, Philip transformed France from a small feudal state into the most prosperous and powerful country in Europe. He checked the power of the nobles and helped the towns to free themselves from seigniorial authority and he built a great wall around Paris, re-organized the French government and brought financial stability to his country.
Philip was born in Gonesse on 21 August 1165 and he spent much of the following night attempting to find his way out, but to no avail. Exhausted by cold and fatigue, he was discovered by a peasant carrying a charcoal burner. His father went on pilgrimage to the Shrine of Thomas Becket to pray for Philips recovery and was told that his son had indeed recovered, however, on his way back to Paris, he suffered a stroke. In declining health, Louis VII had his 14-year-old son crowned and anointed as king at Rheims on 1 November 1179 by the Archbishop Guillaume aux Blanches Mains. He was married on 28 April 1180 to Isabelle of Hainaut, the daughter of Baldwin V, Count of Hainaut, and Margaret I, Countess of Flanders, who brought the County of Artois as her dowry. From the time of his coronation, all power was transferred to Philip. Eventually, Louis died on 18 September 1180, while the royal demesne had increased under Philip I and Louis VI, it had diminished slightly under Louis VII. In April 1182, partially to enrich the French crown, Philip expelled all Jews from the demesne, Philips eldest son Louis was born on 5 September 1187 and inherited the County of Artois in 1190, when his mother Isabelle died.
The main source of funding for Philips army was from the royal demesne, in times of conflict, he could immediately call up 250 knights,250 horse sergeants,100 mounted crossbowmen,133 crossbowmen on foot,2,000 foot sergeants, and 300 mercenaries. Towards the end of his reign, the king could muster some 3,000 knights,9,000 sergeants,6,000 urban militiamen, using his increased revenues, Philip was the first Capetian king to build a French navy actively. By 1215, his fleet could carry a total of 7,000 men, within two years, his fleet included 10 large ships and many smaller ones. In 1181, Philip began a war with Philip, Count of Flanders, over the Vermandois, which King Philip claimed as his wifes dowry, finally the Count of Flanders invaded France, ravaging the whole district between the Somme and the Oise before penetrating as far as Dammartin
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
Louis VIII of France
Louis VIII the Lion was King of France from 1223 to 1226. He claimed the title King of England from 1216 to 1217, Louis VIII was born in Paris, the son of King Philip II of France and Isabelle of Hainaut, from whom he inherited the County of Artois. While Louis VIII only briefly reigned as king of France, he was a leader in his years as crown prince. During the First Barons War of 1215-17 against King John of England, after his victory at the Battle of Roche-au-Moine in 1214, he invaded southern England and was proclaimed King of England by rebellious barons in London on the 2 June 1216. He was never crowned and renounced his claim after being excommunicated and repelled, in 1217, Louis started the conquest of Guyenne, leaving only a small region around Bordeaux to Henry III of England. Louiss short reign was marked by an intervention using royal forces into the Albigensian Crusade in southern France that decisively moved the conflict towards a conclusion and he died in 1226 and was succeeded by his son Louis IX.
In summer 1195, a marriage between Louis and Eleanor of Brittany, niece of Richard I of England, was suggested for an alliance between Philip II and Richard, but it failed and this led to a sudden deterioration in relations between Richard and Philip. On 23 May 1200, at the age of 12, Louis was married to Blanche of Castile, daughter of King Alfonso VIII of Castile and Eleanor of England, the marriage could only be concluded after prolonged negotiations between King Philip II of France and Blanches uncle John. In 1214, King John of England began his campaign to reclaim the Duchy of Normandy from Philip II. John was optimistic, as he had built up alliances with Holy Roman Emperor Otto IV, Count Renaud of Boulogne. Johns plan was to split Philips forces by pushing north-east from Poitou towards Paris, while Otto and Ferdinand, supported by the Earl of Salisbury, marched south-west from Flanders. Whereas Philip II took personal command of the front against the emperor and his allies. The first part of the campaign went well for the English, with John outmanoeuvring the forces under the command of Prince Louis, John besieged the castle of Roche-au-Moine, a key stronghold, forcing Louis to give battle against Johns larger army.
The local Angevin nobles refused to advance with the king, left at something of a disadvantage, shortly afterwards, Philip won the hard-fought Battle of Bouvines in the north against Otto and Johns other allies, bringing an end to Johns hopes of retaking Normandy. In 1215, the English barons rebelled against the unpopular King John in the First Barons War, the barons offered the throne to Prince Louis, who landed unopposed on the Isle of Thanet in eastern Kent, England, at the head of an army on 21 May 1216. There was little resistance when the prince entered London, and Louis was proclaimed king at Old St Pauls Cathedral with great pomp and celebration in the presence of all of London. Even though he was not crowned, many nobles, as well as King Alexander II of Scotland on behalf of his English possessions, on 14 June 1216, Louis captured Winchester and soon controlled over half of the English kingdom. But just when it seemed that England was his, King Johns death in October 1216 caused many of the barons to desert Louis in favour of Johns nine-year-old son
Henry I of France
Henry I was King of the Franks from 1031 to his death. The royal demesne of France reached its smallest size during his reign and this is not entirely agreed upon, however, as other historians regard him as a strong but realistic king, who was forced to conduct a policy mindful of the limitations of the French monarchy. A member of the House of Capet, Henry was born in Reims and he was crowned King of France at the Cathedral in Reims on 14 May 1027, in the Capetian tradition, while his father still lived. He had little influence and power until he became sole ruler on his fathers death, the reign of Henry I, like those of his predecessors, was marked by territorial struggles. Initially, he joined his brother Robert, with the support of their mother and his mother, supported Robert as heir to the old king, on whose death Henry was left to deal with his rebel sibling. In 1032, he placated his brother by giving him the duchy of Burgundy which his father had him in 1016. In an early strategic move, Henry came to the rescue of his very young nephew-in-law, in 1051, William married Matilda, the daughter of the count of Flanders, which Henry saw as a threat to his throne.
In 1054, and again in 1057, Henry invaded Normandy, Henry had three meetings with Henry III, Holy Roman Emperor—all at Ivois. In early 1043, he met him to discuss the marriage of the emperor with Agnes of Poitou, in October 1048, the two Henries met again and signed a treaty of friendship. The final meeting place in May 1056 and concerned disputes over Theobald III. The debate over the duchy became so heated that Henry accused the emperor of breach of contract, in 1058, Henry was selling bishoprics and abbacies, ignoring the accusations of simony and tyranny by the Papal legate Cardinal Humbert. Despite his efforts, Henry Is twenty-nine-year reign saw feudal power in France reach its pinnacle, King Henry I died on 4 August 1060 in Vitry-en-Brie and was interred in Basilica of St Denis. He was succeeded by his son, Philip I of France, at the time of his death, he was besieging Thimert, which had been occupied by the Normans since 1058. He was Duke of Burgundy from 1016 to 1032, when he abdicated the duchy to his brother Robert, Henry I was betrothed to Matilda, the daughter of Conrad II, Holy Roman Emperor, but she died prematurely in 1034.
Henry married Matilda of Frisia, but she died in 1044, casting further afield in search of a third wife, Henry married Anne of Kiev on 19 May 1051. They had four children, Philip I, vajay, S. Mathilde, reine de France inconnue,1971