Louis XIV of France
Louis XIV, known as Louis the Great or the Sun King, was a monarch of the House of Bourbon who reigned as King of France from 1643 until his death in 1715. Starting on 14 May 1643 when Louis was 4 years old, his reign of 72 years and 110 days is the longest recorded of any monarch of a sovereign country in European history. In the age of absolutism in Europe, Louis XIV's France was a leader in the growing centralisation of power. Louis began his personal rule of France in 1661, after the death of his chief minister, the Italian Cardinal Mazarin. An adherent of the concept of the divine right of kings, Louis continued his predecessors' work of creating a centralised state governed from the capital, he sought to eliminate the remnants of feudalism persisting in parts of France and, by compelling many members of the nobility to inhabit his lavish Palace of Versailles, succeeded in pacifying the aristocracy, many members of which had participated in the Fronde rebellion during Louis' minority. By these means he became one of the most powerful French monarchs and consolidated a system of absolute monarchical rule in France that endured until the French Revolution.
Louis encouraged and benefited from the work of prominent political and cultural figures such as Mazarin, Louvois, the Grand Condé, Turenne, Sébastien Le Prestre de Vauban, André Charles Boulle, Molière, Boileau, La Fontaine, Marais, Le Brun, Bossuet, Le Vau, Charles, Claude Perrault, Le Nôtre. Under his rule, the Edict of Nantes, which granted rights to Huguenots, was abolished; the revocation forced Huguenots to emigrate or convert in a wave of dragonnades, which managed to destroy the French Protestant minority. During Louis' long reign, France was the leading European power, it fought three major wars: the Franco-Dutch War, the War of the League of Augsburg, the War of the Spanish Succession. There were two lesser conflicts: the War of Devolution and the War of the Reunions. Warfare defined the foreign policy of Louis XIV, his personality shaped his approach. Impelled "by a mix of commerce and pique", Louis sensed that warfare was the ideal way to enhance his glory. In peacetime he concentrated on preparing for the next war.
He taught his diplomats that their job was to create tactical and strategic advantages for the French military. Louis XIV was born on 5 September 1638 in the Château de Saint-Germain-en-Laye, to Louis XIII and Anne of Austria, he was named Louis Dieudonné and bore the traditional title of French heirs apparent: Dauphin. At the time of his birth, his parents had been married for 23 years, his mother had experienced four stillbirths between 1619 and 1631. Leading contemporaries thus regarded him as his birth a miracle of God. Sensing imminent death, Louis XIII decided to put his affairs in order in the spring of 1643, when Louis XIV was four years old. In defiance of custom, which would have made Queen Anne the sole Regent of France, the king decreed that a regency council would rule on his son's behalf, his lack of faith in Queen Anne's political abilities was his primary rationale. He did, make the concession of appointing her head of the council. Louis' relationship with his mother was uncommonly affectionate for the time.
Contemporaries and eyewitnesses claimed. Both were interested in food and theatre, it is likely that Louis developed these interests through his close relationship with his mother; this long-lasting and loving relationship can be evidenced by excerpts in Louis' journal entries, such as: "Nature was responsible for the first knots which tied me to my mother. But attachments formed by shared qualities of the spirit are far more difficult to break than those formed by blood." It was his mother who gave Louis his belief in the absolute and divine power of his monarchical rule. During his childhood, he was taken care of by the governesses Françoise de Lansac and Marie-Catherine de Senecey. In 1646, Nicolas V de Villeroy became the young king's tutor. Louis XIV became friends with Villeroy's young children François de Villeroy, divided his time between the Palais-Royal and the nearby Hotel de Villeroy. On 14 May 1643, with Louis XIII dead, Queen Anne had her husband's will annulled by the Parlement de Paris.
This action made Anne sole Regent of France. Anne exiled some of her husband's ministers, she nominated Brienne as her minister of foreign affairs. Anne nominated Saint Vincent de Paul as her spiritual adviser, which helped her deal with religious policy and the Jansenism question. Anne kept the direction of religious policy in her hand until 1661. Anne wanted to give her son a victorious kingdom, her rationales for choosing Mazarin were his ability and his total dependence on her, at least until 1653 when she was no longer regent. Anne protected Mazarin by arresting and exiling her followers who conspired against him in 1643: the Duke of Beaufort and Marie de Rohan, she left the direction of the daily administration of policy to Cardinal Mazarin. The best example of Anne's statesmanship and the partial change in her heart towards her native Spain is seen in her keeping of one of Richelieu's men, the Chancellor of France Pierre Séguier, in his post. Séguier was the pers
Charles II of England
Charles II was king of England and Ireland. He was king of Scotland from 1649 until his deposition in 1651, king of England and Ireland from the restoration of the monarchy in 1660 until his death. Charles II's father, Charles I, was executed at Whitehall on 30 January 1649, at the climax of the English Civil War. Although the Parliament of Scotland proclaimed Charles II king on 5 February 1649, England entered the period known as the English Interregnum or the English Commonwealth, the country was a de facto republic, led by Oliver Cromwell. Cromwell defeated Charles II at the Battle of Worcester on 3 September 1651, Charles fled to mainland Europe. Cromwell became virtual dictator of England and Ireland. Charles spent the next nine years in exile in France, the Dutch Republic and the Spanish Netherlands. A political crisis that followed the death of Cromwell in 1658 resulted in the restoration of the monarchy, Charles was invited to return to Britain. On 29 May 1660, his 30th birthday, he was received in London to public acclaim.
After 1660, all legal documents were dated as if he had succeeded his father as king in 1649. Charles's English parliament enacted laws known as the Clarendon Code, designed to shore up the position of the re-established Church of England. Charles acquiesced to the Clarendon Code though he favoured a policy of religious tolerance; the major foreign policy issue of his early reign was the Second Anglo-Dutch War. In 1670, he entered into the Treaty of Dover, an alliance with his first cousin King Louis XIV of France. Louis agreed to aid him in the Third Anglo-Dutch War and pay him a pension, Charles secretly promised to convert to Catholicism at an unspecified future date. Charles attempted to introduce religious freedom for Catholics and Protestant dissenters with his 1672 Royal Declaration of Indulgence, but the English Parliament forced him to withdraw it. In 1679, Titus Oates's revelations of a supposed Popish Plot sparked the Exclusion Crisis when it was revealed that Charles's brother and heir, Duke of York, was a Catholic.
The crisis saw the birth of anti-exclusion Tory parties. Charles sided with the Tories, following the discovery of the Rye House Plot to murder Charles and James in 1683, some Whig leaders were executed or forced into exile. Charles dissolved the English Parliament in 1681, ruled alone until his death on 6 February 1685, he was received into the Catholic Church on his deathbed. Charles was one of the most popular and beloved kings of England, known as the Merry Monarch, in reference to both the liveliness and hedonism of his court and the general relief at the return to normality after over a decade of rule by Cromwell and the Puritans. Charles's wife, Catherine of Braganza, bore no live children, but Charles acknowledged at least twelve illegitimate children by various mistresses, he was succeeded by his brother James. Charles II was born at St James's Palace on 29 May 1630, his parents were Charles I, who ruled the three kingdoms of England and Ireland, Henrietta Maria, the sister of the French king Louis XIII.
Charles was their second child. Their first son died within a day. England and Ireland were predominantly Anglican and Catholic. Charles was baptised in the Chapel Royal, on 27 June, by the Anglican Bishop of London, William Laud, he was brought up in the care of the Protestant Countess of Dorset, though his godparents included his maternal uncle Louis XIII and his maternal grandmother, Marie de' Medici, the Dowager Queen of France, both of whom were Catholics. At birth, Charles automatically became Duke of Cornwall and Duke of Rothesay, along with several other associated titles. At or around his eighth birthday, he was designated Prince of Wales, though he was never formally invested. During the 1640s, when Charles was still young, his father fought Parliamentary and Puritan forces in the English Civil War. Charles accompanied his father during the Battle of Edgehill and, at the age of fourteen, participated in the campaigns of 1645, when he was made titular commander of the English forces in the West Country.
By spring 1646, his father was losing the war, Charles left England due to fears for his safety. Setting off from Falmouth after staying at Pendennis Castle, he went first to the Isles of Scilly to Jersey, to France, where his mother was living in exile and his first cousin, eight-year-old Louis XIV, was king. Charles I surrendered into captivity in May 1646. In 1648, during the Second English Civil War, Charles moved to The Hague, where his sister Mary and his brother-in-law William II, Prince of Orange, seemed more to provide substantial aid to the royalist cause than his mother's French relations. However, the royalist fleet that came under Charles's control was not used to any advantage, did not reach Scotland in time to join up with the royalist Engager army of the Duke of Hamilton before it was defeated at the Battle of Preston by the Parliamentarians. At The Hague, Charles had a brief affair with Lucy Walter, who falsely claimed that they had secretly married, her son, James Crofts, was one of Charles's many illegitimate children who became prominent in British society.
Despite his son's diplomatic efforts to save him, King Charles I was beheaded in January 1649, England became a republic. On 5 February, the Covenanter Parliament of Scotland proclaimed Charles II "King of Great Britain and Ireland" at the Mercat Cross, but refused to allow him to enter Scotland unless he accepted the imposition of Presbyterianism throughout Britain and Ireland; when negotiations with the Scot
Treaties of Nijmegen
The Treaties of Peace of Nijmegen were a series of treaties signed in the Dutch city of Nijmegen between August 1678 and December 1679. The treaties ended various interconnected wars among France, the Dutch Republic, Brandenburg, Denmark, the Prince-Bishopric of Münster, the Holy Roman Empire; the most significant of the treaties was the first, which established peace between France and the Dutch Republic and placed the northern border of France near its modern position. The Franco-Dutch War of 1672–78 was the source of all the other wars that were ended formally at Nijmegen. Separate peace treaties were arranged for conflicts like the Third Anglo-Dutch War and the Scanian War, but all of them had been directly caused by and form part of the Franco-Dutch War. England participated in the war on the French side but withdrew in 1674, after the Treaty of Westminster. Peace negotiations had begun as early as 1676, but nothing was agreed to and signed before 1678; the treaties did not result in a lasting peace.
Some of the countries involved signed peace deals elsewhere, such as the Treaty of Celle, Treaty of Saint-Germain and Treaty of Fontainebleau. 10 August 1678 – France and the Dutch Republic make peace. Sweden was not part of the treaty, but a section orces the Dutch Republic to take a neutral approach toward Sweden with which it had been at war since 1675. 19 September 1678 – France and Spain make peace. 26 January 1679 – France makes peace with the Holy Roman Empire. 26 January 1679 – Sweden mades peace with the Holy Roman Empire. 19 March 1679 – Sweden makes peace with the Prince-Bishopric of Münster. All of Münster's soldiers in Danish war service are to be withdrawn. 2 October 1679 – Sweden made peace with the Dutch Republic. The Franco–Dutch War ended with a treaty which gave France control over the region of the Franche-Comté. France gained further territories of the Spanish Netherlands, adding to those it had annexed under the 1659 Peace of the Pyrenees and 1668 Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle.
These included the town of Saint-Omer with the remaining northwestern part of the former Imperial County of Artois. In turn, French King Louis XIV ceded the occupied town of Maastricht and the Principality of Orange to the Dutch stadtholder William III; the French forces withdrew from several occupied territories in northern Hainaut. Emperor Leopold I had to accept the French occupation of the towns of Freiburg and Kehl on the right bank of the Rhine. Marc-Antoine Charpentier wrote a Te Deum for this occasion; the prelude of the Te Deum is known as the Eurovision Song Contest theme. Scan of the Franco-Dutch treaty
Third Anglo-Dutch War
The Third Anglo-Dutch War or the Third Dutch War was a military conflict between the Kingdom of England and the Dutch Republic, that lasted between April 1672 and early 1674. It was part of the larger conflict between the Dutch Republic and her allies and France, the third of a series of naval wars between the English and the Dutch. In 1670, Charles II of England and Louis XIV of France concluded the Secret Treaty of Dover, intending to subjugate the Dutch state. England's Royal Navy joined France in its attack on the Republic in 1672, but was frustrated in its attempts to blockade the Dutch coast by four strategic victories of Lieutenant-Admiral Michiel de Ruyter. An attempt to make the province of Holland an English protectorate rump state failed; the Parliament of England, fearful that the alliance with France was part of a plot to make England Roman Catholic, forced the king to abandon the costly and fruitless war. Although England, the Dutch Republic and Sweden had signed a Triple Alliance against France in 1668 to prevent that country from occupying the Spanish Netherlands, Charles II of England signed the secret Treaty of Dover with France in 1670, entailing that England would join Louis XIV of France in a punitive campaign against the United Provinces.
Charles, feeling humiliated by the events of the Second Anglo-Dutch War the Raid on the Medway, had engaged in the Triple Alliance only to create a rift between the Dutch and the French, two former allies. While publicly trying to appease tensions between France and the Republic, making ambassador William Temple avow friendship to Grand Pensionary Johan de Witt, he secretly schemed to seduce Louis to a campaign against the Dutch, he was promised that after a French victory, he would be rewarded strategic coastal key positions to take as Crown possession. Walcheren and Sluys were noted explicitly, but Charles desired Brill, Texel and Delfzijl, to control the seaways towards the main Dutch ports, including Rotterdam and Amsterdam, the latter of, the richest city in Europe. Charles had hoped that an attack on the Republic could have begun in 1671, but it had to be delayed for a year because the French needed to establish secure diplomatic relations with two key German principalities: the Bishopric of Münster and the Archbishopric of Cologne.
The Spanish Netherlands would act as a buffer between the Republic and France. The Holy Roman Emperor Leopold I had promised not to interfere with the French plans, on condition that the Spanish Netherlands would not be attacked. For these reasons, Louis XIV and the two German bishops agreed that the French army would advance through the Bishopric of Liège, a dependency of Cologne that intersected the Spanish Netherlands, attack the Republic unexpectedly from the east in its unprotected "soft side". Münster and Cologne decided to join the invasion with their armies. Charles tried to use the delay to sow dissension between the Orangist faction in the Republic, which wanted to restore the House of Orange to the office of stadtholder, the republican States faction headed by De Witt; when from November 1670 William visited Charles to urge the House of Stuart to pay back a part of the large debt it owed to the House of Orange, Charles intended to make his nephew part of the conspiracy and promise him to be made Sovereign Prince of Holland, a puppet state, in return for collaboration with the invading forces.
But he started his effort to recruit the young prince for his undertaking by advising William to become Roman Catholic, as he believed Catholicism was best fitted to absolutist rulers. William's horrified reaction to this proposal convinced Charles that it was best not to reveal the Dover Treaty to him. Charles was hampered in his intrigue by needing Parliament to vote for sufficient funds to bring out a strong fleet. England would not be involved with its rather weak army. Charles was receiving considerable subsidies from Louis, about £225,000 a year, but he preferred to spend these on the luxuries of his own court; as the treaty with France was secret, he could not direct these subsidies to the fleet anyway. Whereas in 1664 the country had been, in the words of Samuel Pepys, "mad for war", in 1671 most English had begun to despair of being able to "beat the Dutch" and there was considerable resistance against any additional taxation. To provide for short-term money, Charles therefore on 2 January 1672 repudiated the Crown debts in the Great Stop of the Exchequer, which gained him £1,300,000.
The Parliament was decidedly unenthusiastic about a new war. The king tried to incite public opinion in England against the Dutch by creating a serious incident. Lord Arlington put it this way: "Our business is to break with them, yet to lay the breach at their door". Bennet sent the royal yacht Merlin, with Temple's wife Dorothy Osborne aboard, on 24 August 1671 to sail through the Dutch fleet at anchor off Brill for maintenance; the Dutch ships duly struck their flag in salute first, as was mandatory under treaty, but refused to salute firing white smoke, because they were doubtful the Merlin counted as a real warship. Charles ordered the intriguer George Downing, the new ambassador in The Hague, to demand that the admirals responsible be punished
Henry IV of France
Henry IV known by the epithet Good King Henry or Henry the Great, was King of Navarre from 1572 and King of France from 1589 to 1610. He was the first monarch of France from the House of Bourbon, a cadet branch of the Capetian dynasty, he was assassinated in 1610 by François Ravaillac, a fanatical Catholic, was succeeded by his son Louis XIII. The son of Antoine de Bourbon, Duke of Vendôme and Jeanne d'Albret, the Queen of Navarre, Henry was baptised as a Catholic but raised in the Protestant faith by his mother, he inherited the throne of Navarre in 1572 on his mother's death. As a Huguenot, Henry was involved in the French Wars of Religion escaping assassination in the St. Bartholomew's Day massacre, he led Protestant forces against the royal army. Henry IV and his predecessor Henry III of France are both direct descendants of the Saint-King Louis IX. Henry III belonged to the House of Valois, descended from Philip III of France, elder son of Saint Louis; as Head of the House of Bourbon, Henry was "first prince of the blood."
Upon the death of his brother-in-law and distant cousin Henry III in 1589, Henry was called to the French succession by the Salic law. He kept the Protestant faith and had to fight against the Catholic League, which denied that he could wear France's crown as a Protestant. To obtain mastery over his kingdom, after four years of stalemate, he found it prudent to abjure the Calvinist faith; as a pragmatic politician, he displayed an unusual religious tolerance for the era. Notably, he promulgated the Edict of Nantes, which guaranteed religious liberties to Protestants, thereby ending the Wars of Religion. Considered a usurper by some Catholics and a traitor by some Protestants, Henry became target of at least 12 assassination attempts. An unpopular king among his contemporaries, Henry gained more status after his death, he was admired for his conversion to Catholicism. The "Good King Henry" was remembered for his geniality and his great concern about the welfare of his subjects. An active ruler, he worked to regularise state finance, promote agriculture, eliminate corruption and encourage education.
During his reign, the French colonization of the Americas began with the foundation of the colony of Acadia and its capital Port-Royal. He was celebrated in Voltaire's Henriade. Henry de Bourbon was born in Pau, the capital of the joint Kingdom of Navarre with the sovereign principality of Béarn, his parents were Queen Joan III of Navarre and her consort, Antoine de Bourbon, Duke of Vendôme, King of Navarre. Although baptised as a Roman Catholic, Henry was raised as a Protestant by his mother, who had declared Calvinism the religion of Navarre; as a teenager, Henry joined the Huguenot forces in the French Wars of Religion. On 9 June 1572, upon his mother's death, the 19-year-old became King of Navarre. At Queen Joan's death, it was arranged for Henry to marry Margaret of Valois, daughter of Henry II and Catherine de' Medici; the wedding took place in Paris on 18 August 1572 on the parvis of Notre Dame Cathedral. On 24 August, the St. Bartholomew's Day massacre began in Paris. Several thousand Protestants who had come to Paris for Henry's wedding were killed, as well as thousands more throughout the country in the days that followed.
Henry narrowly escaped death thanks to the help of his wife and his promise to convert to Catholicism. He was forced to live at the court of France, but he escaped in early 1576. On 5 February of that year, he formally abjured Catholicism at Tours and rejoined the Protestant forces in the military conflict, he named Catherine de Bourbon, regent of Béarn. Catherine held the regency for nearly thirty years. Henry became heir presumptive to the French throne in 1584 upon the death of Francis, Duke of Anjou and heir to the Catholic Henry III, who had succeeded Charles IX in 1574; because Henry of Navarre was the next senior agnatic descendant of King Louis IX, King Henry III had no choice but to recognise him as the legitimate successor. Salic law barred the king's sisters and all others who could claim descent through only the female line from inheriting. Since Henry of Navarre was a Huguenot, the issue was not considered settled in many quarters of the country, France was plunged into a phase of the Wars of Religion known as the War of the Three Henries.
Henry III and Henry of Navarre were two of these Henries. The third was Henry I, Duke of Guise, who pushed for complete suppression of the Huguenots and had much support among Catholic loyalists. Political disagreements among the parties set off a series of campaigns and counter-campaigns that culminated in the Battle of Coutras. In December 1588, Henry III had Henry I of Guise murdered, along with his brother, Cardinal de Guise. Henry III thought that the removal of the brothers would restore his authority. However, the populace rose against him. In several cities, the title of the king was no longer recognized, his power was limited to Blois and the surrounding districts. In the general chaos, Henry III relied on King Henry of his Huguenots; the two kings were united by a common interest—to win France from the Catholic League. Henry III acknowledged the King of Navarre as a true subject and Frenchman, not a fanatic Huguenot aiming for the destruction of
Philippe I, Duke of Orléans
Philippe, Duke of Orléans was the younger son of Louis XIII of France and his wife, Anne of Austria. His older brother was the famous "Sun King", Louis XIV. Styled Duke of Anjou from birth, Philippe became Duke of Orléans upon the death of his uncle Gaston in 1660. In 1661, Philippe received the dukedoms of Valois and Chartres. Following Philippe's victory in battle in 1671, Louis XIV added the dukedom of Nemours, the marquisates of Coucy and Folembray, the countships of Dourdan and Romorantin. During the reign of his brother he was known as Monsieur, the traditional style at the court of France for the younger brother of the king. Although he was open about his homosexual behaviour and acted effeminately, he fulfilled his royal duty and married twice fathering several children. In fact, he was the founder of the House of Orléans, a cadet branch of the ruling House of Bourbon, thus the direct ancestor of Louis Philippe I, who ruled France from 1830 until 1848 in the July Monarchy. Through the children of his two marriages, Philippe became an ancestor of most modern-day Roman Catholic royalty, giving him the nickname of "the grandfather of Europe".
Philippe's other achievements include his decisive victory as military commander at the Battle of Cassel in 1677. Through careful personal administration, Philippe augmented the fortunes of the House of Orléans. Philippe was born on 21 September 1640 at the Château de Saint-Germain-en-Laye in the town of Saint-Germain-en-Laye, the day before his mother Anne’s 39th birthday; as the son of a ruling king, the infant Philippe held the rank of a Fils de France. As such, he ranked behind his older brother Louis, Dauphin of France, who inherited the French throne before Philippe reached the age of three. From birth, Philippe was second in line to the throne of France and was entitled to the style of Royal Highness, he was born in the presence of his father Louis XIII, the Princess of Condé, the Duchess of Vendôme, prominent members of the Bourbon dynasty. An hour after his birth, he was baptised in a private ceremony by Dominique Séguier, Bishop of Meaux, given the name Philippe. Louis XIII had wanted to give the infant the title Count of Artois in honour of a recent French victory in Arras within the county of Artois.
However, Louis respected tradition and gave him the title of Duke of Anjou instead, a title granted to the younger sons of French kings since the fourteenth century. After his baptism, Philippe was put in the care of Françoise de Souvré, marquise de Lansac, who looked after his older brother, in 1643 succeeded by Marie-Catherine de Senecey. At the death of their father Louis XIII in May 1643, Philippe's older brother ascended to the throne of France as Louis XIV, their mother Queen Anne revoked the late king's will to arrange for a power-sharing agreement with Cardinal Mazarin, serving as Louis XIII's chief minister. Anne was now in full control of her children, something she had been vying for since their birth; as the younger brother of the king, Philippe was addressed as le Petit Monsieur, since his uncle Gaston, the younger brother of a French king, was still alive. Gaston was known as le Grand Monsieur, it was not until 1660 at the death of Gaston that Philippe would be known as Monsieur or as the Duke of Orléans.
The child Philippe was acknowledged to be intelligent. The Duchess of Montpensier dubbed him the "prettiest child in the world", while his mother's friend and confidant, Madame de Motteville said of Philippe that he displayed a "lively intelligence" early on. From 1646 on Philippe spend some of his childhood at the Hôtel de Villeroy / Cremerie de Paris, house of Nicolas V de Villeroy tutor of his brother Louis XIV; the children played there with Catherine de Villeroy and François de Villeroy In the autumn of 1647, at age seven, Philippe caught smallpox, but recovered and convalesced at the Palais-Royal. A year he was taken from the care of women and, on 11 May 1648 carried out his first official ceremony when he was baptised publicly at the Palais Royal, his godparents were his uncle Gaston and aunt Queen Henrietta Maria of England. He was placed in the care of François de La Mothe Le Vayer and the Abbé de Choisy, he was educated by the maréchal du Plessis-Praslin. His tutors were chosen by Mazarin, created the superintendent of the prince's education by his mother.
His education emphasized languages, literature and dancing. Despite having a household of his own, his behaviour was watched by his mother and Mazarin, who made sure that Philippe had no meaningful financial freedom from the crown; when Philippe was eight, the civil war known as the Fronde began in France. It lasted until 1653 in its two main phases: the Fronde Parlementaire and the Fronde des nobles. During the conflict, the royal family was obliged to flee Paris on the night of 9 February 1651 for the safety of Saint-Germain-en-Laye in order to avoid a revolt by the nobility against Mazarin; when peace returned, the decision was made for Philippe to move his household to the Palais des Tuileries the residence of the duchess of Montpensier opposite the Palais Royal. At the coronation of Louis XIV on 7 June 1654, Philippe acted as dean, placing the crown of France on his brother's head. All his life, Philippe would be a noted lover of etiquette and panoply, ensuring that all ceremonial details were adhered to.
In late June 1658, Louis became gravely ill. Presumed to have typhoid, Louis was pronounced dead when, in mid-July, he began to recover; the illness made heir presumptive to the throne, the centre of attention. For fear of infection, Philippe could not see h
The Scheldt is a 350-kilometre long river in northern France, western Belgium, the southwestern part of the Netherlands. Its name is derived from an adjective corresponding to Old English sceald, Modern English shoal, Low German schol, West Frisian skol, Swedish skäll; the headwaters of the Scheldt are in the Aisne department of northern France. It flows north through Cambrai and Valenciennes, enters Belgium near Tournai. In Ghent, where it receives the Lys, one of its main tributaries, the Scheldt turns east. Near Antwerp, the largest city on its banks, the Scheldt flows west into the Netherlands towards the North Sea. There were two branches from that point: the Oosterschelde. In the 19th century, the river was cut off from its eastern branch by a dyke that connects Zuid-Beveland with the mainland. Today the river therefore continues into the Westerschelde estuary only, passing Terneuzen to reach the North Sea between Breskens in Zeelandic Flanders and Vlissingen on Walcheren; the Scheldt is an important waterway, has been made navigable from its mouth up to Cambrai.
Above Cambrai, the Canal de Saint-Quentin follows its course. The port of Antwerp, the second largest in Europe, lies on its banks. Several canals connect the Scheldt with the basins of the Rhine and Seine, with the industrial areas around Brussels, Liège, Lille and Mons; the Scheldt flows through the following departments of France, provinces of Belgium, provinces of the Netherlands, towns: Aisne: Gouy Nord: Cambrai, Valenciennes Hainaut: Tournai West Flanders: Avelgem East Flanders: Oudenaarde, Dendermonde, Temse Antwerp: Antwerp Zeeland: Hulst, Sluis, Vlissingen The Scheldt estuary has always had considerable commercial and strategic importance. In Roman times, it was important for the shipping lanes to Roman Britain. Nehalennia was venerated at its mouth; the Franks took control over the region about the year 260 and at first interfered with the Roman supply routes as pirates. They became allies of the Romans. With the various divisions of the Frankish Empire in the 9th century, the Scheldt became the border between the Western and Eastern parts of the Empire, which became France and the Holy Roman Empire.
This status quo remained intact—at least on paper—until 1528, although by both the County of Flanders on the western bank and Zeeland and the Duchy of Brabant on the east were part of the Habsburg possessions of the Seventeen Provinces. Antwerp was the most prominent harbour in Western Europe. After this city fell back under Spanish control in 1585, the Dutch Republic took control of Zeelandic Flanders, a strip of land on the left bank, closed the Scheldt for shipping; this shifted the trade to the ports of Amsterdam and Middelburg and crippled Antwerp—an important and traumatic element in the history of relations between the Netherlands and what was to become Belgium. Access to the river was the subject of the brief Kettle War of 1784, and—in the French Revolutionary era shortly afterwards—the river was reopened in 1792. Once Belgium had claimed its independence from the Netherlands in 1830, the treaty of the Scheldt determined that the river should remain accessible to ships heading for Belgian ports.
The Dutch government would demand a toll from passing vessels until 16 July 1863. The Question of the Scheldt, a study providing "a history of the international legal arrangements governing the Western Scheldt", was prepared for the use of British negotiators at the Treaty of Versailles in 1919. In the Second World War, the Scheldt estuary once again became a contested area. Despite Allied control of Antwerp, in September 1944 German forces still occupied fortified positions throughout the Scheldt estuary west and north, preventing any Allied shipping from reaching the port. In the Battle of the Scheldt, the Canadian First Army cleared the area, allowing supply convoys direct access to the port of Antwerp by November 1944. Western Scheldt or Honte Schijn Rupel Nete Kleine Nete Aa Wamp Grote Nete Wimp Molse Nete Laak Dijle Zenne Maalbeek Woluwe Maalbeek Molenbeek Neerpedebeek Zuun Geleytsbeek Linkebeek Molenbeek Senette Hain Samme Thines Vrouwvliet Demer Velp Gete Herk Melsterbeek Grote Gete Kleine Gete Voer IJse Nethen Laan Zilverbeek Thyle Durme Molenbeek Dender Mark Ruisseau d'Ancre Zulle Eastern Dender Western Dender Molenbeek-Ter Erpenbeek Lys/Leie Mandel Heulebeek Gaverbeek Douve Deûle/Deule or Feule Marque Souchez Carency Saint-Nazaire Laquette Lawe Brette, ruisseau de Caucourt, fossé d'Avesnes Clarence Nave, Grand Nocq Becque de Steenwerk Zwalm Rone Rhosne