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
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
Philip IV, called the Fair or the Iron King, was King of France from 1285 until his death. By virtue of his marriage with Joan I of Navarre, he was Philip I, Philip relied on skillful civil servants, such as Guillaume de Nogaret and Enguerrand de Marigny, to govern the kingdom rather than on his barons. Philip and his advisors were instrumental in the transformation of France from a country to a centralized state. Philip, who sought an uncontested monarchy, compelled his vassals by wars and his ambitions made him highly influential in European affairs. His goal was to place his relatives on foreign thrones, princes from his house ruled in Naples and Hungary. He tried and failed to make relative the Holy Roman Emperor. He began the advance of France eastward by taking control of scattered fiefs. To further strengthen the monarchy, he tried to control the French clergy and this conflict led to the transfer of the papal court to the enclave of Avignon in 1309. In 1306, Philip the Fair expelled the Jews from France and, in 1307, Friday 13th, Philip was in debt to both groups and saw them as a state within the state.
His final year saw a scandal amongst the family, known as the Tour de Nesle Affair. His three sons were kings of France, Louis X, Philip V, and Charles IV. A member of the House of Capet, Philip was born in the fortress of Fontainebleau to the future Philip III. He was the second of four born to the couple. His father was the heir apparent of France at that time, in August 1270, when Philip was two years old, his grandfather died while on Crusade, his father became king, and his elder brother Louis became heir apparent. Only five months later, in January 1271, Philips mother died after falling from a horse, a few months later, one of Philips younger brothers, died. Philips father was crowned king at Rhiems on 15 August 1271. Six days later, he married again, Philips step-mother was Marie, in May 1276, Philips elder brother Louis died, and the eight year old Philip became crown prince. It was suspected that Louis had been poisoned, and that his stepmother, one reason for these rumours was the fact that the queen gave birth to her own eldest son in the same month as the death of the crown prince
Hugh, called the Great, was a younger son of Henry I of France and Anne of Kiev and younger brother of Philip I. He was Count of Vermandois in right of his wife and his nickname Magnus is probably a bad translation into Latin of a French nickname, le Maisné, meaning the younger, referring to Hugh as younger brother of the King of France. In 1085 Hugh helped William the Conqueror repel a Danish invasion of England, early 1096 Hugh and Philip began discussing the First Crusade after news of the Council of Clermont reached them in Paris. Although Philip could not participate, as he had been excommunicated and his armada was possibly commanded by Arnout II, Count of Aarschot. It is fitting that I should be met on my arrival and received with the pomp and he brings with him from Rome the golden standard of St Peter. Understand, that he is commander of the Frankish army. See to it that he is accorded a reception worthy of his rank, whilst sailing the Adriatic Sea from Bari towards Illyricum, Hughs fleet was overtaken by a heavy storm and most ships were lost.
His own ship was thrown upon the shore near Epirus, when Hugh was found and brought to Dyrrhachium John Komnenos treated him to a banquet and he was allowed to rest. By order of the emperor Hugh was closely escorted by Manuel Boutoumites, eventually Hugh was given an audience by the emperor, who persuaded him to become his liegeman. The German historian Hans Eberhard Mayer argued that Alexius was fortunate that the first contingent of the army to arrive in Constantinople, led by Hugh, was very small. Moreover any conquests made to the east would be held as fiefs, anna Comnena recorded a conversation between Hugh and Godfrey of Bouillon, wherein Hugh tried to persuade Godfrey to pledge allegiance to Alexius. Godfrey however refused, you left your own country as a ruler with all that wealth, and then, as if you had won some great success, have you come here to tell me to do the same. After the Crusaders had successfully made their way across Seljuk territory and, in 1098, captured Antioch, the emperor was uninterested and Hugh, instead of returning to Antioch to help plan the siege of Jerusalem, went back to France.
There he was scorned for not having fulfilled his vow as a Crusader to complete a pilgrimage to Jerusalem and he joined the minor Crusade of 1101, but was wounded in battle with the Turks in September, and died of his wounds in October in Tarsus. He married Adelaide of Vermandois, the daughter of Herbert IV, Count of Vermandois, riley-Smith, The First Crusaders, 1095-1131, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge,1997 Bury, J. B. The Cambridge Medieval History, Volume V, Contest of Empire and Papacy, Cambridge at the University Press, Cambridge,1926
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
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
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
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