The Full Wiki

Charles VI of France: Wikis

Advertisements
  
  

Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.

Encyclopedia

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Charles VI the Mad
Charles VI of France by the painter
known as the Master of Boucicaut (1412).
King of France
Reign 16 September 1380 – 21 October 1422
Coronation 4 November 1380
Predecessor Charles V
Successor Charles VII
Spouse Isabeau of Bavaria
Issue
Isabella, Queen of England
Joan, Duchess of Brittany
Louis, Dauphin of Viennois
John, Dauphin of Viennois
Michelle, Duchess of Burgundy
Catherine, Queen of England
Charles VII of France
Father Charles V of France
Mother Joan of Bourbon
Born 3 December 1368(1368-12-03)
Paris, France
Died 21 October 1422 (aged 53)
Paris, France
Burial Saint Denis Basilica

Charles VI (3 December 1368 – 21 October 1422), called the Beloved (French: le Bien-Aimé) and the Mad (French: le Fol or le Fou), was the King of France from 1380 to 1422, as a member of the House of Valois.

Contents

Early life

The crowning of Charles VI

He was born in Paris, the son of King Charles V and Joan of Bourbon. At the age of eleven, he was crowned King of France in 1380 in the cathedral at Reims. He married Isabeau of Bavaria in 1385. Until he took complete charge as king in 1388, France was ruled primarily by his uncle, Philip the Bold, Duke of Burgundy. During that time, the power of the royal administration and the authority to tax was reestablished, following the tax revolt known as the Harelle, after his father had repealed the taxes on his deathbed.

Charles VI was known both as Charles the Beloved and later as Charles the Mad, since, beginning in his mid-twenties, he experienced bouts of psychosis. These fits of madness would recur for the rest of his life. Based on his symptoms, he probably suffered from schizophrenia.[citation needed]

Madness

Charles VI

Charles's first known fit occurred in 1392 when his friend and advisor, Olivier de Clisson, was the victim of an attempted murder. Although Clisson survived, Charles was determined to punish the would-be assassin Pierre de Craon who had taken refuge in Brittany. Contemporaries said Charles appeared to be in a "fever" to begin the campaign and appeared disconnected in his speech. Charles set off with an army on 1 July 1392. The progress of the army was slow, nearly driving Charles into a frenzy of impatience.

As the king and his escort were travelling through a forest on a hot August morning, a barefoot leper dressed in rags rushed up to the King's horse and grabbed his bridle. "Ride no further, noble King!" he yelled. "Turn back! You are betrayed!" The king's escorts beat the man back but did not arrest him, and he followed the procession for a half-hour, repeating his cries.

The company emerged from the forest at noon. A page who was drowsy from the sun dropped the king's lance, which clanged loudly against a steel helmet carried by another page. Charles shuddered, drew his sword and yelled "Forward against the traitors! They wish to deliver me to the enemy!" The king spurred his horse and began swinging his sword at his companions, fighting until one of his chamberlains and a group of soldiers were able to grab him from his mount and lay him on the ground. He lay still and did not react, falling into a coma. The king killed a knight named the bastard of Polignac and several other men (the exact number of victims differs in the chronicles from the time).

A coin of Charles VI, a "double d'or", minted in La Rochelle in 1420.

The king continued to suffer from periods of mental illness throughout his life. During one attack in 1393, Charles could not remember his name and did not know he was king. When his wife came to visit, he asked his servants who she was and ordered them to take care of what she required so that she would leave him alone.[1] During an episode of 1395-1396, he claimed that his name was George and that his coat of arms was a lion with a sword thrust through it.[2] At this time, he recognized all the officers of his household but did not know his wife or his children. Sometimes he ran wildly through the corridors of his Parisian residence, the Hôtel Saint-Pol, and to keep him inside, the entrances were walled up. In 1405, he refused to bathe or change his clothes for five months.[3] His later psychotic episodes were not described in detail probably because of the similarity of his behavior and delusions. Pope Pius II, who was born in the middle of the reign of Charles VI, wrote in his Commentaries that there were times when Charles thought that he was made of glass, and this caused him to protect himself in various ways so that he would not break.[4] This condition has come to be known as glass delusion.

The Bal des Ardents

The Bal des Ardents, miniature of 1450-80. Another picture of the accident can be found here.

On 29 January 1392, at the behest of the king, a grand party was organized to celebrate the wedding of one of the queen's ladies-in-waiting at the Hotel de Saint Pol. At the suggestion of a Norman Squire, Huguet de Guisay, the King, Huguet and four other lords [5], dressed up as wild men and danced about chained to one another. They were "in costumes of linen cloth sewn onto their bodies and soaked in resinous wax or pitch to hold a covering of frazzled hemp, so that they appeared shaggy & hairy from head to foot".[6] At the suggestion of one of the "Wild men" Yvain de Foix, the king commanded - in view of the obvious danger of fire - that the torch-bearers were to stand at the side of the room. Nonetheless, the King's brother, Louis of Valois, Duke of Orléans, who had arrived late, approached with a lighted torch in order to discover the identity of the masqueraders, and he accidentally set one of them on fire. Alternatively, it was a plot to kill the mentally deficient king. In any case, there was panic as the fire spread. The Duchess of Berry, to save a dancer who had come near her to intrigue and tease her, threw the train of her gown over him, and it was soon revealed to her that the life she had saved was the king's.[7] Several Knights who tried to put out the flames were severely burned on their hands. Four of the wild men perished: Sir Charles de Poiters son of the Count of Valentinois, Huguet de Guisay, Yvain de Foix and the Count of Joigny. Another, Jean son of the Lord de Nantouillet, saved himself by jumping into a dishwater tub [8]. This incident became known as the Bal des Ardents (the "Ball of the Burning Men").

Struggles for power

With the King mad, his uncles Philip the Bold, Duke of Burgundy, and John, Duke of Berry, took control and dismissed Charles's advisers and various officials he had appointed. Another contender for power was the King's brother, Louis I de Valois, Duke of Orléans. This was to be the start of a series of major feuds among the princes of royal blood which would cause much chaos and conflict in France even beyond Charles's reign.

French Monarchy
Capetian Dynasty
(House of Valois)
France Ancient.svg

Philip VI
Children
   John II
John II
Children
   Charles V
   Louis I of Anjou
   John, Duke of Berry
   Philip the Bold
Charles V
Children
   Charles VI
   Louis, Duke of Orléans
Charles VI
Children
   Isabella of Valois
   Michelle of Valois
   Catherine of Valois
   Charles VII
Charles VII
Children
   Louis XI
   Charles, Duke of Berry
Louis XI
Children
   Charles VIII
Charles VIII

The first major feud was between Philip the Bold and Louis, duke of Orléans who both tried to fill the power vacuum left by the King's condition. Furthermore Louis was suspected of being the lover of his sister-in-law, the Queen. Philip's death in April 1404 did not bring an end to Louis's problems. John the Fearless, the new Duke of Burgundy took over and the feud escalated. In 1407, the Duke of Orléans was murdered in the streets of Paris. John did not deny responsibility, claiming that Louis was a tyrant who squandered money.

Louis's son, Charles, new Duke of Orléans, turned to his father-in-law, Bernard VII, Count of Armagnac, for support. This resulted in the Armagnac-Burgundian Civil War.

Charles VI's secretary, Pierre Salmon, spent much time in discussions with the king while he was suffering from his intermittent but incapacitating psychosis. In an effort to find a cure for the king's illness, stabilize the turbulent political situation, and secure his own future, Salmon supervised the production of two distinct versions of the beautifully illuminated guidebooks to good kingship known as Pierre Salmon's Dialogues.

The English invasion

Charles VI's reign was marked by the continuing conflict with the English known as the Hundred Years' War. An early attempt at peace occurred in 1396 when Charles's daughter, the almost seven-year-old Isabella of Valois, married the 29-year-old Richard II of England.

By 1415, however, the feud between the Royal family and the house of Burgundy had led to chaos and anarchy throughout France. Taking advantage, Henry V of England led an invasion which culminated in October when the French army was defeated at the Battle of Agincourt.

With the English taking over the country, John the Fearless sought to end the feud with the Royal family by negotiating with the Dauphin, the King's heir. They met at the bridge at Montereau on 10 September 1419 but during the meeting, the Duke of Burgundy was killed by Tanneguy du Châtel, a follower of the Dauphin. John's successor, Philip the Good, threw in his lot with the English.

(Philip the Good would later make peace with the Dauphin, now Charles VII, with the Treaty of Arras when, under the inspiration of Joan of Arc, the tide of the war turned in favour of the French. Joan was burned at the stake when Burgundy handed her over to the English.)

In 1420, King Charles signed the Treaty of Troyes which recognized Henry of England as his successor, disinherited his son, the Dauphin Charles, and betrothed his daughter, Catherine of Valois, to Henry (see English Kings of France).

Many historians have misinterpreted this treaty and the disinheriting of the Dauphin Charles. The Dauphin sealed his fate, in the eyes of the king, by committing treason: he declared himself regent, usurping royal authority, and refused to obey the king's order to return to Paris.[9] It is important to remember that when the Treaty of Troyes was finalized in May 1420, the Dauphin Charles was only 17-years-old. He was then a weak figure who was easily manipulated by his advisors.

Charles VI died in 1422 at Paris and is interred with his wife Isabeau de Bavière in Saint Denis Basilica. Both their grandson, the one-year-old Henry VI of England, and their son, Charles VII, were proclaimed King of France, but it was the latter who became the actual ruler with the support of Joan of Arc.

Charles VI appears to have passed on his mental illness to his grandson Henry, whose inability to govern led England to a civil strife of its own known as the Wars of the Roses.

Ancestors

Marriage and issue

Charles VI married:

Isabeau of Bavaria (ca. 1371 – 24 September 1435) on 17 July 1385.

Name Birth Death Notes
Charles, Dauphin 25 September 1386 28 December 1386 Died young. First Dauphin.
Joan 14 June 1388 1390 Died young.
Isabella 9 November 1389 13 September 1409 Married (1) Richard II, King of England (1367–1400) in 1396. No issue.
Married (2) Charles, Duke of Orléans (1394–1465) in 1406. Had issue.
Joan 24 January 1391 27 September 1433 Married John VI, Duke of Brittany (1389–1442) in 1396. Had issue.
Charles of France, Dauphin 6 February 1392 13 January 1401 Died young. Second Dauphin.
Mary 22 August 1393 19 August 1438 Never married - became an abbess. No issue. Died of the Plague
Michelle 11 January 1395 8 July 1422 Married Philip the Good, Duke of Burgundy (1396–1467) in 1409. Had issue.
Louis, Dauphin 22 January 1397 18 December 1415 Married Margaret of Burgundy. No issue. Third Dauphin.
John, Dauphin 31 August 1398 5 April 1417 Married Jacqueline, Countess of Hainaut (1401–1436) in 1415. No issue. Fourth Dauphin.
Catherine 27 October 1401 3 January 1438 Married (1) Henry V, King of England (1387–1422) in 1420. Had issue.
Married (?) (2) Owen Tudor (1400–1461). Had issue.
Charles VII, King of France 22 February 1403 21 July 1461 Married Marie of Anjou (1404–1463) in 1422. Had issue. The fifth Dauphin.
Philip 10 November 1407 10 November 1407 Died young.

He also had one illegitimate child by Odette de Champdivers, Marguerite bâtarde de France (d. ca.1458).

Cultural references

The Romantic French poet Gérard de Nerval wrote a poem dedicated to the king: "Rêverie de Charles VI"[10].

The novel The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge by Rainer Maria Rilke describes the old age of Charles VI at length.

The story "Hop-Frog, or The Eight Chained Ourang-Outangs" by Edgar Allan Poe involves a scene strikingly similar to the Bal des Ardents. (Full text at Wikisource)

The Edith Pattou novel East mentions Charles of France's second son, Charles, to be the white bear.

King Charles VI, and his madness, are mentioned at length in the historical novel Het Woud der Verwachting/Le Foret de Longue Attente/In a Dark Wood Wandering (1949) by Hella S. Haasse.

Christine de Pisan dedicates a poem to King Charles VI "Prière pour le roi Charles" in which she pleas for the health of her king.

References

  1. ^ R.C. Famiglietti, Royal Intrigue: Crisis at the Court of Charles VI, 1392-1420, New York, 1986, p. 4, citing the chronicle of the Religieux de Saint-Denis, ed. Bellaguet, II, pp. 86-88.
  2. ^ R.C. Famiglietti, Royal Intrigue: Crisis at the Court of Charles VI, 1392-1420, New York, 1986, p. 5, citing the chronicle of the Religieux de Saint-Denis, ed. Bellaguet, II, pp. 404-05.
  3. ^ R.C. Famiglietti, Royal Intrigue: Crisis at the Court of Charles VI, 1392-1420, New York, 1986, p. 6, citing the chronicle of the Religieux de Saint-Denis, ed. Bellaguet, III, p. 348
  4. ^ Enea Silvio Piccolomini (Papa Pio II), I Commentarii, ed. L. Totaro, Milano, 1984, I, p. 1056.
  5. ^ Froissart Chronicles, ed. Johnes, II, p.550
  6. ^ Barbara Tuchman, A Distant Mirror,1978, Alfred A Knopf Ltd. See the chronicle of the Religieux de Saint-Denis, ed. Bellaguet, II, pp. 64-71, where the squire's name is given correctly as de Guisay.
  7. ^ Chronicles ... by Sir John Froissart, ed. T. Johnes, II (1855), pp. 550-52
  8. ^ Froissart, "Chronicles", ed. Johnes, II, p.550. Note that Froissart and the Religieux de Saint-Denis differ as to when the four men died. Huguet de Guisay had held the office of cupbearer of the king.
  9. ^ R.C. Famiglietti, Royal Intrigue: Crisis at the Court of Charles VI, 1392-1420, New York, 1986, Chapter X.
  10. ^ (French) Gérard de Nerval. Rêverie de Charles VI

Sources

  • Famiglietti, R.C., Royal Intrigue: Crisis at the Court of Charles VI, 1392-1420, New York; AMS Press, 1986.
  • Famiglietti, R.C., Tales of the Marriage Bed from Medieval France (1300–1500), Providence; Picardy Press, 1992.
  • Tuchman, Barbara, A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century, New York; Ballantine Books, 1978.
Charles VI of France
Cadet branch of the Capetian dynasty
Born: 3 December 1368 Died: 21 October 1422
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Charles V
King of France
16 September 1380–21 October 1422
Succeeded by
Charles VII of France and
Henry VI of England (disputed)
(as 'Henry II of France')
French royalty
Preceded by
Vacant
(John, 2nd Dauphin)
Dauphin of France
as 'Charles, 3rd Dauphin'

3 December 1368–16 September 1380
Succeeded by
Vacant
(eventually Charles, 4th Dauphin)
Preceded by
Louis, Duke of Anjou
Heir to the Throne
as Heir apparent
3 December 1368 — 16 September 1380
Succeeded by
Louis I, Duke of Orléans
French nobility
Preceded by
Charles I of Viennois
Dauphin of Viennois, Count of Valentinois and of Diois
as 'Charles II of Viennois'

3 December 1368––26 September 1386;
28 December 1386–6 February 1392
Succeeded by
Charles III of Viennois
Preceded by
Charles III of Viennois
Succeeded by
Charles IV of Viennois
Advertisements

Charles VI the Mad
File:Carlo VI di Francia, Maestro di Boucicaut, codice Ms. Français 165 della Biblioteca Universitaria di
Charles VI of France by the painter
known as the Master of Boucicaut (1412).
King of France
Reign 16 September 1380 – 21 October 1422
Coronation 4 November 1380
Predecessor Charles V
Successor Charles VII
Spouse Isabeau of Bavaria
Issue
Isabella, Queen of England
Joan, Duchess of Brittany
Louis, Dauphin of Viennois
John, Dauphin of Viennois
Marie, Prioress of Poissy
Michelle, Duchess of Burgundy
Catherine, Queen of England
Charles VII of France
Father Charles V of France
Mother Joan of Bourbon
Born 3 December 1368(1368-12-03)
Paris, France
Died 21 October 1422 (aged 53)
Paris, France
Burial Saint Denis Basilica

Charles VI (3 December 1368 – 21 October 1422), called the Beloved (French: le Bien-Aimé) and the Mad (French: le Fol or le Fou), was the King of France from 1380 to 1422, as a member of the House of Valois.

Contents

Early life


He was born in Paris, the son of King Charles V and Joan of Bourbon. At the age of eleven, in 1380, he was crowned King of France in the cathedral at Reims. He married Isabeau of Bavaria in 1385. Until he took complete charge as king in 1388, France was ruled primarily by his uncle, Philip the Bold, Duke of Burgundy. During that time, the power of the royal administration and the authority to tax was reestablished, following the tax revolt known as the Harelle, after his father had repealed the taxes on his deathbed.

Charles VI was known both as Charles the Beloved and later as Charles the Mad, since, beginning in his mid-twenties, he experienced bouts of psychosis. These fits of madness would recur for the rest of his life. Based on his symptoms, he probably suffered from schizophrenia.[citation needed]

Madness

Charles's first known fit occurred in 1392 when his friend and advisor, Olivier de Clisson, was the victim of an attempted murder. Although Clisson survived, Charles was determined to punish the would-be assassin Pierre de Craon who had taken refuge in Brittany. Contemporaries said Charles appeared to be in a "fever" to begin the campaign and appeared disconnected in his speech. Charles set off with an army on 1 July 1392. The progress of the army was slow, nearly driving Charles into a frenzy of impatience.

As the king and his escort were travelling through a forest on a hot August morning, a barefoot leper dressed in rags rushed up to the King's horse and grabbed his bridle. "Ride no further, noble King!" he yelled. "Turn back! You are betrayed!" The king's escorts beat the man back but did not arrest him, and he followed the procession for a half-hour, repeating his cries.

The company emerged from the forest at noon. A page who was drowsy from the sun dropped the king's lance, which clanged loudly against a steel helmet carried by another page. Charles shuddered, drew his sword and yelled "Forward against the traitors! They wish to deliver me to the enemy!" The king spurred his horse and began swinging his sword at his companions, fighting until one of his chamberlains and a group of soldiers were able to grab him from his mount and lay him on the ground. He lay still and did not react, but fell into a coma. The king had killed a knight called the bastard of Polignac, and several other men, the number of which varies among contemporary chronicles.

File:Charles VI double d'or La Rochelle
A coin of Charles VI, a "double d'or", minted in La Rochelle in 1420.

The king continued to suffer from periods of mental illness throughout his life. During one attack in 1393, Charles could not remember his name and did not know he was king. When his wife came to visit, he asked his servants who she was and ordered them to take care of what she required so that she would leave him alone.[1] During an episode of 1395-1396, he claimed that his name was George and that his coat of arms was a lion with a sword thrust through it.[2] At this time, he recognized all the officers of his household but did not know his wife or his children. Sometimes he ran wildly through the corridors of his Parisian residence, the Hôtel Saint-Pol, and to keep him inside, the entrances were walled up. In 1405, he refused to bathe or change his clothes for five months.[3] His later psychotic episodes were not described in detail probably because of the similarity of his behavior and delusions. Pope Pius II, who was born in the middle of the reign of Charles VI, wrote in his Commentaries that there were times when Charles thought that he was made of glass, and this caused him to protect himself in various ways so that he would not break.[4] This condition has come to be known as glass delusion.

The Bal des Ardents

On 29 January 1393, at the behest of the king, a grand party was organized to celebrate the wedding of one of the queen's ladies-in-waiting at the Hotel de Saint Pol. At the suggestion of a Norman Squire, Huguet de Guisay, the King and four other lords [5], dressed up as wild men and danced about chained to one another. They were "in costumes of linen cloth sewn onto their bodies and soaked in resinous wax or pitch to hold a covering of frazzled hemp, so that they appeared shaggy & hairy from head to foot".[6] At the suggestion of one of the "Wild men" Yvain de Foix, the king commanded - in view of the obvious danger of fire - that the torch-bearers were to stand at the side of the room. Nonetheless, the King's brother, Louis of Valois, Duke of Orléans, who had arrived late, approached with a lighted torch in order to discover the identity of the masqueraders, and he accidentally set one of them on fire. Alternatively, it was a plot to kill the mentally deficient king. In any case, there was panic as the fire spread. The Duchess of Berry, to save a dancer who had come near her to intrigue and tease her, threw the train of her gown over him, and it was soon revealed to her that the life she had saved was the king's.[7] Several Knights who tried to put out the flames were severely burned on their hands. Four of the wild men perished: Sir Charles de Poiters son of the Count of Valentinois, Huguet de Guisay, Yvain de Foix and the Count of Joigny. Another, Jean son of the Lord de Nantouillet, saved himself by jumping into a dishwater tub [8]. This incident became known as the Bal des Ardents (the "Ball of the Burning Men").

Struggles for power

With the King mad, his uncles Philip the Bold, Duke of Burgundy, and John, Duke of Berry, took control and dismissed Charles's advisers and various officials he had appointed. Another contender for power was the King's brother, Louis I de Valois, Duke of Orléans. This was to be the start of a series of major feuds among the princes of royal blood which would cause much chaos and conflict in France even beyond Charles's reign.

French Monarchy
Capetian Dynasty
(House of Valois)

Philip VI
Children
   John II
John II
Children
   Charles V
   Louis I of Anjou
   John, Duke of Berry
   Philip the Bold
Charles V
Children
   Charles VI
   Louis, Duke of Orléans
Charles VI
Children
   Isabella of Valois
   Michelle of Valois
   Catherine of Valois
   Charles VII
Charles VII
Children
   Louis XI
   Charles, Duke of Berry
Louis XI
Children
   Charles VIII
Charles VIII

The first major feud was between Philip the Bold and Louis, duke of Orléans who both tried to fill the power vacuum left by the King's condition. Furthermore Louis was suspected of being the lover of his sister-in-law, the Queen. Philip's death in April 1404 did not bring an end to Louis's problems. John the Fearless, the new Duke of Burgundy took over and the feud escalated. In 1407, the Duke of Orléans was murdered in the streets of Paris. John did not deny responsibility, claiming that Louis was a tyrant who squandered money.

Louis's son, Charles, new Duke of Orléans, turned to his father-in-law, Bernard VII, Count of Armagnac, for support. This resulted in the Armagnac-Burgundian Civil War.

Charles VI's secretary, Pierre Salmon, spent much time in discussions with the king while he was suffering from his intermittent but incapacitating psychosis. In an effort to find a cure for the king's illness, stabilize the turbulent political situation, and secure his own future, Salmon supervised the production of two distinct versions of the beautifully illuminated guidebooks to good kingship known as Pierre Salmon's Dialogues.

The English invasion

Charles VI's reign was marked by the continuing conflict with the English known as the Hundred Years' War. An early attempt at peace occurred in 1396 when Charles's daughter, the almost seven-year-old Isabella of Valois, married the 29-year-old Richard II of England.

By 1415, however, the feud between the Royal family and the house of Burgundy had led to chaos and anarchy throughout France. Taking advantage, Henry V of England led an invasion which culminated in October when the French army was defeated at the Battle of Agincourt.

With the English taking over the country, John the Fearless sought to end the feud with the Royal family by negotiating with the Dauphin, the King's heir. They met at the bridge at Montereau on 10 September 1419 but during the meeting, the Duke of Burgundy was killed by Tanneguy du Châtel, a follower of the Dauphin. John's successor, Philip the Good, threw in his lot with the English.

(Philip the Good would later make peace with the Dauphin, now Charles VII, with the Treaty of Arras when, under the inspiration of Joan of Arc, the tide of the war turned in favour of the French. Joan was burned at the stake when Burgundy handed her over to the English.)

In 1420, King Charles signed the Treaty of Troyes which recognized Henry of England as his successor, disinherited his son, the Dauphin Charles, and betrothed his daughter, Catherine of Valois, to Henry (see English Kings of France).

Many historians have misinterpreted this treaty and the disinheriting of the Dauphin Charles. The Dauphin sealed his fate, in the eyes of the king, by committing treason: he declared himself regent, usurping royal authority, and refused to obey the king's order to return to Paris.[9] It is important to remember that when the Treaty of Troyes was finalized in May 1420, the Dauphin Charles was only 17-years-old. He was then a weak figure who was easily manipulated by his advisors.

Charles VI died in 1422 at Paris and is interred with his wife Isabeau de Bavière in Saint Denis Basilica. Both their grandson, the one-year-old Henry VI of England, and their son, Charles VII, were proclaimed King of France, but it was the latter who became the actual ruler with the support of Joan of Arc.

Charles VI appears to have passed on his mental illness to his grandson Henry, whose inability to govern led England to a civil strife of its own known as the Wars of the Roses.

Ancestors

Marriage and issue

Charles VI married:

Isabeau of Bavaria (ca. 1371 – 24 September 1435) on 17 July 1385.

NameBirthDeathNotes
Charles, Dauphin25 September 138628 December 1386Died young. First Dauphin.
Joan14 June 13881390Died young.
Isabella9 November 138913 September 1409Married (1) Richard II, King of England (1367–1400) in 1396. No issue.
Married (2) Charles, Duke of Orléans (1394–1465) in 1406. Had issue.
Joan24 January 139127 September 1433Married John VI, Duke of Brittany (1389–1442) in 1396. Had issue.
Charles, Dauphin6 February 139213 January 1401Died young. Second Dauphin.
Mary22 August 139319 August 1438Never married - became an abbess. No issue. Died of the Plague
Michelle11 January 13958 July 1422Married Philip the Good, Duke of Burgundy (1396–1467) in 1409. Had issue.
Louis, Dauphin22 January 139718 December 1415Married Margaret of Burgundy. No issue. Third Dauphin.
John, Dauphin31 August 13985 April 1417Married Jacqueline, Countess of Hainaut (1401–1436) in 1415. No issue. Fourth Dauphin.
Catherine27 October 14013 January 1438Married (1) Henry V, King of England (1387–1422) in 1420. Had issue.
Married (?) (2) Owen Tudor (1400–1461). Had issue.
Charles VII, King of France22 February 140321 July 1461Married Marie of Anjou (1404–1463) in 1422. Had issue. The fifth Dauphin.
Philip10 November 140710 November 1407Died young.

He also had one illegitimate child by Odette de Champdivers, Marguerite bâtarde de France (d. ca.1458).

Cultural references

The Romantic French poet Gérard de Nerval wrote a poem dedicated to the king: "Rêverie de Charles VI"[10].

The novel The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge by Rainer Maria Rilke describes the old age of Charles VI at length.

The story "Hop-Frog, or The Eight Chained Ourang-Outangs" by Edgar Allan Poe involves a scene strikingly similar to the Bal des Ardents. (Full text at Wikisource)

The Edith Pattou novel East mentions Charles of France's second son, Charles, to be the white bear.

King Charles VI, and his madness, are mentioned at length in the historical novel Het Woud der Verwachting/Le Foret de Longue Attente/In a Dark Wood Wandering (1949) by Hella S. Haasse.

Christine de Pisan dedicates a poem to King Charles VI "Prière pour le roi Charles" in which she pleas for the health of her king.

References

  1. ^ R.C. Famiglietti, Royal Intrigue: Crisis at the Court of Charles VI, 1392-1420, New York, 1986, p. 4, citing the chronicle of the Religieux de Saint-Denis, ed. Bellaguet, II, pp. 86-88.
  2. ^ R.C. Famiglietti, Royal Intrigue: Crisis at the Court of Charles VI, 1392-1420, New York, 1986, p. 5, citing the chronicle of the Religieux de Saint-Denis, ed. Bellaguet, II, pp. 404-05.
  3. ^ R.C. Famiglietti, Royal Intrigue: Crisis at the Court of Charles VI, 1392-1420, New York, 1986, p. 6, citing the chronicle of the Religieux de Saint-Denis, ed. Bellaguet, III, p. 348
  4. ^ Enea Silvio Piccolomini (Papa Pio II), I Commentarii, ed. L. Totaro, Milano, 1984, I, p. 1056.
  5. ^ Froissart Chronicles, ed. Johnes, II, p.550
  6. ^ Barbara Tuchman, A Distant Mirror,1978, Alfred A Knopf Ltd. See the chronicle of the Religieux de Saint-Denis, ed. Bellaguet, II, pp. 64-71, where the squire's name is given correctly as de Guisay.
  7. ^ Chronicles ... by Sir John Froissart, ed. T. Johnes, II (1855), pp. 550-52
  8. ^ Froissart, "Chronicles", ed. Johnes, II, p.550. Note that Froissart and the Religieux de Saint-Denis differ as to when the four men died. Huguet de Guisay had held the office of cupbearer of the king.
  9. ^ R.C. Famiglietti, Royal Intrigue: Crisis at the Court of Charles VI, 1392-1420, New York, 1986, Chapter X.
  10. ^ (French) Gérard de Nerval. Rêverie de Charles VI

Sources

  • Famiglietti, R.C., Royal Intrigue: Crisis at the Court of Charles VI, 1392-1420, New York; AMS Press, 1986.
  • Famiglietti, R.C., Tales of the Marriage Bed from Medieval France (1300–1500), Providence; Picardy Press, 1992.
  • Tuchman, Barbara, A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century, New York; Ballantine Books, 1978.

Charles VI of France
Cadet branch of the Capetian dynasty
Born: 3 December 1368 Died: 21 October 1422
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Charles V
King of France
16 September 1380 – 21 October 1422
Succeeded by
Charles VII of France and
Henry VI of England (disputed)
French royalty
Preceded by
Vacant
(John, 2nd Dauphin)
Dauphin of France
as 'Charles, 3rd Dauphin'

3 December 1368 – 16 September 1380
Succeeded by
Vacant
(eventually Charles, 4th Dauphin)
Preceded by
Louis, Duke of Anjou
Heir to the Throne
as Heir apparent
3 December 1368 – 16 September 1380
Succeeded by
Louis I, Duke of Orléans
French nobility
Preceded by
Charles I of Viennois
Dauphin of Viennois, Count of Valentinois and of Diois
as 'Charles II of Viennois'

3 December 1368 – 26 September 1386;
28 December 1386 – 6 February 1392
Succeeded by
Charles III of Viennois
Preceded by
Charles III of Viennois
Succeeded by
Charles IV of Viennois



1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

CHARLES VI. (1368-1422), king of France, son of Charles V. and Jeanne of Bourbon, was born in Paris on the 3rd of December 1368. He received the appanage of Dauphine at his birth, and was thus the first of the princes of France to bear the title of dauphin from infancy. Charles V. had entrusted his education to Philippe de Mezieres, and had fixed his majority at fourteen. He succeeded to the throne in 1380, at the age of twelve, and the royal authority was divided between his paternal uncles, Louis, duke of Anjou, John, duke of Berry, Philip the Bold, duke of Burgundy,and his mother's brother,Louis II.,duke of Bourbon. In accordance with an ordinance of the late king the duke of Anjou became regent, while the guardianship of the young king, together with the control of Paris and Normandy, passed to the dukes of Burgundy and Bourbon, who were to be assisted by certain of the councillors of Charles V. The duke of Berry, excluded by this arrangement, was compensated by the government of Languedoc and Guienne. Anjou held the regency for a few months only,until the king's coronation in November 1380. He enriched himself from the estate of Charles V. and by excessive exactions, before he set out in 1382 for Italy to effect the conquest of Naples. Considerable discontent existed in the south of France at the time of the death of Charles V., and when the duke of Anjou re-imposed certain taxes which the late king had remitted at the end of his reign, there were revolts at Puy and Montpellier. Paris, Rouen, the cities of Flanders, with Amiens, Orleans, Reims and other French towns, also rose (1382) in revolt against their masters. The Maillotins, as the Parisian insurgents were named from the weapon they used, gained the upper hand in Paris, and were able temporarily to make terms, but the commune of Rouen was abolished, and the Tuchins, as the marauders in Languedoc were called, were pitilessly hunted down. Charles VI. marched to the help of the count of Flanders against the insurgents headed by Philip van Artevelde, and gained a complete victory at Roosebeke (November 27th, 1382). Strengthened by this success the king, on his return to Paris in the following January, exacted vengeance on the citizens by fines, executions and the suppression of the privileges of the city. The help sent by the English to the Flemish cities resulted in a second Flemish campaign. In 1385 Jean de Vienne made an unsuccessful descent on the Scottish coast, and Charles equipped a fleet at Sluys for the invasion of England, but a series of delays ended in the destruction of the ships by the English.

In 1385 Charles VI. married Elizabeth, daughter of Stephen II., duke of Bavaria, her name being gallicized as Isabeau. Three years later, with the help of his brother, Louis of Orleans, duke of Touraine, he threw off the tutelage of his uncles, whom he replaced by Bureau de la Riviere and others among his father's counsellors, nicknamed by the royal princes the marmousets because of their humble origin. Two years later he deprived the duke of Berry of the government of Languedoc. The opening years of Charles VI.'s effective rule promised well, but excess in gaiety of all kinds undermined his constitution, and in 1392 he had an attack of madness at Le Mans, when on his way to Brittany to force from John V. the surrender of his cousin Pierre de Craon, who had tried to assassinate the constable Olivier de Clisson in the streets of Paris. Other attacks followed, and it became evident that Charles was unable permanently to sustain the royal authority. Clisson, Bureau de la Riviere, Jean de Mercier, and the other marmousets were driven from office, and the royal dukes regained their power. The rivalries between the most powerful of these - the duke of Burgundy, who during the king's attacks of madness practically ruled the country, and the duke of Orleans - were a constant menace to peace. In 1396 peace with England seemed assured by the marriage of Richard II. with Charles VI.'s daughter Isabella, but the Lancastrian revolution of 1399 destroyed the diplomatic advantages gained by this union. In France the country was disturbed by the papal schism. At an assembly of the clergy held in Paris in 1398 it was resolved to refuse to recognize the authority of Benedict who succeeded Clement VII. as schismatic pope at Avignon. The question became a party one; Benedict was supported by Louis of Orleans, while Philip the Bold and the university of Paris opposed him. Obedience to Benedict's authority was resumed in 1403, only to be withdrawn again in 1408, when the king declared himself the guardian and protector of the French church, which was indeed for a time self-governing. Edicts further extending the royal power in ecclesiastical affairs were even issued in 1418, after the schism was at an end.

The king's intelligence became yearly feebler, and in 1404 the death of Philip the Bold aggravated the position of affairs. The new duke, John the Fearless, did not immediately replace his father in general affairs, and the influence of the duke of Orleans increased. Queen Isabeau, who had generally supported the Burgundian party, was now practically separated from her husband, whose madness had become pronounced. She was replaced by a young Burgundian lady, Odette de Champdivers, called by her contemporaries la petite seine, who rescued the king from the state of neglect into which he had fallen. Isabeau of Bavaria was freely accused of intrigue with the duke of Orleans. She was from time to time regent of France, and as her policy was directed by personal considerations and by her love of splendour she further added to the general distress. The relations between John the Fearless arid the duke of Orleans became more embittered, and on the 23rd of November 1407 Orleans was murdered in the streets of Paris at the instigation of his rival. The young duke Charles of Orleans married the daughter of the Gascon count Bernard VII. of Armagnac, and presently formed alliances with the dukes of Berry, Bourbon and Brittany, and others who formed the party known as the Armagnacs (see Armagnac), against the Burgundians who had gained the upper hand in the royal council. In 1411 John the Fearless contracted an alliance with Henry IV. of England, and civil war began in the autumn, but in 1412 the Armagnacs in their turn sought .English aid, and, by promising the sovereignty of Aquitaine to the English king, gave John the opportunity of posing as defender of France. In Paris the Burgundians were hand in hand with the corporation of the butchers, who were the leaders of the Parisian populace. The malcontents, who took their name from one of their number, Caboche, penetrated into the palace of the dauphin Louis, and demanded the surrender of the unpopular members of his household. A royal ordinance, promising reforms in administration, was promulgated on the 27th of May 1413, and some of the royal advisers were executed. The king and the dauphin, powerless in the hands of Duke John and the Parisians, appealed secretly to the Armagnac princes for deliverance. They entered Paris in September; the ordinance extracted by the Cabochiens was rescinded; and numbers of the insurgents were banished the city.

In the next year Henry V. of England, after concluding an alliance with Burgundy, resumed the pretensions of Edward III. to the crown of France, and in 1415 followed the disastrous battle of Agincourt. The two elder sons of Charles VI., Louis, duke of Guienne, and John, duke of Touraine, died in 1415 and 1417, and Charles, count of Ponthieu, became heir apparent. Paris was governed by Bernard of Armagnac, constable of France, who expelled all suspected of Burgundian sympathies and treated Paris like a conquered city. Queen Isabeau was imprisoned at Tours, but escaped to Burgundy. The capture of Paris by the Burgundians on the 29th of May 1418 was followed by a series of horrible massacres of the Armagnacs; and in July Duke John and Isabeau, who assumed the title of regent, entered Paris. Meanwhile Henry V. had completed the conquest of Normandy. The murder of John the Fearless in 1419 under the eyes of the dauphin Charles threw the Burgundians definitely into the arms of the English, and his successor Philip the Good, in concert with Queen Isabeau, concluded (1420) the treaty of Troyes with Henry V., who became master of France. Charles VI. had long been of no account in the government, and the state of neglect in which he existed at Senlis induced Henry V. to undertake the re-organization of his household. He came to Paris in September 1422, and died on the 21st of October.

The chief authorities for the reign of Charles VI. are : - Chronica Caroli VI., written by a monk of Saint Denis, commissioned officially to write the history of his time, edited by C. Bellaguet with a French translation (6 vols., 1839-1852); Jean Juvenal des Ursins, Chronique, printed by D. Godefroy in Histoire de Charles VI (1653), chiefly an abridgment of the monk of St Denis's narrative; a fragment of the Grandes Chroniques de Saint Denis covering the years 1381 to 1383 (ed. J. Pichon 1864); correspondence of Charles VI. printed by Champollion-Figeac in Lettres de rois, vol. ii.; Choix de pieces inedites rel. au reine de Charles VI (2 vols., 1863-1864), edited by L. Douet d'Arcq for the Societe de l'Histoire de France; J. Froissart, Chroniques; Enguerrand de Monstrelet, Chroniques, covering the first half of the 15th century (Eng. trans., 4 vols., 1809); Chronique des quatre premiers Valois, by an unknown author, ed. S. Luce (1862). See also E. Lavisse, Hist. de France, iv. 267 seq.; E. Petit, "Sejours de Charles VI," Bull. du com. des travaux hist. (1893); Vallet de Viriville, "Isabeau de Baviere," Revue frangaise (1858-1859); M. Thibaut, Isabeau de Baviere (1903).


<< Charles V of France

Charles VII of France >>


Simple English

Charles VI of France (3 December 136821 October 1422), was King of France from 1380 until his death. He was not a successful king.

Often he was not able to rule the country because of mental illness and his wife Queen Isabeau of Bavaria ruled with the help of his brother Louis I de Valois, Duke of Orléans. This made his cousin John the Fearless of Burgundy very angry, so John the Fearless had Louis I assassinated. A few years after that, Henry V of England invaded and won the Battle of Agincourt.


Advertisements






Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address
Message