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Philip the Bold
Duke of Burgundy, Count of Artois, Charolais and Flanders, Count Palatine of Burgundy
Philip II duke of burgundy.jpg
Reign 1363 – 27 April 1404
Titles Duke of Burgundy (1363–27 April 1404)
Count of Charolais (1390–27 April 1404)
jure uxoris Count of Artois and Flanders, Count Palatine of Burgundy
(30 January 1384–27 April 1404)
jure uxoris Count of Nevers (1384)
jure uxoris Count of Rethel (30 January 1384–1402)
Born 15 January 1342
Birthplace Pontoise, France
Died 27 April 1404 (aged 62)
Place of death Halle, Brabant
Predecessor John the Good
Successor John the Fearless
Consort Margaret of Dampierre (1350-1405)
Offspring John the Fearless (1371–1419)
Charles (1372–1373)
Marguerite (1374–1441)
Louis (1377–1378)
Catherine (1378–1425)
Bonne (1379–1399)
Antoine (1386–1415)
Mary (1386–1422)
Philip (1389–1415)
Royal House Valois of Burgundy
Father John II of France (1319-1364)
Mother Bonne of Bohemia (1315-1349)

Philip the Bold (Dutch: Filips de Stoute French: Philippe le Hardi), also Philip II, Duke of Burgundy (January 15, 1342, Pontoise – April 27, 1404, Halle), was the fourth and youngest son of King John II of France and his wife, Bonne of Luxembourg. By his marriage to Margaret III, Countess of Flanders, he also became Philip II, Count of Flanders, Philip IV, Count of Artois and Philip IV, Count Palatine of Burgundy. He was the founder of the Burgundian branch of the House of Valois.


Early life

Coat of arms (after 1363)

Born in 1342, Philip gained his cognomen the Bold when, at the age of 14, he fought beside his father at the Battle of Poitiers in 1356. He was created Duke of Touraine in 1360, but in 1363, as a reward for his behaviour at Poitiers, he returned this to the crown, receiving instead from his father the Duchy of Burgundy in apanage, which his father had been Duke of since the death of Philip of Rouvres in 1361. Philip would rule the Duchy until his death.[1]

On 19 June 1369, Philip married the 19 year old Margaret of Dampierre, the daughter of Louis II, Count of Flanders, who would become the heiress of Flanders, Brabant, Artois, and the Free County of Burgundy after the death of her brother in 1376. Margaret was the widow of his stepbrother, Philip of Rouvres, Duke of Burgundy, Count Palatine of Burgundy, and Count of Artois, Boulogne and Auvergne, who had died childless in 1361. As her father's eventual heiress, Margaret would bring rich possessions to her husband and to their children.[2]

From 1379 to 1382, he helped his father-in-law put down revolts in Flanders, particularly in Ghent, organising an army against Philip van Artevelde. The revolts were finally ended only in 1385, following the death of Louis II, with the Peace of Tournai. As jure uxoris Count of Flanders, he would keep in mind the economic interests of the Flemish cities, which made their money from weaving and spinning.

In 1390, Philip also became the Count of Charolais, a title used by Philip the Good and Charles the Bold as the heirs of Burgundy.

Involvement in France

Philip was very active in the court of France, particularly after the death of his brother, Charles V, who left the 12 year old Charles VI as King. Charles being a minor, a regency was undertaken by his uncles, Louis, Duke of Anjou, John, Duke of Berry, Philip himself, and Louis II, Duke of Bourbon, Charles VI's maternal uncle. The regency lasted until 1388, Philip taking the dominant rôle: Louis of Anjou was fighting for his claim to the Kingdom of Naples after 1382, dying in 1384, John of Berry was interested mainly in the Languedoc,[3] and not particularly interested in politics; whilst Louis of Bourbon was a largely unimportant figure, due to his personality (he showed signs of mental instability) and his status (since he was not the son of a King). However, Burgundy, along with Berry and Bourbon, lost their power in 1388, when Charles VI, taking up personal rule, chose to favour the advice of the Marmousets, his personal advisors, over that of his uncles.[4]

In 1392, events conspired to allow Burgundy to seize power once more in France. Charles VI's friend and advisor, Olivier de Clisson, had recently been the target of an assassination attempt by agents of John V, Duke of Brittany; the would-be assassin, Pierre de Craon, had taken refuge in Brittany. Charles, outraged at these events, determined to punish Craon, and on 1 July 1392 led an expedition against Brittany. Whilst progressing towards Brittany, the King, already overwrought by the slow progress, was shocked by a madman who spent half-an-hour following the procession, warning the King that he had been betrayed; when a page dropped a lance, the King reacted by killing several of his knights, and had to be wrestled to the ground. Burgundy, who was present, immediately assumed command, and appointed himself regent, dismissing Charles' advisors. He would be the principal ruler of France until 1402.[5]

His seizure of power would, however, have disastrous consequences for the unity of the House of Valois, and of France itself. The King's brother, Louis, Duke of Orléans, resented his uncle rather than himself being regent; the result was a feud between the Philip and Louis, which would be continued after their deaths by their families. In particular, both quarrelled over the royal funds, each desiring to appropriate this for their own ends: Louis to fund his extravagant lifestyle, Philip to further his ambitions in Burgundy and the low countries. Nonetheless, this struggle only served to enhance the reputation of Philip, and give him real popularity in Paris, since, in comparison with the profligate and irresponsible Orléans, he appeared a sober and honest reformer. Thus, although Charles VI, in a rare moment of sanity, confirmed his brother as regent in 1402, Orléans' misrule allowed Burgundy to regain control of France as regent in 1404, shortly before his death.[6]

Philip died in Halle, County of Hainaut (modern Belgium), on 27 April 1404.[7] His territories were bequeathed to his eldest son, John the Fearless, who inherited also Philip's political position in France and leadership of the Burgundians against Orléans.

Tomb of Philip the Bold

Tomb of Philip the Bold at the Palace of the Dukes of Burgundy at Dijon

In 1378, Philip the Bold acquired the domain of Champmol just outside Dijon, to build the Chartreuse de Champmol (1383 - 1388), a Carthusian monastery ("Charterhouse"), which he intended to house the tombs of his dynasty. His tomb and his recumbent effigy are one of the chief works of Burgundian sculpture. They were made by Jean de Marville (1381 - 1389), Claus Sluter (1389 - 1406) and Claus de Werve (1406 - 1410). Jean Malouel, official painter to the duke, was responsible for the polychrome and gilt decoration. After his death, the body of Philip the Bold was eviscerated and embalmed, then placed in a lead coffin. It was then deposited in the choir of Chartreuse de Champmol on 16 June 1404. His internal organs were sent to the church of Saint Martin at Halle. In 1792, his body was transferred to Dijon Cathedral and in the following year his tomb was damaged by revolutionaries and looters. It was restored in the first half of the 19th century, and is today in the former palace of the dukes, now part of the Musée des Beaux-Arts of Dijon.

Marriage and issue

Philip the Bold in later life, after Jean Malouel

Philip the Bold married Margaret III, Countess of Flanders (1350–1405) on 19 June 1369, a marriage which would eventually not only reunite the Duchy of Burgundy with the Free County of Burgundy and the County of Artois, but also unite it to the rich county of Flanders. Philip and Margaret had the following children:

In arranging the marriages of his children, Philip followed an intelligent diplomatic and strategic design, which would be followed by his successors in Burgundy as far as Emperor Maximilian I. For example, the marriages in 1385 of his son, John the Fearless, and his daughter, Marguerite, to Margaret of Bavaria and William of Bavaria, son and daughter of Albert, Count of the neighbouring Hainault and Holland, prepared the later union of Hainault and Holland with Burgundy and Flanders, as carried out by Philip's grandson, Philip the Good; the marriages also inserted the new Valois Burgundy dynasty into the Wittelsbach network of alliances: the other daughters of Count Albert had married William I, Duke of Guelders and Wenceslaus, King of Bohemia; their cousin, Isabeau of Bavaria, had married Charles VI of France, and become Queen of France.

In addition to his alliance with the low county Bavarians, Philip also made links with the Dukes of Austria and of Savoy, by marrying his daughter Catherine to Leopold IV of Austria, and his daughter Mary to Amadeus VIII Savoy.

See also: Dukes of Burgundy family tree


Duchy of Burgundy-
House of Valois, Burgundian Branch
Blason comte fr Touraine.svg
John the Good
   Charles V of France
   Louis I of Anjou
   John, Duke of Berry
   Philip the Bold
Philip the Bold
   John the Fearless
   Margaret of Burgundy, Duchess of Bavaria
   Catherine of Burgundy
   Anthony, Duke of Brabant
   Mary, Duchess of Savoy
   Philip, Count of Nevers
John the Fearless
   Mary of Burgundy, Duchess of Cleves
   Margaret, Countess of Richemont
   Philip the Good
   Anne of Burgundy
   Agnes of Burgundy
Philip the Good
   Charles the Bold
   Anthony the Bastard
Charles the Bold
   Mary of Burgundy
Mary of Burgundy


  1. ^ Vaughan, Richard, Philip the Bold: the formation of the Burgundian state, (The Boydell Press, 2002), 3.
  2. ^ Vaughan, 16.
  3. ^ Vaughan, 40-41
  4. ^ Vaughn, 42.
  5. ^ Kitchin, George William, A History of France, Vol.1, (Clarendon Press, 1849), 499-500.
  6. ^ Vaughn, 56-57
  7. ^ The New International Encyclopædia, Vol.14 , Ed. Daniel Coit Gilman, Harry Thurston Peck, Frank Moore Colby, (Dodd Mead and Company, 1903), 15.


  • Kitchin, George William, A History of France, Vol.1, Clarendon Press, 1849.
  • The New International Encyclopædia, Vol.14 , Ed. Daniel Coit Gilman, Harry Thurston Peck, Frank Moore Colby, Dodd Mead and Company, 1903.
  • Vaughan, Richard, Philip the Bold: the formation of the Burgundian state, The Boydell Press, 2002.


Charles of Valois
Philip VI of France
Marguerite of Anjou and Maine
John II of France
Robert II, Duke of Burgundy
Joan the Lame
Agnes of France, Duchess of Burgundy
Philip the Bold
Henry VII, Holy Roman Emperor
John I of Bohemia
Margaret of Brabant
Bonne of Bohemia
Wenceslaus II of Bohemia
Elisabeth of Bohemia (1292–1330)
Judith of Habsburg
Philip the Bold
Cadet branch of the House of Valois
Born: 15 January 1342 Died: 27 April 1404
Preceded by
New Creation
(Philip I)
Duke of Touraine
Succeeded by
Preceded by
John the Good
Duke of Burgundy
1363–27 April 1404
Succeeded by
John the Fearless
Preceded by
New creation
Count of Charolais
1390–27 April 1404
Preceded by
Louis of Male
Count of Artois and Count Palatine of Burgundy by marriage
with Margaret

30 January 1384–27 April 1404
Succeeded by
Margaret of Bavaria
Preceded by
Louis of Male
Count of Flanders by marriage
with Margaret

30 January 1384–27 April 1404
Count of Nevers by marriage
with Margaret

Count of Rethel by marriage
with Margaret

30 January 1384 – 1402
Succeeded by
Jeanne de St Pol


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