Armagnac (party)

Last updated

The Armagnac faction was prominent in French politics and warfare during the Hundred Years' War. It was allied with the supporters of Charles, Duke of Orléans against John the Fearless after Charles' father Louis of Orléans was killed on a Paris street on the orders of the Duke of Burgundy on 23 November 1407. [1]


The Armagnac Faction took its name from Charles' father-in-law, Bernard VII, Count of Armagnac (1360–1418), who guided the young Duke during his teens and provided much of the financing and some of the seasoned Gascon troops that besieged Paris before their defeat at Saint-Cloud.


In 1407, Louis of Orléans was assassinated on the order of John the Fearless. Fearing Burgundian ambitions, the dukes of Berry, Brittany, and Orléans, and the counts of Alençon, Clermont, and Armagnac, formed a league against the duke of Burgundy in 1410. [1] Charles of Orléans, son of the murdered Louis, married Bonne d'Armagnac, daughter of Bernard VII, count of Armagnac. In consequence, his father-in-law became the nominal head of the family. For that reason, Orléanist were called Armagnacs. [1]

Parisian supporters of the nobles adopted the name "Armagnac" in the struggle for control of the city against the Burgundians. It was composed of two elements: the Orleanists and those following the Count who gradually infiltrated the noble opposition. Armagnac became an outspoken adherent of the Orleanist Faction in the Valois Court. His Gascon raiders hired to impose order on Paris wore their white shoulder sash. But Armagnac's brutal tactics made his administration very unpopular among Parisians. In February the citizens asked the exiled-John the Fearless to return to the capital. The following month he presented a long document known as The Justification of the Duke of Burgundy containing proof of the Armagnac schemes of intrigue. Orleans pleaded with the king, but Charles insisted on setting a meeting in Chartres to conjure a reconciliation. Meanwhile, by the end of December 1409, the Burgundians had infiltrated all posts of local officials to take control of city governance. The Armagnacs withdrew altogether from city politics to form the League of Gien, they were joined by disaffected Princes of the Blood: John, Duke of Berry, the youngest brother of King Charles V, Louis, Duke of Anjou, John, Duke of Bourbon, John I, Duke of Alençon, John V, Duke of Brittany, Charles d'Albret, Constable of France, and John, Count of Clermont. These nobles formed the political and military elite of the Armagnac faction. The Burgundians met them at the Peace of Bicetres, an attempted truce designed to iron out their differences. It largely failed because as the Armagnacs laid siege to Paris, a small English force landed at Calais to assist the Burgundian government. In October 1411 they marched towards Paris.

Both parties in the Armagnac-Burgondian civil war sought support from Henry IV, King of England. [1] In May 1412, the Armagnacs suffered a second reverse at the Treaty of Bourges. The Armagnacs offered Henry IV full sovereignty in Gascony in return for an army of 4,000 men. [1] Thomas, Duke of Clarence, a fiery cavalry general, demanded considerable territorial concessions including Normandy in return for aid to Burgundy. Now desperate to save the honour of the Oriflamme the Armagnacs resorted to seeking English arbitration in the internal dispute. At the Treaty of Buzancais the English demanded a punitively large ransom from the Armagnacs. In a series of humiliating encounters their leading general, Dauphin Louis, Duke of Guyenne was outmanoeuvred, defeated and forced into a Treaty of Auxerre.

Later, John the Fearless was sent back to his lands, and Bernard of Armagnac remained in Paris and, some say, in the queen's bed.[ citation needed ] Burgundy gained control of Paris in 1419. The Count of Armagnac was assassinated in the same year. In the same year, Henry V conquest Normandy. For both parties, it was clear that England was the main threat. There was an attempt at reconciliation between Armagnacs and Burgundians. However, in a meeting on the bridge at Montereau in September 1419, the dauphin's entourage assassinated Jean The Fearless of Burgundy. As consequence, Phillippe the Good allied with England as Henry V advanced without opposition to Paris. [1]

Armagnac faction together with the dauphin established a separate jurisdiction in central and southern France, meanwhile, the Anglo-Burgundian alliance controlled the north, including Paris. [1] Sporadic warfare continued between the Armagnacs and Burgundians for a number of years, although after the Burgundians allied themselves with the English in 1419 and the Armagnacs became interlinked with the cause of Charles VII, the factional rivalry was scarcely distinguishable from the Royal dispute between the French and English monarchies.

The terms remained in use until they were outlawed by Charles VII toward the close of the Hundred Years' War, as part of efforts to heal the factional rift.

See also

Related Research Articles

House of Valois

The House of Valois was a cadet branch of the Capetian dynasty. They succeeded the House of Capet to the French throne, and were the royal house of France from 1328 to 1589. Junior members of the family founded cadet branches in Orléans, Anjou, Burgundy, and Alençon.

Charles VII of France 15th-century King of France

Charles VII, called the Victorious or the Well-Served, was King of France from 1422 to his death in 1461.

Charles, Duke of Orléans Duke of Orléans

Charles of Orléans was Duke of Orléans from 1407, following the murder of his father, Louis I, Duke of Orléans, on the orders of John the Fearless, Duke of Burgundy. He was also Duke of Valois, Count of Beaumont-sur-Oise and of Blois, Lord of Coucy, and the inheritor of Asti in Italy via his mother Valentina Visconti, daughter of Gian Galeazzo Visconti, Duke of Milan.

The Treaty of Troyes was an agreement that King Henry V of England and his heirs would inherit the French throne upon the death of King Charles VI of France. It was formally signed in the French city of Troyes on 21 May 1420 in the aftermath of Henry's successful military campaign in France. It forms a part of the backdrop of the latter phase of the Hundred Years' War finally won by the French at the Battle of Castillon in 1453, and in which various English kings tried to establish their claims to the French throne.

John the Fearless 14th/15th-century Duke of Burgundy

John the Fearless was a scion of the French royal family who ruled the Burgundian State from 1404 until his death in 1419. He played a key role in French national affairs during the early 15th century, particularly in the struggles to rule the country for the mentally ill King Charles VI, his cousin, and the Hundred Years' War with England. A rash, ruthless and unscrupulous politician, John murdered the King's brother, the Duke of Orléans, in an attempt to gain control of the government, which led to the eruption of the Armagnac–Burgundian Civil War in France and in turn culminated in his own assassination in 1419.

Charles II, Duke of Lorraine Duke of Lorraine

Charles II, called the Bold was the Duke of Lorraine from 1390 to his death and Constable of France from 1418 to 1425. Charles was the elder son of John I, Duke of Lorraine, and Sophie, daughter of Eberhard II, Count of Württemberg.

Isabeau of Bavaria Queen consort of France

Isabeau of Bavaria was queen of France between 1385 and 1422. She was born into the House of Wittelsbach as the only daughter of Duke Stephen III of Bavaria-Ingolstadt and Taddea Visconti of Milan. At age 15 or 16, Isabeau was sent to the young King Charles VI of France; the couple wed three days after their first meeting.

Bernard VII, Count of Armagnac

Bernard VII, Count of Armagnac was Count of Armagnac and Constable of France. He was the son of John II and Jeanne de Périgord. He succeeded in Armagnac at the death of his brother, John III, in 1391. After prolonged fighting, he also became Count of Comminges in 1412.

Isabella of Bourbon French noblewoman

Isabella of Bourbon, Countess of Charolais was the second wife of Charles the Bold, Count of Charolais and future Duke of Burgundy. She was a daughter of Charles I, Duke of Bourbon and Agnes of Burgundy, and the mother of Mary of Burgundy, heiress of Burgundy.

Burgundian (party)

The Burgundian party was a political allegiance against France that formed during the latter half of the Hundred Years' War. The term "Burgundians" refers to the supporters of the Duke of Burgundy, John the Fearless, that formed after the assassination of Louis I, Duke of Orléans. Their opposition to the Armagnac party, the supporters of Charles, Duke of Orléans, led to a civil war in the early 15th Century, itself part of the larger Hundred Years' War.

Congress of Arras

The Congress of Arras was a diplomatic congregation established at Arras in the summer of 1435 during the Hundred Years' War, between representatives of England, France, and Burgundy. It was the first negotiation since the Treaty of Troyes and replaced the 15 year agreement between Burgundy and England that would have seen the dynasty of Henry V inherit the French crown.

Hundred Years War (1415–1453) Third phase of the Hundred Years War

The Lancastrian War was the third and final phase of the Anglo-French Hundred Years' War. It lasted from 1415, when King Henry V of England invaded Normandy, to 1453, when the English lost Bordeaux. It followed a long period of peace from the end of the Caroline War in 1389. The phase was named after the House of Lancaster, the ruling house of the Kingdom of England, to which Henry V belonged.

Margaret of Nevers Dauphine of France

Margaret of Nevers, also known as Margaret of Burgundy, was Dauphine of France and Duchess of Guyenne as the daughter-in-law of King Charles VI of France. A pawn in the dynastic struggles between her family and in-laws during the Hundred Years' War, Margaret was regarded as the future Queen of France at two separate times, as a result of her two marriages: first to the Dauphin and second to the Duke of Brittany.

House of Valois-Burgundy

The House of Valois-Burgundy, or the Younger House of Burgundy, was a noble French family deriving from the royal House of Valois. It is distinct from the Capetian House of Burgundy, descendants of King Robert II of France, though both houses stem from the Capetian dynasty. They ruled the Duchy of Burgundy from 1363 to 1482 and later came to rule vast lands including Artois, Flanders, Luxembourg, Hainault, the county palatine of Burgundy (Franche-Comté), and other lands through marriage, forming what is now known as the Burgundian State.

John IV was a Count of Armagnac, Fézensac, and Rodez from 1418 to 1450. He was the son of Bernard VII of Armagnac, Count d' Armagnac, of Fézensac, Pardiac, and Rodez; and Bonne of Berry. John IV was involved in the intrigues related to the Hundred Years' War and in conflicts against the King of France.

Tanneguy du Châtel Grand Master of France

Tanneguy III du Châtel was a Breton knight who fought in the Armagnac–Burgundian Civil War and the Hundred Years' War. A member of the Armagnac party, he became a leading adviser of King Charles VII of France, and was one of the murderers of Duke John the Fearless of Burgundy in 1419.

Armagnac–Burgundian Civil War

The Armagnac–Burgundian Civil War was a conflict between two cadet branches of the French royal family — the House of Orléans and the House of Burgundy from 1407 to 1435. It began during a lull in the Hundred Years' War against the English and overlapped with the Western Schism of the papacy.

Assassination of John the Fearless Medieval assassination of a French prince

John the Fearless, Duke of Burgundy, was assassinated on the bridge at Montereau on 10 September 1419 during a parley with the French dauphin, by Tanneguy du Chastel and Jean Louvet, the dauphin's close counsellors.

Assassination of Louis I, Duke of Orléans 1407 murder in Paris

The assassination of Louis I, Duke of Orléans took place on November 23, 1407 in Paris, France.

Burgundian State Historical government in what is now France, Belgium and the Netherlands

The Burgundian State is a concept coined by historians to describe the vast complex of territories that is also referred to as Valois Burgundy.


  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Green, David (2014). The Hundred Years War : a people's history. New Haven. ISBN   978-0-300-13451-3. OCLC   876466903.