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|Duke of Brittany|
|Reign||22 September 1457 –26 December 1458|
|Born||24 August 1393|
Château de Sucinio, Brittany
|Died||26 December 1458 65) (aged|
|Spouse|| Margaret of Burgundy |
Joan of Albret
Catherine of Luxembourg
|Father||John IV, Duke of Brittany|
|Mother||Joan of Navarre|
Arthur III (Breton : Arzhur), more commonly known as Arthur de Richemont (24 August 1393 –26 December 1458), was briefly Duke of Brittany from 1457 until his death. He is noted primarily, however, for his role as a leading military commander during the Hundred Years' War. Although Richemont briefly sided with the English once, he otherwise remained firmly committed to the House of Valois. He fought alongside Joan of Arc, and was appointed Constable of France. His military and administrative reforms in the French state were an important factor in assuring the final defeat of the English in the Hundred Years' War.
The name Richemont reflects the fact that he inherited the English title of Earl of Richmond, which was held by previous dukes of Brittany, but his tenure was never recognized by the English crown. At the very end of his life he became Duke of Brittany and Count of Montfort after inheriting those titles upon the death of his nephew Peter II. Richemont had no legitimate issue and was succeeded in the duchy by his other nephew, Francis II.
Arthur was a younger son of Duke John IV and his third wife Joanna of Navarre, and so a member of the Ducal House of Montfort. Arthur was born at the Château de Suscinio. After the death of his father, his mother remarried Henry IV of England and became Queen (Dowager) of England.
Just a year before his own death, Arthur succeeded his nephew Peter II as Duke. Arthur was also titular Earl of Richmond; the earldom had often been granted to the Dukes of Brittany, but after the death of Arthur's father, the English refused to recognize his heirs as earls. Nevertheless, they continued to style themselves "Count of Richmond", while the English title was given to John Plantagenet, Duke of Bedford (1389–1435) in 1414.
Arthur was an important figure at the French court during the Hundred Years' War, even before becoming Duke of Brittany.
Arthur sided with the Armagnac faction against the Burgundians during their civil conflict in France which lasted from 1410 to 1414. He then entered the service of the Dauphin Louis, Duke of Guyenne, whose intimate friend he became and whose widow he later married. He profited by his position at court to obtain the lieutenancy of the Bastille, the governorship of the duchy of Nemours, and the confiscated territories of Jean Larchevêque, seigneur of Parthenay.He fought at the Battle of Agincourt on 25 October 1415, where he was wounded and captured. His mother Queen Dowager Joan unsuccessfully tried to have him released, only to worsen her relationship with her stepson Henry V of England. He was released by the English in 1420 and helped persuade his brother, Duke John, to sign the Treaty of Troyes. In 1422, the English created him Duke of Touraine. However, as the English refused to give him a high command he subsequently returned to the allegiance of the Dauphin in 1424, and was made Constable of France with support from Yolande of Aragon in 1425.
Arthur now persuaded his brother, John V, Duke of Brittany, to conclude the treaty of Saumur with Charles VII of France (October 7, 1425). But though he saw clearly enough the measures necessary for success, he lacked the temperament and means to carry them out. The peace concluded between John and the English in September 1427, alongside his tenacity and bad temper, led to his expulsion from the court, where Georges de la Trémoille, whom he himself had recommended to the king, remained supreme for six years, during which Arthur tried in vain to overthrow him.
As Constable of France, Arthur fought alongside Joan of Arc during her victory at the Battle of Patay on 18 June 1429. He joined his brother John in the siege of Pouancé in 1432, where he notably but reluctantly fought alongside English captains, as the Duke of Brittany was allied with the English at the time. Around this time he received an offer from the Duke of Bedford (who hoped to exploit the conflict between Richemont and la Trémoille), which included Trémoille's lands in Poitou in return for him switching sides. Poitou was not in English hands; still he found more prudent to seize those lands through less strenuous means.On the 5th of March 1432 Charles VII concluded with him and with Brittany the treaty of Rennes; but it was not until June of the following year that Trémoille was overthrown. Arthur now resumed the war against the English, and at the same time took vigorous measures against the plundering bands of soldiers and peasants known as routiers or écorcheurs.
By 1435 he had regained his influence at the French court and then helped arrange the Treaty of Arras between Charles VII and Philip III, Duke of Burgundy. This treaty cemented the peace between France and Burgundy, leading to the eventual defeat of the English. He was commander of the French army at the Battle of Formigny on 15 April 1450, the next-to-the-last battle of the Hundred Years' War which sealed the reconquest of Normandy. In the wake of the battle he successfully laid siege to Caen.
it was not till May 1444 that the Treaty of Tours gave him leisure to carry out the reorganization of the army which he had long projected. He now created the compagnies d'ordonnance, and endeavoured to organize the militia of the francs archers. This reform had its effect in the struggles that followed. In alliance with his nephew, the duke of Brittany, he reconquered, during September and October 1449, nearly all the Cotentin; and after thebattle of Formigny he recovered for France the whole of Normandy, which for the next six or seven years it was his task to defend from English attacks. On the death of his nephew Peter II, on the 22nd of September 1457, he became duke of Brittany, and though retaining his office of constable of France, he refused, like his predecessors, to do homage to the French king for his duchy. He reigned little more than a year, dying on 26 December 1458.
Arthur was married three times.
His wives were as follows:
Arthur also had a natural daughter named Jacqueline who was legitimatized in 1443.
Arthur died with no known legitimate issue. He was succeeded as Duke of Brittany by his nephew Francis II, Count of Étampes.
|Ancestors of Arthur III, Duke of Brittany|
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.
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.
John V, sometimes numbered as VI, bynamed John the Wise, was Duke of Brittany and Count of Montfort from 1399 to his death. His rule coincided with the height of the Hundred Years' War between England and France. John's reversals in that conflict, as well as in other internal struggles in France, served to strengthen his duchy and to maintain its independence.
Francis II of Brittany was Duke of Brittany from 1458 to his death. He was the grandson of John IV, Duke of Brittany. A recurring theme in Francis' life would be his quest to maintain the quasi-independence of Brittany from France. As such, his reign was characterized by conflicts with King Louis XI of France and with his daughter, Anne of France, who served as regent during the minority of her brother, King Charles VIII. The armed and unarmed conflicts from 1465-1477 and 1484–1488 have been called the "War of the Public Weal" and the Mad War, respectively.
The now-extinct title of Earl of Richmond was created many times in the Peerage of England. The earldom of Richmond was initially held by various Breton nobles associated with the Ducal crown of Brittany; sometimes the holder was the Breton Duke himself, including one member of the cadet branch of the French Capetian dynasty. The historical ties between the Ducal crown of Brittany and this English Earldom were maintained ceremonially by the Breton dukes even after England ceased to recognize the Breton Dukes as Earls of England and those dukes rendered homage to the King of France, rather than the English crown. It was then held either by members of the English royal families of Plantagenet and Tudor, or English nobles closely associated with the English crown. It was eventually merged into the English crown during the reign of Henry VII and has been recreated as a Dukedom.
Yolande of Aragon was Duchess of Anjou and Countess of Provence by marriage, who acted as regent of Provence during the minority of her son. She was a daughter of John I of Aragon and his wife Yolande of Bar. Yolande played a crucial role in the struggles between France and England, influencing events such as the financing of Joan of Arc's army in 1429 that helped tip the balance in favour of the French. She was also known as Yolanda de Aragón and Violant d'Aragó. Tradition holds that she commissioned the famous Rohan Hours.
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.
The House of La Trémoïlle(Maison de La Trémoille in French) was a French noble family from Poitou whose name comes from the village La Trimouille in the départment of Vienne. This family has been known since the middle of the 11th century, and since the 14th century its members have been conspicuous in French history as nobles, military leaders and crusaders, and influential as political leaders, diplomats, Huguenots and courtiers. The male line of the family died out in 1933, while female line heirs of the last duke have kept the La Trémoïlle surname alive in Belgium.
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.
Georges de la Trémoille was Count de Guînes from 1398 to 1446 and Grand Chamberlain of France to King Charles VII of France. He sought reconciliation between Philip, Duke of Burgundy and Charles VII during their estrangement in the latter part of the Hundred Years' War. De la Trémoille was a political opponent of Arthur de Richemont within the French court. Most historians take a poor view of his career, assessing that he placed personal advancement before the public interest, though the traditional historical interpretation of the Grand Chamberlain as Jeanne d'Arc's opponent has been revised.
The Siege of St. James took place between 27 February and 6 March 1426, opposing England and France, during the latter half of the Hundred Years' War.
Charles, Duke of Berry, later Duke of Normandy and Duke of Aquitaine, was a son of Charles VII, King of France. He spent most of his life in conflict with his elder brother, King Louis XI.
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, 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.
Louis de Luxembourg, Count of Saint-Pol, of Brienne, de Ligny, and Conversano belonged to the Ligny branch of the House of Luxemburg and was Constable 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.
The Hundred Years' War was a series of conflicts between the kingdoms of England and France during the Late Middle Ages. It originated from disputed claims to the French throne between the English royal House of Plantagenet and the French royal House of Valois. Over time, the war grew into a broader power struggle involving factions from across Western Europe, fueled by emerging nationalism on both sides.
The dual monarchy of England and France existed during the latter phase of the Hundred Years' War when Charles VII of France and Henry VI of England disputed the succession to the throne of France. It commenced on 21 October 1422 upon the death of King Charles VI of France, who had signed the Treaty of Troyes which gave the French crown to his son-in-law Henry V of England and Henry's heirs. It excluded King Charles's son, the Dauphin Charles, who by right of primogeniture was the heir to the Kingdom of France. Although the Treaty was ratified by the Estates-General of France, the act was a contravention of the French law of succession which decreed that the French crown could not be alienated. Henry VI, son of Henry V, became king of both England and France and was recognized only by the English and Burgundians until 1435 as King Henry II of France. He was crowned King of France on 16 December 1431.
The Treaty of Amiens, signed on 13 April 1423, was a defensive agreement between Burgundy, Brittany, and England during the Hundred Years' War. The English were represented by John, Duke of Bedford, the English regent of France, the Burgundians by Duke Philip the Good himself, and the Bretons by Arthur de Richemont, on behalf of his brother the Duke of Brittany. By the agreement, all three parties acknowledged Henry VI of England as King of France, and agreed to aid each other against the Valois claimant, Charles VII. It also stipulated the marriage of Bedford and Richemont to Burgundy's sisters, in order to cement the alliance.
The siege of Tartas in Gascony was an engagement between English and French forces in the late stages of the Hundred Years' War. It was undertaken by English forces and their Gascon subjects against Charles II of Albret, a powerful nobleman in southwestern France. Albret was hostile to the English and his presence in Gascony caused much trouble to the English in the region, thereby raising the need to strike against him. The bulk of hostilities only lasted up until early 1441: the siege had dragged on inconclusively, and peace terms were agreed between the attackers and defenders. The ceasefire was extended several times until mid-1442 as both sides awaited further support from England and France.
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