|House of Courtenay|
Arms of the Capetian House of Courtenay
|Parent house||House of Capet|
|Founder||Peter I of Courtenay|
The Capetian House of Courtenay, also known simply as the House of Courtenay, was a royal house and cadet branch of the direct House of Capet. Founded by Peter I of Courtenay, a son of Louis VI of France, the family drew its name from the lordship of Courtenay, to which Peter's wife was heiress.
The marriage of Peter I of Courtenay, also known as Peter of France, with Elizabeth, heiress of the elder branch of the lords of Courtenay, took place in 1150. They have numerous descendants, mainly through their sons Peter II of Courtenay (for the elder branch) and Robert of Courtenay (for the younger branch).
Peter II of Courtenay (eldest son of Peter of France, Lord of Courtenay and Elizabeth) became Count of Auxerre, Nevers and Tonnerre by his marriage with the Countess Agnes of Nevers. After the death of his first wife, he married Yolanda of Flanders. In 1216, on the death of his wife's brother, the Latin Emperor of Constantinople Henry of Hainaut, the barons of Constantinople chose Peter II of Courtenay to succeed him; but he was captured while attempting to reach Constantinople and died in captivity in 1219.
His son, Robert of Courtenay, attempted to keep the empire by selling their possessions (including the Marquisate of Namur). The Emperor Robert was expelled from Constantinople by his subjects in 1228. His brother and successor Baldwin II of Constantinople lost the crown when Constantinople was taken by the Greeks (1261), and died in exile in Italy in 1273. His granddaughter, Catherine of Courtenay, married in 1300 Charles of Valois, son of Philip III of France, and the lands of the Courtenay passed into the House of France.
Robert, the second son of Peter of France and Elizabeth of Courtenay, received some lordships, including that of Champignelles. One of his sons, Peter of Courtenay, Lord of Conches, accompanied Saint Louis in the Holy Land during the Seventh Crusade; he was killed at the Battle of Al Mansurah (1250), along with the king's brother, Robert I, Count of Artois. His only daughter Amicie de Courtenay married Robert II, Count of Artois, the son of Robert of Artois. In 1285, Robert II of Courtenay, Lord of Champignelles (grandson of Robert) became the head of the House of Courtenay at the death of Philip of Courtenay, son of the Emperor Baldwin II Courtenay.
After the extinction of the members of the senior branch, the Courtenay family fell into oblivion. They had become minor provincial lords, since the elder branch had sold most of the family's possessions in their attempt to preserve the Latin Empire in the east. One of the descendants of Robert de Courtenay, John III of Courtenay-Champignelles, was taken prisoner by the English at the Battle of Poitiers in 1356, and later he fought alongside Bertrand du Guesclin. His nephew Peter III of Courtenay-Champignelles became chamberlain and advisor to King Charles VI. Another member of the family, François de Courtenay-Bléneau is knighted at Marignan (1515), and Anne de Courtenay, another descendant of Robert, in 1583 became the first wife of Maximilien de Béthune, Duke of Sully.
The title of Head of the House of Courtenay is transmitted over time from one branch to another, in 1472 to John II of Courtenay, Lord of Bléneau, then in 1655 to Louis de Courtenay, Lord of Chevillon. From 1603, they tried in vain to gain recognition, many times, the status of "princes of royal blood." The last male of the final branch died in 1733, and the family was extinguished in June 29, 1768, with the death of his niece, Helen of Courtenay (1689-1768), marquise of Bauffremont.
While the wars in Constantinople were unfortunate to the French in general, its loss was dearer still to the Courtenay family. Having had the honor of an imperial dignity, they had spared no cost in order to preserve it, but found that it could not be kept. The grandeur and wealth of the family was lost, that when the time came for the princes of Capetian lineage to be exalted above others, the Courtenays, who would have been best entitled in more ancient times, could no longer be esteemed princes of the blood in France.
With the establishment of the Salic law in France, the male-line descendants of the third race of the Kings of France were recognized as princes of the blood, who had the contingent right of succession to the French crown. Though the House of Courtenay multiplied, they did so in obscurity and poverty. From princes they became barons, and from barons they became rural lords. Compared to the mighty princes of the blood — the dukes of Burgundy, Brittany, Orléans, Anjou, Bourbon, and Alençon — the royal blood seemed like a drop in the lords of Champignelles and Tanlay. Their name had largely disappeared in the history of the kingdom, but might still be found by the patience and diligence of heralds and genealogists. In the 16th century, the accession of the House of Bourbon, itself distantly related to the preceding House of Valois, awoke the princely spirit of the Courtenays. They appealed to the justice and compassion of Henry IV of France; they obtained a favorable opinion of 20 lawyers from Italy and Germany, and compared themselves to the descendants of King David, whose rights were not impaired by the lapse of ages or the trade of a carpenter. But every ear was deaf, and every circumstance was adverse, to their lawful claims. The princes of the blood, more recent and lofty, disdained the alliance of this humble kindred. The parliament, without denying their proofs, eluded them by arbitrarily selecting St. Louis as the progenitor of the royal line.A repetition of complaints and protests was repeatedly disregarded; and the hopeless pursuit was terminated in the 18th century by the death of the last male of the family.
The Capetian dynasty, also known as the House of France, is a dynasty of Frankish origin, and a branch of the Robertians. It is among the largest and oldest royal houses in Europe and the world, and consists of Hugh Capet, the founder of the dynasty, and his male-line descendants, who ruled in France without interruption from 987 to 1792, and again from 1814 to 1848. The senior line ruled in France as the House of Capet from the election of Hugh Capet in 987 until the death of Charles IV in 1328. That line was succeeded by cadet branches, the Houses of Valois and then Bourbon, which ruled without interruption until the French Revolution abolished the monarchy in 1792. The Bourbons were restored in 1814 in the aftermath of Napoleon's defeat, but had to vacate the throne again in 1830 in favor of the last Capetian monarch of France, Louis Philippe I, who belonged to the House of Orléans.
The House of Bourbon is a European royal house of French origin, a branch of the Capetian dynasty, the royal House of France. Bourbon kings first ruled France and Navarre in the 16th century. By the 18th century, members of the Spanish Bourbon dynasty held thrones in Spain, Naples, Sicily, and Parma. Spain and Luxembourg currently have monarchs of the House of Bourbon.
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.
An appanage, or apanage, is the grant of an estate, title, office or other thing of value to a younger child of a sovereign, who would otherwise have no inheritance under the system of primogeniture. It was common in much of Europe.
Duke of Burgundy was a title used by the rulers of the Duchy of Burgundy, from its establishment in 843 to its annexation by France in 1477, and later by Habsburg sovereigns of the Low Countries (1482-1556).
The Kingdom of France in the Middle Ages was marked by the fragmentation of the Carolingian Empire and West Francia (843–987); the expansion of royal control by the House of Capet (987–1328), including their struggles with the virtually independent principalities that had developed following the Viking invasions and through the piecemeal dismantling of the Carolingian Empire and the creation and extension of administrative/state control in the 13th century; and the rise of the House of Valois (1328–1589), including the protracted dynastic crisis of the Hundred Years' War with the Kingdom of England (1337–1453) compounded by the catastrophic Black Death epidemic (1348), which laid the seeds for a more centralized and expanded state in the early modern period and the creation of a sense of French identity.
Charles of Valois, the third son of Philip III of France and Isabella of Aragon, was a member of the House of Capet and founder of the House of Valois, whose rule over France would start in 1328.
The House of Capet or the Direct Capetians, also called the House of France, or simply the Capets, ruled the Kingdom of France from 987 to 1328. It was the most senior line of the Capetian dynasty – itself a derivative dynasty from the Robertians. Historians in the 19th century came to apply the name "Capetian" to both the ruling house of France and to the wider-spread male-line descendants of Hugh Capet. Contemporaries did not use the name "Capetian". The Capets were sometimes called "the third race of kings". The name "Capet" derives from the nickname given to Hugh, the first Capetian King, who became known as Hugh Capet.
In history and heraldry, a cadet branch consists of the male-line descendants of a monarch or patriarch's younger sons (cadets). In the ruling dynasties and noble families of much of Europe and Asia, the family's major assets—realm, titles, fiefs, property and income—have historically been passed from a father to his firstborn son in what is known as primogeniture; younger sons—cadets—inherited less wealth and authority to pass to future generations of descendants.
House of Courtenay was a medieval noble house, with branches in France, England and the Holy Land.
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The Robertians, or Robertines, as they are known in modern scholarship, are the proposed Frankish family which was ancestral to the Capetian dynasty, and thus to the royal families of France and many other countries. The Capetians appear first in the records as powerful nobles serving under the Carolingian dynasty in West Francia, which later became France. As their power increased they came into conflict with the older royal family and attained the crown several times before the eventual start of the continuous rule of the descendants the Capetians, the descendants of Hugh Capet.
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The term House of France refers to the branch of the Capetian dynasty which provided the Kings of France following the election of Hugh Capet. The House of France consists of a number of branches and their sub-branches. Some of its branches have acceded to the Crown, while others remained cadets.
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This article covers the mechanism by which the French throne passed from the establishment of the Frankish Kingdom in 486 to the fall of the Second French Empire in 1870.
Amicie of Courtenay (1250–1275) was a French noblewoman and a member of the Capetian House of Courtenay, a cadet line of the House of Capet.
Peter of Courtenay (French: Pierre de Courtenay was a French knight and a member of the Capetian House of Courtenay, a cadet line of the royal House of Capet. From 1239 until his death, he was the ruling Lord of Conches-en-Ouche and Mehun-sur-Yèvre.