|King of France|
|Reign||1 April 1328 – 22 August 1350|
|Coronation||29 May 1328|
|Died||22 August 1350 (aged 56–57)|
Coulombes Abbey, Nogent-le-Roi, Eure-et-Loir, France
Joan of Burgundy
(m. 1313;died 1349)
Blanche of Navarre (m. 1350)
|Father||Charles, Count of Valois|
|Mother||Margaret, Countess of Anjou|
Philip VI (French : Philippe; 1293 – 22 August 1350), called the Fortunate (French: le Fortuné) and of Valois, was the first King of France from the House of Valois. He reigned from 1328 until his death.
Philip's reign was dominated by the consequences of a succession dispute. When King Charles IV died in 1328, the nearest male relative was his nephew Edward III of England, but the French nobility preferred Charles's paternal cousin Philip. At first, Edward seemed to accept Philip's succession, but he pressed his claim to the throne of France after a series of disagreements with Philip. The result was the beginning of the Hundred Years' War in 1337.
After initial successes at sea, Philip's navy was annihilated at the Battle of Sluys in 1340, ensuring that the war would occur on the continent. The English took another decisive advantage at the Battle of Crécy (1346), while the Black Death struck France, further destabilizing the country.
In 1349, Philip VI bought the Dauphiné from its ruined ruler Humbert II and entrusted the government of this province to his grandson Charles. Philip VI died in 1350 and was succeeded by his son John II, the Good.
Little is recorded about Philip's childhood and youth, in large part because he was of minor royal birth. Philip's father Charles, Count of Valois, the younger brother of King Philip IV of France,had striven throughout his life to gain a throne for himself but was never successful. He died in 1325, leaving his eldest son Philip as heir to the counties of Anjou, Maine, and Valois.
In 1328, Philip's first cousin Charles IV died without a son and with his widow Jeanne d'Évreux pregnant.Philip was one of the two chief claimants to the throne. The other was King Edward III of England, who was the son of Charles's sister Isabella and his closest male relative. The question arose whether Isabella should have been able to transmit a claim that she herself did not possess. The assemblies of the French barons and prelates and the University of Paris decided that males who derive their right to inheritance through their mother should be excluded according to Salic law. As Philip was the eldest grandson of Philip III of France through the male line, he became regent instead of Edward, who was a matrilineal grandson of Philip IV of France and great-grandson of Philip III.
During the period in which Charles IV's widow was waiting to deliver her child, Philip rose to the regency with support of the French magnates, following the pattern set up by Philip V's succession over his niece Joan II of Navarre.He formally held the regency from 9 February 1328 until 1 April, when Jeanne d'Évreux gave birth to a girl, named Blanche. Upon this birth, Philip was named king and crowned at the Cathedral in Reims on 29 May 1328. After his elevation to the throne, Philip sent the Abbot of Fécamp, Pierre Roger, to summon Edward III of England to pay homage for the duchy of Aquitaine and Gascony. After a subsequent second summons from Philip, Edward arrived at the Cathedral of Amiens on 6 June 1329 and worded his vows in such a way to cause more disputes in later years.
The dynastic change had another consequence: Charles IV had also been King of Navarre, but, unlike the crown of France, the crown of Navarre was not subject to Salic Law. Philip VI was neither an heir nor a descendant of Joan I of Navarre, whose inheritance (the kingdom of Navarre, as well as the counties of Champagne, Troyes, Meaux, and Brie) had been in personal union with the crown of France for almost fifty years and had long been administered by the same royal machinery established by Philip IV, the father of French bureaucracy. These counties were closely entrenched in the economic and administrative entity of the crown lands of France, being located adjacent to Île-de-France. Philip, however, was not entitled to that inheritance; the rightful heiress was the surviving daughter of Louis X, the future Joan II of Navarre, the heir general of Joan I of Navarre. Navarre thus passed to Joan II, with whom Philip struck a deal regarding the counties in Champagne: she received vast lands in Normandy (adjacent to her husband Philip's fief in Évreux) in compensation, and he kept Champagne as part of the French crown lands.
| Capetian Dynasty |
(House of Valois)
Philip's reign was plagued with crises, although it began with a military success in Flanders at the Battle of Cassel (August 1328), where Philip's forces re-seated Louis I, Count of Flanders, who had been unseated by a popular revolution.Philip's wife, the able Joan the Lame, gave the first of many demonstrations of her competence as regent in his absence.
Philip initially enjoyed relatively amicable relations with Edward III, and they planned a crusade together in 1332, which was never executed. However, the status of the Duchy of Aquitaine remained a sore point, and tension increased. Philip provided refuge for David II of Scotland in 1334 and declared himself champion of his interests, which enraged Edward.By 1336, they were enemies, although not yet openly at war.
Philip successfully prevented an arrangement between the Avignon papacy and Holy Roman Emperor Louis IV, although in July 1337 Louis concluded an alliance with Edward III.The final breach with England came when Edward offered refuge to Robert III of Artois, formerly one of Philip's trusted advisers, after Robert committed forgery to try to obtain an inheritance. As relations between Philip and Edward worsened, Robert's standing in England strengthened. On 26 December 1336, Philip officially demanded the extradition of Robert to France. On 24 May 1337, Philip declared that Edward had forfeited Aquitaine for disobedience and for sheltering the "king's mortal enemy", Robert of Artois. Thus began the Hundred Years' War, complicated by Edward's renewed claim to the throne of France in retaliation for the forfeiture of Aquitaine.
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Philip entered the Hundred Years' War in a position of comparative strength. France was richer and more populous than England and was at the height of its medieval glory. The opening stages of the war, accordingly, were largely successful for the French.
At sea, French privateers raided and burned towns and shipping all along the southern and southeastern coasts of England.The English made some retaliatory raids, including the burning of a fleet in the harbour of Boulogne-sur-Mer, but the French largely had the upper hand. With his sea power established, Philip gave orders in 1339 to prepare an invasion of England (the Ordinance of Normandy) and began assembling a fleet off the Zeeland coast at Sluys. In June 1340, however, in the bitterly fought Battle of Sluys, the English attacked the port and captured or destroyed the ships there, ending the threat of an invasion.
On land, Edward III largely concentrated upon Flanders and the Low Countries, where he had gained allies through diplomacy and bribery. A raid in 1339 (the first chevauchée ) into Picardy ended ignominiously when Philip wisely refused to give battle. Edward's slender finances would not permit him to play a waiting game, and he was forced to withdraw into Flanders and return to England to raise more money. In July 1340, Edward returned and mounted the Siege of Tournai.By September 1340, Edward was in financial distress, hardly able to pay or feed his troops, and was open to dialogue. After being at Bouvines for a week, Philip was finally persuaded to send Joan of Valois, Countess of Hainaut to discuss terms to end the siege. On 23 September 1340, a nine-month truce was reached.
So far, the war had gone quite well for Philip and the French. While often stereotyped as chivalry-besotten incompetents, Philip and his men had in fact carried out a successful Fabian strategy against the debt-plagued Edward and resisted the chivalric blandishments of single combat or a combat of two hundred knights that he offered. In 1341, the War of the Breton Succession allowed the English to place permanent garrisons in Brittany. However, Philip was still in a commanding position: during negotiations arbitrated by the pope in 1343, he refused Edward's offer to end the war in exchange for the Duchy of Aquitaine in full sovereignty.
The next attack came in 1345, when the Earl of Derby overran the Agenais (lost twenty years before in the War of Saint-Sardos) and took Angoulême, while the forces in Brittany under Sir Thomas Dagworth also made gains. The French responded in the spring of 1346 with a massive counter-attack against Aquitaine, where an army under John, Duke of Normandy, besieged Derby at Aiguillon. On the advice of Godfrey Harcourt (like Robert III of Artois, a banished French nobleman), Edward sailed for Normandy instead of Aquitaine. As Harcourt predicted, the Normans were ill-prepared for war, and many of the fighting men were at Aiguillon. Edward sacked and burned the country as he went, taking Caen and advancing as far as Poissy and then retreating before the army Philip had hastily assembled at Paris. Slipping across the Somme, Edward drew up to give battle at Crécy.
Close behind him, Philip had planned to halt for the night and reconnoitre the English position before giving battle the next day. However, his troops were disorderly, and the roads were jammed by the rear of the army coming up, and by the local peasantry furiously calling for vengeance on the English. Finding them hopeless to control, he ordered a general attack as evening fell. Thus began the Battle of Crécy. When it was done, the French army had been annihilated and a wounded Philip barely escaped capture. Fortune had turned against the French.
The English seized and held the advantage. Normandy called off the siege of Aiguillon and retreated northward, while Sir Thomas Dagworth captured Charles of Blois in Brittany. The English army pulled back from Crécy to mount the siege of Calais; the town held out stubbornly, but the English were determined, and they easily supplied across the English Channel. Philip led out a relieving army in July 1347, but unlike the Siege of Tournai, it was now Edward who had the upper hand. With the plunder of his Norman expedition and the reforms he had executed in his tax system, he could hold to his siege lines and await an attack that Philip dared not deliver. It was Philip who marched away in August, and the city capitulated shortly thereafter.
After the defeat at Crécy and loss of Calais, the Estates of France refused to raise money for Philip, halting his plans to counter-attack by invading England. In 1348 the Black Death struck France and in the next few years killed one-third of the population, including Queen Joan. The resulting labour shortage caused inflation to soar, and the king attempted to fix prices, further de-stabilising the country. His second marriage to his son's betrothed Blanche of Navarre alienated his son and many nobles from the king.
Philip's last major achievement was the acquisition of the Dauphinéand the territory of Montpellier in the Languedoc in 1349. At his death in 1350, France was very much a divided country filled with social unrest. Philip VI died at Coulombes Abbey, Eure-et-Loir, on 22 August 1350 and is interred with his first wife, Joan of Burgundy, in Saint Denis Basilica, though his viscera were buried separately at the now demolished church of Couvent des Jacobins in Paris. He was succeeded by his first son by Joan of Burgundy, who became John II.
In July 1313, Philip married Joan the Lame (French : Jeanne), daughter of Robert II, Duke of Burgundy, and Agnes of France, the youngest daughter of Louis IX. In an ironic twist to his "male" ascendancy to the throne, the intelligent, strong-willed Joan, an able regent of France during the king's long military campaigns, was said to be the brains behind the throne and the real ruler of France.
Their children were the following:
After Joan died in 1349, Philip married Blanche of Navarre,daughter of Joan II and Philip III of Navarre, on 11 January 1350. They had one daughter:
|Ancestors of Philip VI of France|
Philip is a character in Les Rois maudits (The Accursed Kings), a series of French historical novels by Maurice Druon. He was portrayed by Benoît Brione in the 1972 French miniseries adaptation of the series, and by Malik Zidi in the 2005 adaptation.
The Battle of Poitiers was a major English victory in the Hundred Years' War. It was fought on 19 September 1356 in Nouaillé, near the city of Poitiers in Aquitaine, western France. Edward, the Black Prince, led an army of English, Welsh, Breton and Gascon troops, many of them veterans of the Battle of Crécy. They were attacked by a larger French force led by King John II of France, which included allied Scottish forces. The French were heavily defeated; an English counter-attack captured King John II along with his youngest son and much of the French nobility.
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.
Philip IV, called Philip the Fair, was King of France from 1285 to 1314. By virtue of his marriage with Joan I of Navarre, he was also King of Navarre as Philip I from 1284 to 1305, as well as Count of Champagne. Although Philip was known as handsome, hence the epithet le Bel, his rigid and inflexible personality gained him other nicknames, such as the Iron King. His fierce opponent Bernard Saisset, bishop of Pamiers, said of him: "he is neither man nor beast. He is a statue."
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Philip III, called the Bold, was King of France from 1270 to 1285.
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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.
Joan II was Queen of Navarre from 1328 until her death. She was the only surviving child of Louis X of France, King of France and Navarre, and Margaret of Burgundy. Joan's paternity was dubious because her mother was involved in a scandal, but Louis X declared her his legitimate daughter before he died in 1316. However, the French lords were opposed to the idea of a female monarch and elected Louis X's brother, Philip V, king. The Navarrese noblemen also paid homage to Philip. Joan's maternal grandmother, Agnes of France, Duchess of Burgundy, and uncle, Odo IV of Burgundy, made attempts to secure the counties of Champagne and Brie to Joan, but the French royal troops defeated her supporters. After Philip V married his daughter to Odo and granted him two counties as her dowry, Odo renounced Joan's claim to Champagne and Brie in exchange for a compensation in March 1318. Joan married Philip of Évreux, who was also a member of the French royal family.
Louis I was Count of Flanders, Nevers and Rethel.
The Edwardian War was the first phase of the Hundred Years' War between France and England. It was named after King Edward III of England, who claimed the French throne in defiance of King Philip VI of France. The dynastic conflict was caused by disputes over the French feudal sovereignty over Aquitaine and the English claims over the French royal title. The Kingdom of England and its allies dominated this phase of the war.
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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.
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Joan of Valois was a Countess consort of Hainaut, Holland, and Zeeland. She was the second eldest daughter of the French prince Charles, Count of Valois, and his first wife, Margaret, Countess of Anjou. As the sister of King Philip VI of France and the mother-in-law of Edward III, she was ideally placed to act as mediator between them.
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Joan of Burgundy, also known as Joan the Lame, was Queen of France as the first wife of King Philip VI. Joan served as regent while her husband fought on military campaigns during the Hundred Years' War.
The Hundred Years' War was a series of conflicts from 1337 to 1453, waged between the House of Plantagenet, rulers of England and the French House of Valois, over the right to rule the Kingdom of France. Each side drew many allies into the war. It was one of the most notable conflicts of the Middle Ages, in which five generations of kings from two rival dynasties fought for the throne of the largest kingdom in Western Europe. The war marked both the height of chivalry and its subsequent decline, and the development of strong national identities in both countries.
Philip VI of France
Cadet branch of the Capetian dynastyBorn: 1293 Died: 22 August 1350
| King of France |
| Count of Anjou |
Title next held byJohn II
| Count of Maine |
| Count of Valois |
Title next held byPhilip III