Philip VI of France

Last updated

Philip VI
Phil6france.jpg
Philip VI in a contemporary miniature depicting the trial of Robert III of Artois, c. 1336
King of France
Reign1 April 1328 – 22 August 1350
Coronation 29 May 1328
Predecessor Charles IV
Successor John II
Born(1293-11-17)17 November 1293
Fontainebleau, Paris, France
Died22 August 1350(1350-08-22) (aged 56)
Coulombes Abbey, Nogent-le-Roi, Eure-et-Loir, France
Burial
Spouse
(m. 1313;died 1349)

(m. 1350)
Issue
among others
House Valois
Father Charles, Count of Valois
Mother Margaret, Countess of Anjou

Philip VI (French : Philippe; 17 November 1293 – 22 August 1350), called the Fortunate (French: le Fortuné) and of Valois, was the first King of France from the House of Valois, reigning from 1328 until his death in 1350.

Contents

Philip's reign was dominated by the consequences of a succession dispute. When King Charles IV of France died in 1328, the nearest male relative was his nephew King 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, King Philip VI bought the Province of Dauphiné from its ruined ruler the Dauphin Humbert II of Viennois and entrusted the government of this province to his grandson King Charles V. Philip VI died in 1350 and was succeeded by his son King John II, the Good.

Early life

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, [1] had striven throughout his life to gain the 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. [2]

Accession to the throne

Edward III of England pays homage to Philip VI of France in Amiens, from a 1370-75 manuscript of the Grandes Chroniques de France Hommage d'Edouard III d'Angleterre a Philippe de Valois.png
Edward III of England pays homage to Philip VI of France in Amiens, from a 1370–75 manuscript of the Grandes Chroniques de France
Philip VI of France Philippe VI de Valois.jpg
Philip VI of France

In 1328, Philip VI's first cousin King Charles IV died without a son, leaving his widow Jeanne of Évreux pregnant. [2] Philip was one of the two chief claimants to the throne of France. The other was King Edward III of England, who was the son of Charles's sister Isabella of France and his closest male relative. The Estates General had decided 20 years earlier that women could not inherit the throne of France. The question arose as to whether Isabella should have been able to transmit a claim that she herself did not possess. [3] 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 King Philip III of France, through the male line, he became regent instead of Edward, who was a matrilineal grandson of King Philip IV and great-grandson of King Philip III. [4]

During the period in which Charles IV's widow was waiting to deliver her child, Philip VI rose to the regency with support of the French magnates, following the pattern set up by his cousin King Philip V who succeeded the throne over his niece Joan II of Navarre. [3] He formally held the regency from 9 February 1328 until 1 April, when Jeanne of Évreux gave birth to a daughter named Blanche of France, Duchess of Orléans. [5] Upon this birth, Philip was named king and crowned at the Cathedral in Reims on 29 May 1328. [6] 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. [7] After a subsequent second summons from Philip, Edward finally 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. [7]

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 King 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 his cousin King 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 the fief in Évreux that her husband Philip III of Navarre owned) as compensation, and he kept Champagne as part of the French crown lands.

Reign

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. [8] 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. [9] 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. [10] The final breach with England came when Edward offered refuge to Robert III of Artois, formerly one of Philip's trusted advisers, [11] after Robert committed forgery to try to obtain an inheritance. As relations between Philip and Edward worsened, Robert's standing in England strengthened. [11] On 26 December 1336, Philip officially demanded the extradition of Robert to France. [11] On 24 May 1337, Philip declared that Edward had forfeited Aquitaine for disobedience and for sheltering the "king's mortal enemy", Robert of Artois. [12] Thus began the Hundred Years' War, complicated by Edward's renewed claim to the throne of France in retaliation for the forfeiture of Aquitaine.

Hundred Years' War

Flemish leader as fish seller went to search in French camp Disguised as seller of fishes the flemish leader went down into the frenh camp.jpg
Flemish leader as fish seller went to search in French camp
Philip VI and his first wife, Joan of Burgundy Philippe VI and Jeanne de Bourgogne.jpg
Philip VI and his first wife, Joan of Burgundy

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. [13] The English made some retaliatory raids, including the burning of a fleet in the harbour of Boulogne-sur-Mer, [14] but the French largely had the upper hand. With his sea power established, Philip gave orders in 1339 to begin 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. [14]

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. [15] By September 1340, Edward was in financial distress, hardly able to pay or feed his troops, and was open to dialogue. [16] 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. [16] On 23 September 1340, a nine-month truce was reached. [16]

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.

Final years

King Philip's funerary procession, which was presided over by the Archbishop of Reims, illustrated by Loyset Liedet Funerailles Philippe VI.jpg
King Philip's funerary procession, which was presided over by the Archbishop of Reims, illustrated by Loyset Liédet

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 destabilising the country. His second marriage to his son's betrothed Blanche of Navarre alienated his son and many nobles from the king. [17]

Philip's last major achievement was the acquisition of the Dauphiné and 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 [18] 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.

Marriages and children

In July 1313, Philip married Joan the Lame (French : Jeanne), daughter of Robert II, Duke of Burgundy, [19] and Agnes of France, the youngest daughter of King Louis IX of France.

Their children were the following:

  1. King John II of France (26 April 1319 – 8 April 1364) [20]
  2. Marie of France (1326 – 22 September 1333), who married John of Brabant, the son and heir of John III, Duke of Brabant, but died shortly afterwards.
  3. Louis (born and died 17 January 1329).
  4. Louis (8 June 1330 – 23 June 1330)
  5. A son [John?] (born and died 2 October 1333).
  6. A son (28 May 1335), stillborn
  7. Philip of Orléans (1 July 1336 – 1 September 1375), Duke of Orléans
  8. Joan (born and died November 1337)
  9. A son (born and died summer 1343)

After Joan died in 1349, Philip married Blanche of Navarre, [21] daughter of Queen Joan II of Navarre and Philip III of Navarre, on 11 January 1350. They had one daughter:

In fiction

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. [22]

Related Research Articles

Battle of Poitiers Battle in 1356 during the Hundred Years War

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, along with his youngest son, and much of the French nobility who were present.

House of Valois French cadet branch of the Capetian dynasty

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 II of Navarre King of Navarre

Charles II, called Charles the Bad, was King of Navarre 1349–1387 and Count of Évreux 1343–1387.

Charles V of France King of France from 1364 to his death in 1380

Charles V, called the Wise, was King of France from 1364 to his death in 1380. His reign marked an early high point for France during the Hundred Years' War, with his armies recovering much of the territory held by the English, and successfully reversed the military losses of his predecessors.

Charles IV of France Last King of France who was directly a member of the House of Capet

Charles IV, called the Fair in France and the Bald in Navarre, was last king of the direct line of the House of Capet, King of France and King of Navarre from 1322 to 1328. Charles was the third son of Philip IV; like his father, he was known as "the fair" or "the handsome".

Odo IV, Duke of Burgundy Duke of Burgundy

Odo IV or Eudes IV was Duke of Burgundy from 1315 until his death and Count of Burgundy and Artois between 1330 and 1347, as well as titular King of Thessalonica from 1316 to 1320. He was the second son of Duke Robert II and Agnes of France.

Peter I, Duke of Bourbon Duke of Bourbon

Peter I of Bourbon was the second Duke of Bourbon, from 1342 to his death. Peter was son of Louis I of Bourbon, whom he also succeeded as Grand Chamberlain of France, and Mary of Avesnes.

Joan II of Navarre Queen of Navarre

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, Count of Flanders

Louis I was Count of Flanders, Nevers and Rethel.

Philip III of Navarre King of Navarre (jure uxoris)

Philip III, called the Noble or the Wise, was King of Navarre from 1328 until his death. He was born a minor member of the French royal family but gained prominence when the Capetian main line went extinct, as he and his wife and cousin, Joan II of Navarre, acquired the Iberian kingdom and a number of French fiefs.

House of Capet Rulers of the Kingdom of France from 987 to 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.

Robert III of Artois

Robert III of Artois was Lord of Conches-en-Ouche, of Domfront, and of Mehun-sur-Yèvre, and in 1309 he received as appanage the county of Beaumont-le-Roger in restitution for the County of Artois, which he claimed. He was also briefly Earl of Richmond in 1341 after the death of John III, Duke of Brittany.

Joan of Valois, Countess of Hainaut Countess of Hainaut, Holland, and Zeeland

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 and Maine. As the sister of King Philip VI of France and the mother-in-law of King Edward III of England, she was ideally placed to act as mediator between them.

This is a timeline of the Hundred Years' War between England and France from 1337 to 1453 as well as some of the events leading up to the war.

Joan the Lame Queen consort of France

Joan of Burgundy, also known as Joan the Lame, was Queen of France as the first wife of King Philip VI. Joan ruled as regent while her husband fought on military campaigns during the Hundred Years' War: 1340, 1345-1346 and 1347.

Hundred Years War Conflicts between England and France during the 14th and 15th centuries

The Hundred Years’ War was a series of armed 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 Truce of Calais was a truce agreed by King Edward III of England and King Philip VI of France on 28 September 1347, which was mediated by emissaries of Pope Clement VI. The Hundred Years' War had broken out in 1337 and in 1346 Edward had landed with an army in northern France. After inflicting a heavy defeat on Philip and a French army at the Battle of Crécy the English besieged Calais, which fell after 11 months. Both countries were financially and militarily exhausted and two cardinals acting for Pope Clement were able to broker a truce in a series of negotiations outside Calais. This was signed on 27 September to run until 7 July 1348.

Black Princes <i>chevauchée</i> of 1356

The Black Prince's chevauchée of 1356, which began on 4 August at Bordeaux and ended with the Battle of Poitiers on 19 September, was a devastating raid of Edward of Woodstock, Prince of Wales, the eldest son of King Edward III of England. This expedition of the Black Prince devastated large parts of Bergerac, Périgord, Nontronnais, Confolentais, Nord-Ouest, Limousin, La Marche, Boischaut, Champagne Berrichonne, Berry, Sologne, south of Touraine and Poitou.

Treaty of Guînes Unratified treaty of the Hundred Years War

The Treaty of Guînes was a draft settlement to end the Hundred Years' War, negotiated between England and France and signed at Guînes on 6 April 1354. The war had broken out in 1337 and was further aggravated in 1340 when the English king, Edward III, claimed the French throne. The war went badly for France: the French army was heavily defeated at the Battle of Crécy and the French town of Calais was besieged and captured. With both sides exhausted, a truce was agreed that, despite being only fitfully observed, was repeatedly renewed.

The Scheldt campaigns of 1339–1340 were a series of manoeuvres by opposing French and Flemish forces during the Hundred Years' War.

References

  1. David Nicolle, Crécy 1346: Triumph of the Longbow, (Osprey, 2000), 12.
  2. 1 2 Elizabeth Hallam and Judith Everard, Capetian France 987-1328, 2nd edition, (Pearson Education Limited, 2001), 366.
  3. 1 2 Jonathan Sumption, The Hundred Years War: Trial by Battle, Vol. I, (Faber & Faber, 1990), 106-107.
  4. Viard, "Philippe VI de Valois. Début du règne (février-juillet 1328)", Bibliothèque de l'école des chartes, 95 (1934), 263.
  5. Viard, 269, 273.
  6. Curry, Anne (2003). The Hundred Years' War . New York: Rutledge. pp.  18.
  7. 1 2 Jonathan Sumption, The Hundred Years War: Trial by Battle, 109-110.
  8. Kelly DeVries, Infantry Warfare in the Early Fourteenth Century, (The Boydell Press, 1996), 102.
  9. Jonathan Sumption, The Hundred Years War:Trial by Battle, 135.
  10. The Hundred Years War:Not One But Many, Kelly DeVries, The Hundred Years War (part II): Different Vistas, ed. L. J. Andrew Villalon, Donald J. Kagay, (Brill, 2008), 15.
  11. 1 2 3 Jonathan Sumption, The Hundred Years War:Trial by Battle, 171-172.
  12. Jonathan Sumption, The Hundred Years War:Trial by Battle, 184.
  13. Oars, Sails and Guns:The English and War at Sea, c.1200-1500, Ian Friel, War at Sea in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, ed. John B. Hattendorf, Richard W. Unger, (The Boydell Press, 2003), 79.
  14. 1 2 Jonathan Sumption, The Hundred Years War:Trial by Battle, 320-328.
  15. Jonathan Sumption, The Hundred Years War:Trial by Battle, 349.
  16. 1 2 3 Jonathan Sumption, The Hundred Years War:Trial by Battle, 354-359.
  17. Mortimer, Ian (2008). The Perfect King The Life of Edward III, Father of the English Nation. Vintage. p. 276.
  18. Jonathan Sumption, Hundred Years War:Trial by Fire, Vol. II, (University of Pennsylvania Press, 1999), 117.
  19. David d'Avray, Papacy, Monarchy and Marriage 860–1600, (Cambridge University Press, 2015), 292.
  20. 1 2 Marguerite Keane, Material Culture and Queenship in 14th-century France, (Brill, 2016), 17.
  21. Identity Politics and Rulership in France: Female Political Place and the Fraudulent Salic Law in Christine de Pizan and Jean de Montreuil, Sarah Hanley, Changing Identities in Early Modern France, ed. Michael Wolfe, (Duke University Press, 1996), 93 n45.
  22. "Les Rois maudits: Casting de la saison 1" (in French). AlloCiné. 2005. Archived from the original on 19 December 2014. Retrieved 25 July 2015.

Sources

Philip VI of France
Cadet branch of the Capetian dynasty
Born: 1293 Died: 22 August 1350
Regnal titles
Preceded by King of France
1328–1350
Succeeded by
French nobility
Preceded by Count of Anjou
1325–1328
Vacant
Title next held by
John II
Count of Maine
1314–1328
Count of Valois
1325–1328
Vacant
Title next held by
Philip III