Robert III of Artois
| Count of Beaumont-le-Roger |
Lord of Conches-en-Ouche, Domfront and Mehun-sur-Yèvre
Statue of Robert d'Artois in Versailles
|Died||1342 (aged 54–55)|
|Noble family||House of Artois|
|Spouse(s)||Joan of Valois, Countess of Beaumont|
|Father||Philip of Artois|
|Mother||Blanche of Brittany|
Robert III of Artois (1287 – between 6 October & 20 November 1342)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.
Robert was the son of Philip of Artois, Lord of Conches-en-Ouche, and Blanche of Brittany, daughter of Duke John II, Duke of Brittany, both descended in male line from the Capetian dynasty.
He was only eleven when his father died in September 1298 from wounds he received at the Battle of Furnes on 20 August 1297 against the Flemish people. The early death of his father was an indirect cause of the dispute over the succession to the County of Artois. After the death of his grandfather, Robert II, Count of Artois, in the Battle of Courtrai in 1302, the latter's daughter, Mahaut, inherited the County of Artois in accordance with custom. Because of his age, Robert III could not object to his aunt and assert the rights which he inherited from his father. He would do so later. The rancor and intrigues between Mahaut (sometimes called Mathilde) and Robert occurred within a period of strife between France and England, before the Hundred Years' War.
Robert played an important role in the succession of Philip VI of France (his wife's half-brother) to the throne, and was his trusted adviser for some time. From this he drew a certain influence in the royal council which he used to try to wrest from Mahaut what he considered his county. At Mahaut's death in 1329, the claim passed to her daughter Joan II, Countess of Burgundy. Building on the example of the estate of the County of Flanders, he again raised the matter of succession. Artois was put under the custody of the King of France. However, in 1331, he used a forgery created by Jeanne de Divion attesting to the will of his father. This deception was discovered, and Robert lost any hope of acquiring Artois. The forger Divion was condemned at the stake. Robert's property was confiscated by Philip in 1331, and his wife and his sons John and Charles imprisoned. Robert fled France in 1332 to escape arrest and execution, and took refuge with his nephew John II, Marquis of Namur. Philip requested that the Bishop of Liège attack Namur. Accordingly, Robert fled again to John III, Duke of Brabant, his nephew-in-law. Again, the influence of Philip stirred up a war against Brabant, and Robert was exiled again, this time to England. There he joined Edward III and urged Edward–whose wife Philippa of Hainault also descended from Charles of Valois–to start a war to reclaim the Kingdom of France. While in England, he became a member of Edward's royal council and provided extensive information on the French court to the English king. Numerous contemporary chroniclers relate how Robert's influence led directly to the start of the Hundred Years War, specifically because Philip VI cited Edward's unwillingness to expel Robert as the reason for confiscating the Duchy of Aquitaine in May 1337. A vowing poem called the Voeux du héron ( Vow of the Heron ) circulated in France and England in the late 1340s that depicted Edward's invasion of France as the fulfilment of a chivalric oath made to Robert that he would take the French throne, as was his dynastic right.
Robert followed Edward in his campaigns thereafter, including command of the Anglo-Flemish army at the Battle of Saint-Omer in 1340.He ultimately succumbed to dysentery after being wounded while retreating from the city of Vannes in November 1342, during the War of the Breton Succession. He was originally buried in the Blackfriars church, in London, though his grave is now in St. Paul's Cathedral.
Around 1320 Robert married Joan, daughter of Charles of Valois and his second wife Catherine I of Courtenay. They had six children:
Robert III of Artois is a major character in Les Rois maudits (The Accursed Kings), a series of French historical novels by Maurice Druon in which many of these events are retold. He was played by Jean Piat in the 1972 French miniseries adaptation of the series, and by Philippe Torreton in the 2005 adaptation.
Philip VI, called the Fortunate and of Valois, was the first King of France from the House of Valois. He reigned from 1328 until his death.
Philip V, known as the Tall, was King of France and Navarre. He reigned from 1316 to 1322.
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 or Eudes IV was Duke of Burgundy from 1315 until his death and Count of Burgundy and Artois between 1330 and 1347. He was the second son of Duke Robert II and Agnes of France.
Peter I of Bourbon was the second Duke of Bourbon, from 1342 to his death.
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.
Guy of Dampierre was the Count of Flanders (1251–1305) and Marquis of Namur (1268–1297). He was a prisoner of the French when his Flemings defeated the latter at the Battle of the Golden Spurs in 1302.
The Accursed Kings is a series of historical novels by French author Maurice Druon about the French monarchy in the 14th century. Published between 1955 and 1977, the series has been adapted as a miniseries twice for television in France.
Philip of Artois was the son of Robert II of Artois, Count of Artois, and Amicie de Courtenay. He was the Lord of Conches, Nonancourt, and Domfront.
Mahaut of Artois, also known as Mathilda, ruled as countess of Artois from 1302 to 1329. She was furthermore regent of the County of Burgundy from 1303 to 1315 during the minority of her son, Robert.
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.
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.
Joan II, Countess of Burgundy, was Queen of France by marriage to Philip V of France, and ruling Countess of Burgundy and Countess of Artois. She was the eldest daughter and heiress of Otto IV, Count of Burgundy, and Mahaut, Countess of Artois.
Joan of Valois (1304–1363) was the daughter of Charles of Valois and his second wife Catherine I of Courtenay, titular empress of Constantinople.
Marie of Brittany (1268–1339) was the daughter of John II, Duke of Brittany, and Beatrice of England. She is also known as Marie de Dreux.
Blanche of Brittany (1271–1327) was a daughter of John II, Duke of Brittany, and his wife Beatrice of England. She is also known as Blanche de Dreux. Through her mother she was the granddaughter of King Henry III of England and Eleanor of Provence.
Joan of Artois, Countess of Foix, Viscountess of Béarn, was a French noblewoman, and the wife of Gaston I de Foix, Count of Foix, Viscount of Béarn. From 1331 to 1347 she was imprisoned by her eldest son on charges of scandalous conduct, dissolution, and profligacy.
The Dampierre family played an important role during the Middle Ages. Named after Dampierre, in the Champagne region, where members first became prominent, members of the family were later Count of Flanders, Count of Nevers, Counts and Dukes of Rethel, Count of Artois and Count of Franche-Comté.
Jeanne de Divion was a French forger.
The sieges of Vannes of 1342 were a series of four sieges of the town of Vannes that occurred throughout 1342. Two rival claimants to the Duchy of Brittany, John of Montfort and Charles of Blois, competed for Vannes throughout this civil war from 1341 to 1365. The successive sieges ruined Vannes and its surrounding countryside. Vannes was eventually sold off in a truce between England and France, signed in January 1343 in Malestroit. Saved by an appeal of Pope Clement VI, Vannes remained in the hands of its own rulers, but ultimately resided under English control from September 1343 till the end of the war in 1365.
|Peerage of England|
John III of Brittany
| Earl of Richmond |
John of Gaunt