Robert III of Artois
| Count of Beaumont-le-Roger |
Lord of Conches-en-Ouche, Domfront and Mehun-sur-Yèvre
|Died||1342 (aged 54–55)|
|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 John II, Duke of Brittany. Both were 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, his grandfather's daughter Mahaut of Artois, inherited the County of Artois, in accordance with custom, for she was his eldest child. Because of his age, Robert III could not object to his aunt Mahaut 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 King 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 his aunt Mahaut what he considered the county of Artois to be his. At Mahaut's death in 1329, the claim then passed to her daughter Joan II, Countess of Burgundy. Building on the example of the estate of the County of Flanders, Robert again raised the matter of succession. He was then put under the custody of the King of France. However, in 1331, he used a forgery created by Jeanne de Divion which attested 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 King Philip VI in 1331, and consequently his wife and his sons John and Charles were imprisoned. Robert therefore fled France in 1332, to escape arrest and execution, and took refuge with his nephew John II, Marquis of Namur. King Philip VI hence 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 King Philip VI stirred up a war against Brabant and Robert was exiled again, this time to England. There he took up with King Edward III of England and urged the English king–whose wife Philippa of Hainault was the half-niece of Robert's wife–to start a war to reclaim the Kingdom of France. While in England, Robert became a member of King Edward's royal council and provided extensive information on the French court to the king of England. Numerous contemporary chroniclers relate how Robert's influence led directly to the start of the Hundred Years' War, specifically because King Philip VI cited King Edward III'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 III's invasion of France as the fulfillment of a chivalric oath made to Robert that he would take the French throne, as was his dynastic right.
Robert thereafter followed King Edward III in his campaigns, 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 church in Blackfriars, 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.
John I, called the Posthumous, was king of France and Navarre, as the posthumous son and successor of Louis X, for the five days he lived in 1316. He is the youngest person to be king of France, the only one to have borne that title from birth, and the only one to hold the title for his entire life. His reign is the shortest of any French king. Although considered a king today, his status was not recognized until chroniclers and historians in later centuries began numbering John II, thereby acknowledging John I's brief reign.
Philip VI, called the Fortunate and of Valois, was the first King of France from the House of Valois, reigning from 1328 until his death in 1350.
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, as well as titular King of Thessalonica from 1316 to 1320. He was the second son of Duke Robert II and Agnes of France.
John of Montfort, sometimes known as John IV of Brittany, and 6th Earl of Richmond from 1341 to his death. He was the son of Arthur II, Duke of Brittany and his second wife, Yolande de Dreux. He contested the inheritance of the Duchy of Brittany by his niece, Joan of Penthièvre, which led to the War of the Breton Succession, which in turn evolved into being part of the Hundred Years' War between England and France. John's patron in his quest was King Edward III of England. He died in 1345, 19 years before the end of the war, and the victory of his son John IV over Joan of Penthièvre and her husband, Charles of Blois.
Charles of Valois, the third son of King 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 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.
The first phase of the Hundred Years' War between France and England lasted from 1337 to 1360. It is sometimes referred to as the Edwardian War because it was initiated by 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.
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 and the absence of her daughter, Joan II, Countess of Burgundy.
Guy I of Châtillon, Count of Blois, son of Hugh II of Châtillon and Beatrix of Dampierre, was Count of Blois and Lord of Avesnes 1307–1342.
Robert II of Dreux, Count of Dreux and Braine, was the eldest surviving son of Robert I, Count of Dreux, and Agnes de Baudemont, countess of Braine, and a grandson of King Louis VI 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.
Joan II, Countess of Burgundy, was Queen of France by marriage to Philip V of France; she was also ruling Countess of Burgundy from 1303 to 1330 and ruling Countess of Artois in 1329-1330. She was the eldest daughter and heiress of Otto IV, Count of Burgundy, and Mahaut, Countess of Artois.
Joan of Valois was the daughter of Charles, Count of Valois and his second wife Catherine I of Courtenay, titular empress of Constantinople.
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.
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.
Jeanne de Divion was a French forger.
Thierry Larchier d'Hirson or d'Hireçon, or de Hérisson, was a French cleric under Robert II, Count of Artois.
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.
The Tournaisis campaign of 1340, also known as the Tournai Campaign was a military campaign of King Edward III of England during the Hundred Years War. The English army was supported by Flemish, Hainault, Brabant and Holy Roman Empire forces. The campaign resulted in the defeat of an Anglo-Flemish force, carrying out a small scale chevauchée in the County of Artois, at the Battle of Saint-Omer, an unsuccessful siege of Tournai and ended with meeting of the English and French armies at Bouvines without battle. The campaign ended with the Truce of Espléchin and the withdrawal of the English led forces. The English army was led by King Edward III, and the French by King Philip VI of France.