The Treaty of Troyes was an agreement that King Henry V of England and his heirs would inherit the French throne upon the death of King Charles VI of France. It was formally signed in the French city of Troyes on 21 May 1420 in the aftermath of Henry's successful military campaign in France.It forms a part of the backdrop of the latter phase of the Hundred Years' War finally won by the French at the Battle of Castillon in 1453, and in which various English kings tried to establish their claims to the French throne.
The treaty arranged for the marriage of Charles VI's daughter Catherine of Valois to Henry V, who was made regent of France and acknowledged (along with his future sons) as successor to the French throne. The Dauphin Charles was disinherited from the succession. The Estates-General of France ratified the agreement later that year after Henry V entered Paris.
Charles VI, King of France, despite having mentally ill ancestors and being inbred, began his reign by suppressing revolts personally, was in good mental shape and even declared full control of France himself unopposed by his uncles. But in 1392, on a military expedition through the forests of Le Mans, he went insane and attacked his own men. He would suffer from mental illness for the rest of his life. Henry V, King of England, had invaded France in 1415 and delivered a crushing defeat to the French at Agincourt. In 1418, John the Fearless, Duke of Burgundy, whose political and economic interests favoured an agreement with the English, occupied Paris. One year later he was murdered by his Armagnac opponents during what he thought was a diplomatic meeting with the Dauphin Charles on the bridge at Montereau. His son Philip the Good formed an alliance with the English and negotiated the treaty with the English King.
Isabeau of Bavaria, Charles VI's wife, whose participation in the negotiations was merely formal, agreed to the treaty disinheriting her son, hoping that if the dynasties were joined through Henry V the war could be ended and leave France in the hands of a vigorous and able king.
There had been earlier rumours that the Queen had had an affair with her brother-in-law Louis, Duke of Orléans. These rumours were gladly taken up by Louis's main rival, John the Fearless, who had had the Duke of Orléans assassinated in 1407. The Burgundians promoted the rumour that Charles was a bastard. However, such a statement could not possibly be registered in a treaty without offending the honour of the King of France. Thus, the disinheritance of the dauphin, with respect to the French throne, was based on his crimes énormes (capital offences) as he was accused of having ordered the assassination of John the Fearless.
The legal basis for the treaty was from the beginning on questionably solid ground, as only the King himself would have the authority to make such an all-important decision as terminating his own Royal House, and Charles, called "the mad", was indisputably not of mental capacity to enter into such an agreement, as most of his entire reign was overseen by regents for that very reason (the four universal legal tenets for any valid contract being consideration, agreement, legality, and capacity). Despite this, due to the shifting military and political situation, the Dauphin Charles' disinheritance received further legal sanction after he declared himself regent for Charles VI in rivalry to the regency declared by Henry V. The Dauphin was summoned to a lit-de justice (legal hearing) in 1420 on charges of lèse-majesté . When he failed to appear, a Parisian court in 1421 found Charles the Dauphin guilty of treason and sentenced him to disinheritance and banishment from the Kingdom of France, losing all privileges to land and titles.
The treaty was undermined by the deaths of both Charles VI and Henry V within two months of each other in 1422. The infant Henry VI of England became King of both England and France, but the Dauphin Charles also claimed the throne of France upon the death of his father – though he ruled only a region of France centred on Bourges and was derisively referred to as the "King of Bourges" by his opponents.
The terms of the Treaty of Troyes were later confirmed once again at the Treaty of Amiens (1423), when Burgundy and Brittany confirmed the recognition of Henry VI as King of France and agreed to form a triple-defensive alliance against the Dauphin Charles. The course of the war shifted dramatically in 1429, however, following the appearance of Joan of Arc to command the Valois forces. They lifted the siege of Orléans and then fought their way to Reims, traditional site of French coronations, where the former Dauphin was crowned as Charles VII of France. In 1435, Charles signed the Treaty of Arras with the Burgundians, in which they recognized and endorsed his claims to the throne.
The military victory of Charles VII over Henry VI rendered the treaty moot. A final attempt at the French throne was made by Edward IV of England in 1475, but he agreed to peace with Louis XI in the Treaty of Picquigny. The kings of England continued to nominally claim the crown of France until 1801, though this was never again seriously pursued. Their last territory on the French mainland, the city of Calais, was lost to France in 1558.
Henry V, also called Henry of Monmouth, was King of England from 1413 until his death in 1422. Despite his relatively short reign, Henry's outstanding military successes in the Hundred Years' War against France made England one of the strongest military powers in Europe. Immortalised in Shakespeare's "Henriad" plays, Henry is known and celebrated as one of the greatest warrior-kings of medieval England.
The Capetian 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 VII, called the Victorious or the Well-Served, was King of France from 1422 to his death in 1461. His reign saw the end of the Hundred Years' War and a de facto end of the English claims to the French throne.
Charles VI, nicknamed the Beloved and later the Mad, was King of France from 1380 until his death in 1422. He is known for his mental illness and psychotic episodes that plagued him throughout his life.
Pierre Cauchon was a French Catholic prelate who served as Bishop of Beauvais from 1420 to 1432. He was a strong partisan of English interests in France during the latter years of the Hundred Years' War. He was the judge in the trial of Joan of Arc and played a key role in her execution. The Catholic Church overturned his verdict in 1456.
Isabeau of Bavaria was Queen of France from 1385 to 1422. She was born into the House of Wittelsbach as the only daughter of Duke Stephen III of Bavaria-Ingolstadt and Taddea Visconti of Milan. At age 15 or 16, Isabeau was sent to France to marry the young King Charles VI; the couple wed three days after their first meeting.
Yolande of Aragon was Duchess of Anjou and Countess of Provence by marriage, who acted as regent of Provence during the minority of her son. Yolande played a crucial role in the struggles between France and England, influencing events such as the financing of Joan of Arc's army in 1429 that helped tip the balance in favour of the French. She was also known as Yolanda de Aragón and Violant d'Aragó. Tradition holds that she commissioned the famous Rohan Hours.
The Armagnac faction was prominent in French politics and warfare during the Hundred Years' War. It was allied with the supporters of Charles, Duke of Orléans against John the Fearless after Charles' father Louis of Orléans was killed on a Paris street on the orders of the Duke of Burgundy on 23 November 1407.
The Burgundian party was a political allegiance against France that formed during the latter half of the Hundred Years' War. The term "Burgundians" refers to the supporters of the Duke of Burgundy, John the Fearless, that formed after the assassination of Louis I, Duke of Orléans. Their opposition to the Armagnac party, the supporters of Charles, Duke of Orléans, led to a civil war in the early 15th century, itself part of the larger Hundred Years' War.
The Lancastrian War was the third and final phase of the Hundred Years' War between England and France. It lasted from 1415, when King Henry V of England invaded Normandy, to 1453, when the English lost Bordeaux. It followed a long period of peace from the end of the Caroline War in 1389. The phase is named after the House of Lancaster, the ruling house of the Kingdom of England, to which Henry V belonged.
The House of Valois-Burgundy, or the Younger House of Burgundy, was a noble French family deriving from the royal House of Valois. It is distinct from the Capetian House of Burgundy, descendants of King Robert II of France, though both houses stem from the Capetian dynasty. They ruled the Duchy of Burgundy from 1363 to 1482 and later came to rule vast lands including Artois, Flanders, Luxembourg, Hainault, the county palatine of Burgundy (Franche-Comté), and other lands through marriage, forming what is now known as the Burgundian State.
Events from the 1420s in England.
The Armagnac–Burgundian Civil War was a conflict between two cadet branches of the French royal family – the House of Orléans and the House of Burgundy from 1407 to 1435. It began during a lull in the Hundred Years' War against the English and overlapped with the Western Schism of the papacy.
John the Fearless, Duke of Burgundy, was assassinated on the bridge at Montereau on 10 September 1419 during a parley with the French Dauphin, by Tanneguy du Chastel and Jean Louvet, the Dauphin's close counsellors.
The dual monarchy of England and France existed during the latter phase of the Hundred Years' War when Charles VII of France and Henry VI of England disputed the succession to the throne of France. It commenced on 21 October 1422 upon the death of King Charles VI of France, who had signed the Treaty of Troyes which gave the French crown to his son-in-law Henry V of England and Henry's heirs. It excluded King Charles's son, the Dauphin Charles, who by right of primogeniture was the heir to the Kingdom of France. Although the Treaty was ratified by the Estates-General of France, the act was a contravention of the French law of succession which decreed that the French crown could not be alienated. Henry VI, son of Henry V, became king of both England and France and was recognized only by the English and Burgundians until 1435 as King Henry II of France. He was crowned King of France on 16 December 1431.
The Treaty of Amiens, signed on 13 April 1423, was a defensive agreement between Burgundy, Brittany, and England during the Hundred Years' War. The English were represented by John, Duke of Bedford, the English regent of France, the Burgundians by Duke Philip the Good himself, and the Bretons by Arthur de Richemont, on behalf of his brother the Duke of Brittany. By the agreement, all three parties acknowledged Henry VI of England as King of France, and agreed to aid each other against the Valois claimant, Charles VII. It also stipulated the marriage of Bedford and Richemont to Burgundy's sisters, in order to cement the alliance.
Chivalry and Betrayal: The Hundred Years' War is a 2013 documentary television series written and presented by cultural historian Dr. Janina Ramirez looking at a time when the ruling classes of England and France were bound together by shared sets of values, codes of behaviour and language for three hundred years that ended with the Hundred Years' War when chivalry ended with the devastating warfare of cannon and betrayal between rulers when England lost her French possessions. It was originally broadcast by the BBC in February 2013.
After the French lifted the siege of Orléans and won a decisive victory at the Battle of Patay, the English and Burgundians no longer posed a threat. Joan of Arc convinced the Dauphin Charles to go to Reims for his coronation. Successfully marching their army though the heart of territory held by the hostile Burgundians solidified the Dauphin’s regrasp of the throne of France. He had been disinherited from it through the Treaty of Troyes.
The Burgundian State is a concept coined by historians to describe the vast complex of territories that is also referred to as Valois Burgundy.