louis-ix

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» history meme : Kings of France.

Maison Capet
Hugues Capet (987 – 996)
Robert II “Le Pieux” (996-1031)
Henri Ier (1031-1060)
Philippe Ier (1060-1108)
Louis VI “Le Gros” (1108-1137)
Louis VII “Le Jeune” (1137-1180)
Philippe II Auguste (1180-1223)
Louis VIII “Le Lion” (1223-1226)
Louis IX “Saint Louis” (1226-1270)
Philippe III “Le Hardi” (1270-1285)
Philippe IV “Le Bel” (1285-1314)
Louis X “Le Hutin” (1314-1316)
Jean Ier “Le Posthume” (1316)
Philippe V “Le Long” (1316-1322)
Charles IV “Le Bel” (1322-1328)

Maison Capet-Valois
Philippe VI (1328-1350)
Jean II “Le Bon” (1350-1364)
Charles V “Le Sage” (1354-1380)
Charles VI “Le Fol” (1380-1422)
Charles VII “Le Victorieux” (1422-1461)
Louis XI “L’invincible Aragne” (1461-1483)
Charles VIII “L’Affable” (1483-1498)
Louis XII “Le Père du Peuple” (1498-1515)

Maison Capet-Valois-Angoulême
François Ier Le Magnifique (1515-1547)
Henri II (1547-1559)
François II (1559-1560)
Charles IX (1560-1574)
Henri III (1574-1589)

Maison Capet-Bourbon
Henri IV “Le Vert Galant” (1589-1610)
Louis XIII “Le Juste” (1610-1643)
Louis XIV “Le Roi Soleil” (1643-1715)
Louis XV “Le Bien-Aimé” (1715-1774)
Louis XVI “Le Père de la Nation” (1774-1792)
Louis XVIII (1814-1824)
Charles X (1824-1830)

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Medieval eye candy

This manuscript is one of the treasures of Leiden University Library. It was made around 1200, likely in the north of England, and was used by the French king Louis IX (1214-70). Not when he was king, mind you, but as a child. As was common practice in medieval times, the Psalms were used for learning to read, and that is the reason why royal hands once held the object. These spectacular miniatures are found in front of the book. They are fit for a king to be: eye candy with a great historical past.

Pics: Leiden University Library, BPL 76 A (c. 1190). Photography: Julie Somers (pic 1-4), UB Leiden (pics 5-8).

Blanche of Castile (Castilian: Blanca) was born on 4 March 1188 in Palencia, the third daughter of Alfonso VIII of Castile and his wife Leonor Plantagenet. She was Queen of France as the wife of Louis VIII. She acted as regent twice during the reign of her son, Louis IX the Saint. She was one of the granddaughters of Henry II of England and Eleanor of Aquitaine.


In her youth, she visited the Abbey of Santa María la Real de Las Huelgas, founded by her father, several times. In consequence of the Treaty of Le Goulet between Philip Augustus and John of England, Blanche’s sister, Urraca, was betrothed to Philip’s son, Louis. Their grandmother Eleanor of Aquitaine, upon getting acquainted with the two sisters, judged that Blanche’s personality was more fit for a queen consort of France. In the spring of 1200 Eleanor crossed the Pyrenees with her and brought her to France instead (historical rumour has it the French thought the sound of “Urraca” was hideous).

On 22 May 1200 the treaty was finally signed, King John ceding with his niece the fiefs of Issoudun and Graçay, together with those that André de Chauvigny, lord of Châteauroux, held in Berry, of the English crown. The marriage was celebrated the next day, at Port-Mort on the right bank of the Seine, in John’s domains, as those of Philip lay under an interdict. The marriage was only consummated after a few years, and Blanche bore her first child in 1205.

During the English barons’ rebellion of 1215-16 against King John, it was Blanche’s English ancestry as granddaughter to Henry II that led to Louis being offered the throne of England as Louis I. However, with the death of John in October 1216, the barons changed their allegiance to John’s son, the nine-year-old Henry. Louis continued to claim the English crown in her right, only to find a united nation against him. Philip Augustus refused to help his son, and Blanche was his sole support. She established herself at Calais and organized two fleets, one of which was commanded by Eustace the Monk, and an army under Robert of Courtenay. Eventually Louis’ claim faded.

Upon Louis’ death in November 1226, he left Blanche, by then 38, regent and guardian of his children. Of her twelve or thirteen children, six had died, and Louis, the heir — afterwards the sainted Louis IX — was but twelve years old. She had him crowned within a month of his father’s death in Reims and forced reluctant barons to swear allegiance to him. The situation was critical, since Louis VIII had died without having completely subdued his southern nobles. A minority made the Capetian domains even more vulnerable. To gain support, she released Ferdinand, Count of Flanders, who had been in captivity since the Battle of Bouvines. She ceded land and castles to Philip Hurepel, son of Philip II and his controversial wife Agnes of Merania.
She had to break up a league of the barons in 1226. Helped by Theobald IV of Champagne and the papal legate to France, Romano Bonaventura, she organized an army. Its sudden appearance brought the nobles momentarily to a halt. Twice more did Blanche have to muster an army to protect Capetian interests against rebellious nobles and Henry III of England. 

In 1229, she was responsible for the Treaty of Paris, in which Raymond VII, Count of Toulouse, submitted to Louis. By it his daughter and heir Joan was forced to marry Blanche’s son, Alfonso. He gave up all the lands conquered by Simon de Montfort to the crown of France. It also meant the end of the Albigensian Crusade.

At the cost of some of the crown’s influence in Poitou, Blanche managed to keep the English Queen mother Isabelle, Countess of Angoulême and her second husband, Hugh X of Lusignan, from supporting the English side. Pierre Mauclerc did support the English and Brittany rebelled against the crown in 1230. Blanche organized a surprise attack in the winter. She accompanied the army herself and helped collect wood to keep the soldiers warm. The rebellion was put down, which added to the growing prestige of Blanche and Louis.

Saint Louis owed his realm to his mother and remained under her influence for the duration of her life. After Louis came of age, in 1234, aged 20, her influence upon him may still be traced. The same year, he was married, and Blanche became Queen mother. Louis married Margaret of Provence, who was the eldest of the four daughters of Ramon, count of Provence, and Beatrice of Savoy.

In 1239, Blanche insisted on a fair hearing for the Jews, who were under threat by increasing Antisemitism in France. She presided over a formal disputation in the king’s court. Louis insisted on the burning of the Talmud and other Jewish books, but Blanche promised Rabbi Rehiel of Paris, who spoke for the Jews, that he and his goods were under her protection.

In 1248, Blanche again became regent, during Louis IX’s absence on the Crusade, a project which she had strongly opposed. In the disasters which followed she maintained peace, while draining the land of men and money to aid her son in the East. She fell ill at Melun in November 1252, and taken to Paris, but lived only a few days and died on 27 November 1252. She was buried at Maubuisson Abbey, which she had founded herself. Louis heard of her death in the following spring and reportedly did not speak to anyone for two days afterwards.

I always think Eleanor of Aquitaine’s female descendants need some more love. What a wonderful book trilogy would be: a book about Leonor Plantagenet and Alfonso VIII, and then two about their daughters: Queen Berenguela and her son Fernando the Saint and Queen Blanche and her son Louis the Saint. Awww!

Rage and sorrow are seated in my heart, so firmly that I scarce dare stay alive. It seems God wishes to support the Turks to our loss… ah, Lord God…

 They will make a mosque of holy Mary’s convent, and since the theft pleases her Son, Who should weep at this, we are forced to comply as well…

Anyone who wishes to fight the Turks is mad, for Jesus Christ fights them no longer.

—  A Templar poet lamenting the disastrous Seventh Crusade. The Crusades had always been framed as a holy pilgrimage, one endorsed and supported by God. However, this idea of divine support had been shattered after the Seventh Crusade ended in complete failure.

From then on, it was openly discussed and written that God had turned his back on the Christian world out of his displeasure with the Holy Wars, and that the Latin Kingdoms in the East were doomed to perish.

Cited from The Knights Templar, by Stephen Howarth.

Couvercle à glissière provenant du trésor de la Sainte-Chapelle à Paris. Argent doré, cire et peinture, Constantinople, XIIe siècle./ 

Sliding lid with the cross, from the treasury of the Sainte-Chapelle in Paris. Gilded silver, wax and paint, Byzantium, 12th century.

@credits

The Relics of Sainte-Chapelle are relics of Jesus Christ acquired by the French monarchy in the Middle Ages and now conserved by the Archdiocese of Paris. They were originally housed at Sainte-Chapelle in Paris and are now in the cathedral treasury of Notre Dame de Paris.

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Royal Birthdays for today, April 25th:

Louis IX, King of France, 1214

Conrad IV, King of Germany, Jerusalem and Sicily, 1228

Edward II, King of England 1284

Gaston of France, Duke of Orleans, 1608

Carlota Joaquina of Spain, Queen of Portugal, 1775

Mary of the United Kingdom, Duchess of Gloucester and Edinburgh, 1776

Alice of the United Kingdom, Grand Duchess of Hesse and by Rhine, 1843

Mary, Princess Royal and Countess of Harewood, 1897

Louis Alphonse, Duke of Anjou, 1974

Echiquier dit de Saint-Louis Description : Tablier : Allemagne, fin du 15e (?), additions au 17e (anges), 19e (côtés). Pièces : France, 15e.

@credits

The “St Louis” chess comes from the Crown collection, but the tradition attributing it to Louis IX of France is certainly mistaken. This set, made of rock crystal and smoked quartz, was in fact created in the late fifteenth century in Germany (the board) and France (the pieces). Extensively altered over the centuries, it nevertheless remains a fine example of the artistic inventiveness of the fifteenth century and of the magnificence of the French Crown collection.

A chess set of crystal, quartz, and silver

The board is composed of thirty-two squares of rock crystal alternating with thirty-two squares of smoked quartz, all cased in silver. Each square of rock crystal is backed with a silver foil bearing a silver flower with red enamel petals and green enamel leaves. Similarly, each square of quartz is backed with a black foil adorned with a gilt silver flower with leaves of silver. These flowers are thus visible through the opaque squares. Half of the pieces, which are not all original, are carved from rock crystal (the white pieces), and the other half (the black pieces) from smoked quartz. Each piece is six-sided, carved from a single block and mounted in gilt silver.

A chess set within a chess set

Arranged around the periphery of the board’s sixty-four squares are eight small compartments covered with rock crystal lids. Inside are little boxwood figurines, both civilian and military, seated, standing or on horseback. Painted red or blue, they seem to echo the chessmen. On two of the sides, the tiny figures occupy the squares of a reduced chessboard of white and black metal. Each of these sixteen-square boards is framed by two bouquets of silver flowers on a ground of imitation greenery, which also appears inside two other compartments containing soldier figurines represented in a forest. The military figures are modeled on German soldiers of the late fifteenth century, suggesting that the board was made in southern Germany.

The chess set: modifications and history

In 1791 the sides of the board were still embellished with gilt copper on a ground of blue enamel. Now the sides are plated with a stamped silver frieze of foliage added in the nineteenth century. The corners rest on the heads of chubby winged cherubs in gilt bronze dating from the seventeenth century. Added in the eighteenth century, these may be of Italian workmanship. Royal inventories often listed chess sets made of semi-precious stones. The presence of the little boxwood figures links this set with others listed in inventories as belonging to the Palais du Louvre. This set was listed in the inventory of the collections of Gabrielle d'Estrées (1573-99), and later in the gem collection of Louis XIV under number 31. As one piece was lost, Louis XVIII gave the set to his first valet de chambre, Thierry de Ville-d'Avray.

@louvre

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Royal Birthdays for today, April 25th:

Louis IX, King of France, 1214

Conrad IV, King of Germany, Jerusalem and Sicily, 1228

Edward II, King of England 1284

Gaston of France, Duke of Orleans, 1608

Carlota Joaquina of Spain, Queen of Portugal, 1775

Mary of the United Kingdom, Duchess of Gloucester and Edinburgh, 1776

Alice of the United Kingdom, Grand Duchess of Hesse and by Rhine, 1843

Mary, Princess Royal and Countess of Harewood, 1897

Muna al-Hussein, Princess of Jordan, 1941

Louis Alphonse, Duke of Anjou, 1974

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HISTORY MEME - FRANCE VERSION ♛ [03/09] kings/queen : Louis IX of France  (25 april 1214- 25 august 1270)

King of France from 1226 until his death. He was also styled Louis II, Count of Artois from 1226 to 1237. Born at Poissy, near Paris, he was an eighth-generation descendant of Hugh Capet, and thus a member of the House of Capet, and the son of Louis VIII and Blanche of Castile. He worked with the Parliament of Paris in order to improve the professionalism of his legal administration. He is the only canonised king of France.