15 June, 2009

The Queens Of France, 1314-1328

A post about the six women who married Queen Isabella's three short-lived brothers Louis X (1289-1316), Philippe V (c. 1291/93-1322) and Charles IV (c. 1294-1328). With one exception, the women themselves didn't live very long, either. The three brothers fathered five sons between them, none of whom lived past the age of eight, and the throne of France passed from the Capets to the Valois.

Oh, and if anyone's landed on this page searching for the correct date of Charles IV's wedding to Jeanne of Evreux, which practically every book/genealogy site gets wrong: they married on Thursday 5 July 1324, not July 1325. See below.

Marguerite of Burgundy (1290-1315)

Marguerite married the future Louis X of France, who was already king of Navarre, on or about 21 September 1305, when she was probably fifteen and Louis not quite sixteen. Marguerite was the daughter of Duke Robert II of Burgundy (d. 1306), and through her mother Agnes was the granddaughter of Louis IX of France, so was the first cousin once removed of her husband. Two of Marguerite's brothers, Hugues and Eudes, were dukes of Burgundy, her brother Louis was titular king of Thessalonica, her sister Marie married Edward II's nephew Count Edouard I of Bar, and her sister Jeanne 'the Lame' (la Boiteuse) married Philippe VI of France, first cousin and successor of Louis X, Philippe V and Charles IV.

Marguerite and Louis had one child, named Jeanne after Louis's mother Queen Jeanne of Navarre, who was born on 28 January 1311 and became queen of Navarre in her own right in 1328, on the death of her uncle Charles IV. The couple had been married for at least four and a half years by the time they conceived their daughter. In early 1314, one of the great scandals of the Middle Ages came to light: Marguerite and her sister-in-law Blanche of Burgundy had been committing adultery with the d'Aulnay brothers Philippe and Gautier. The unfortunate young men suffered horrific torture, broken on the wheel, castrated, flayed, hanged and beheaded. Marguerite and Blanche were imprisoned at Château Gaillard in Normandy.

Marguerite's husband succeeded his father as king of France in November 1314; Marguerite remained in prison and, needless to say, was never crowned queen of France. She died at Château Gaillard on 14 August 1315, probably murdered so that Louis could remarry and father a son, and was buried at Vernon in Normandy. The recently-deceased Maurice Druon told her story in his novel La Reine Étranglée or The Strangled Queen.

Her younger sister Jeanne 'the Lame' became queen of France in 1328, when Philippe VI succeeded his cousin Charles IV. Marguerite's daughter Queen Jeanne of Navarre, who died in October 1349, married her cousin Philippe of Evreux and was the mother of the interestingly-named Charles the Bad (le Mauvais), king of Navarre. Marguerite of Burgundy was the great-grandmother of Jeanne of Navarre (1370-1437), duchess of Brittany and queen of England, who married Henry IV in 1403.

Clemence of Hungary (or Clemence of Anjou) (1293-1328)

Clemence was the daughter of Charles Martel, titular king of Hungary, and Klementia von Hapsburg, daughter of the Holy Roman Emperor Rudolf I. Her paternal grandfather was Charles 'the Lame' (le Boiteux), titular king of Jerusalem, Sicily and Naples, who attended Edward II and Isabella's wedding in January 1308. Clemence was remarkably well-connected to European royalty, and her aunts and uncles included: Philip, titular emperor of Constantinople, prince of Achaea and Taranto and despot of Epirius; Robert the Wise, titular king of Naples and Jerusalem, duke of Calabria and count of Provence; Saint Louis, bishop of Toulouse; Albrecht von Hapsburg, king of Germany and duke of Austria, who also attended Edward and Isabella's wedding in January 1308 and was murdered by his nephew Johann a few weeks later; Jutta, queen of Bohemia; Blanche, queen of Aragon; Eleanor, queen of Sicily; and Hartmann, betrothed to Edward II's sister Joan of Acre, who drowned in 1281. Clemence's brother Charles, or Károly, succeeded their father as king of Hungary.

Clemence married Louis X on 19 August 1315, a mere five days after the suspicious death of his first wife Marguerite. The marriage was arranged by Charles of Valois, brother of Philippe IV and Louis's uncle, and also Clemence's uncle by marriage (his first wife Marguerite of Anjou, mother of Philippe VI, was the sister of Clemence's father). Her unusual name caused problems for one of Edward II's clerks: when Edward wrote to her and Louis in May 1316, the clerk addressed her as 'Queen Elizabeth'.

Louis X died on 5 June 1316 at the age of only twenty-six, supposedly from drinking chilled wine after a vigorous game of jeu de paume, leaving Clemence about four months pregnant. She gave birth on 15 November to a boy who immediately became king of France: Jean I, the Posthumous. Unfortunately the baby king only lived for five days, and Clemence's brother-in-law succeeded as Philippe V. Clemence died on 12 October 1328, in her mid-thirties, and was buried at St Jacques in Paris.

Jeanne of Burgundy (c. 1292-1329)

Jeanne was the daughter of Othon (Otto) IV, count palatine of Burgundy, and Mahaut, countess of Artois in her own right. Jeanne's brother Robert, who was born in 1300, succeeded their father in 1302, but died unmarried in 1315. Edward I had on 8 May 1306 opened negotiations for Robert to marry his youngest child, Eleanor; the girl was four days old at the time. On the death of her brother, Jeanne inherited the county of Burgundy, and on her mother's death in 1329, the county of Artois. She married the future Philippe V in January 1307.

Jeanne was embroiled in the adultery scandal of 1314 and imprisoned. She was soon released, however, on the grounds that she had known of the adultery of her sisters-in-law but had not taken a lover herself - either because she was genuinely believed to be innocent, or because Philippe IV wanted to preserve her rich inheritance for his son. Her husband succeeded as Philippe V of France in November 1316, and died on 3 January 1322, aged about thirty. Jeanne outlived him by eight years, and left four daughters: Jeanne, who married Duke Eudes IV of Burgundy, and died in 1349; Marguerite, who married Louis I, count of Flanders, and died in 1382; Isabelle, who married Guigues VIII, dauphin of Viennois, and died in 1348; and Blanche, a nun at Longchamps, who died in 1358. Queen Jeanne also had two sons: Philippe, born in January 1313, died on 24 March 1321; and Louis, born in June 1316, died a little over six months later. Edward II gave twenty marks to the messenger who brought him news of Louis's birth. Like his brothers, Philippe V was destined to die with no surviving male heirs.

Blanche of Burgundy (c. 1295-1326)

Blanche was the younger sister of Jeanne, above, and married the future Charles IV probably in 1307, when they were both about twelve or thirteen. She was found guilty of adultery with one of the d'Aulnay brothers in 1314 and imprisoned, although the pope refused to annul her marriage to Charles until 7 September 1322, after Charles had succeeded as king of France. Blanche remained in prison at Château Gaillard until 1325, when she was allowed to retire to the abbey of Maubisson, and was dead by April 1326 or perhaps by the end of 1325, probably aged thirty. She bore Charles two children, neither of whom lived long: Philippe, January 1314-March 1322, and Jeanne, 1315-May 1321. Her daughter was born a few months into her imprisonment. I wonder what would have happened if her son had survived; given Blanche's adultery, would Charles have accepted the boy as his heir?

Marie of Luxembourg (c. 1304-1324)

Marie was the daughter of Henry VII (of Luxembourg), Holy Roman Emperor and king of Germany, and Margaret, sister of Duke Jan II of Brabant, husband of Edward II's sister Margaret. Henry of Luxembourg, said to be the greatest knight in Europe, attended Edward II's coronation in February 1308. Marie's sister Beatrix married King Charles of Hungary, brother of Queen Clemence, and died in childbirth in November 1319 at the age of only fourteen, and her brother John the Blind was king of Bohemia. John was the grandfather of Anne of Bohemia, who married Richard II of England, and was killed fighting on the French side at the battle of Crecy in 1346.

Marie married Charles IV on 21 September 1322, only two weeks after the annulment of his first marriage to Blanche of Burgundy. She was pregnant in 1323 but miscarried, and was pregnant again in March 1324 when she was involved in an accident. She gave birth to a premature son, hastily baptised Louis, who lived for some days, and died herself shortly after giving birth, aged nineteen or twenty.

Jeanne of Evreux (c. 1310-1371)

Jeanne was the daughter of Louis, count of Evreux, who was the half-brother of Philippe IV of France, and was thus the first cousin of her husband Charles IV. Her mother Marguerite was the daughter of Philippe of Artois, and the great-granddaughter of Henry III of England. Jeanne's eldest sister Marie married Edward II's nephew Duke Jan III of Brabant, and her brother Philippe married Queen Jeanne of Navarre, daughter of Louis X and Marguerite of Burgundy. Her uncle Robert of Artois (1287-1342), was involved in a decades-long struggle with his aunt Mahaut, mother of Jeanne and Blanche of Burgundy, over the county of Artois, and supported Edward III during the Hundred Years War.

Jeanne married Charles IV on Thursday 5 July 1324 at Annet-sur-Marne east of Paris, when she was probably fourteen and Charles thirty. For some reason there is a great deal of confusion about the date of their wedding, and most books and websites place it in July 1325. But the date is certainly known from a letter sent to Edward II by his envoys to France on 10 July 1324: "we found him [Charles IV] at Annet on the Thursday next before the feast of the Translation of St Thomas, where he had married on the same day the sister of the present count of Evreux." (lui trovasmes a Annet' le joedy prochein devant la feste de la Translacion de Seint Thomas, ou il avoit espouses mesmes le jour le soer le conte de Drews qore est.) The Translation of St Thomas Becket is 7 July, which fell on a Saturday in 1324. The letter is printed in The War of Saint-Sardos (1323-1325): Gascon Correspondence and Diplomatic Documents, ed. Pierre Chaplais, pp. 189-190, and cannot date to July 1325, as its contents - relating to Edward's failure to travel to Amiens to pay homage for his French possessions and Charles's confiscation of them - would make no sense if they'd been written a year later, by which time Charles and Edward had signed a peace treaty. Besides, Charles IV was desperate for a son and would hardly have waited more than fifteen months after the death of Queen Marie to marry again.

Jeanne was crowned queen of France on 11 May 1326, and Roger Mortimer attended and carried the train of Edward II's son the duke of Aquitaine, to Edward's fury. Jeanne bore Charles two daughters: yet another Jeanne, who died at a few months old in January 1327, and Marie, who died in 1341 at the age of fourteen. Charles IV died on 1 February 1328 at the age of about thirty-four, leaving Jeanne seven months pregnant. She gave birth on 1 April to another daughter, Blanche, and thus the throne of France passed to her husband's Valois cousin, Philippe VI. Blanche married Philippe de Valois, duke of Orleans, son of Philippe VI, and died on 8 February 1382. Apart from her cousin Marguerite, countess of Flanders, who oulived her by three months, Blanche was the last of the Capets.

Queen Jeanne survived her husband by forty-three years, and died on 4 March 1371 in her early sixties. She was buried next to Charles at Saint-Denis in Paris.


Kate Plantagenet said...

Amazing women...amazing post. So much information, thank you. I wonder the same about Charles IV - do you think he would have accepted his son once his wife's adultery became known had the boy lived? Would he save face and just accept? A very interesting question, and fun to wonder about the 'what ifs'.

Alianore how would you pronounce Eudes?

Kathryn Warner said...

Thanks, Kate! Personally, I pronounce the name 'yoo-dees' but don't know if that's correct! :)

What ifs are great fun, aren't they - would Charles have been so desperate for a male heir by the end of his life that he'd have accepted Blanche's son?

hannibalparis said...

Dear Kate,

I'll try to help you in the pronounciation of the name "Eudes"… How can I say ?… lol Well, difficult to explain and so easy to pronounce. First of all, "Eudes" is a one syllabe name. About the "Eu", the sound is quite similar of the the english article "a" (a house; a man; a table, etc, etc) or the sound "a" as you find it at the begining of the words "appeal", "alive" or "across"; about the final "des", just pronounce the sound "d" alone : never pronounce the final letters, "es". So, just say something like "a-d". I know : it must look strange to you ;-)…

Kathryn Warner said...

Thank you, Hannibal! Yes, it does look a little strange to my English eyes...;) But good to know the proper French way to pronounce it!

By the way, are you the same person who left a comment on my website a few days ago about the Lament of Edward II poem? If so, can you please get back in touch - I'd love to write back to you, but you forgot to leave your email address! My address is mail(at)edwardthesecond(dot)com.

Antoine said...

Hi Kathryn, another great post! Funny as it might be: there is another date for Margaret's death, that is more broadly accepted in French archives. According to them, Margaret died on 30 April 1315, murdered or left to die in her freezing cell (the winter in 1314-1315 was reportedly very cold). Indeed, a death (likely a murder, given the close timeline) on 15 August 1315, less than a week before Clemence of Hungary's marriage to Louis X, seems very unlikely to me. Personally, I doubt Clemence's family would have accepted her to leave Naples if her future husband was still married (particularly given there was no pope elected at that time to dissolve Louis and Margaret's marriage).

Kathryn Warner said...

Ah, thank you! That does make a lot of sense!