King Philippe I of the Franks known as the Amorous

King Philippe I of the Franks, born on the 23rd of May 1052, died on the 29th of July 1108.  He was the eldest son of King Henry I and his second wife, Anne of Kiev.  At the time, the name ‘Philippe’, which Anne gave him, was unusual for Europe,...

Ludovico Maria Sforza: a Duke of Milan and a Renaissance Prince

Ludovico Maria Sforza, also known as Ludovico Il Moro, or ‘the Moor’, was born on the 27th of July 1452 and died in 1508. He ruled as Duke of Milan from 1494, following the death of his nephew Gian Galeazzo Sforza (the son of Ludovico’s elder brother, Duke Galeazzo Maria Sforza)...

A Forgotten Confrontation: the Battle of Bouvines of 1214

Nowadays, few people heard about the Battle of Bouvines fought on the 27th of July 1214 near the town of Bouvines in the County of Flanders.  Nonetheless, many remember the Battles of Crécy, of Poitiers, and of Agincourt.  This battle was the decisive confrontation of the Anglo-French War that lasted...

Unhappy Marriage of Mary I of England and Philip II of Spain

On the 25th of July 1554, Queen Mary I of England married Philip II of Spain at Winchester Cathedral.  Catherine of Aragon’s dream came true: at the age of 37, Mary Tudor became the first queen regnant in England and turned her attention to finding a husband.  The match was...

Eleanor of Aquitaine and Louis VII of France: an ill-fated royal match

On the 25th of July 1137, Eleanor of Aquitaine, Duchess of Aquitaine in her own right, and the future Louis VII of France married in the Cathedral of Saint-Andre in Bordeaux.  The marriage between was arranged by Louis VII’s father – King Louis VI of France known as the Fat....

King Charles VII: from the ‘King of Bourges’ to the King of France free from the English

King Charles VII of France, known as the Victorious (le Victorieux), died on the 22nd of July, 1461 at Mehun-sur-Yèvre at the age of 58.  His main legacy is the freedom of the French and the end of the Hundred Years’ War.  Nonetheless, Charles VII’s reign started in the atmosphere...

The Battle of Taillebourg: victory of the French Saint Louis over Henry III of England

On the 21st of July, 1242, the Battle of Taillebourg happened.  It was a decisive battle during the Saintonge War that lasted between 1242 and 1243.  The Capetian forces were confronted by Hugh X of Lusignan (second husband of Isabella d’Angoulême, Henry III of England’s mother), Raymond VII of Toulouse, and King Henry III...

Claude of France: a gentle queen whose life was too short

Queen Claude of France, the eldest daughter of King Louis XII of France from his marriage to Anne of Brittany and the first wife King François I of France, died on 20th of July 1524 after a brief illness, at the age of only 24 at Château de Blois and...

Mary Boleyn: a possible mistress of two kings, but not a whore

Mary Boleyn, Anne Boleyn’s elder sister, died on the 19th of July 1543 in her early forties.  In her first marriage to William Carey, she had two children – Catherine and Henry Carey, who are considered by some historians King Henry VIII’s bastards, although it cannot be proved.  After Mary’s...

Francesco Petrarca: death of ‘the Father of humanism’

Francesco Petrarca, commonly known anglicized as Petrarch, died on the 18 or 19th of 1374.  He was a great and celebrated Italian scholar and poet during the early Italian Renaissance and one of the earliest humanists.  Petrarch’s great legacy includes his philosophy of humanism that profoundly influenced intellectual accomplishments of...

Isabella de’ Medici: death at the hands of her husband for alleged adultery

Isabella Romola de’ Medici, daughter of Cosimo I de’ Medici and his first wife, Eleanor of Toledo, died on the 16th of July 1576. She was Duchess of Bracciano by marriage.   Born in Florence, the girl was raised with her brothers and sisters in the Palazzo Vecchio and later in...

Philippe II of France: a monarch rightfully deserving the epithet ‘Augustus’

Born on the 21st of August 1165, King Philippe II of France died on the 14th of July 1223 in Mantes-la-Jolie en route to Paris at the age of 58.  When his father, Louis VII of France, fell ill, he had his only son crowned at Reims in 1179, making...

The Château de Saumur: ‘Château d’Amour’ of the Loire Valley

Château de Saumur, one of the French royal châteaux in the Loire Valley, is located in the town of Saumur, overlooking the confluence of the Loire River and the Thouet River.   Standing at the edge of an abrupt cliff, the castle boasts gorgeous views of the town and the Loire...

End of the Siege of Acre (1189-1191)

On July 12 1191, the long siege of Acre (1189-1191) during the Third Crusade was finally over.  The city of Acre offered terms of surrender to the Crusaders, and this time, these terms were considered suitable and were accepted.  The siege had begun when Guy de Lusignan attacked Acre in...

Archduchess Elisabeth of Austria: a Queen of France who never remarried

Archduchess Elisabeth of Austria, one of the daughters of Maximilian II, Holy Roman Emperor, and his wife, Maria of Spain, was born on the 5th of July 1554.  A member of the House of Habsburg, she seems to have been her father’s favorite child and resembled him not only in...