The meeting of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn with François I of France in Calais

Imagine that we are in the city of Calais in Tudor England.  This place had a special meaning for King Henry VIII because it was the last remnant of the once substantial English possessions on the continent.  King Henry and his beloved Anne Boleyn sailed to Calais to meet with...

Renée of France: a Valois princess, a Protestant Duchess of Ferrara

The Valois Princess Renée of France was born on the 25th of October 1510 at Château de Blois, in the town of Blois, in the Loire Valley, France.  The second surviving daughter of King Louis XII of France and Anne de Bretagne (Anne of Brittany), Renée was the first French...

The Treaty of Brétigny: English temporary triumph over the French

On the 24th of October 1360, the Treaty of Brétigny was ratified, marking the end of the first phase of the Hundred Years’ War.  This treaty was a sheer calamity for France and a temporary victory for England.  This document was drafted on the 8th of May 1360 between King...

Claude de Lorraine, Duke de Guise: founder of the House of Guise

Claude de Lorraine, who was also known as Claude de Guise, was born the 20th of October 20, 1496 at Château de Condé in Condé (now this place is called Custines in north-eastern France), in Lorraine.  He had an eventful life, having been a favorite of King François I of...

The religious tolerance in France and the Affair of the Placards of 1534

Gradually, after the publication of ‘Ninety-five Theses’ by Martin Luther in 1517, more and people were growing interested in new religious ideas.  However, in the early 1520s, Reformation doctrines were still understood by a small number of educated people, but by the end of this decade, they could already be...

Françoise de Foix: the first long-term maîtresse-en-titre of King François I of France

Françoise de Foix, who was the first long-term maîtresse-en-titre of King François I of France, was born about 1495, but we don’t know her date and year of birth for a certainty.  Since her early youth, she served to Queen Anne of France, King Louis XII’s wife and Duchess of...

Marie d’Anjou: a model queen as wife of King Charles VII of France

Marie d’Anjou, who was a daughter of Louis II d’Anjou and his wife, Yolande of Aragon, was born on the 14th of October 1404.  Marie was betrothed to Charles de Valois for years: their betrothal agreement had first been signed when he had been the youngest son of Charles VI...

Claudin de Sermisy: a genius composer of the French Renaissance

Claudin de Sermisy (born circa 1490) passed away on the 13th of October 1562.  Together with Clément Janequin, his friend and also rival for the affections of the art-loving King François I of France and for his popularity, he was one of the most important and famed composers of French...

Doomed Dauphin Charles Orland and Anne de Bretagne’s unsuccessful pregnancies

Charles Orland, Dauphin of France, was born on the 11th of October 1492. His parents were King Charles VIII of France called the Affable (l’Affable) and Anne de Bretagne (Anne of Brittany), who was his consort and Duchess of Brittany in her own right.  Charles Orland was their eldest son,...

Pierre II, Duke de Bourbon: a husband of the formidable Anne de Beaujeu

Pierre II, Duke de Bourbon, breathed his last on the 10th of October 1503 in Moulins, France, at the age of 64 (he was born on the 1st of December 1438).  He was the son of Charles I, Duke de Bourbon, and Agnes de Bourgogne.   Although he was originally betrothed...

Louis II, Duke d’Anjou: unsuccessful quest for the throne of Naples

Louis II, Duke d'Anjou and Count de Provence from 1384 to 1417, was born on the 5th of October 1377.  The eldest son of Louis I of Anjou and Marie de Blois, Louis was a member of the House of Valois-Anjou, which was founded by his father.  Louis I of...

Unfit to rule: the merry captivity of King Jean II of France after the 1356 Poitiers catastrophe

King Jean II of France, called the Good (le Bon), was the second Valois monarch, and, as some historians say, ‘The shame of France’.  How could the ruler who also has the nickname ‘the Good’ deserve such an epithet?  The clue to the understanding of this reasoning is in the...

Charles V of France: kingship based on clever governance and education

Born on the 21st of January 1338, King Charles V of France, known as the Wise (le Sage), died on the 16th of September 1380 at the age of 42 at Beauté-sur-Marne, France.  He was the eldest son of King Jean II of France, called the Good (le Bon), and...

The religious catastrophe in France preceding the marriage of Henri III of Navarre and Marguerite de Valois

On the 18th of August 1572, a fateful wedding took place in Paris, France.  King Henri III of Navarre, a Huguenot monarch and the future Henri IV of France, married Princess Marguerite de Valois.  Henri was the only surviving son of Jeanne d’Albret, or Queen Jeanne III of Navarre, and...

Dauphin François of France: poisoned or died of natural causes?

Duke François III of Brittany, who was also Dauphin of France and an heir apparent, was the eldest son of King François I of France and his first wife, Queen Claude of France, who also was his cousin as daughter of King Louise XII and his second spouse, Anne de...