Capetian-Plantagenet rivalry

Capetian-Plantagenet Rivalry

Philip Augustus and Richard the Lionheart at the Third Crusade
Date1159 - 1259
LocationKingdom of France
Result Treaty of Paris (1259)
Normandy, Maine, Anjou, Touraine, Poitou, Thouars, Saintonge, Angoumois, Auvergne and Berry.
Kingdom of France Angevin Empire
Commanders and leaders
Louis VII of France
Philip II Augustus
Louis VIII of France
Saint Louis
Philip IV the Fair
Henry II of England
Richard the Lionhearted
John Lackland
Henry III of England
Edward I of England

The conflict between the dynasties of the Capetians and Plantagenets covers a period of 100 years (1159-1259), during which the Kingdom of France fought against the Angevin Empire. This conflict is also called by some historians, the "First Hundred Years War."[1] The conflict is primarily French, since both dynasties were French, the nobles that made up the English army were essentially of French origin, and the foot soldiers of the English king were local recruits in France (Anjou, Guyenne, Normandy, Brittany etc.). At this period, the English king's continental possessions were considered more important than his island possessions, and significantly greater than even those of the French sovereign, even if the latter was the overlord of the former for most of the possessions he held on the continent. And the official language of the two belligerents is the French of that time. French also remained the official language of England until 1361. Such is the origin of the expressions that can still be found today on the shields and coat of arms of the English monarchy Honi soit qui mal y pense and Dieu et mon droit. The English kings, who were of French origin, took wives from France from the 11th to the 15th century. Very rare are those who married a woman of another country, including the cadet branches. Hence the Plantagenet monarchs were ethnically French.

The war began in 1159 when the armies of the Angevin Henry II of England entered Périgueux. The King of England had decided to further expand his possessions in the southwest by annexing the county of Toulouse, which includes, among others, Quercy.

The war saw the gradual conquest by the Capetians of their kingdom. Indeed, the real royal power of the King of France was still not extensive, even as the suzerainty of his dynasty extended far beyond the small domain of Île-de-France. It covered almost the entire territory of France, to the marches of the Holy Roman Empire, (Seine/Morvan/Rhone Valley) to the east.

The expansionary policy of Henry II

In 1150, Henry II received the duchy of Normandy from his father Geoffrey V, Count of Anjou, and when he died in 1151, he became Count of Anjou and Maine.

On May 18, 1152, he became Duke of Aquitaine in right of his wife by marrying Eleanor of Aquitaine in Poitiers after her first marriage with the King of France Louis VII the Younger at the Council of Beaugency. Several children were born of this marriage.

On November 6, 1153, by the Treaty of Wallingford (or Treaty of Winchester), he was recognized as the successor of King Stephen of England (Stephen of Blois before his accession to the throne). When the latter died on October 25, 1154, he ascended the throne of England under the name of Henry II. On Sunday, December 19, he was crowned at Westminster Abbey.

Henry introduces some religious and legislative reforms. In 1155, he appointed Thomas Becket chancellor.

In 1156, he seized the viscounty of Thouars, thereby controlling communications between the northwest and south-west France.

In 1159, continuing his expansionist policy, he besieged Toulouse with the help of Ramon Berenguer IV, Count of Barcelona and prince of Aragon. Louis VII comes to the aid of his brother-in-law Raymond V, Count of Toulouse. Henry II withdrew, annexing part of Quercy and Cahors.

Two cases will significantly tarnish his reign:

Henry acquired considerable prestige in Europe. The new King of France, Philip Augustus, however, is determined to fight Henry II, whose immense territories threatened the Capetian monarchy. The King of France allied with the surviving sons of Henry II, Richard the Lionheart and John Lackland. By the Treaty of Azay-le-Rideau 4 July 1189, Henry II must recognize his son Richard as sole heir. He died only a few days later, in his castle of Chinon. He is buried at the abbey of Fontevrault.

The maneuvers of Philip Augustus

Territorial evolution of France under Philip Augustus

When Philip Augustus came to the throne in 1180, he is the king of a territory comparable in area to the Île-de-France of today and faced against an Angevin Empire more powerful than ever. Having strengthened his position within his own kingdom, he began raising the sons of Henry II against him, supporting their revolts and befriending Richard the Lionheart. After two years of combat (1186-1188), a truce was signed to maintain status quo. The death of Henry II in 1189 and the call for the Third Crusade put an end to the conflict.

Returning from the crusade in December 1191, Philip Augustus encouraged the rebellion of John Lackland against his brother Richard and profited from the absence of the latter to negotiate a very advantageous treaty for France. Hoping to acquire the English crown with the support of the King of France, John Lackland paid homage in 1193. Then, as Philip Augustus attacked the possessions of the Plantagenets, John gave to the French king eastern Normandy (except Rouen), Le Vaudreuil, Verneuil and Évreux, by written agreement, in January 1194. By his military and diplomatic finesse, Philip kept his rival at bay.

Richard the Lionheart prisoner (left) and mortally wounded at Chalus (right) (Effigies Regum Angliae, 14th century)

Richard the Lionheart continues the crusade after the departure of Philip: he retook the main Palestinian ports, up to Jaffa, and restored the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem, although the city itself eluded him. He eventually negotiated a five-year truce with Saladin and sailed back on October 1192. Winter storms overtake him. Forced to stay at Corfu, he was captured by Duke Leopold V of Austria, who put him in the hands of the German Emperor Henry VI, his enemy. For the release of Richard, the emperor asks a ransom of 100,000 marks, plus 50,000 marks to help him conquer Sicily.[2]

Richard was finally released on 2 February 1194. His mother, Eleanor of Aquitaine, paid two-thirds of the ransom, one hundred thousand marks, the balance to be paid later.[2] His reaction was immediate. He pushed back Philip, who must give up most of his recent conquests at the first treaty in January 1196. Then the fighting resumed, again to the advantage of Richard who invaded the Vexin (1197-1198). The two kings looked for support, while the new Pope Innocent III, who wants to set up a new crusade, pushed them to negotiate. The situation ended abruptly. During the siege of the castle of Chalus (Limousin) in 1199, Richard was hit by a crossbow bolt. He succumbed to his injuries a few days later, on April 6, forty-one years old and at the height of his glory.

John Lackland against Philip Augustus

John Lackland succeeds Richard. The succession was not unopposed: facing John Lackland was his nephew, the young Arthur of Brittany (12 years old), son of his elder brother Geoffrey, Duke of Brittany who died in 1186. Philip Augustus supported this rivalry, and as he had taken the position of John against Richard, this time he takes the position of John against Arthur. He receives the homage of Arthur, as Duke of Brittany in spring 1199 for the counties of Anjou, Maine and Touraine. This allows him to negotiate from a position of strength with John Lackland, and the Treaty of Le Goulet in May 1200, is in favor of Philip Augustus. The treaty was sealed by the marriage of Louis of France and Blanche of Castile, John's niece.

The hostilities did not really cease, and are now focused in Aquitaine. Philip again took the cause of Arthur, and summoned John his vassal under the Treaty of Le Goulet for his actions in Aquitaine and Tours. John, naturally, did not present himself, and the court of France pronounced the confiscation of his fiefs.

In spring 1202 Philip attacked Normandy while Arthur attacked Poitou. But the young duke was surprised by King John in the siege of Mirebeau, and taken prisoner with his troops. Arthur of Brittany disappeared in the following months, probably murdered in early 1203. Philip then provided support to vassals of Arthur and resumed his actions in Normandy in spring 1203. He dismantled the system of Norman castles, took Le Vaudreuil, and began the siege of Chateau Gaillard in September 1203. Meanwhile, John made the mistake of leaving Normandy to go to England in December 1203. Chateau Gaillard fell 6 March 1204.

Philip Augustus can then invade the entirety of Normandy. Falaise, Caen, Bayeux and Rouen surrendered 24 June 1204, despairing the aid of John Lackland, who did not come. Arques and Verneuil fell immediately after, completing the success of Philip, who has conquered Normandy in two years of campaign. To consolidate his new conquest, Philip Augustus built the castle of Rouen, an imposing fortress of Philippian style and locus of Capetian power in Normandy.

Philip then turned to the Loire Valley, where he took Poitiers in August 1204, and Loches and Chinon in 1205. John and Philip finally agree to a truce in Thouars, on 13 October 1206. For Philip Augustus, it was then necessary to stabilize these rapid conquests. Since 1204, Philip published an order imposing the use of Norman, instead of Angevin, currency.

Philip Augustus crossing the Loire (Grandes Chroniques de France, 14th – 15th century)

From 1206 to 1212, Philip Augustus strove to strengthen his territorial conquests. Capetian domination is accepted in Champagne, Brittany, and Auvergne, but the counties of Boulogne and Flanders remain reluctant.

Renaud de Dammartin, Count of Boulogne, became a primary concern. Despite the favors of Philip Augustus, who married in 1210 his son Philip Hurepel to Matilda, daughter of Renaud, he continued to negotiate with the enemy camp. The suspicions of Philip took shape when the count began to fortify Mortain, in western Normandy. In 1211, Philip went on the offensive, taking Mortain, Aumale and Dammartin. Renaud de Dammartin fled to the county of Bar, and was no longer an immediate threat.

Flanders entered a period of uncertainty: Baldwin, count of Flanders and Hainaut, took part in the Fourth Crusade from the summer of 1202, participated in the capture of Constantinople and was elected emperor of the new Latin Empire founded in May 1204. But he was taken prisoner by the Bulgarians in 1205 and killed shortly thereafter. Philip, brother of Baldwin and Count of Namur, who acted as regent in Flanders, finally swore loyalty to Philip Augustus, against the advice of his advisers. The king, to stabilize the county, married the Baldwin's heiress, his daughter Joan to Ferdinand of Portugal, a scion of the Portuguese House of Burgundy, in 1211. Philip Augustus thought he can rely on Ferdinand.

The success of Philip Augustus

Battle of Bouvines: Philip faces Otto IV (Grandes Chroniques de France, 14th century)

The incredible success of Philip Augustus soon brings his rivals to unite against him. The opposition formed in 1212. John allied with his nephew, Otto of Brunswick. Renaud de Dammartin was the real architect of the coalition. He had nothing to lose when he went to Frankfurt to seek the support of Otto and England, where he paid homage to John. Hostilities between Philip and John resumed immediately.

At the same time, the first operations of the Albigensian Crusade, led by barons, saw the quarrel between the Raymond VI, Count of Toulouse and the Crusaders. Philip Augustus refused to intervene and focused on the English danger. He gathered his barons in Soissons on April 8, 1213, ordering his son Louis to lead the expedition against England and won the support of all his vassals, except one, Ferdinand, Count of Flanders, whom he himself had installed two years earlier. Philip then sought further support, particularly with Henry I, Duke of Brabant. After some hesitation, Pope Innocent III on the other hand chooses to support John, certainly a moral but significant support. The preparations of the conflict persist: the initial project of Philip, who wanted to invade England, literally sank when his fleet was attacked by the enemy coalition at Damme in May 1213. The following month saw Philip and Louis strive against the counties of Boulogne and Flanders. The northern cities are almost all devastated.

In February 1214, John finally arrived on the continent, in La Rochelle, hoping to take Philip unawares. The strategy worked at first, since John won supporters among the barons of Limousin and Poitou. In May 1214, he returned to the Loire Valley and took Angers. Philip, already engaged in Flanders, ordered his son Louis to fight against John. The young prince immediately turns to the fortress of Roche-au-Moine. John panicked at his approach; the support of Poitevin barons vacillated, as it was announced that Louis was accompanied by 800 knights. The King of England fled on July 2; the English defeat was total. But the coalition was not yet lost: everything depended in the north.

Battle of Bouvines: Philip captured Ferdinand, Count of Flanders and Renaud I, Count of Dammartin (Grandes Chroniques de France, 14th century)

The final confrontation between the armies of Philip and the coalition led by Otto, is now inevitable, after several weeks of approach and avoidance. On Sunday, July 27, 1214, the army of Philip, pursued by the coalition, arrived at Bouvines to cross the bridge over the Marque. At that Sunday, the prohibition to fight is absolute for Christians, but Otto decides to go on with the offensive, hoping to surprise the enemy while crossing the bridge. Philip's army was greatly surprised from the rear, but he quickly reorganized his troops before they could be engaged on the bridge. They quickly turned against the coalition. The French right wing fought against the Flemish knights, led by Ferdinand. At the center, Philip and Otto fought. In the cavalry melee, Philip was unseated, and he fell, but his knights protected him, offered him a fresh horse, and the king resumed the assault until Otto ordered a retreat. Finally, on the left, the supporters of Philip ended the career of Renaud of Dammartin, whom they captured after a long resistance. Fate had turned in favor of Philip, despite the numerical inferiority of his troops (1300 knights and 4000 to 6000 foot soldiers, against 1300 to 1500 knights and 7500 foot soldiers of the coalition).[3] The victory was total: the emperor fled, Philip's men made 130 prisoners, including five counts, including the reviled traitor, Renaud of Dammartin, and the Count of Flanders, Ferdinand.

The coalition was dissolved after its defeat. On September 18, 1214, in Chinon, Philip signed a truce for five years. The English king returned to England in 1214. By the Treaty of Chinon, John Lackland abandoned all his possessions to the north of the Loire: Berry, Touraine, Maine and Anjou returned to the royal domain, which then covered a third of France, greatly enlarged and free from external threat.

The English expedition of Louis

Main article: First Barons' War

The victory was complete on the continent, but Philip's ambitions did not stop there. Indeed, Philip Augustus wanted to go further against John of England. He thus argues that John should be deprived of the throne, recalling his betrayal of Richard in 1194, and the murder of his nephew Arthur. Arguing a questionable interpretation also of the genealogy of his wife Blanche of Castile, Louis, at the request of the English barons in rebellion, led an expedition to attempt the conquest of England. The landing took place in May 1216 and Louis, at the head of numerous troops (1,200 knights, plus many anglais[4] rebels), conquered the English kingdom, including London, where he settled. Only Windsor, Lincoln and Dover resisted. But despite the warm welcome to Louis by a majority of English bishops, the support of the pope to John remained firm, and Louis was excommunicated. Finally, John died suddenly of illness, October 19, 1216. The former allies of John then hastily crowned his son Henry III, aged nine. Innocent III also just died, but his successor Pope Honorius III continued to defend the loyalists. The bishops soon withdrew their support from Louis and the rebels. The prince returned to seek support in France beginning in 1217 and returned to England. This time, his forces were routed. Louis agreed to negotiate peace in June, it was completed in September 1217 and his excommunication was lifted.

The attitude of Philip Augustus on this expedition is ambiguous. In any case the king did not officially support it. But it is unlikely to imagine that he has not given his consent to it, at least privately.

After Bouvines, military operations took place in England or the southern France. The royal domain, and the vast area north of the Loire, enjoyed repose, under the terms of the truce concluded in Chinon in 1215, originally for five years and extended in 1220 with the guarantee of Louis, an association which marked the beginning of Philip's transition to his son and heir.

If the conquests by arms cease, Philip nevertheless extends his influence by taking advantage of problematic cases of inheritance. This is the case in Champagne on the accession of Theobald IV, which allowed him to reestablish his suzerainty. This is the case especially when the king recovered certain lands such as Issoudun, Bully, Alençon, Clermont-en-Beauvaisis and Ponthieu.

The prosperity of the kingdom at the end of the reign of Philip Augustus is an established fact. It is estimated the annual surplus of the treasury is 25,210 livres in November 1221. On that date, the Treasury has in its coffers 157,036 livres, more than 80% of the total ordinary annual income of the monarchy. The testament of Philip Augustus, written in September 1222, confirms these figures, since the sum of its legacy amounts to 790,000 livres of Paris, nearly four years of revenue.[5] This will was written while Philip was in a poor state of health and feared death. It will eventually occur ten months later.

While he was in Pacy, Philip decided to attend an ecclesiastical assembly in Paris to prepare for a new crusade against the advice of his doctors. He did not survive the fatigue of travel and died on July 14, 1223, at Mantes. His body was brought to Paris, and his funeral was quickly organized, in Saint-Denis, in the presence of the great men of the kingdom. For the first time, the body of the King of France dressed in all the regalia is exposed for the veneration of the people before his burial in a solemn rite based on that of the kings of England.[6]

The conquests of Louis VIII

Coronation of Louis VIII the Lion
Grandes Chroniques de France, illuminated by Jean Fouquet. BNF Fr.6465 f.247

Nicknamed the "Lion", it was during the reign of his father that Louis won his fame by winning over John Lackland the victory of La Roche-aux-Moines in 1214. During his expedition across the Channel, Louis VIII was defeated at Lincoln in May 1217, and renounced his claims to the throne of England by the Treaty of Lambeth on September 11, 1217 while getting in return a large sum of money.

Louis VIII later claimed that the English court had not fulfilled all the conditions of the treaty of 1217. Taking advantage of the minority of Henry III, he decided to seize the last English possessions in France.

Aquitaine was taken, the cities of the region falling one after the other: Poitou, Saintonge, Périgord, Angoumois and part of Bordeaux. Louis VIII seized all territory as far as the Garonne, in a quick campaign.

Henry III had in France only Bordeaux and Gascony, which will not be attacked.

The reign of Saint Louis and his son

Main article: Saintonge War

In 1230 the King of England led an expedition to France to reclaim the Plantagenet heritage but was repelled and forced to re-embark for his kingdom the following year. In 1242, Henry III was again at war with the King of France Louis IX. He was again defeated at the Battle of Taillebourg.

On December 4, 1259 in Paris, Saint Louis signed a peace treaty with England ending the first "Hundred Years' War" between the two countries.

There were several years of negotiations between Philip III of France and Edward I of England that led to the Treaty of Paris (1259), which gave satisfaction to the English claims on Agen.

Final settlement under Philip the Fair

On 5 June 1286, Edward I of England paid homage to Philip IV of France. The scene took place in a hall of the royal palace in the presence of the court. Taken from the Grandes Chroniques de France, illuminated by Jean Fouquet.

The first Hundred Years' War is ended definitively with the Treaty of Montreuil-sur-Mer, ratified June 19, 1299 by Philip IV the Fair and Edward I of England. It restored Guyenne to the King of England, but provided for the double marriage of Margaret, Philip's sister, to Edward, and Isabella, Philip's daughter, to Edward's son, also named Edward. On May 20, 1303, France and England signed the Treaty of Paris (1303) which confirmed the provisions of the Treaty of Montreuil.

Ironically, Edward III, the son of Isabella and Edward II of England will use his position as grandson of Philip the Fair to claim the Kingdom of France. It is therefore the fruit of marriage settlement that sealed the end of the "first" Hundred Years' War which would be the casus belli employed to declare the "second" Hundred Years' War.


Notes and references

  1. "A Summary of the Hundred Years War (1337-1453) [archive] (In French)". Mount Holyoke College. Retrieved 6 May 2015.
  2. 1 2 Jean Flori Philippe Auguste, p.68
  3. John Baldwin, Philippe Auguste, p. 283
  4. John Baldwin, Philippe Auguste, p. 421
  5. John Baldwin, Philippe Auguste, p. 445
  6. Philippe Mouskès, Chronique rimée, éd. Reiffenberg, t.II, p. 431-432

See also

This article is issued from Wikipedia - version of the 11/18/2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.