Charles, Duke of Brittany

Blessed Charles of Blois-Châtillon
Duke of Brittany
Reign 30 April 1341  29 September 1364
Predecessor John III
Successor John IV
Born c. 1319
Blois (France)
Died 29 September 1364 (aged 44–45)
Spouse Joanna, Duchess of Brittany
Issue John I of Blois-Châtillon
Marie, Lady of Guise
Margaret, Countess of Angoulême
House House of Blois
Father Guy I of Blois-Châtillon
Mother Margaret of Valois
Charles de Châtillon
Duke of Britanny
Patron of Europe
Died Auray
Venerated in Roman Catholicism
Beatified 1904 by Pie X
Canonized 1364 (annulled) by Pope Urban V
Feast 29 September (General Roman Calendar)
Patronage -Army soldiers
-Agricultural workers

Charles of Blois-Châtillon (1319  29 September 1364) "the Saint", was the legalist Duke of Brittany from 1341 to his death via his marriage to Joan of Penthiève, holding the title against the claims of John of Montfort. He was later canonized as a Saint of the Roman Catholic Church for his devotion to religion. This canonization was later annulled, although he remains beatified.


Charles was born in Blois, son of Guy de Châtillon, count of Blois, by Margaret of Valois, a sister of king Philip VI of France. He was a devout man, who took piety to the extreme of mortifying his own flesh. It is said that he placed pebbles in his shoes, wore ropes tight with knots near his flesh and confessed every night in fear of sleeping in a state of sin. He was nevertheless an accomplished military leader, who inspired loyalty by his religious fervour.

On 4 June 1337 in Paris, he married Joanna of Penthièvre, heiress and niece of duke John III.[1] Together, Charles and Joanna de Châtillon fought the House of Montfort in the Breton War of Succession (1341–1364), with the support of the crown of France. Despite his piety, Charles did not hesitate in ordering the massacre of 1400 civilians after the siege of Quimper.[2] After initial successes, Charles was taken prisoner by the English in 1347. Thomas Dagworth was the official captor of Charles of Blois.[3] He was released nine years afterwards against a ransom of about half a million ecús, and resumed the war against the Montforts.


By his marriage to Joanna, he had five children:

Death and legacy

Charles de Châtillon died in 1364 in the Battle of Auray, which with the second treaty of Guerande in 1381, determined the end of the Breton War of Succession as a victory for the Montforts.[4]

Charles de Châtillon was canonized as a Saint of the Roman Catholic church for his devotion to religion. The canonization process was nullified by Pope Gregory XI at the request of Duke John IV of Brittany, Charles' final opponent in the Breton War of Succession and the recognized Duke of Brittany under the first Treaty of Guerande.

Subsequently, in 1904, Charles de Châtillon was beatified and therefore may be referred to as the Blessed Charles of Blois. His Roman Catholic Feast Day is 30 September.[lower-alpha 1]

See also


  1. See the Franciscan Description of the Blessed Charles of Blois


  1. Michael Prestwich, The Three Edwards: War and State in England, 1272-1377, (Routledge, 1993), 174.
  2. Jonathan Sumption, The Hundred Years War, Volume 1: Trial by Battle, (Faber & Faber, 1999), 434.
  3. Michael Jones, Creation of Brittany: A Late Medieval State, (The Hambledon Press, 1988), 265.
  4. France under Charles V and Charles VI, Francoise Autrand, The New Cambridge Medieval History: Volume 6, C.1300-c.1415, ed. Michael Jones, (Cambridge University Press, 2000), 441.

External links

Wikisource has the text of the 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica article Charles (Duke of Brittany).
Charles, Duke of Brittany
Born: 1319 Died: 1364
Regnal titles
Preceded by
John III
Duke of Brittany jure uxoris
With: Joan
disputed by John of Montfort and John IV
Succeeded by
John IV
Preceded by
as sole countess
Count of Penthièvre jure uxoris
With: Joan
Succeeded by
as sole countess
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