Monday, 19 February 2018

Philip the Bold IV


Philip the Bold
Family

Philip was prone to wearing gorgeous outfits, often in an attempt to outshine his brother the Duke of Berry, but also for political purposes. Philip’s hats were decked with feathers from ostriches, pheasants and one with feathers reputed to come from a bird from far off India.

Like Berry Philip was a passionate collector and was a dedicated hunter, moving from estate to estate, often sleeping outdoors. He also played tennis and was in addition a prolific traveller who frequently went on pilgrimages, taking a portable reliquary and rosary with him at all times.

Philip and Marguerite had nine children;

Marguerite bore at least another two children of whom there are no records.

Talk the Talk, Walk the Walk

John of Gaunt
From 1375-7 there was a series of on-off peace conferences between the French and English at Bruges, conducted with great magnificence and at great expense by John of Gaunt, Philip[vii] and numerous cardinals acting as mediators.

‘When the feast of All-Saints was drawing near, the duke of Burgundy, the count de Saltzbourg, the bishops of Amiens, and of Bayeux, came to Bruges by orders of the king of France, to hold a conference.’[viii]

To avoid the 1375 meetings from being a complete waste of time and money a one year truce was agreed. The parties never came to a permanent agreement as Edward was determined to keep sovereignty of the Plantagenet possessions in France and Charles V was equally determined to regain sovereignty over Guyennne[ix]. The truce resulted in the free companies taking out their angst once again on the French countryside. Enguerrand de Coucy was ordered by Charles to deal with the pests.

de Coucy arms
Once he had undertaken this commission he was given another; having feet in both camps and torn between the two[x], de Coucy was sent on an embassy to London in an attempt to extend the temporary truce. According to Froissart;

‘He [de Coucy] was regarded as one of the wisest and prudent of nobles….in whom one could not want more of all good and all loyalty.’[xi]

De Coucy arrived in England to find the Black Prince dying and his father in his dotage. John of Gaunt had taken over the running of the country and popular opinion was resentful of corrupt royal officials, the war which was dragging on to no end, military mismanagement and the wasting and embezzlement of tax monies. It was now England’s turn to suffer; soldiers returning from the war were taking to pillaging the countryside with a vengeance.

End of an Era

Edward III & the Black Prince
The Black Prince died, at the age of forty-six, in June 1376 leaving his son Richard as his father’s heir.

‘In this year, on Trinity-Sunday, that flower of English knighthood the lord Edward of England, prince of Wales and of Aquitaine….His body was embalmed, placed in a leaden coffin and kept until the ensuing Michaelmas, in order that he might be buried with greater pomp and magnificence when the parliament assembled in London.’[xii]

He left behind a country in turmoil. King Edward was being ruled by his mistress Alice Perrers who used her position to advance her circle of friends into high positions, and she became Edward’s principal adviser on all matters relating to the country. He finally died on 21st June 1377, leaving behind his ten year old grandson to inherit his country and his war with France.

Rye
By 1377, imitating Spanish maritime excellence, the French had created a navy that dominated the English Channel. In that year the navy went so far as to raid the English coast causing consternation among the enemy, so used to going on the attack abroad. The raids followed the ending of yet another truce.

Admiral Jean de Vienne landed at Rye on 29th June and emulated the English savagery imposed on French towns.

‘The French landed in Sussex near the borders of Kent, in a fairly large town on fishermen and sailors called Rye. They pillaged and plundered it and burnt it completely.’[xiii]

The raids continued down the coast attacking Folkestone, Weymouth, Portsmouth, Plymouth and Dartmouth. A month later the fleet returned to overrun the Isle of Wight. One reason for the attacks, as well as retaliation against English devastation of France, was to stop reinforcements being sent to Calais.

Extending Influence


Margaret of Bavaria 
Both Louis de Male and his son-in-law Philip were interested in extending their influence across Europe; Philip used his children as pawns in marriage alliances as well as gaining lands by treaty and military acquisition. Philip first turned to the house of Hapsburg in 1377 to find husbands for his daughters. He negotiated with the Wittelsbach princes Albert[xiv] and Leopold[xv].

Philip arranged for Albert’s son William VI, Count of Holland and Duke of Bavaria-Straubing to marry Margaret with a dowry of 100,000 francs[xvi]. In addition Margaret of Bavaria[xvii] was to marry John in a double wedding that took place in Cambrai on 12th April 1385 and Philip splurged on a magnificent wedding, borrowing jewels from his cousin Charles who graced the weddings with his presence.

Philip organised a great tournament in honour of the two young couples and provided a thousand lances for the occasion. The liveries for his staff and court alone cost 34,000 livres[xviii] and the prizes for the tournament cost another 78,000[xix].
Leopold of Austria
Catherine was to marry Leopold of Austria[xx], son of Prince Leopold. The couple didn’t marry until 1387 due to Catherine’s youth. The festivities stretched for three days from 14th-17th September 1387. Her parents kept her at home despite the marriage treaty allowing for her to live with her in-laws; the marriage was not consummated until May 1392. Even then she did not depart from her family until the following year when she was fifteen, taking with her gifts from her family including a gold chess set, a present from her sister Mary.

In 1382 Bonne was affianced to John, the Count of Clermont and son of the Duke of Bourbon, but she died before the wedding could take place[xxi].

Bibliography

Chronicles – Froissart, Penguin Books 1968

Europe: Hierarchy and Revolt 1320-1450 – George Holmes, Fontana 1984

The Fourteenth Century – May McKisack, Oxford University Press 1997

A Distant Mirror – Barbara Tuchman, Papermac 1989

Philip the Bold – Richard Vaughan, Boydell Press 2011

The Flower of Chivalry – Richard Vernier, Boydell Press 2003


www.wikipedia.en


[i] He ceded the title to his brother Philip when their father died
[ii] Died at the age of two
[iii] Died the following year
[iv] Died at Agincourt
[vi] Also died at Agincourt
[vii] Who was paid 5,000 francs a month for his pains; In 2016 the relative: historic standard of living value of that income or wealth is £2,884,000.00, labour earnings of that income or wealth is £34,210,000.00, economic status value of that income or wealth is £96,040,000.00, economic power value of that income or wealth is £1,979,000,000.00 www.measuringworth.com   
[ix] His lawyers claimed that the yielding of sovereignty violated the oath of homage given to the kings of France by the kings of England for their French possessions
[x] He was Edward’s son-in-law, bring married to Princess Isabella when a hostage for King John. De Coucy had been given the earldom of Bedford. Isabella was the apple of her father’s eye and was loath to live away from his court
[xi] A Distant Mirror - Tuchman
[xiii] Chronicles - Froissart
[xiv][xiv] Known as Albert with the pigtail
[xv] Both men called themselves Duke of Austria although they shared the duchy
[xvi] In 2016 the relative: historic standard of living value of that income or wealth is £76,410,000.00, labour earnings of that income or wealth is £702,600,000.00, economic status value of that income or wealth is £1,959,000,000.00, economic power value of that income or wealth is £41,270,000,000.00 www.measuringworth.com     
[xvii] Whose dowry was 200,000 francs while Philip gave his daughter no dowry at all. Margaret of Bavaria’s dowry was worth the relative: historic standard of living value of that income or wealth is £149,900,000.00, labour earnings of that income or wealth is £1,387,000,000.00, economic status value of that income or wealth is £3,842,000,000.00, economic power value of that income or wealth is £84,330,000,000.00 www.measuringworth.com  
[xviii] In 2016 the relative: historic standard of living value of that income or wealth is £25,480,000.00, labour earnings of that income or wealth is £235,700,000.00, economic status value of that income or wealth is £653,100,000.00, economic power value of that income or wealth is £14,340,000,000.00 www.measuringworth.com  
[xix] In 2016 the relative: historic standard of living value of that income or wealth is £58,460,000.00, labour earnings of that income or wealth is £540,800,000.00, economic status value of that income or wealth is £1,498,000,000.00, economic power value of that income or wealth is £32,890,000,000.00 www.measuringworth.com  
[xx] Leopold had originally been promised Margaret for his son, but he accepted the substitution of Catherine
[xxi] She died in 1399

Monday, 12 February 2018

Philip the Bold III


Louis d'Anjou
A New King

Very much in love with his wife Louis, Duke of Anjou, John’s second son and a hostage for John’s behaviour, absconded and returned home to be with his wife. With the escape of Louis, John decided that the only thing a man of honour could do was to return to captivity in England in his son’s place, despite his advisers begging him not to do so.

‘No-one could dissuade him from his purpose, although he was strongly advised against it, several of the French prelates and barons telling him that it would be a most hazardous step to place himself in the King of England’s power.’[i]

Within three months John fell ill with some undiagnosed illness[ii] and died. He was just forty-four. A million florins[iii] were still owed on his ransom leaving the hostages languishing in England. Jean’s third son, the Duke of Berry excused himself and made so many excuses not to return to captivity that eventually the English gave up trying to persuade him to return.

The death of King John in April 1364, while still in captivity, brought the Dauphin Charles to throne as the fifth of that name. He confirmed his father’s gift of Burgundy to Philip in June and Philip’s lieutenancy was extended to cover Lyons, Mâcon, Autun, Chalons and Langres.

The Soldier

La Charité sur Loire
In the summer of 1364 Charles sent Philip to deal with the free companies still at large in the French countryside.

‘The king of France sent his brother…. against these pillagers….He went and laid siege to the castle of Marcheville…. He ordered many machines to be brought from Chartres, by which he flung into it stones and other things day and night, that much annoyed the garrison.’[iv]

Philip was not an exceptional soldier, although there was no denying his personal bravery on the battlefield. Not long after the attack on Marcheville, in August Charles sent Philip to capture a castle near Rouen, held by followers of Charles of Navarre. From there he was diverted in September to La Charité-sur-Loire to fight with the Constable Robert de Fiennes against more Navarrois and a number of English adventurers.


Arms of Louis of Dorazzo
Charles of Navarre’s brother Louis attempted to raise the siege with the aid of the English but was ordered by Charles to withdraw to Cherbourg. Charles V then authorised Philip to treat with the garrison of La Charité to persuade them to surrender. Having undertaken this commission Philip returned to Paris. He was also involved in the siege and capture of Nogent-sur-Seine in January 1365.

The next four years were relatively quiet and Philip spent much of his time harrying the free companies harassing his domains. By 1369 Philip was involved in an elaborate plan of his brother’s to invade England as hostilities between the two nations had resumed. Charles had summonsed the Black Prince to appear before him to answer complaints made against him as lord of Aquitaine. The Black Prince refused, killing the councillors sent to make the summons.

A Royal Wedding


Marguerite and Philip
In 1365 the Holy Roman Emperor Charles IV proposed a marriage between Philip and Elizabeth, one of the nieces of Louis I, the King of Hungary. Another proposal that Philip marry Violante[v], the daughter of Galeazzo II Visconti, was not approved by the royal family when it was made in 1367 by a French adventurer Jehan de Beaumont who was able to con Visconti out of 20,000 florins[vi] while posing as an ambassador from Charles V.

On 19th June 1369 Philip was married to Marguerite de Dampierre, daughter of the Count of Flanders[vii]. Margaret had previously been affianced to Philip’s predecessor as Duke of Burgundy, Philip de Rouvres. Edward III was keen to get hands on this heiress for his son Edmund of Langley and was prepared to pledge Calais and 170,000 livres[viii] to her father.

Marguerite and Edmund were within the fourth degree of consanguinity[ix] and this needed a papal dispensation to marry. The pope, Urban V, was French and Charles pressured him into refusing Edward’s request. To obtain the Count’s permission to the match Charles had to cede to him the towns and dependencies of Lille, Douai and Orchies and pay him 200,000 livres[x].

After a respectable interval Urban granted Philip and Marguerite a dispensation to marry and join the lands of Flanders and Burgundy to create a state within a state. Philip, now 27, sent throughout Europe for jewels for his new wife; Marguerite had a passion for jewellery and Philip showered her with diamonds, emeralds, rubies and a pearl necklace purchased for 11,000 livres[xi].

The marriage took place in Ghent and three coffers of precious gifts were forwarded there for Philip to give as gifts to the wedding guests and the local burghers; they were also used as prizes for the tournaments. Philip was determined to impress the Flemings, his future subjects.

‘They proceeded to the marriage, which was celebrated in the city of Ghent. There were great feasts at the solemnity of the wedding, and afterwards, which were attended by crowds of lords, barons and knights.’[xii]

Philip attended mass assiduously and made conspicuous offerings to the church. After his marriage to Marguerite Philip presented the statue of the Virgin Mary in Tournai Cathedral with a cloth of gold cloak and mantle lined with miniver and embroidered with the newly wedded couples joint coats of arms.

Return to the Fight

Tournehem
In July Charles handed command of the invasion of England to Philip; he was in command of one thousand lances. Philip sent for a confessor to accompany him, but the attack was forestalled by an English attack launched from Calais by John of Gaunt. Charles was forced to send Philip and his army against the English.

The French marched towards Calais and in August camped on a small eminence at Tournehem[xiii] within a league of Gaunt’s encampment. He challenged John of Gaunt to a fixed battle, the date was fixed but, inexplicably, although he had the larger army Philip chose to retreat, allowing the English to maraud through Normandy. It has been claimed that Philip did not have the wherewithal to pay his troops, but it is possible that his failings as a military leader betrayed him.

Charles V (L) makes Bertrand du Guesclin (C) Constable
Between 1370, when Charles made Bertrand du Guesclin the Constable of France[xiv], and 1372 Philip participated in the re-conquest of Poitou from the English. The main drivers of the campaigns were du Guesclin and Louis of Anjou. Philip and his brother Berry’s roles mainly involved producing the troops, although they both led their men in action.

In 1372 Philip fought with du Guesclin in Aquitaine besieging and capturing a number of English castles. He also harassed John of Gaunt’s army in 1373 as it made its grande chévauchée across France in an attempt to relieve Aquitaine. It was a bold move that changed nothing.

‘They [Gaunt and his army] marched through various narrow passes and defiles, but kept in close and good order. The council of the king of France therefore said to him: “Let them go; by their smoke alone they cannot deprive you of your kingdom: they will be tired soon, and their force will dissolve away…. thus it will befal these English.”’[xv]

Philip was able to divert the English from Paris and fertile regions of the south. Charles did not call upon his brother for military service again until 1377 by which time most of France was back in French hands, bar the lands around Calais[xvi]. Philip was involved in wresting a number of castles near Calais from the English. The plan had been to retake Calais but the weather and the failure of the French fleet to cooperate with the land forces, put paid to the idea.

Bibliography

Edward III – Bryan Bevan, the Rubicon Press 1992

Chronicles – Froissart, Penguin Books 1968

Europe: Hierarchy and Revolt 1320-1450 – George Holmes, Fontana 1984

The Fourteenth Century – May McKisack, Oxford University Press 1997

The Perfect King – Ian Mortimer, Vintage Books 2008

A Distant Mirror – Barbara Tuchman, Papermac 1989

Philip the Bold – Richard Vaughan, Boydell Press 2011

The Flower of Chivalry – Richard Vernier, Boydell Press 2003


www.wikipedia.en


[i] Chronicles - Froissart
[ii] Possibly over-indulgence at the table as John was over fond of good food and wine and indulged himself.
[iii] In 2016 the relative: historic standard of living value of that income or wealth is £579,600,000.00; labour earnings of that income or wealth is £7,488,000,000.00; economic status value of that income or wealth is £15,330,000,000.00; economic power value of that income or wealth is £312,800,000,000.00 www.measuringworth.com   
[v] She was to marry Lionel of Antwerp, son of Edward III 
[vi] In 2016 the relative: historic standard of living value of that income or wealth is £13,070.00, labour earnings of that income or wealth is £148,100.00, economic status value of that income or wealth is £348,000.00, economic power value of that income or wealth is £7,053,000.00 www.measuringworth.com  
[vii] In 1356 Philip’s future father-in-law had marched his army into Brabant and forced Duke Wenzel of Luxembourg to cede his rights in the two major towns of his duchy, Malines and Antwerp to Louis de Male and recognise his right to inherit the duchy upon Wenzel’s death
[viii] In 2016 the relative: historic standard of living value of that income or wealth is £103,600,000.00, labour earnings of that income or wealth is £1,262,000,000.00, economic status value of that income or wealth is £3,123,000,000.00, economic power value of that income or wealth is £63,410,000,000.00 www.measuringworth.com  
[ix] As were Marguerite and Philip
[x] In 2016 the relative: historic standard of living value of that income or wealth is £121,900,000.00, labour earnings of that income or wealth is £1,485,000,000.00, economic status value of that income or wealth is £3,675,000,000.00, economic power value of that income or wealth is £74,600,000,000.00 www.measuringworth.com  
[xi] In 2016 the relative: historic standard of living value of that income or wealth is £6,706,000.00, labour earnings of that income or wealth is £81,670,000.00, economic status value of that income or wealth is £202,100,000.00, economic power value of that income or wealth is £4,103,000,000.00 www.measuringworth.com   
[xvi] Both Edward III, who was now in his dotage, and the Black Prince, who was dying, were incapable of leading the fight back which was left to John of Gaunt who was not their equal