Francis II, Duke of Brittany

Francis II, Duke of Brittany

Infobox Breton Royalty|majesty
name =Francis II
title =Duke of Brittany

caption =The tomb of Francis in Nantes.
succession =Duke of Brittany
predecessor =Arthur III
successor =Anne
reign =26 December 1458 - 9 September 1488
reign-type =Reign
spouse =Margaret of Brittany
Margaret of Foix| issue =Francis of Brittany Anne of Brittany
Isabelle of Brittany
royal house =Dreux-Montfort
titles =The Duke of Brittany
The Earl of Richmond
The Count of Étampes
father =Richard of Dreux, Count of Etampe
mother =Margaret of Orleans, Countess of Etampe
date of birth =birth date|1433|6|23|mf=y
place of birth =
date of death =death date and age|1488|9|9|1433|6|23|mf=y
place of death =|

Francis II (in Breton Frañsez II, in French François II) (June 23 1433 – September 9 1488) was Duke of Brittany from 1458 to his death. He was the son of Count Richard of Etampe and the grandson of Duke John V. Francis' life was characterised by conflicts with King Louis XI of France (War of the Public Weal) and with his son King Charles VIII.

Francis II was married twice, first to his cousin Margaret, princess of Brittany, first daughter of Duke Francis I, then to Margaret of Foix, princess of Navarre. Only one daughter, Anne of Brittany, from his second marriage, survived to adulthood. Francis willed the Honour of Richmond to Henry VII of England. He also had three bastard children with Antoinette de Maignelais, who had been the mistress of Charles VII of France before.

During the minority of Charles VIII of France, Francis II aligned himself with the Duke of Orleans and the count of Angouleme against the regency of Anne of France. In intervening in the politics of his neighbour France, however, he neglected his own realm. The actions of his corrupt and oppressive prime minister, Monsieur de Landois, caused a major revolt, which was supported by Anne and Charles, who were eager to get even with Francis II. Without assistance from Brittany's traditional allies, the English, who were embroiled in the Wars of the Roses, Francis saw his duchy ravaged and Landois hanged by the infuriated people in what is known as the "Mad War" ("La Guerre Folle"). Even without Landois in power, the Bretons remained suspicious of their duke. Nevertheless, in 1486, the Estates of Brittany confirmed the succession of Brittany on Francis' daughter Anne, to assure independence from France.

The Treaty of Chateaubriant, signed in 1487 with France, reaffirmed Brittany's independence, but the French continued to harass the duchy. Francis then allied with Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor, against France; however, Brittany was defeated July 28 in the Battle of Saint-Aubin-du-Cormier. A few days later, on August 10, Francis was forced to sign the Treaty of Verger. Under the terms of the treaty, the duke was compelled to submit himself and his duchy as a vassal of the king of France. Francis II died shortly afterwards, following a fall from his horse during a leisurely ride. After his death, Charles VIII invaded Brittany and forced the heiress Anne to marry him, thus gaining control of the duchy.

ee also

*Dukes of Brittany family tree
*Other politically important horse accidents



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