House of Valois

House of Valois

The House of Valois was a cadet branch of the Capetian dynasty, succeeding the House of Capet (or 'Direct Capetians') as kings of France from 1328 to 1589. A cadet branch of the family reigned as dukes of Burgundy from 1361 to 1482.

They were descendants of Charles of Valois, the fourth son of King Philip III and based their claim to be ahead of Edward III of England and Jeanne de Navarre on a reintroduction of the Salic law.

Unexpected inheritance

The Capetian dynasty seemed secure both during and after the reign of Philip IV. Philip had left three surviving sons (Louis, Philip and Charles) and a daughter (Isabella). Each son became king in turn, but died young and without male heirs (all had daughters though). When Charles IV died in 1328, the French Succession was thrown wide open.

In 1328 there were 3 reasonable candidates to the throne;

• Jeanne, daughter of Louis X who was then 16 years old. She would become Joan II of Navarre in later years.

• Isabella of France, daughter and only surviving child of Philip IV. She was the sister to the previous three Kings of France. She had been married to the late King Edward II of England and was the mother of the new King of England Edward III.

• Philip, son of Charles of Valois, who was the closest male heir and grandson of Philip III. Because his father was the brother of the late Philip IV, he was therefore a nephew of Philip IV and the cousin of Louis X, Philip V and Charles IV. Ironically he would be known as 'the fortunate' for his previous slim chance of becoming King.

Under Salic law, which only recognised the male line, the throne would be passed through the male descendants of Charles of Valois. In England, King Edward III heard the news and made his own bid for the crown. His mother was Isabella, the sister of the three previous Kings of France, and as such his claim was very strong (were it not for Salic law). As expected, Edward’s protests fell on deaf ears. It was obvious that no Frenchman would accept an English king as his ruler.

Because diplomacy and negotiation had failed, Edward III would have to back his ideas with force if he was to claim the throne. These events were a key reason for the Hundred Years War between England and France.

List of Valois kings of France

Valois (direct)

*Philippe VI, the Fortunate 1328-1350, son of Charles of Valois
*Jean II, the Good 1350-1364
*Charles V, the Wise 1364-1380
*Charles VI, the Well-Beloved, later known as the Mad 1380-1422
*Charles VII, the Victorious or the Well-Served 1422-1461
*Louis XI, the Universal Spider 1461-1483
*Charles VIII, the Affable 1483-1498


*Louis XII, the Father of His People 1498-1515, great-grandson of Charles V of France


*François I -- 1515-1547, great-great-grandson of Charles V of France
*Henri II -- 1547-1559
*François II -- 1559-1560
*Charles IX -- 1560-1574
*Henri III -- 1574-1589

The application of the Salic Law meant that with the extinction of the Valois line on the male side, the Bourbon Dynasty followed as descendants of Louis IX.

List of Valois kings of Poland

*Henryk I -- 1573-1574

Other significant titles held by the House of Valois

Counts and Dukes of Anjou (House of Valois-Anjou)

* Louis I, duke (1360–1383) (also king of Jerusalem and Naples as Louis I), second son of John II of France
* Louis II (1377–1417), son of (also king of Naples as Louis II)
* Louis III (1403–1434), son of (also king of Naples as Louis III)
* René I (1409–1480), brother of (also king of Jerusalem and Naples as René I)
* Charles IV (1436–1481), nephew of

Dukes of Burgundy (House of Valois-Burgundy)

* Philip II the Bold (13631404), fourth son of John II of France
* John II the Fearless (14041419)
* Philip III the Good (14191467)
* Charles I the Bold (14671477)
* Mary I the Rich (14771482)

Dukes of Brabant (House of Valois-Burgundy-Brabant)

* Anthony I (1406–1415), second son of Philip the Bold of Burgundy
* John IV (1415–1427)
* Philip I (1427–1430)

Counts of Nevers (House of Valois-Burgundy-Nevers)

* Philip II (1404–1415), third son of Philip the Bold of Burgundy
* Charles I (1415–1464)
* John II (1464–1491)

Counts and Dukes of Alençon (House of Valois-Alençon)

* Charles II, count (1325-1346), second son of Charles of Valois
* Charles III, count (1346-1361)
* Peter II, count (1361–1391)
* John I, count (1391–1414)
* John I, duke (1414-1415)
* John II, duke (1415-1424 and 1449–1474)
* René I, duke (1478-1492)
* Charles IV, duke (1492–1525)

Illegitimate family branches

* House of Valois-Dunois, counts of Longueville (see Jean de Dunois)
* House of Valois-Saint-Remy, counts of Saint-Rémy (see Jeanne of Valois-Saint-Rémy)

Forms of address

Forms of address for Valois kings included "Most Christian Majesty".

ee also

* List of French monarchs
* Kings of France family tree
* Early Modern France
* Ancien Régime in France
* Valois Tapestries


External links

* [] - The Royal House Of Valois


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