Louis VI of France


Louis VI of France

Infobox French Royalty|monarch
name=Louis VI the Fat
title=King of the Franks


caption=
reign=29 July 11081 August 1137
coronation=3 August 1108
full name=
predecessor=Philip I
successor=Louis VII
spouse=Lucienne de Rochefort
Adélaide de Maurienne
issue=Philip, "Rex Filius"
Louis VII
Henry, Archbishop of Reims
Robert, Count of Dreux
Constance, Countess of Toulouse
Philip, Archdeacon of Paris
Peter, Lord of Courtenay
royal house=House of Capet
royal anthem =
father=Philip I
mother=Bertha of Holland
date of birth=birth date|1081|12|1|df=y
place of birth=Paris, France
date of death=death date and age|1137|8|1|1081|12|1|df=y
place of death=Béthisy-Saint-Pierre, France
place of burial=Saint Denis Basilica, Paris, France|

Louis VI (1 December 10811 August 1137), called the Fat ( _fr. le Gros), was King of France from 1108 until his death (1137). Chronicles called him "roi de Saint-Denis". The first member of the House of Capet to make a lasting contribution to the centralizing institutions of royal power, [Norman F. Cantor, "The Civilization of the Middle Ages" 1993, p 410.] Louis was born in Paris, the son of Philip I and his first wife, Bertha of Holland. Almost all of his twenty-nine-year reign was spent fighting either the "robber barons" who plagued Paris or the Norman kings of England for their continental possession of Normandy. Nonetheless, Louis VI managed to reinforce his power considerably and became one of the first strong kings of France since the division of the Carolingian Empire. His biography by his constant advisor Abbot Suger of Saint Denis renders him a fully-rounded character to the historian, unlike most of his predecessors.

In his youth, Louis fought the duke of Normandy, Robert Curthose, and the lords of the royal demesne, the Île de France. He became close to Suger, who became his adviser. He succeeded his father on Philip's death on July 29, 1108. Louis's half-brother prevented him from reaching Rheims and so he was crowned on August 3 in the cathedral of Orléans by Daimbert, Archbishop of Sens. The archbishop of Reims, Ralph the Green, sent envoys to challenge the validity of the coronation and anointing, but to no avail.

On Palm Sunday 1115, Louis was present in Amiens to support the bishop and inhabitants of the city in their conflict with Enguerrand I of Coucy, one of his vassals, who refused to recognize the granting of a charter of communal privileges. Louis came with an army to help the citizens to besiege Castillon (the fortress dominating the city, from which Enguerrand was making punitive expeditions). At the siege, the king took an arrow to his hauberk, but the castle, considered impregnable, fell after two years.

Louis VI died on August 1, 1137, at the castle of Béthisy-Saint-Pierre, nearby Senlis and Compiègne, of dysentery caused by his excesses, which had made him obese. He was interred in Saint Denis Basilica. He was succeeded on the throne by his son Louis VII, called "the Younger," who had originally wanted to be a monk.

Marriages and children

He married in 1104: 1) Lucienne de Rochefort — the marriage was annulled.
*Their child:
**1) Isabelle (c.1105 – before 1175), married ("ca" 1119) William of Vermandois, seigneur of Chaumont

He married in 1115: 2) Adélaide de Maurienne (1092–1154)

*Their children:
**# Philip (1116 – October 13, 1131), King of France (1129–31), not to be confused with his brother of the same name; died from a fall from a horse.
**# Louis VII (1120 – November 18, 1180), King of France
**# Henry (1121–75), archbishop of Reims
**# Hugues (born "ca" 1122
**# Robert ("ca" 1123 – October 11, 1188), count of Dreux
**# Constance ("ca" 1124 – August 16, 1176), married first Eustace IV, count of Boulogne and then Raymond V of Toulouse.
**# Philip (1125–61), bishop of Paris. not to be confused with his elder brother.
**# Peter of France ("ca" 1125–83), married Elizabeth, lady of Courtenay

Notes

References

*Ancestral Roots of Certain American Colonists Who Came to America Before 1700 by Frederick Lewis Weis, Lines: 96-28, 101-24, 117-24, 117-25, 169A-26, 274A-25
* Suger, Abbot of Saint Denis,. "The Deeds of Louis the Fat". Translated with introduction and notes by Richard Cusimano and John Moorhead. Washington, DC : Catholic University of America Press,1992. (ISBN 0-8132-0758-4)
* Suger, Abbot of Saint Denis,. " [http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/basis/suger-louisthefat.html The Deeds of Louis the Fat] ". Translated by Jean Dunbabin (this version is free, but has no annotations)


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