Medieval French Royal History: House of Valois

If you are interested in the former French Royal Family, you certainly have heard
from the Royal House of Valois, which started in 1284 and ended in 1589.

Some royal history

Before the French Royal Family were members of the Royal House of Valois,
another dynasty had lots of power: House of Capet.

From 1270 till 1285 France was ruled by King Philip III. He was a member
of the House of Capet.

King Philippe III of France had left 3 surviving sons (Louis, Philip and Charles)
and a daughter (Isabella). Each son became king but they died young without
male heirs (except Charles), leaving only two daughters who could not
inherit the throne.

Finally in 1328 Philip Count of Valois, the son of Charles, Count of Valois
became the King of France. He was the closest heir in male line and a grandson of
King Philip III.

But there were other candidates of the French throne inter alia:

Joan of Navarre, daughter of King Louis X. She received the Kingdom of

King Edward III of England, son of Isabella of France, daughter and only
surviving child of King Philip IV. Edward claimed to be the heir of the French
throne as a grandson of King Philip IV.

In 1337 this discussion between the Kings of France and England led to the
confiscation of the Duchy of Aquitaine by England and it even led to the
Hundred Years' War!

King Philip IV of France was the father of King John II of France.
King John II of France was the father of inter alia King Charles V of France
and Philip the Bold, Duke of Burgundy.

In 1415 King Henry V of England and a great-grandson of King Edward III
invaded France. This was the start of a huge battle: the Battle of Agincourt.
The Battle of Agincourt meant a loss for the French Royal Family.

In 1482 Mary of Burgundy, the last ruler of Valois-Burgundy died and
their wealth went over through her husband, Maximilian of Austria,
to the Royal House of Habsburg.

In 1483, Charles VIII became the new King of France. He married to
Anne of Brittany but he died without male heirs.  The same thing happened to
King Louis XII of France.

King Louis XII of France was succeeded by his cousin and son-in-law:
Francis of Angoulême who became King Francis I of France in 1515.

King Francis I of France was succeeded by his son King Henry II
of France in 1547, who was married to Catherine de' Medici.

Finally their son, King Henry III of France, was the last Valois ruler of
France. The noble family ended in 1589, when he died without male

He was succeeded by King Henry IV of France who was a descendant
from the noble House of Bourbon.


Between 1284 and 1589 the noble House of Valois had lots of power.
Members of this dynasty were inter alia:

- Count of Valois;
- King of France;
- Duke of Milan;
- Duke of Orléans;
- Duke of Anjou;
- Duke of Berry;
- Duke of Burgundy;
- Duke of Brittany;
- King of Naples.

All about royal families

For me, and this blog, it is always very interesting, researching the ties
between the various royal and ducal families in Europe (and the world).

Source pictures: Wikipedia

History - OnThisDay - 11 June 1403 - John IV Duke of Brabant

On 11 June 1403, John IV, Duke of Brabant was born in Arras, nowadays
in France.

John IV, Duke of Brabant


John IV, Duke of Brabant was the son of Antoine of Burgundy, the ruling
Duke of Brabant, Lothier and Limburg. John IV's mother was Jeanne of

John IV 's paternal parents were Philip the Bold, Duke of Burgundy and
Margaret III, Countess of Flanders.

John IV 's mother, Jeanne of Saint-Pol, was a step-granddaughter of
Edward, the Black prince and her maternal granddaughter was
Joan of Kent.

John IV, Duke of Brabant was a member of the noble House of Valois.


After his father's death at the Battle of Agincourt in 1415 John IV
became the new Duke of Brabant.

His succession wasn't accepted by everyone. The Holy Roman Sigismund
contested his succession as he wished to stop the Valois influence or the
influence of the Burgundian Duke, John the Fearless, who was the uncle
of  John IV, Duke of Brabant.

However the States of Brabant supported their new duke and they
prevented a second succession war in the duchy.

Love and Marriage

In 1418, John IV Duke of Brabant married a very important noble woman.
Her name was Jacqueline, Countess of Hainaut. In the Low Countries she
was named Jacoba van Beieren. Through this political marriage the counties
of Holland, Zeeland and Hainaut and the duchies of Brabant and Limburg
were united in a personal union.

But the marriage wasn't a happy one, the royal couple was estranged from
each other in 1420. John's advisors were all part of the Cod faction and
those of Jacqueline were all of the Hook faction. This took place during the
Hook and Cod disputes.

Jacqueline, Countess of Hainaut


To prevent troubles John IV, Duke of Brabant appointed Jacqueline's uncle
John III, Duke of Bavaria as regent of Holland in 1420. Jacqueline escaped
from her husband's court and she exiled to England. Later she annulled their

In England Jacqueline remarried Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester, however
John IV never accepted the annulment of their marriage.

In 1425, John IV, Duke of Brabant founded the University of Leuven, which
still is the oldest Catholic university in the Low Countries and perhaps in the
world, still in operation.

John IV, Duke of Brabant


John IV, Duke of Brabant died on 17 April 1427 at the age of 23 in
Brussels, without issue. His claims on Holland, Zeeland and Hainaut as
husband of Jacqueline were transferred to his nephew Philip the Good,
Duke of Burgundy.

Source pictures: Wikipedia