History - On This Day - 30 June 1470 - King Charles VIII of France

King Charles VIII of France was born on 30 June 1470 at the Château d'Amboise
in France.


Charles was the only surviving son of King Louis XI and his second wife,
Charlotte of Savoy.

His godparents were:
Charles II, Duke of Bourbon - where King Charles was named after;
Joan of Valois, Duchess of Bourbon;
Edward of Westminster, son of King Henry VI of England, who lived in
France after his father was disposed.

Love and Marriage

On 22 July 1483, Charles was betrothed to the 3-year-old Margaret of Austria,
daughter of Archduke Maximilian of Austria (who became later Holy Roman
Emperor Maximilian I) and Mary, Duchess of Burgundy. This arrangement was a
part of the Peace of Arras of 1482 between France and the Duchy of Burgundy.

However, things turned out different. In 1488, Francis II, Duke of Brittany died.
He had a heiress: a daughter, Anne, who was 11 years old.

Anne had arranged a wedding between her and Maximilian of Austria in 1490.
But then the French army invaded Brittany and Anne was forced to renounce
Maximilian, whom she had only married by proxy. She agreed to marry the
future King Charles VIII.

In December 1491, a ceremony took place at the Château de Langeais, then
Charles and Anne were married.

In 1493, Margaret of Austria, who was betrothed to Charles had to return to
her family together with her dowry, however without the Duchy of Burgundy.


On 30 August 1483, Charles VIII became King of France. He was crowned at
Reims on 30 May 1484.

To secure France against invasions Charles made treaties with Maximilian of
Austria. He also made treaties with England.

In 1489, Pope Innocent VIII (1484-1492) offered Naples to Charles.
Charles invaded Italy with 25,000 men in September 1494. The French army
took Naples even without a battle. Charles of France was crowned King of

In 1495 the League of Venice, an anti-French coalition was formed. Charles
was trapped in southern Italy and this blocked his return to France.
In July 1495 the League defeated Charles.


Charles died on 7 April 1498, at the age of 27, and 2,5 years after his retreat
from Italy.

Charles watched a game of real tennis in Amboise and he struck his head on
the lintel of a door. Later he fell into a sudden coma and he died nine hours

Charles was the last of the elder branch of the House of Valois. Upon his death
he was succeeded by his father's second cousin, the Duke of Orléans, who
would reign as King Louis XII.

Charles' widow, Anne, would marry the new King on 7 June 1500.

Source pictures: Wikipedia

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