Charles VII the Victorious of FranceCharles VII the Victorious of France

Life: 1403-1461
Birth Place: Paris, France
Historical Role: King, Noble, Statesman
Titles: King of France, Dauphin of France, Duke of Touraine, Duke of Berry, Count of Poitou, Count of Ponthieu
Primary countries affected: France
Secondary countries affected: United Kingdom
Events: Hundred Years War (1337-1453)

Biography:


King Charles VII the Victorious of France, was born the 5th son of King Charles VI the Mad of France. His brother's all died before him and Charles VII became Dauphin of France in 1417. However, when Charles became Dauphin he faced opposition notably from Duke John the Fearless of Burgundy. He managed to agree to a truce with Duke John the Fearless; however Charles' men instead attacked John and murdered him. This deepened the hatred between France and Burgundy, which started with the murder of Louis of Valois.


Charles VII's bid for the throne was thwarted when Charles VI signed the Treaty of Troyes in 1420, the treaty made Henry VI of England the next heir to the throne of France. Also, the Duke Charles I of Orleans had a solid claim to the throne, but he was being held captive in Britain ever since his capture at the Battle of Agincourt. With these challenges to the throne Charles became discouraged and made no attempts to drive out the English or Burgundians, but rather opted to stay within his southern territories, while his enemies were gaining strength at his expense.


In 1429, Joan of Arc arrived at Chinon to see the King and help him claim his crown. Joan's arrival at the French court became a famous story, Charles wanted to test her, so he placed someone else on his throne and he hid among the crowd, when Joan entered she immediately found the impostor on the throne and set out in the room to find Charles. She eventually found him and he confessed his true identity, she had passed the test. Joan and Charles then had a private conversation where Joan revealed many things God had told her about Charles, this convinced Charles that Joan was legitimate.


Thanks to Joan of Arc, the Siege of Orleans was raised and France's armies had their fighting spirits renewed. However, when after her initial successes and Charles' coronation, Charles sought rather to reconcile with Duke Philip the Good of Burgundy then fight him openly. Joan disagreed with this approach and continued her campaigns, but now with only nominal support from Charles. Joan was eventually captured and Charles made no effort to have her released, she was eventually burned at the stake by the English.


Charles gradually reconquered most of France. Later on in his life, he became estranged with his son Louis who wanted more power. Louis made attempts to destabilise his father's rule and attempted to make plots to take power from him. Eventually Charles banished Louis to the Dauphiné, Louis instead fled to Burgundy. In 1458, Charles became gravely ill and a succession of illnesses continued until 1461 when he finally died, through all of his illness Charles called for his son Louis to visit him, but Louis always refused and waited with patience for his father's death.

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Sources:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_VII_of_France