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FRANCE]
917
CHARLES IV.—V.

Soissons, but the victory remained with his party, who elected Rudolph, duke of Burgundy, king. In his extremity Charles trusted himself to Herbert, count of Vermandois, who deceived him, and threw him into confinement at Château-Thierry and afterwards at Péronne. In the latter town he died on the 7th of October 929. In 907 he had married Frederona, sister of Bovo, bishop of Chalons. After her death he married Eadgyfu (Odgiva), daughter of Edward the Elder, king of the English, who was the mother of Louis IV.

See A. Eckel, Charles le Simple (Paris, 1899).


CHARLES IV. (1294–1328), king of France, called The Fair, was the third and youngest son of Philip IV. and Jeanne of Navarre. In 1316 he was created count of La Marche, and succeeded his brother Philip V. as king of France and Navarre early in 1322. He followed the policy of his predecessors in enforcing the royal authority over the nobles, but the machinery of a centralized government strong enough to hold nobility in check increased the royal expenditure, to meet which Charles had recourse to doubtful financial expedients. At the beginning of his reign he ordered a recast of the coinage, with serious results to commerce; civil officials were deprived of offices, which had been conferred free, but were now put up to auction; duties were imposed on exported merchandise and on goods brought into Paris; the practice of exacting heavy fines was encouraged by making the salaries of the magistrates dependent on them; and on the pretext of a crusade to free Armenia from the Turks, Charles obtained from the pope a tithe levied on the clergy, the proceeds of which he kept for his own use; he also confiscated the property of the Lombard bankers who had been invited to France by his father at a time of financial crisis. The history of the assemblies summoned by Charles IV. is obscure, but in 1326, on the outbreak of war with England, an assembly of prelates and barons met at Meaux. Commissioners were afterwards despatched to the provinces to state the position of affairs and to receive complaints. The king justified his failure to summon the estates on the ground of the expense incurred by provincial deputies. The external politics of his reign were not marked by any striking events. He maintained excellent relations with Pope John XXII., who made overtures to him, indirectly, offering his support in case of his candidature for the imperial crown. Charles tried to form a party in Italy in support of the pope against the emperor Louis IV. of Bavaria, but failed. A treaty with the English which secured the district of Agenais for France was followed by a feudal war in Guienne. Isabella, Charles’s sister and the wife of Edward II., was sent to France to negotiate, and with her brother’s help arranged the final conspiracy against her husband. Charles’s first wife was Blanche, daughter of Otto IV., count of Burgundy, and of Matilda (Mahaut), countess of Artois, to whom he was married in 1307. In May 1314, by order of King Philip IV., she was arrested and imprisoned in the Château-Gaillard with her sister-in-law Marguerite, daughter of Robert II., duke of Burgundy, and wife of Louis Hutin, on the charge of adultery with two gentlemen of the royal household, Philippe and Gautier d’Aunai. Jeanne, sister of Marguerite and wife of Philip the Tall, was also arrested for not having denounced the culprits, and imprisoned at Dourdan. The two knights were put to the torture and executed, and their goods confiscated. It is impossible to say how far the charges were true. Tradition has involved and obscured the story, which is the origin of the legend of the tour de Nesle made famous by the drama of A. Dumas the elder. Marguerite died shortly in prison; Jeanne was declared innocent by the parlement and returned to her husband. Blanche was still in prison when Charles became king. He induced Pope John XXII. to declare the marriage null, on the ground that Blanche’s mother had been his godmother. Blanche died in 1326, still in confinement, though at the last in the abbey of Maubuisson.

In 1322, freed from his first marriage, Charles married his cousin Mary of Luxemburg, daughter of the emperor Henry VII., and upon her death, two years later, Jeanne, daughter of Louis, count of Evreux. Charles IV. died at Vincennes on the 1st of February 1328. He left no issue by his first two wives to succeed him, and daughters only by Jeanne of Evreux. He was the last of the direct line of Capetians.

See A. d’Herbomey, “Notes et documents pour servir à l’histoire des rois fils de Philippe le Bel,” in Bibl. de l’École des Chartes (lix. pp. 479 seq. and 689 seq.); de Bréquigny, “Mémoire sur les différends entre la France et l’Angleterre sous le règne de Charles le Bel,” in Mém. de l’Acad. des Inscriptions (xli. pp. 641-692); H. Lot, “Projets de crusade sous Charles le Bel et sous Philippe de Valois” (Bibl. de l’École des Chartes, xx. pp. 503-509); “Chronique parisienne anonyme de 1316 à 1339 ...” ed. Hellot in Mém. de la soc. de l’hist. de Paris (xi., 1884, pp. 1-207).


CHARLES V. (1337–1380), king of France, called The Wise, was born at the château of Vincennes on the 21st of January 1337, the son of John II. and Bonne of Luxemburg. In 1349 he became dauphin of the Viennois by purchase from Humbert II., and in 1355 he was created duke of Normandy. At the battle of Poitiers (1356) his father ordered him to leave the field when the battle turned against the French, and he was thus saved from the imprisonment that overtook his father. After arranging for the government of Normandy he proceeded to Paris, where he took the title of lieutenant of the kingdom. During the years of John II.’s imprisonment in England Charles was virtually king of France. He summoned the states-general of northern France (Langue d’oïl) to Paris in October 1356 to obtain men and money to carry on the war. But under the leadership of Étienne Marcel, provost of the Parisian merchants and president of the third estate, and Robert le Coq, bishop of Laon, president of the clergy, a partisan of Charles of Navarre, the states refused any “aid” except on conditions which Charles declined to accept. They demanded the dismissal of a number of the royal ministers; the establishment of a commission elected from the three estates to regulate the dauphin’s administration, and of another board to act as council of war; also the release of Charles the Bad, king of Navarre, who had been imprisoned by King John. The estates of Languedoc, summoned to Toulouse, also made protests against misgovernment, but they agreed to raise a war-levy on terms to which the dauphin acceded. Charles sought the alliance of his uncle, the emperor Charles IV., to whom he did homage at Metz as dauphin of the Viennois, and he was also made imperial vicar of Dauphiné, thus acknowledging the imperial jurisdiction. But he gained small material advantage from these proceedings. The states-general were again convoked in February 1357. Their demands were more moderate than in the preceding year, but they nominated members to replace certain obnoxious persons on the royal council, demanded the right to assemble without the royal summons, and certain administrative reforms. In return they promised to raise and finance an army of 30,000 men, but the money—a tithe levied on the annual revenues of the clergy and nobility—voted for this object was not to pass through the dauphin’s hands. Charles appeared to consent, but the agreement was annulled by letters from King John, announcing at the same time the conclusion of a two years’ truce, and the reformers failed to secure their ends. Charles had escaped from their power by leaving Paris, but he returned for a new meeting of the estates in the autumn of 1357.

Meanwhile Charles of Navarre had been released by his partisans, and allying himself with Marcel had become a popular hero in Paris. The dauphin was obliged to receive him and to undergo an apparent reconciliation. In Paris Étienne Marcel was supreme. He forced his way into the dauphin’s palace (February 1358), and Charles’s servant, Jean de Conflans, marshal of Champagne, and Robert de Clermont, marshal of Normandy, were murdered before his eyes. Charles was powerless openly to resent these outrages, but he obtained from the provincial assemblies the money refused him by the states-general, and deferred his vengeance until the dissensions of his enemies should offer him an opportunity. Charles of Navarre, now in league with the English and master of lower Normandy and of the approaches to Paris, returned to the immediate neighbourhood of the city, and Marcel found himself driven to avowed co-operation with the dauphin’s enemies, the English