Louis XI of France
Louis XI the Prudent (French: Louis XI le Prudent) (July 3, 1423 – August 30, 1483), also informally nicknamed l'universelle aragne (old French for "universal spider"), was a King of France (1461 – 1483). He was the son of Charles VII of France and Mary of Anjou. He was a member of the Valois Dynasty and was one of the most successful kings of France in terms of uniting the country. His 22-year reign was marked by political machinations, resulting in his being given the nickname of "universal spider".
His marriage on June 24, 1436 to Margaret, daughter of King James I of Scotland, gave Louis XI an interest in English affairs, and he schemed to restore King Henry VI of England and his Lancastrian heir to the throne, partly because his arch-enemy, Charles the Bold of Burgundy was allied with the Yorkists. Louis gained the upper hand in his feud with Charles, and brought about his death in 1477. A candid account of some of Louis' activities is given by the courtier, Philippe de Commines, in his memoires of the period.
King Louis XI married strategically a second time on February 14, 1451 to eight-year-old Charlotte of Savoy (1443- December 1, 1483). Their marriage would not be consummated until she was fourteen and their children were:
- Anne (April, 1461 – November 14, 1522)
- Jeanne (April 23, 1464 – February 4, 1505)
- Charles VIII (June 30, 1470 – April 8, 1498)
By war, by cunning and with sheer guile, Louis XI overcame France's feudal lords, and at the time of his death in the chateau at Plessis-lez-Tours, he had united France and laid the foundations of a strong monarchy.
Louis XI was a superstitious man who surrounded himself with astrologers. Interested in science, he once pardoned a man sentenced to death on condition that he serve as a guinea pig in a gallstone operation.
Louis XI was succeeded by his son, Charles VIII.
|King of France|
July 22, 1461–August 30, 1483