Treaty of Troyes

Treaty of Troyes

The Treaty of Troyes was an agreement that Henry V of England would inherit the throne of France upon the death of King Charles VI of France. It was signed in Troyes, France in 1420. The treaty was part of the aftermath of the Battle of Agincourt. This attempt to alter the traditional pattern of French royal succession did not succeed.


This treaty attempted to disinherit the future Charles VII from succession to the French throne. It arranged the marriage of Charles VI's daughter Catherine of Valois to English King Henry V and proclaimed Henry V and his future sons to be the successors of Charles VI. The Estates-General of France ratified the agreement later that year after Henry V entered Paris.


French king Charles VI suffered bouts of insanity through much of his reign. Henry V had invaded in 1415 and delivered a crushing defeat to the French at Agincourt. Three years later French partisans of Dauphin Charles murdered John the Fearless, Duke of Burgundy. John's successor Philip the Good was outraged and formed an alliance with the English.

Unpopular Queen Isabeau of Bavaria agreed to the treaty declaring her son to be a bastard in what might be viewed as Realpolitik. Four of her five sons had already died. Dauphin Charles was sickly and suspected of involvement in the murder plot (he had failed to intervene while it happened in front of him). There were probably concerns about the chances of his inheriting his father's illness. If the dynasties joined through Henry V it could end the war and leave France in the hands of a vigorous and able king. Philip the Good, also involved in the negotiations, had his own reasons to support English rule, being allied both politically and economically with the English and desiring revenge for his father's murder.


At the time of the treaty's signing, no one expected that both Charles VI and Henry V would die within two months of each other in 1422, leaving an infant Henry VI of England the nominal ruler of both countries. Charles VII assumed "de facto" control of the remaining French territory upon his father's death. His detractors claimed that he was not the son of Charles VI. Queen Isabeau was rumored to have had an affair with the duke of Orléans and many observers viewed the treaty as confirmation of his illegitimacy. Supporters of the English claims called Charles VII the "King of Bourges," a derisive reference to the reduced state of France.

Clerics who supported Charles VII cited the ancient Salic Law to contest that no woman could transmit the right to inheritance. The treaty had based the claims of both Henry V and Henry VI on their relationship to Catherine of Valois. The aims of the Treaty of Troyes failed through the intervention of Joan of Arc, who brought Charles VII to an official coronation by recapturing the city of Rheims.

ee also

*Middle Ages
*History of England
*French History
*Hundred Years' War
*List of treaties
*Salic law
*English claims to the French throne

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