- Louis VIII of France
Infobox French Royalty|monarch|name=Louis VIII the Lion
title=King of the Franks; Count of Artois
14 July 1223– 8 November 1226
6 August 1223
predecessor=Philip II Augustus
Blanche of Castile
Robert I, Count of Artois
Alphonse, Count of Toulouse and Poitiers
Saint Isabel of France
Charles I of Sicily
House of Capet
royal anthem =
Isabelle of Hainaut
date of birth=birth date|1187|9|5|df=y
place of birth=
date of death=death date and age|1226|11|8|1187|9|5|df=y
place of death=
Château Montpensier, France
place of burial=
Saint Denis Basilica|
Louis VIII the Lion (
5 September 1187– 8 November 1226) reigned as King of France from 1223 to 1226. He was a member of the House of Capet. Louis VIII was born in Paris, France, the son of Philip II Augustus and Isabelle of Hainaut. He was also Count of Artoisfrom 1190, inheriting the county from his mother.
As Prince Louis
At the age of 12, Louis was married to
Blanche of Castileon 23 May 1200, following prolonged negotiations between Philip Augustus and Blanche's uncle John of England.
In 1216 the English barons rebelled in the
First Barons' Waragainst the unpopular King John of England(1199–1216) and offered the throne to Prince Louis. Louis invaded and was proclaimed King in London in May 1216, although he was not crowned. There was little resistance when the prince entered London. At St Paul's Cathedral, Louis was accepted as ruler with great pomp and celebration in the presence of all of London. Many nobles, as well as King Alexander II of Scotland(1214–49), gathered to give homage to him.
June 14, Louis captured Winchesterand soon conquered over half of the English kingdom. [Alan Harding (1993), "England in the Thirteenth Century" (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press), p. 10. According to " L'Histoire de Guillaume le Marechal" Louis became "master of the country".] After a year and a half of war, however, most of the rebellious barons defected and so Louis had to give up his claim to be the King of England by signing the Treaty of Lambethin 1217. The effect of the treaty was that Louis agreed he had never been the legitimate king of England.
As King Louis VIII
Louis VIII succeeded his father on
July 14, 1223; his coronation took place on August 6of the same year in the cathedral at Reims. As King, he continued to seek revenge on the Angevins and seized Poitouand Saintongefrom them in 1224. There followed the seizure of Avignonand Languedoc.
1 November 1223, he issued an ordinance that prohibited his officials from recording debts owed to Jews, thus reversing the policies set by his father Philip II Augustus. Usury(lending money with interest) was illegal for Christians to practice, according to Church law it was seen as a vice in which people profited from others' misfortune (like gambling), and was punishable by excommunication, a severe punishment. However since Jews were not Christian, they could not be excommunicated, and thus fell in to a legal gray area which secular rulers would sometimes exploit by allowing (or requesting) Jews to provide usury services, often for personal gain to the secular ruler, and to the discontent of the Church. Louis VIII's prohibition was one attempt at resolving this legal problem which was a constant source of friction in Church and State courts.
Twenty-six barons accepted, but Theobald IV (1201–53), the powerful Count of Champagne, did not, since he had an agreement with the Jews that guaranteed him extra income through taxation. Theobald IV would become a major opposition force to Capetian dominance, and his hostility was manifest during the reign of Louis VIII. For example, during the siege of Avignon, he performed only the minimum service of 40 days, and left home amid charges of treachery.
In 1225, the council of
Bourgesexcommunicated the Count of Toulouse, Raymond VII, and declared a crusade against the southern barons. Louis happily renewed the conflict in order to enforce his royal rights. Roger Bernard the Great, count of Foix, tried to keep the peace, but the king rejected his embassy and the counts of Foix and Toulouse took up arms against him. The king was largely successful, but he did not complete the work before his death.
While returning to Paris, King Louis VIII became ill with
dysentery, and died on November 8, 1226in the chateau at Montpensier, Auvergne.
Saint Denis Basilicahouses the tomb of Louis VIII. His son, Louis IX (1226–70), succeeded him on the throne.
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1= 1. Louis VIII of France
Philip II of France
Isabelle of Hainaut
Louis VII of France
Adèle of Champagne
Baldwin V, Count of Hainaut
Margaret I, Countess of Flanders
Louis VI of France
9= 9. Adelaide of Savoy
Theobald II, Count of Champagne
Matilda of Carinthia
Baldwin IV, Count of Hainaut
Alice of Namur
Thierry, Count of Flanders
Sibylla of Anjou
Philip I of France
Bertha of Holland
Humbert II of Savoy
19= 19. Gisela of Burgundy
Stephen II, Count of Blois
Adela of Normandy
Engelbert, Duke of Carinthia
Uta of Passau
Baldwin III, Count of Hainaut
Yolande of Wassenberg
Godfrey I of Namur
27= 27. Ermesinda of Luxembourg
Theodoric II, Duke of Lorraine
29= 29. Gertrude of Flanders
30= 30. Fulk V of Anjou
Ermengarde of Maine
May 23, 1200, at the age of twelve, Louis married Blanche of Castile( March 4, 1188– November 26, 1252).
# Blanche (1205–1206).
# Agnes (b. and d. 1207).
# Philippe (
9 September, 1209– July 1218), married (or only betrothed) in 1217 to Agnes of Donzy.
# Alphonse (b. and d. Lorrez-le-Bocage,
23 January 1213).
# John (b. and d. Lorrez-le-Bocage,
23 January 1213), twin of Alphonse.
# Louis IX (Poissy,
25 April, 1214– 25 August, 1270, Tunis), King of France as successor to his father.
# Robert (
25 September, 1216– 9 February, 1250, killed in battle, Manssurah, Egypt)
# Philippe (
2 January, 1218–1220).
# John Tristan (
21 July, 1219–1232), Count of Anjou and Maine.
# Alphonse (Poissy,
11 November, 1220– 21 August, 1271, Corneto), Count of Poitou and Auvergne, and by marriage, of Toulouse.
# Philippe Dagobert (
20 February, 1222–1232).
# Isabel (
14 April 1225– 23 February, 1269).
# Charles Etienne (
21 March 1226– 7 January, 1285), Count of Anjou and Maine, by marriage Count of Provence and Folcalquier, and King of Sicily.
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