House of Capet
Overview
The House of Capet, or The Direct Capetian Dynasty, , also called The House of France (la maison de France), or simply the Capets, which ruled the Kingdom of France
Kingdom of France
The Kingdom of France was one of the most powerful states to exist in Europe during the second millennium.It originated from the Western portion of the Frankish empire, and consolidated significant power and influence over the next thousand years. Louis XIV, also known as the Sun King, developed a...

 from 987 to 1328, was the most senior line of the Capetian dynasty
Capetian dynasty
The Capetian dynasty , also known as the House of France, is the largest and oldest European royal house, consisting of the descendants of King Hugh Capet of France in the male line. Hugh Capet himself was a cognatic descendant of the Carolingians and the Merovingians, earlier rulers of France...

 – itself a derivative dynasty from the Robertians. As rulers of France, the dynasty succeeded the Carolingian
Carolingian
The Carolingian dynasty was a Frankish noble family with origins in the Arnulfing and Pippinid clans of the 7th century AD. The name "Carolingian", Medieval Latin karolingi, an altered form of an unattested Old High German *karling, kerling The Carolingian dynasty (known variously as the...

 dynasty. The name derives from the nickname of Hugh, the first Capetian King, who was known as Hugh Capet and was a cognatic descendant of the Carolingians.

The direct House of Capet came to an end in 1328, when the three sons of Philip IV
Philip IV of France
Philip the Fair was, as Philip IV, King of France from 1285 until his death. He was the husband of Joan I of Navarre, by virtue of which he was, as Philip I, King of Navarre and Count of Champagne from 1284 to 1305.-Youth:A member of the House of Capet, Philip was born at the Palace of...

 all failed to produce surviving male heirs to the French throne.
Encyclopedia
The House of Capet, or The Direct Capetian Dynasty, , also called The House of France (la maison de France), or simply the Capets, which ruled the Kingdom of France
Kingdom of France
The Kingdom of France was one of the most powerful states to exist in Europe during the second millennium.It originated from the Western portion of the Frankish empire, and consolidated significant power and influence over the next thousand years. Louis XIV, also known as the Sun King, developed a...

 from 987 to 1328, was the most senior line of the Capetian dynasty
Capetian dynasty
The Capetian dynasty , also known as the House of France, is the largest and oldest European royal house, consisting of the descendants of King Hugh Capet of France in the male line. Hugh Capet himself was a cognatic descendant of the Carolingians and the Merovingians, earlier rulers of France...

 – itself a derivative dynasty from the Robertians. As rulers of France, the dynasty succeeded the Carolingian
Carolingian
The Carolingian dynasty was a Frankish noble family with origins in the Arnulfing and Pippinid clans of the 7th century AD. The name "Carolingian", Medieval Latin karolingi, an altered form of an unattested Old High German *karling, kerling The Carolingian dynasty (known variously as the...

 dynasty. The name derives from the nickname of Hugh, the first Capetian King, who was known as Hugh Capet and was a cognatic descendant of the Carolingians.

The direct House of Capet came to an end in 1328, when the three sons of Philip IV
Philip IV of France
Philip the Fair was, as Philip IV, King of France from 1285 until his death. He was the husband of Joan I of Navarre, by virtue of which he was, as Philip I, King of Navarre and Count of Champagne from 1284 to 1305.-Youth:A member of the House of Capet, Philip was born at the Palace of...

 all failed to produce surviving male heirs to the French throne. With the death of Charles IV
Charles IV of France
Charles IV, known as the Fair , was the King of France and of Navarre and Count of Champagne from 1322 to his death: he was the last French king of the senior Capetian lineage....

, the throne passed to the House of Valois, the direct descendants of Charles of Valois
Charles of Valois
Charles of Valois was the fourth son of Philip III of France and Isabella of Aragon. His mother was a daughter of James I of Aragon and Yolande of Hungary. He was a member of the House of Capet and founded the House of Valois...

, a younger son of Philip III
Philip III of France
Philip III , called the Bold , was the King of France, succeeding his father, Louis IX, and reigning from 1270 to 1285. He was a member of the House of Capet.-Biography:...

. It would later pass again, to the House of Bourbon
House of Bourbon
The House of Bourbon is a European royal house, a branch of the Capetian dynasty . Bourbon kings first ruled Navarre and France in the 16th century. By the 18th century, members of the Bourbon dynasty also held thrones in Spain, Naples, Sicily, and Parma...

 and the House of Orléans
House of Orleans
Orléans is the name used by several branches of the Royal House of France, all descended in the legitimate male line from the dynasty's founder, Hugh Capet. It became a tradition during France's ancien régime for the duchy of Orléans to be granted as an appanage to a younger son of the king...

 (both descended from Louis IX
Louis IX of France
Louis IX , commonly Saint Louis, was King of France from 1226 until his death. He was also styled Louis II, Count of Artois from 1226 to 1237. Born at Poissy, near Paris, he was an eighth-generation descendant of Hugh Capet, and thus a member of the House of Capet, and the son of Louis VIII and...

), while always remaining in the hands of agnatic descendants of Hugh Capet
Capetian dynasty
The Capetian dynasty , also known as the House of France, is the largest and oldest European royal house, consisting of the descendants of King Hugh Capet of France in the male line. Hugh Capet himself was a cognatic descendant of the Carolingians and the Merovingians, earlier rulers of France...

.

Early Capetian kings

The first Capetian monarch was Hugh Capet
Hugh Capet of France
Hugh Capet , called in contemporary sources "Hugh the Great" , was the first King of France of the eponymous Capetian dynasty from his election to succeed the Carolingian Louis V in 987 until his death.-Descent and inheritance:...

 (c.940–996), a Frankish
Franks
The Franks were a confederation of Germanic tribes first attested in the third century AD as living north and east of the Lower Rhine River. From the third to fifth centuries some Franks raided Roman territory while other Franks joined the Roman troops in Gaul. Only the Salian Franks formed a...

 nobleman from the Île-de-France
Île-de-France (province)
The province of Île-de-France or Isle de France is an historical province of France, and the one at the centre of power during most of French history...

, who, following the death of Louis V of France
Louis V of France
Louis V , called the Indolent or the Sluggard , was the King of Western Francia from 986 until his early death...

 (c.967–987) – the last Carolingian
Carolingian
The Carolingian dynasty was a Frankish noble family with origins in the Arnulfing and Pippinid clans of the 7th century AD. The name "Carolingian", Medieval Latin karolingi, an altered form of an unattested Old High German *karling, kerling The Carolingian dynasty (known variously as the...

 King – secured the throne of France by election. He then proceeded to make it hereditary
Inheritance
Inheritance is the practice of passing on property, titles, debts, rights and obligations upon the death of an individual. It has long played an important role in human societies...

 in his family, by securing the election and coronation
Coronation
A coronation is a ceremony marking the formal investiture of a monarch and/or their consort with regal power, usually involving the placement of a crown upon their head and the presentation of other items of regalia...

 of his son, Robert II
Robert II of France
Robert II , called the Pious or the Wise , was King of France from 996 until his death. The second reigning member of the House of Capet, he was born in Orléans to Hugh Capet and Adelaide of Aquitaine....

 (972–1031), as co-King. The throne thus passed securely to Robert on his father's death, who followed the same custom – as did many of his early successors.

The Capetian Kings were initially weak rulers of the Kingdom – they directly ruled only small holdings in the Île-de-France and the Orléanais
Orléans
-Prehistory and Roman:Cenabum was a Gallic stronghold, one of the principal towns of the Carnutes tribe where the Druids held their annual assembly. It was conquered and destroyed by Julius Caesar in 52 BC, then rebuilt under the Roman Empire...

, all of which were plagued with disorder; the rest of France was controlled by potentates such as the Duke of Normandy
Duke of Normandy
The Duke of Normandy is the title of the reigning monarch of the British Crown Dependancies of the Bailiwick of Guernsey and the Bailiwick of Jersey. The title traces its roots to the Duchy of Normandy . Whether the reigning sovereign is a male or female, they are always titled as the "Duke of...

, the Count of Blois
Count of Blois
The County of Blois was originally centred on Blois, south of Paris, France. One of the chief cities, along with Blois itself, was Chartres. Blois was associated with Champagne, Châtillon , and later with the French royal family, to whom the county passed in 1391...

, the Duke of Burgundy
Duke of Burgundy
Duke of Burgundy was a title borne by the rulers of the Duchy of Burgundy, a small portion of traditional lands of Burgundians west of river Saône which in 843 was allotted to Charles the Bald's kingdom of West Franks...

 (himself a member
Robert I, Duke of Burgundy
Robert I Capet or Robert I of Burgundy, known as Robert the Old was duke of Burgundy between 1032 to his death...

 of the Capetian Dynasty after 1032) and the Duke of Aquitaine
Duke of Aquitaine
The Duke of Aquitaine ruled the historical region of Aquitaine under the supremacy of Frankish, English and later French kings....

 (all of whom facing to a greater or lesser extent the same problems of controlling their subordinates). The House of Capet was, however, fortunate enough to have the support of the Church
Roman Catholic Church
The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the world's largest Christian church, with over a billion members. Led by the Pope, it defines its mission as spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ, administering the sacraments and exercising charity...

, and – with the exception of Philip I
Philip I of France
Philip I , called the Amorous, was King of France from 1060 to his death. His reign, like that of most of the early Direct Capetians, was extraordinarily long for the time...

 (1052–1108), Louis IX
Louis IX of France
Louis IX , commonly Saint Louis, was King of France from 1226 until his death. He was also styled Louis II, Count of Artois from 1226 to 1237. Born at Poissy, near Paris, he was an eighth-generation descendant of Hugh Capet, and thus a member of the House of Capet, and the son of Louis VIII and...

 (1215–1270) and the short-lived John the Posthumous
John I of France
John I , called the Posthumous, was King of France and Navarre, and Count of Champagne, as the son and successor of Louis the Headstrong, for the five days he lived...

 (1316) – were able to avoid the problems of underaged Kingship.

Capetian and Plantagenet

Briefly, under Louis VII 'the Young'
Louis VII of France
Louis VII was King of France, the son and successor of Louis VI . He ruled from 1137 until his death. He was a member of the House of Capet. His reign was dominated by feudal struggles , and saw the beginning of the long rivalry between France and England...

 (1120–1180), the House of Capet rose in their power in France – Louis married Aliénor
Eleanor of Aquitaine
Eleanor of Aquitaine was one of the wealthiest and most powerful women in Western Europe during the High Middle Ages. As well as being Duchess of Aquitaine in her own right, she was queen consort of France and of England...

 (1122–1204), the heiress of the Duchy of Aquitaine
Aquitaine
Aquitaine , archaic Guyenne/Guienne , is one of the 27 regions of France, in the south-western part of metropolitan France, along the Atlantic Ocean and the Pyrenees mountain range on the border with Spain. It comprises the 5 departments of Dordogne, :Lot et Garonne, :Pyrénées-Atlantiques, Landes...

, and so became Duke – an advantage which had been eagerly grasped by Louis VI 'the Fat'
Louis VI of France
Louis VI , called the Fat , was King of France from 1108 until his death . Chronicles called him "roi de Saint-Denis".-Reign:...

 (1081–1137), Louis the Young's father, when Aliénor's father
William X of Aquitaine
William X , called the Saint, was Duke of Aquitaine, Duke of Gascony, and Count of Poitou between 1126 and 1137. He was the son of William IX by his second wife, Philippa of Toulouse....

 had asked of the King in his Will to secure a good marriage for the young Duchess. However, the marriage – and thus one avenue of Capetian aggrandisement – failed: the couple produced only two daughters, and suffered marital discord; driven to secure the future of the House, Louis thus divorced Aliénor (who went on to marry Henry II of England
Henry II of England
Henry II ruled as King of England , Count of Anjou, Count of Maine, Duke of Normandy, Duke of Aquitaine, Duke of Gascony, Count of Nantes, Lord of Ireland and, at various times, controlled parts of Wales, Scotland and western France. Henry, the great-grandson of William the Conqueror, was the...

 (1133–1189), and be known to English history as Eleanor of Aquitaine), and married twice more before finally securing a son, Philippe Dieu-donné ("The God-Given"), who would continue the House as Philip II Augustus
Philip II of France
Philip II Augustus was the King of France from 1180 until his death. A member of the House of Capet, Philip Augustus was born at Gonesse in the Val-d'Oise, the son of Louis VII and his third wife, Adela of Champagne...

 (1165–1223), and break the power of the Angevins
House of Plantagenet
The House of Plantagenet , a branch of the Angevins, was a royal house founded by Geoffrey V of Anjou, father of Henry II of England. Plantagenet kings first ruled the Kingdom of England in the 12th century. Their paternal ancestors originated in the French province of Gâtinais and gained the...

 – the family of Aliénor and Henry II – in France.
Louis VIII
Louis VIII of France
Louis VIII the Lion 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 Artois, inheriting the county from his mother, from 1190–1226...

 (1187–1226) – the eldest son and heir of Philip Augustus – married Blanche of Castile
Blanche of Castile
Blanche of Castile , was a Queen consort of France as the wife of Louis VIII. She acted as regent twice during the reign of her son, Louis IX....

 (1188–1252), a granddaughter of Aliénor of Aquitaine and Henry II of England. In her name, he claimed the crown of England
Kingdom of England
The Kingdom of England was, from 927 to 1707, a sovereign state to the northwest of continental Europe. At its height, the Kingdom of England spanned the southern two-thirds of the island of Great Britain and several smaller outlying islands; what today comprises the legal jurisdiction of England...

, invading at the invitation of the English Barons, and briefly being acclaimed – though, it would later be stressed, not crowned – as King of England. However, the Capetians failed to establish themselves in England – Louis was forced to sign the Treaty of Lambeth
Treaty of Lambeth
The Treaty of Lambeth may refer to either of two agreements signed following conflict with King John and Philip Augustus of France which broke out in 1202.-Treaty of Lambeth :...

, which legally decreed that he had never been King of England, and the Prince reluctantly returned to his wife and father in France. More importantly for his dynasty, he would during his brief reign (1223–1226) conquer Poitou
Poitou
Poitou was a province of west-central France whose capital city was Poitiers.The region of Poitou was called Thifalia in the sixth century....

, and some of the lands of the Pays d'Oc
Languedoc
Languedoc is a former province of France, now continued in the modern-day régions of Languedoc-Roussillon and Midi-Pyrénées in the south of France, and whose capital city was Toulouse, now in Midi-Pyrénées. It had an area of approximately 42,700 km² .-Geographical Extent:The traditional...

, declared forfeit from their former owners by the Pope as part of the Albigensian Crusade
Albigensian Crusade
The Albigensian Crusade or Cathar Crusade was a 20-year military campaign initiated by the Catholic Church to eliminate Catharism in Languedoc...

. These lands were added to the French crown, further empowering the Capetian family.

Louis IX
Louis IX of France
Louis IX , commonly Saint Louis, was King of France from 1226 until his death. He was also styled Louis II, Count of Artois from 1226 to 1237. Born at Poissy, near Paris, he was an eighth-generation descendant of Hugh Capet, and thus a member of the House of Capet, and the son of Louis VIII and...

 (1215–1270) – Saint Louis – succeeded Louis VIII as a child; unable to rule for several years, the government of the realm was undertaken by his mother, the formidable Queen Blanche. She had originally been chosen by her grandmother, Aliénor, to marry the French heir, considered a more suitable a Queen of the Franks than her sister Urraca; as regent
Regent
A regent, from the Latin regens "one who reigns", is a person selected to act as head of state because the ruler is a minor, not present, or debilitated. Currently there are only two ruling Regencies in the world, sovereign Liechtenstein and the Malaysian constitutive state of Terengganu...

, she proved this to be so, being associated in the Kingship not only during her son's minority, but even after he came into his own. Louis, too, proved a largely acclaimed King – though he expended much money and effort on the Crusades
Crusades
The Crusades were a series of religious wars, blessed by the Pope and the Catholic Church with the main goal of restoring Christian access to the holy places in and near Jerusalem...

, only for it to go to waste, as a King of the Franks he was admired for his austerity, strength, bravery, justice, and his devotion to France. Dynastically, he established two notable Capetian Houses:the House of Anjou
Capetian House of Anjou
The Capetian House of Anjou, also known as the House of Anjou-Sicily and House of Anjou-Naples, was a royal house and cadet branch of the direct House of Capet. Founded by Charles I of Sicily, a son of Louis VIII of France, the Capetian king first ruled the Kingdom of Sicily during the 13th century...

 (which he created by bestowing the County of Anjou
Anjou
Anjou is a former county , duchy and province centred on the city of Angers in the lower Loire Valley of western France. It corresponds largely to the present-day département of Maine-et-Loire...

 upon his brother, Charles
Charles I of Sicily
Charles I , known also as Charles of Anjou, was the King of Sicily by conquest from 1266, though he had received it as a papal grant in 1262 and was expelled from the island in the aftermath of the Sicilian Vespers of 1282...

 (1227–1285)), and the House of Bourbon
House of Bourbon
The House of Bourbon is a European royal house, a branch of the Capetian dynasty . Bourbon kings first ruled Navarre and France in the 16th century. By the 18th century, members of the Bourbon dynasty also held thrones in Spain, Naples, Sicily, and Parma...

 (which he established by bestowing Clermont on his son Robert
Robert, Count of Clermont
Robert of France was made Count of Clermont in 1268. He was son of King Louis IX of France and Margaret of Provence...

 (1256–1317) in 1268, before marrying the young man to the heiress of Bourbon, Beatrix (1257–1310)); the first House would go on to rule Sicily
Kingdom of Sicily
The Kingdom of Sicily was a state that existed in the south of Italy from its founding by Roger II in 1130 until 1816. It was a successor state of the County of Sicily, which had been founded in 1071 during the Norman conquest of southern Italy...

, Naples
Kingdom of Naples
The Kingdom of Naples, comprising the southern part of the Italian peninsula, was the remainder of the old Kingdom of Sicily after secession of the island of Sicily as a result of the Sicilian Vespers rebellion of 1282. Known to contemporaries as the Kingdom of Sicily, it is dubbed Kingdom of...

, and Hungary
Kingdom of Hungary
The Kingdom of Hungary comprised present-day Hungary, Slovakia and Croatia , Transylvania , Carpatho Ruthenia , Vojvodina , Burgenland , and other smaller territories surrounding present-day Hungary's borders...

, suffering many tragedies
Tragedy (event)
A tragedy is an event in which one or more losses, usually of human life, occurs that is viewed as mournful. Such an event is said to be tragic....

 and disaster
Disaster
A disaster is a natural or man-made hazard that has come to fruition, resulting in an event of substantial extent causing significant physical damage or destruction, loss of life, or drastic change to the environment...

s on the way; the second would eventually succeed to the French thone, collecting Navarre
Kingdom of Navarre
The Kingdom of Navarre , originally the Kingdom of Pamplona, was a European kingdom which occupied lands on either side of the Pyrenees alongside the Atlantic Ocean....

 along the way.

Apogee of royal power

At the death of Louis IX (who shortly after was set upon the road to beatification
Beatification
Beatification is a recognition accorded by the Catholic Church of a dead person's entrance into Heaven and capacity to intercede on behalf of individuals who pray in his or her name . Beatification is the third of the four steps in the canonization process...

), France under the Capetians stood as the pre-eminent power in Western Europe. This stance was largely continued, if not furthered, by his son Philip III
Philip III of France
Philip III , called the Bold , was the King of France, succeeding his father, Louis IX, and reigning from 1270 to 1285. He was a member of the House of Capet.-Biography:...

 (1245–1285), and his son Philip IV
Philip IV of France
Philip the Fair was, as Philip IV, King of France from 1285 until his death. He was the husband of Joan I of Navarre, by virtue of which he was, as Philip I, King of Navarre and Count of Champagne from 1284 to 1305.-Youth:A member of the House of Capet, Philip was born at the Palace of...

 (1268–1314), both of whom ruled with the aid of advisors committed to the future of the House of Capet and of France, and both of whom made notable – for different reasons – dynastic marriages. Philip III married as his first wife Isabel
Isabella of Aragon
Isabella of Aragon , infanta of Aragon, was, by marriage, Queen consort of France in the Middle Ages from 1270 to 1271.-Life:...

 (1247–1271), a daughter of King James I of Aragon
James I of Aragon
James I the Conqueror was the King of Aragon, Count of Barcelona, and Lord of Montpellier from 1213 to 1276...

 (1208–1276); long after her death, he claimed the throne of Aragon for his second son, Charles
Charles of Valois
Charles of Valois was the fourth son of Philip III of France and Isabella of Aragon. His mother was a daughter of James I of Aragon and Yolande of Hungary. He was a member of the House of Capet and founded the House of Valois...

 (1270–1325), by virtue of Charles' descent via Isabel from the Kings of Aragon. Unfortunately for the Capetians, the endeavour proved a failure, and the King himself died of dysentery at Perpignan
Perpignan
-Sport:Perpignan is a rugby stronghold: their rugby union side, USA Perpignan, is a regular competitor in the Heineken Cup and seven times champion of the Top 14 , while their rugby league side plays in the engage Super League under the name Catalans Dragons.-Culture:Since 2004, every year in the...

, succeeded by his son, Philip IV.

Philip IV had married Jeanne
Joan I of Navarre
Joan I , the daughter of king Henry I of Navarre and Blanche of Artois, reigned as queen regnant of Navarre and also served as queen consort of France.-Life:...

 (1271–1305), the heiress of Navarre
Navarre
Navarre , officially the Chartered Community of Navarre is an autonomous community in northern Spain, bordering the Basque Country, La Rioja, and Aragon in Spain and Aquitaine in France...

 and Champagne
Champagne (province)
The Champagne wine region is a historic province within the Champagne administrative province in the northeast of France. The area is best known for the production of the sparkling white wine that bears the region's name...

. By this marriage, he added these domains to the French crown. He engaged in conflicts with the Papacy
Pope
The Pope is the Bishop of Rome, a position that makes him the leader of the worldwide Catholic Church . In the Catholic Church, the Pope is regarded as the successor of Saint Peter, the Apostle...

, eventually kidnapping Pope Boniface VIII
Pope Boniface VIII
Pope Boniface VIII , born Benedetto Gaetani, was Pope of the Catholic Church from 1294 to 1303. Today, Boniface VIII is probably best remembered for his feuds with Dante, who placed him in the Eighth circle of Hell in his Divina Commedia, among the Simonists.- Biography :Gaetani was born in 1235 in...

 (c.1235–1303), and securing the appointment of the more sympathetic Frenchman, Bertrand de Goth (1264–1314), as Pope Clement V
Pope Clement V
Pope Clement V, born Raymond Bertrand de Got was Pope from 1305 to his death...

; and he boosted the power and wealth of the crown by abolishing the Order of the Temple
Knights Templar
The Poor Fellow-Soldiers of Christ and of the Temple of Solomon , commonly known as the Knights Templar, the Order of the Temple or simply as Templars, were among the most famous of the Western Christian military orders...

, seizing its assets in 1307. More importantly to French history, he summoned the first Estates General
French States-General
In France under the Old Regime, the States-General or Estates-General , was a legislative assembly of the different classes of French subjects. It had a separate assembly for each of the three estates, which were called and dismissed by the king...

 – in 1302 – and in 1295 established the so-called "Auld Alliance
Auld Alliance
The Auld Alliance was an alliance between the kingdoms of Scotland and France. It played a significant role in the relations between Scotland, France and England from its beginning in 1295 until the 1560 Treaty of Edinburgh. The alliance was renewed by all the French and Scottish monarchs of that...

" with the Scots
Scotland
Scotland is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. Occupying the northern third of the island of Great Britain, it shares a border with England to the south and is bounded by the North Sea to the east, the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, and the North Channel and Irish Sea to the...

, at the time resisting English domination. He died in 1314, less than a year after the execution of the Templar leaders – it was said that he had been summoned to appear before God by Jacques de Molay
Jacques de Molay
Jacques de Molay was the 23rd and last Grand Master of the Knights Templar, leading the Order from 20 April 1292 until it was dissolved by order of Pope Clement V in 1312...

 (died 1314), the Grand Master
Grand Master (order)
Grand Master is the typical title of the supreme head of various orders of knighthood, including various military orders, religious orders and civil orders such as the Ancient Order of Hibernians and the Orange Order...

 of the Templars, as the latter was burnt at the stake as a heretic; it was also said that de Molay had cursed the King and his family.

The succession crisis

It was Philip IV who presided over the beginning of his House's end. The first quarter of the century saw each of Philip's sons reign in rapid succession: Louis X
Louis X of France
Louis X of France, , called the Quarreler, the Headstrong, or the Stubborn was the King of Navarre from 1305 and King of France from 1314 until his death...

 (1314–1316), Philip V
Philip V of France
Philip the Tall was King of France as Philip V and, as Philip II, King of Navarre and Count of Champagne. He reigned from 1316 to his death and was the penultimate monarch of the House of Capet. Considered a wise and politically astute ruler, Philip took the throne under questionable...

 (1316–1322) and Charles IV
Charles IV of France
Charles IV, known as the Fair , was the King of France and of Navarre and Count of Champagne from 1322 to his death: he was the last French king of the senior Capetian lineage....

 (1322–1328).

Having been informed that his daughters-in-law were engaging in adultery
Adultery
Adultery is sexual infidelity to one's spouse, and is a form of extramarital sex. It originally referred only to sex between a woman who was married and a person other than her spouse. Even in cases of separation from one's spouse, an extramarital affair is still considered adultery.Adultery is...

 with two knight
Knight
A knight was a member of a class of lower nobility in the High Middle Ages.By the Late Middle Ages, the rank had become associated with the ideals of chivalry, a code of conduct for the perfect courtly Christian warrior....

s – according to some sources, he was told this by his own daughter, Isabelle
Isabella of France
Isabella of France , sometimes described as the She-wolf of France, was Queen consort of England as the wife of Edward II of England. She was the youngest surviving child and only surviving daughter of Philip IV of France and Joan I of Navarre...

 – he allegedly caught two of them in the act in 1313, and had all three shut up in royal prisons. Margaret (1290–1315), the wife of his eldest son and heir, Louis Hutin
Louis X of France
Louis X of France, , called the Quarreler, the Headstrong, or the Stubborn was the King of Navarre from 1305 and King of France from 1314 until his death...

 (1289–1316), had borne her husband only a daughter at this time, and the paternity of this girl, Jeanne, was with her mother's adultery now suspect. Accordingly, Louis – unwilling to release his wife and return to their marriage – needed to remarry. He arranged a marriage with his cousin, Clementia of Hungary
Clémence d'Anjou
Clementia of Hungary , Queen consort of France and Navarre, was the second wife of King Louis X of France.-Biography:...

 (1293–1328), and after Queen Margaret conveniently died in 1315 (strangled by order of the King, some claimed), he swiftly remarried to Clementia. She was pregnant when he died a year later, after an unremarkable reign; uncertain of how to arrange the succession (the two main claimants being Louis' daughter Jeanne – the suspected bastard – and Louis' younger brother Philip
Philip V of France
Philip the Tall was King of France as Philip V and, as Philip II, King of Navarre and Count of Champagne. He reigned from 1316 to his death and was the penultimate monarch of the House of Capet. Considered a wise and politically astute ruler, Philip took the throne under questionable...

 (1293–1322), Comte de Poitou
Count of Poitiers
Among the people who have borne the title of Count of Poitiers are:*Guerin **Hatton **Renaud...

), the French set up a regency under the Comte de Poitou, and hoped that the child would be a boy. This proved the case, but the boy – John
John I of France
John I , called the Posthumous, was King of France and Navarre, and Count of Champagne, as the son and successor of Louis the Headstrong, for the five days he lived...

 (1316), known as the Posthumous – died after only 5 days, leaving a succession crisis. Eventually, it was decided based on several legal reasons (later reinterpreted as Salic Law
Salic law
Salic law was a body of traditional law codified for governing the Salian Franks in the early Middle Ages during the reign of King Clovis I in the 6th century...

) that Jeanne was ineligible to inherit the throne, which passed to the Comte de Poitou, who became Philip V. He, however, produced no surviving sons with his wife, Joan, Countess of Burgundy
Jeanne II, Countess of Burgundy
Joan II, Countess of Burgundy , also known Joan II, Countess Palatine of Burgundy, was the eldest daughter of Otto IV, Count of Burgundy, and his wife Mahaut, Countess of Artois. She was married to Philip V of France, the second son of King Philip IV of France, in 1307...

 (1291–1330), who had been cleared of her charges of adultery; thus, when he died in 1322, the crown passed to his brother, Charles
Charles IV of France
Charles IV, known as the Fair , was the King of France and of Navarre and Count of Champagne from 1322 to his death: he was the last French king of the senior Capetian lineage....

 (1294–1328), Comte de La Marche, who became Charles IV; the County of Burgundy
County of Burgundy
The Free County of Burgundy , was a medieval county , within the traditional province and modern French region Franche-Comté, whose very French name is still reminiscent of the unusual title of its count: Freigraf...

, brought to the Capetians by the marriage of Joan and Philip V, remained with Joan, and ceased to be part of the royal domains.

Charles IV swiftly divorced his adulterous wife, Blanche of Burgundy
Blanche of Burgundy
Blanche of Burgundy was queen of France and Navarre for a few months in 1322 due to her marriage to the future king Charles IV.-Biography:She was the daughter of Otto IV, Count of Burgundy and Mahaut, Countess of Artois...

 (c.1296–1326) (sister of Countess Joan), who had given him no surviving children, and who had been locked up since 1313; in her place, he married Marie of Luxembourg
Marie de Luxembourg, Queen of France
Marie of Luxembourg was Queen consort of France and Navarre, second wife of King Charles IV of France. She was the daughter of Emperor Henry VII and Margaret of Brabant. She was a member of the House of Luxembourg.-Family:...

 (1304–1324), a daughter of Emperor Henry VII
Henry VII, Holy Roman Emperor
Henry VII was the King of Germany from 1308 and Holy Roman Emperor from 1312. He was the first emperor of the House of Luxembourg...

 (c.1275–1313). Marie died in 1324, giving birth to a still-born son. He then remarried to his cousin, Jeanne d'Évreux
Jeanne d'Evreux
Jeanne d'Évreux was the third wife of King Charles IV of France, daughter of his uncle Louis d'Évreux and Margaret of Artois. She bore no male heir, thus "causing" the end of the direct line of the Capetian dynasty. Because she was his first cousin, the couple required papal permission to marry...

 (1310–1371), who however bore him only daughters; when he died in 1328, his only child was Marie, a daughter by Jeanne, and the unborn child his wife was pregnant with. Philip of Valois
Philip VI of France
Philip VI , known as the Fortunate and of Valois, was the King of France from 1328 to his death. He was also Count of Anjou, Maine, and Valois from 1325 to 1328...

 (1293–1350), Count of Anjou and Valois, Charles' cousin, was set up as regent; when the Queen produced a daughter, Blanche, Philip by assent of the great magnates became Philip VI, of the House of Valois, cadet branch of the Capetian Dynasty.

Last heirs

The last of the direct Capetians were the daughters of Philip IV's three sons, and Philip IV's daughter, Isabelle. Being females, they cannot transmit their Capetian status to their descendants. The wife of Edward II of England
Edward II of England
Edward II , called Edward of Caernarfon, was King of England from 1307 until he was deposed by his wife Isabella in January 1327. He was the sixth Plantagenet king, in a line that began with the reign of Henry II...

 (1284–1327), Isabelle (c.1295–1358) overthrew her husband in favour of her son (Edward III
Edward III of England
Edward III was King of England from 1327 until his death and is noted for his military success. Restoring royal authority after the disastrous reign of his father, Edward II, Edward III went on to transform the Kingdom of England into one of the most formidable military powers in Europe...

, 1312–1377) and her lover (Roger Mortimer, 1st Earl of March, 1287–1330), only for Edward III to execute Mortimer and have Isabelle removed from power. On the death of her brother, Charles IV, she claimed to be her father's heiress, and demanded the throne pass to her son (who as a male, an heir to Philip IV, and of adult age, was considered to have a good claim to the throne); however, her claim was refused, eventually providing a cause for the Hundred Years' War
Hundred Years' War
The Hundred Years' War was a series of separate wars waged from 1337 to 1453 by the House of Valois and the House of Plantagenet, also known as the House of Anjou, for the French throne, which had become vacant upon the extinction of the senior Capetian line of French kings...

.

Jeanne
Joan II of Navarre
Joan II was Queen of Navarre from 1328 until her death. She was the only daughter of Margaret of Burgundy, first wife of King Louis X of France...

 (1312–1349), the daughter of Louis X, succeeded on the death of Charles IV to the throne of Navarre, she now being – questions of paternity aside – the unquestioned heiress. She was the last direct Capetian ruler of that Kingdom, being succeeded by her son, Charles II of Navarre
Charles II of Navarre
Charles II , called "Charles the Bad", was King of Navarre 1349-1387 and Count of Évreux 1343-1387....

 (1332–1387); his father, Philip of Évreux
Philip III of Navarre
Philip III , called the Noble or the Wise, Count of Évreux and King of Navarre , was the second son of Louis of Évreux and Margaret of Artois and therefore a grandson of King Philip III of France...

 (1306–1343) had been a member of the Capetian House of Évreux
House of Évreux
The House of Évreux was a noble French family, a cadet branch of the Capetian dynasty, which flourished from the beginning of the 14th century to the mid 15th century. A branch of it came to rule the Kingdom of Navarre....

. Mother and son both claimed on several occasions the throne of France, and later the Duchy of Burgundy.

Of the daughters of Philip V and Joan of Burgundy, only the elder two proved significant. Joanna, Countess of Burgundy
Jeanne III, Countess of Burgundy
Joan of Burgundy , also known as Jeanne de Bourgogne or Jeanne de France, was the eldest daughter of King Philip V of France and Joan II of Burgundy....

 (1308–1349), married Eudes IV, Duke of Burgundy
Eudes IV, Duke of Burgundy
Odo IV, or Eudes IV was Duke of Burgundy from 1315 until his death and Count of Burgundy and Artois between 1330 and 1347. He was the second son of Duke Robert II and Agnes of France.-Life:...

 (1295–1350), uniting the Duchy and County of Burgundy. Her line became extinct with the death of her sole grandchild, Philip I, Duke of Burgundy
Philip I, Duke of Burgundy
Philip I of Burgundy, also Philip II of Palatine Burgundy, Philip III of Artois, Philip III of Boulogne and Auvergne, nicknamed Philip of Rouvres was Duke of Burgundy from 1350 until his death. Philip was the only son of Philip of Burgundy, heir to the Duchy of Burgundy, and Joanna I, Countess of...

 (1346–1361), whose death also served to break the union between the Burgundys once more. Her sister, Margaret (1310–1382), married Louis I
Louis I of Flanders
Louis I was Count of Flanders, Nevers and Rethel.-History:He was the son of Louis I, Count of Nevers, and Joan, Countess of Rethel, and grandson of Robert III of Flanders. He succeeded his father as count of Nevers and his grandfather as count of Flanders in 1322...

, Count of Flanders (1304–1346), and inherited the County of Burgundy after the death of Philip I; their granddaughter and heiress, Margaret of Dampierre
Margaret III, Countess of Flanders
Margaret of Dampierre was Countess of Flanders , Countess of Artois and Countess Palatine of Burgundy and twice Duchess consort of Burgundy...

 (1350–1405), married the son of John II of France
John II of France
John II , called John the Good , was the King of France from 1350 until his death. He was the second sovereign of the House of Valois and is perhaps best remembered as the king who was vanquished at the Battle of Poitiers and taken as a captive to England.The son of Philip VI and Joan the Lame,...

 (1319–1364), Philip II, Duke of Burgundy
Philip II, Duke of Burgundy
Philip the Bold , also Philip II, Duke of Burgundy , was the fourth and youngest son of King John II of France and his wife, Bonne of Luxembourg. By his marriage to Margaret III, Countess of Flanders, he also became Count Philip II of Flanders, Count Philip IV of Artois and Count-Palatine Philip IV...

 (1342–1404), uniting the two domains once more.

Of Charles IV's children, only Blanche (1328–1392) – the youngest, the baby whose birth marked the end of the House of Capet – survived childhood. She married Philip of Valois, Duke of Orléans
Philip of Valois, Duke of Orléans
Philip of Valois , Duke of Orléans, of Touraine and Count of Valois, the fifth son of Philip VI of France of Valois, King of France, and Joan the Lame....

 (1336–1376), the son of Philip VI, but they produced no children. With her death in 1392, the House of Capet finally came to an end.

"Citizen Louis Capet"

During the French Revolution
French Revolution
The French Revolution , sometimes distinguished as the 'Great French Revolution' , was a period of radical social and political upheaval in France and Europe. The absolute monarchy that had ruled France for centuries collapsed in three years...

, when King Louis XVI was deposed and France declared a republic, he was given the name "Citizen Louis Capet" – a usage which implied that the House of Bourbon
House of Bourbon
The House of Bourbon is a European royal house, a branch of the Capetian dynasty . Bourbon kings first ruled Navarre and France in the 16th century. By the 18th century, members of the Bourbon dynasty also held thrones in Spain, Naples, Sicily, and Parma...

 had been illegitimate usurpers all along.

The former king protested that "Capet" was not his name, though it had been that of some of his remote ancestors. His protests were, however, ignored by the revolutionaries. It was as "Citizen Louis Capet" that he was officially known in the last year of his life, and under this name he was finally sentenced to death and executed.

List of Direct Capetian kings of France

  • 987–996, Hugh Capet (Hugues Capet), Count of Paris, crowned King of the Franks
  • 996–1031, Robert II
    Robert II of France
    Robert II , called the Pious or the Wise , was King of France from 996 until his death. The second reigning member of the House of Capet, he was born in Orléans to Hugh Capet and Adelaide of Aquitaine....

    , the Pious (Robert II le Pieux)
  • 1031–1060, Henry I
    Henry I of France
    Henry I was King of France from 1031 to his death. The royal demesne of France reached its smallest size during his reign, and for this reason he is often seen as emblematic of the weakness of the early Capetians...

     (Henri Ier)
  • 1060–1108, Philip I
    Philip I of France
    Philip I , called the Amorous, was King of France from 1060 to his death. His reign, like that of most of the early Direct Capetians, was extraordinarily long for the time...

     (Philippe Ier)
  • 1108–1137, Louis VI
    Louis VI of France
    Louis VI , called the Fat , was King of France from 1108 until his death . Chronicles called him "roi de Saint-Denis".-Reign:...

    , the Fat (Louis VI le Gros)
  • 1137–1180, Louis VII
    Louis VII of France
    Louis VII was King of France, the son and successor of Louis VI . He ruled from 1137 until his death. He was a member of the House of Capet. His reign was dominated by feudal struggles , and saw the beginning of the long rivalry between France and England...

    , the Young (Louis VII le Jeune)
  • 1180–1223, Philip II Augustus
    Philip II of France
    Philip II Augustus was the King of France from 1180 until his death. A member of the House of Capet, Philip Augustus was born at Gonesse in the Val-d'Oise, the son of Louis VII and his third wife, Adela of Champagne...

    , the God-Given (Philippe II Auguste Dieudonné)
  • 1223–1226, Louis VIII
    Louis VIII of France
    Louis VIII the Lion 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 Artois, inheriting the county from his mother, from 1190–1226...

    , the Lion (Louis VIII le Lion)
  • 1226–1270, Louis IX
    Louis IX of France
    Louis IX , commonly Saint Louis, was King of France from 1226 until his death. He was also styled Louis II, Count of Artois from 1226 to 1237. Born at Poissy, near Paris, he was an eighth-generation descendant of Hugh Capet, and thus a member of the House of Capet, and the son of Louis VIII and...

    , the Saint, ("Saint Louis") (Louis IX le Saint, Saint Louis)
  • 1270–1285, Philip III
    Philip III of France
    Philip III , called the Bold , was the King of France, succeeding his father, Louis IX, and reigning from 1270 to 1285. He was a member of the House of Capet.-Biography:...

    , the Bold (Philippe III le Hardi)
  • 1285–1314, Philip IV
    Philip IV of France
    Philip the Fair was, as Philip IV, King of France from 1285 until his death. He was the husband of Joan I of Navarre, by virtue of which he was, as Philip I, King of Navarre and Count of Champagne from 1284 to 1305.-Youth:A member of the House of Capet, Philip was born at the Palace of...

    , the Fair (Philippe IV le Bel)
  • 1314–1316, Louis X
    Louis X of France
    Louis X of France, , called the Quarreler, the Headstrong, or the Stubborn was the King of Navarre from 1305 and King of France from 1314 until his death...

    , the Quarrelsome (Louis X le Hutin)
  • 1316–1316, John I
    John I of France
    John I , called the Posthumous, was King of France and Navarre, and Count of Champagne, as the son and successor of Louis the Headstrong, for the five days he lived...

    , the Posthumous (Jean Ier le Posthume)
  • 1316–1322, Philip V
    Philip V of France
    Philip the Tall was King of France as Philip V and, as Philip II, King of Navarre and Count of Champagne. He reigned from 1316 to his death and was the penultimate monarch of the House of Capet. Considered a wise and politically astute ruler, Philip took the throne under questionable...

    , the Tall (Philippe V le Long)
  • 1322–1328, Charles IV
    Charles IV of France
    Charles IV, known as the Fair , was the King of France and of Navarre and Count of Champagne from 1322 to his death: he was the last French king of the senior Capetian lineage....

    , the Fair (Charles IV le Bel)

See also

  • List of French monarchs
  • Kings of France family tree
  • France in the Middle Ages
    France in the Middle Ages
    France in the Middle Ages covers an area roughly corresponding to modern day France, from the death of Louis the Pious in 840 to the middle of the 15th century...

  • Capetian Dynasty
    Capetian dynasty
    The Capetian dynasty , also known as the House of France, is the largest and oldest European royal house, consisting of the descendants of King Hugh Capet of France in the male line. Hugh Capet himself was a cognatic descendant of the Carolingians and the Merovingians, earlier rulers of France...


External links


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