Louis XII of France

Louis XII
Portrait by workshop of Jean Perréal, c. 1514
King of France
Reign7 April 1498 – 1 January 1515
Coronation27 May 1498
PredecessorCharles VIII
SuccessorFrancis I
Duke of Milan
Reign6 September 1499 – 16 June 1512
PredecessorLudovico Sforza
SuccessorMassimiliano Sforza
King of Naples
Reign2 August 1501 – 31 January 1504
SuccessorFerdinand III
Born27 June 1462
Château de Blois
Died1 January 1515(1515-01-01) (aged 52)
Hôtel des Tournelles
Joan of France (m. 1476)

Mary of England (m. 1514)
among others...
Claude, Queen of France
Renée, Duchess of Ferrara
FatherCharles, Duke of Orléans
MotherMarie of Cleves
ReligionRoman Catholicism

Louis XII (27 June 1462 – 1 January 1515) was King of France from 1498 to 1515 and King of Naples from 1501 to 1504. The son of Charles, Duke of Orléans, and Maria of Cleves, he succeeded his cousin Charles VIII, who died without a closer heir in 1498. Louis was the eighth French king from the House of Valois, and the first from the Orléans branch of that dynasty.

Before his accession to the throne of France, he was known as Louis of Orléans and was compelled to be married to his disabled and supposedly sterile cousin Joan by his second cousin, King Louis XI. By doing so, Louis XI hoped to extinguish the Orléans cadet branch of the House of Valois.[1][2]

Louis of Orléans was one of the great feudal lords who opposed the French monarchy in the conflict known as the Mad War. At the royal victory in the Battle of Saint-Aubin-du-Cormier in 1488, Louis was captured, but Charles VIII pardoned him and released him. He subsequently took part in the Italian War of 1494–1498 as one of the French commanders.

When Louis XII became king in 1498, he had his marriage with Joan annulled by Pope Alexander VI and instead married Anne of Brittany, the widow of his cousin Charles VIII. This marriage allowed Louis to reinforce the personal Union of Brittany and France.

Louis persevered in the Italian Wars, initiating a second Italian campaign for the control of the Kingdom of Naples. Louis conquered the Duchy of Milan in 1500 and pushed forward to the Kingdom of Naples, which fell to him in 1501. Proclaimed King of Naples, Louis faced a new coalition gathered by Ferdinand II of Aragon and was forced to cede Naples to Spain in 1504.

Louis XII did not encroach on the power of local governments or the privileges of the nobility, in opposition with the long tradition of the French kings to attempt to impose absolute monarchy in France. A popular king, Louis was proclaimed "Father of the People" (French: Le Père du Peuple) in 1506 by the Estates-General of Tours for his reduction of the tax known as taille, legal reforms, and civil peace within France.

Louis, who remained Duke of Milan after the second Italian War, was interested in further expansion in the Italian Peninsula and launched a third Italian War (1508–1516), which was marked by the military prowess of the Chevalier de Bayard.

Louis XII died in 1515 without a male heir. He was succeeded by his cousin Francis from the Angoulême cadet branch of the House of Valois.

Early life

Louis d'Orléans was born on 27 June 1462 in the Château de Blois, Touraine (in the modern French department of Loir-et-Cher).[3] The son of Charles, Duke of Orléans, and Marie of Cleves, he succeeded his father as Duke of Orléans in the year 1465.[4]

Louis XI, who had become king of France in 1461, became highly distrustful of the close relationship between the Orleanists and the Burgundians and began to oppose the idea of an Orleanist ever coming to the throne of France.[5] However, Louis XI may have been more influenced in this opinion by his opposition to the entire Orleanist faction of the royal family than by the actual facts of this paternity case.[clarification needed] Despite any alleged doubts that King Louis XI may have had, the King, nevertheless, became "godfather" of the newborn.[5]

King Louis XI died on 30 August 1483.[6] He was succeeded to the throne of France by his thirteen (13) year-old son, Charles VIII.[7] Nobody knew the direction which the new king (or more accurately his regent and oldest sister, Anne of France) would take in leading the kingdom. Accordingly, on 24 October 1483, a call went out for a convocation of the Estates General of the French kingdom.[8] In January 1484, deputies of the Estates General began to arrive in Tours, France. The deputies represented three different "estates" in society. The First Estate was the Church; in France this meant the Roman Catholic Church. The Second Estate was composed of the nobility and the royalty of France. The Third Estate was generally composed of commoners and the class of traders and merchants in France. Louis, the current Duke of Orleans and future Louis XII, attended as part of the Second Estate. Each estate brought their chief complaints to the Estates General in hopes to have some impact on the policies that the new King would pursue.

The First Estate (the Church) wanted a return to the "Pragmatic Sanction".[9] The Pragmatic Sanction had been first instituted by King Charles VII, the current King Charles VIII's grandfather. The Pragmatic Sanction eliminated the papacy from the process of appointing bishops and abbots in France. Instead, these positions would be filled by appointment made by the cathedrals and monastery chapters themselves.[9] All church prelates within France would be appointed by the King of France without reference to the pope.

The deputies representing the Second Estate (the nobility) at the Estates General of 1484 wanted all foreigners to be prohibited from command positions in the military.[9] The deputies of the Third Estate (the merchants and traders) wanted taxes to be drastically reduced and that the revenue needs of the crown be met by reducing royal pensions and the number offices.[9] All three of the estates were in agreement on the demand for an end to the sale of government offices.[9] By 7 March 1484, the King announced that he was leaving Tours because of poor health. Five days later the deputies were told that there was no more money to pay their salaries, and the Estates General meekly concluded its business and went home. The Estates General of 1484 is called, by historians, the most important Estates General until the Estates General of 1789.[10] Important as they were, many of the reforms suggested at the meeting of the Estates General were not immediately adopted. Rather the reforms would only be acted on when Louis XII came to the throne.

Since Charles VIII was only thirteen years of age when he became king, his older sister Anne was to serve as regent until Charles VIII became 20 years old. From 1485 through 1488, there was another war against the royal authority of France conducted by a collections of nobles. This war was the Mad War (1485-1488), Louis's war against Anne.[11] Allied with Francis II, Duke of Brittany, Louis confronted the royal army at the Battle of Saint-Aubin-du-Cormier on 28 July 1488 but was defeated and captured.[12] Pardoned three years later, Louis joined his cousin King Charles VIII in campaigns in Italy.[13]

All four children of Charles VIII died in infancy. The French interpretation of the Salic Law permitted claims to the French throne only by male agnatic descendants of French kings. This made Louis, the great-grandson of King Charles V, the most senior claimant as heir of Charles VIII. Thus, Louis, Duke of Orleans, succeeded to the throne on 7 April 1498 as Louis XII upon the death of King Charles VIII.[14]

Other Languages
azərbaycanca: XII Lüdovik
Bân-lâm-gú: Louis 12-sè
беларуская: Людовік XII
беларуская (тарашкевіца)‎: Людовік XII (кароль Францыі)
български: Луи XII
čeština: Ludvík XII.
Deutsch: Ludwig XII.
eesti: Louis XII
français: Louis XII
한국어: 루이 12세
Bahasa Indonesia: Louis XII dari Prancis
íslenska: Loðvík 12.
ქართული: ლუი XII
latviešu: Luijs XII
lietuvių: Liudvikas XII
македонски: Луј XII
مازِرونی: لوئی دوازدهم
Piemontèis: Luis XII
polski: Ludwik XII
русский: Людовик XII
Simple English: Louis XII of France
slovenčina: Ľudovít XII.
slovenščina: Ludvik XII. Francoski
српски / srpski: Луј XII
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Louis XII od Francuske
suomi: Ludvig XII
Türkçe: XII. Louis
українська: Людовик XII
Tiếng Việt: Louis XII của Pháp
吴语: 路易十二
粵語: 路易十二
中文: 路易十二