Louis XI of France

Louis XI. Kluge (French Louis XI le prudent (the " Cautious " ), le rusé ( " the Cunning " ) or l' araignée ( " the spider "); * July 3, 1423 in Bourges, † August 30, 1483 on Castle Plessis- lès -Tours ), King of France from 1461 to 1483.


Louis XI. was the eldest son of King Charles VII the Victorious of France and his wife Marie d' Anjou. He was baptized in the Cathedral of Saint Etienne in Bourges by William of Champeaux, Bishop of Laon, his godfather was Duke John II of Alençon.

Ludwig was from his youth a domineering, while treacherous character, appeared as a declared enemy of his father and his mistress, Agnès Sorel, and stood in 1440 even to the top of Praguerie, a compound of the Great against the minions of his father. The rebels were defeated by Karl soon, but Ludwig pardoned and 1442-1443 entrusted with the command against the English and Swiss. In the following battles he showed bravery and wisdom. Also participating in a new conspiracy against the king was forgiven him of this; however it was 1456 again a rift between father and son, and Louis went to live at the court of the Duke of Burgundy. When he fell to the crown after the death of his father in 1461, met the old councils severe persecution and the Great ruthless humiliation, including the houses of Burgundy and Brittany, which in 1465 a coalition of the nobility ( the Ligue du Bien public) led, headed his brother Charles of Berry ( Charles de Berry ) and Charles the Bold (Charles le Téméraire ), later Duke of Burgundy, were. After the indecisive battle of Montlhery (south of Paris) had to make Louis the Great considerable concessions.

1468 Ludwig came in Peronne in the captivity of Charles the Bold and had to get rid of the humiliating Treaty of Peronne and attend the bloody suppression of the revolt of Liege, he himself had instigated. Hardly free again, he renewed with the Duke of Burgundy Handel, which lasted now to 1472. Entered in this year Philippe de Commynes ( Philippe Chevalier de Commynes ( Commines ), Seigneur d' Argenton, 1447-1511 ) in the service of the King and was henceforth the main tool of its policy. During Charles the Bold formed an alliance for the conquest of France with Edward IV of England, Ludwig joined with the Swiss and Renatus of Anjou, Duke of Lorraine, Count of Provence and titular King of Naples. After the death of Charles the Bold (1477 ) Ludwig took the Burgundian towns in Picardy, Artois, Flanders, Hainaut and the Duchy of Burgundy opened as a fief; the rest of the inheritance escaped him by the marriage of Mary of Burgundy with Maximilian. Some other important acquisitions made ​​Ludwig by this brought Renatus of Anjou, use the childless Charles II, Count of Maine heir. The latter died in 1481, and now Ludwig took the County of Provence and Forcalquier and Anjou and Maine as escheated fief confiscated. ( 1473, 1479 and 1481 ) plagued in recent years of terrifying fantasy formations and several percussion rivers, he joined in the celebrations Plessis- lès -Tours, and died there five days after his fourth stroke on 30 August 1483rd was buried the king in Notre- Dame de Clery in Orléans.

Ludwig was one of the best informed men of his century, wise and firm, worked tirelessly and just where were not the interests of his power in the game, but then cruelly. So he locked his treason accused minister, the Cardinal Jean de La Balue, an eleven years in a castle. However, He was in the highest degree suspicious and cynical about him araignée the nickname l' or l' universal araignée - " the spider " or the " universal spider " earned. " Those who can not pretend, can not prevail ," he used to say. He surrounded himself, to make himself independent of the Great, by preference with servants of the lower classes, such as Olivier le Daim ( called Oliver le mauvais, " the bad", or Oliver le Diable, "the devil " ), his barber, his " godfather " Tristan inter alia His services to France are very significant. He destroyed the great vassal states within the empire, and extended the royal dominion to the Pyrenees, the Alps and the Jura. He encouraged trade and industry, in particular the agricultural and mining, set up a regular post, summoned to meetings of the State Council judicious men, left the estates of the realm in a single meeting, the third mixed with the two privileged, advice, gave the municipalities are free to choose their overseer was, extremely economical in the use of public funds and lived very simply. Under his government tax revenue rose to nearly 5 million livres.

In 1461, he pushed through the repeal of by his father in 1438 adopted (along with Cardinal Jean de La Balue ) " Pragmatic Sanction of Bourges " without the consent of the Parliaments'. But Pope Sixtus IV drew him (1471-1484) with the consecrated sword and hat for Christmas 1462. Ludwig concluded a concordat with Sixtus IV to determine the bishops by the king of France. He lay down, with papal approval, the first time the title rex christianissimus ( most Christian king) to 1469 and founded the Ordre de Saint- Michel, the first French Knights. As a friend of Sciences, he expressed himself through the establishment of book printing, Reformation of the University of Paris, founded and calling other Greek scholar. Also believed to be mainly responsible for the destruction of the Coquillards. Louis XI. - Equipped with a clear view of its political advantages, and often favored by fortune - became the forerunner of royal absolutism and centralism in France.


He was married in first marriage with Margaret of Scotland, his second wife he married on November 14, 1451 Charlotte of Savoy, with whom he had the following children:

  • Louis ( born October 18, 1467 in 1458/Mai Genappe, Belgium, † 1460/Mai 1467 )
  • Joachim (* July 15, 1459 in Genappe † November 29, 1459 in Halle, near Brussels )
  • Louise (* May 1460, † 1460 )
  • Anne (* April 1461, † November 14, 1522 )
  • Jeanne (* April 23, 1464; † February 4, 1505 )
  • François ( 1) (* / † December 4, 1466, lived only four hours), Dauphin
  • Charles VIII (* June 30, 1470, † April 7, 1498 ), Dauphin
  • François ( 2) (* September 3, 1472; † July 1473 )

In addition, he was out of his relations with Phélise Regnard and Marguerite de Sassenage nor father of illegitimate daughters:

  • Guyette (1445-1502)
  • Jeanne (1447-1519)
  • Marie (1449-1469)
  • Isabelle