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Louis XII of France

Louis XII, King of France Father of the People (June 27, 1462 - January 1, 1515) was King of France from 1498-January 1, 1515.



Louis XII, King of France was born on June 27, 1462 in the Chateau de Blois, France. The son of Charles, duc d'Orleans and Mary of Cleves , he succeeded his father as Duke of Orleans in 1465.


In 1476 Louis was required to marry the pious, but disabled Jeanne of France (1464-1505), the daughter of his second cousin, Louis XI, King of France. After Louis’s predecessor Charles VIII, King of France died childless, this marriage was later annulled in order to allow Louis to marry Charles’ widow, Anne of Brittany (1477-1514), the heiress and daughter of Francis I of Brittany in a strategic design meant to alley the French Monarchy with the duchy of Brittany. After Anne's death, Louis married Mary Tudor (1496-1533), the sister of Henry VIII, King of England in Abbeville, France on October 9, 1514 in an attempt to conceive an heir to his throne, but was unsuccessful.


Louis' only marriage which produced any issue was his second, with Anne of Brittany. By her he had two surviving daughters, Claude of France, who married Francis I, King of France (1499 - 1524), and Renee of France (1510 - 1575).

Notable Events

In an attempt to make good his claim to the duchy of Milan, Louis led several invasions of Italy. He successfully secured Milan in 1499 from his enemy Ludovico Sforza, and it remained a French stronghold until 1511 when Pope Julius II formed the Holy League to oppose the French ambition in Italy. The French were eventually driven from Milan by the Swiss in 1513.

Louis also pursued Charles VIII's claim to the kingdom of Naples with Ferdinand II, King of Aragon. Each power took a partition of this kingdom during the Treaty of Granada (1500), but were eventually at war over the partitioning and by 1504 France had lost their share of Naples.


Louis proved to be a popular king, introducing reforms in the judicial system and reducing taxes. These reforms and his caring nature earned him the epithet Father of the People. He died on January 1, 1515 and was interred in Saint Denis Basilica. Louis XII, King of France was succeeded by his son-in-law, Francis I, King of France.

Preceded by:
Charles VIII
King of France Succeeded by:
Francis I
Preceded by:
Frederick II
King of Naples Succeeded by:
Ferdinand III

Last updated: 10-24-2004 05:10:45