Online Encyclopedia Search Tool

Your Online Encyclopedia


Online Encylopedia and Dictionary Research Site

Online Encyclopedia Free Search Online Encyclopedia Search    Online Encyclopedia Browse    welcome to our free dictionary for your research of every kind

Online Encyclopedia

Louis XI of France

Louis XI (July 3, 1423 - August 30, 1483) was a King of France (1461 - 1483). He was the son of Charles VII of France and Mary of Anjou . He was a member of the Valois Dynasty and was one of the most successful kings of France in terms of uniting the country. His 22-year reign was marked by political machinations, resulting in his being given the nickname of the "Spider King".

Born at Bourges, Cher, Louis despised his father and attempted to depose him on several occasions. However, it was only on his father's death in 1461 that he was able to take the throne.

His marriage on June 24, 1436 to Margaret, daughter of King James I of Scotland, gave Louis XI an interest in English affairs, and he schemed to restore King Henry VI of England and his Lancastrian heir to the throne - partly because his arch-enemy, Charles the Bold of Burgundy was allied with the Yorkists. Louis gained the upper hand in his feud with Charles, and brought about his death in 1477. A candid account of some of Louis' activities is given by the courtier, Philippe de Commines, in his Memoires of the period.

King Louis XI married strategically a second time on February 14, 1451 to eight-year-old Charlotte of Savoy (1443- December 1, 1483). Their marriage would not be consummated until she was fourteen and their children were:

By war, by cunning and with sheer guile, Louis XI overcame France's feudal lords and at the time of his death in the chateau at Plessis-lez-Tours , he had united France and laid the foundations of a strong monarchy.

Louis XI was a superstitious man who surrounded himself with astrologers. Interested in science, he once pardoned a man sentenced to death on condition that he serve as a guinea pig in a gallstone operation.

Louis XI was succeeded by his son, Charles VIII.

Preceded by:
Charles VII
King of France Succeeded by:
Charles VIII

Last updated: 10-31-2004 16:11:41