The Online Encyclopedia and Dictionary






Louis of Valois, Duke of Orléans

Louis de Valois (March 13 1372November 23 1407) was Duke of Orléans from 1392 to his death. He was also Count and afterwards Duke of Valois , Duke of Touraine (1386-1392), Count of Blois (1391-1407), Dunois, Angoulême (1404-1407), Périgord, Dreux and Soissons. Louis was son of King Charles V of France and Joanna of Bourbon and younger brother of Charles VI. In 1389, Louis married Valentina Visconti, daughter of Gian Galeazzo, Duke of Milan.

Louis had an important political role during the Hundred Years' War. With the increasing insanity of his elder brother Charles the Mad (who suffered from bipolar disorder), Louis disputed the regency and guardianship of the royal children with John the Fearless, Duke of Burgundy. The enmity between the two was public and a source of political unrest in the already troubled France. Louis had the initial advantage, being of royal blood, but his character and rumour of an affair with consort queen Isabella of Bavaria-Ingolstadt made him extremely unpopular. For the following years, the children of Charles VI were successively kidnapped and recovered by both parts, until the Duke of Burgundy managed to be appointed by royal decree guardian of the dauphin and regent of France.

Louis did not gave up and took every effort to sabotage John's rule, including squandering the money raised for the relieve of Calais, then occupied by the English. After this episode, John and Louis broke into open threats and only the intervention of John of Valois, Duke of Berry and uncle of both men, avoided a civil war. On November 20 1407 a solemn reconciliation was vowed in front of the court of France, but only three days later, Louis was assassinated in the streets of Paris, under orders of the Duke of Burgundy.

Louis' descendents

By his marriage with Valentina Visconti:

  • Charles, Duke of Orléans (1391-1465), father of King Louis XII of France
  • Philip, Count of Vertus (1396-1420)
  • John, Count of Angouleme (1400-1467), grandfather of King Francis I of France
  • Margaret, Countess of Vertus (1406-1466), married Richard of Brittany, Count of Etampes
  • plus four boys and two girls, who died in childhood

His illegitimate son John of Orléans is the ancestor of the Dukes of Longueville

Last updated: 05-16-2005 15:08:34