Philip VI of Valois (French: Philippe VI de Valois) (1293 - August 22, 1350) was King of France from 1328 to 1350. He was the son of Charles of Valois and would become the first king of the Valois Dynasty.
In 1328, King Charles IV of France died without a direct male descendant, however leaving his wife pregnant. Philippe was one of the two chief claimants to the throne along with King Edward III of England whose mother, Isabella of France, was the late King Charles' sister. Philippe ascended to the crown based on Salic law which forbade females and those descended in the female line to succeed to the throne. After the previous queen gave birth to a girl, Philip was crowned on May 27, 1328 at the Cathedral in Reims.
In July, 1313, Philippe had married Jeanne of Burgundy (Joan the Lame), daughter of duke Robert II and princess Agnes of France, the youngest daughter of King Saint Louis of France. In an ironic twist to his ascendancy to the throne, the intelligent, strong-willed Joan was said to be the brains behind the throne and the real ruler of France.
Their children were:
After Joan died in 1348, Philippe VI married Blanche d'Evreux, princess of Navarre, on January 11, 1350. They had one daughter: Jeanne (1351 - 1371).
The reign of Philippe VI was punctuated with crises, many of which were the result of defeats on the battlefield, in particular at the Battle of l'Ecluse in 1340 and again at Crécy in 1346. In 1348 the bubonic plague struck, killing one-third of the entire population. The labor shortage caused inflation to soar and the king attempted to fix prices, further de-stabilizing the country. On his death, France was still very much a divided country filled with social unrest.
King Philippe VI died at Nogent-le-roi , Eure-et-Loir on August 22, 1350 and is interred with his wife, Blanche de Navarre (1330 - 1398) in Saint Denis Basilica. He was succeeded by the son of Jeanne of Burgundy, Jean II.
See also: Hundred Years' War
Last updated: 02-09-2005 10:56:06
Last updated: 05-03-2005 17:50:55