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Catherine of France, Countess of Charolais

Catherine of France (1428 – 13 July 1446) was a French princess and a countess of Charolais, the first spouse to Charles I, Duke of Burgundy. She was the fourth child and second daughter of Charles VII of France and Marie of Anjou.

Catherine of France
Countess consort of Charolais
Portrait of Catherine of Valois, countess of Charolais.jpg
Born1428
Died13 July 1446 (aged 17–18)
SpouseCharles, Count of Charolais
HouseValois
FatherCharles VII of France
MotherMarie of Anjou
ReligionRoman Catholicism

LifeEdit

Catherine was betrothed to Charles, Count of Charolais, the Burgundian heir, in accordance with the Treaty of Arras between France and Burgundy from 1435. In 1438, Charles visited the French court with an embassy and formally proposed to Catherine. On 11 June 1439, the couple was officially betrothed at St. Omer, and on May 19, 1440, the wedding was conducted at Blois. The bride was aged 12, the groom 7. They had no children. Reportedly, Catherine and Charles had a friendly relationship, but due to her youth, Catherine did not live with Charles but was handed over to the care of her spouse's mother Isabella of Portugal, Duchess of Burgundy, with whom she apparently got along very well, being treated like a substitute daughter. Catherine was described as intelligent, kind and charming and was well liked in Burgundy, but the frequent travelling she was expected to do in parallel to adjusting to the formal court etiquette, which was required at the Burgundian court, described as one of the most elaborate in Europe and constantly moving about between the cities of the Low Countries in a cold climate, was reportedly exhausting for Catherine's delicate health. She fell ill with violent coughing in 1446 and died with what was likely tuberculosis.

ReferencesEdit

  • Ruth Putnam, “Charles the Bold”
  • Aline S. Taylor, “Isabel of Burgundy: The Duchess Who Played Politics in the Age of Joan of Arc, 1397-1471”

AncestryEdit

Catherine of France, Countess of Charolais
Cadet branch of the Capetian dynasty
Born: 1428 Died: 13 July 1446
Preceded by
Isabel of Portugal
Countess consort of Charolais
19 May 1440 – 13 July 1446
Succeeded by
Isabella of Bourbon