Charles Martin (10 November 1433 – 5 January 1477), called The Bold[a], was the last Duke of Burgundy from the Burgundian cadet branch of the House of Valois from 1467 to 1477. He was the only legitimate son of Philip the Good and his third wife, Isabella of Portugal. Appointed as the Count of Charolais upon his birth, Charles vied for power and influence even before succeeding his father. He had a deep-rooted rivalry with Louis XI, the King of France, which was the cause of many disputes and events during his life, starting with the War of the Public Weal, a revolt of French vassals under the leadership of Charles.

Charles the Bold
Charles the Bold in about 1460, wearing the collar of the Order of the Golden Fleece, painted by Rogier van der Weyden
Duke of Burgundy
Reign15 June 1467 – 5 January 1477
PredecessorPhilip the Good
SuccessorMary the Rich
Born10 November 1433
Dijon, Burgundy
Died5 January 1477(1477-01-05) (aged 43)
Nancy, Lorraine
(m. 1440; d. 1446)
(m. 1454; d. 1465)
(m. 1468)
IssueMary the Rich
Charles Martin
FatherPhilip the Good
MotherIsabella of Portugal
ReligionRoman Catholicism
SignatureCharles the Bold's signature

After ascension to the Duchy of Burgundy in 1467, Charles began pursuing his ambitions: independence from France and forging a kingdom from the North Sea in the north to the borders of Savoy in the south. For this purpose, he added Guelders and Upper Alsace into his realm; tried to become the King of the Romans; and gradually became an enemy of the Germans. Charles forged many alliances, marrying Edward IV's sister, Margaret of York, for an English alliance and arranging the betrothal between his sole child, Mary, with Maximilian, the son of the Holy Roman Emperor, Frederick III.

As a patron of the arts, he supported the production of illuminated manuscripts and music, himself being a composer and musician. His court was famously seen as a centre of arts, chivalry and etiquette. It would keep this reputation even after his death. He was obsessed with order and regulation and wrote many ordinances throughout his rule, dictating military matters, legislations, and diplomacy to the smallest of detail. A religious person, his patron saint was Saint George and he was asked constantly by the Pope and the Venetians to undertake a crusade against the Ottoman Turks.

Towards the end of his life, Charles became engaged in a multi-national conflict called the Burgundian War (1474–1477), during which he tried to protect his rights over Upper Alsace and also annex lands belonging to the Swiss Confederacy. After his unsuccessful siege of Neuss, he confronted the Swiss in the battles of Grandson and Morat, both of which ended in defeat. He was killed during the Battle of Nancy on 5 January 1477, fighting against René II of Lorraine and his Swiss army. His death brought an end to the prestigious Burgundian state, and his dynasty ended five years later after the death of his daughter, Mary of Burgundy, who was succeeded by her son, Philip of Austria.



House of Valois-Burgundy was begun with Philip the Bold, the fourth son of John II, King of France. Philip became the Duke of Burgundy in 1363.[2] In 1369, Philip married Margaret of Male, the heiress of Louis II, Count of Flanders, who brought with her dowry the wealthy lands of Flanders, Rethel, Antwerp, and Mechelen, along with the territories bordering on Flanders and Burgundy: the counties of Artois, Franche-Comté, and the county of Nevers.[2] Philip expanded his influence in the Low Countries further by contracting marriage alliances; he was also heavily involved in the royal court of France, especially after the death of his brother, Charles V, and during the troublesome reign of his successor, Charles VI.[3] When Philip died in 27 April 1404, his lands were divided between his three sons, John, Anthony, and Philip. John the Fearless, Philip the Bold's eldest son, inherited the Duchy of Burgundy, and less than a year later, in 1405, with the death of his mother, the major part of his maternal inheritance. Anthony became the Duke of Brabant through his marriage to the Duchess, Jeanne of Saint-Pol and the youngest son, also Philip, inherited Nevers and Rethel from his mother.[4] The division of his father's lands reduced John's income by 14.3 percent with his levies' payment falling to one-third of their former levels. Between 1404 and 1407, his treasury virtually emptied.[5] As a result, John was forced to borrow money, requesting loans from government employees, his richest subjects, his towns and from Italian bankers, such as Dino Rapondi from Lucca, who backed him.[6]

John was probably attracted by the possibility of strengthening his position in the French court, as his father had. To restore his influence, John began a rivalry with the king's brother, Louis of Orleans, who controlled the treasury.[7] The rivalry between the two eventually led to the assassination of Louis on the order of John on 23 November 1407,[8] which started the twenty-eight-year-long Armagnac–Burgundian Civil War. At first, John had the upper hand, however, by 1410 opposition—centred around Charles, the son of the dead Louis—became increasingly powerful. John was murdered by his opponents on 10 September 1419, during a meeting with the dauphin of France, the future Charles VII.[9]

John was succeeded by his only son, Philip the Good, who had ruled over his father's domains in Burgundy while John was preoccupied with French politics.[10] Unlike his father and grandfather, Philip chose to distance himself from French politics. Instead, he chose to forge alliances elsewhere, hence marrying Isabella of Portugal in 7 January 1430. Isabella was Philip's third wife, after Michelle of Valois and Bonne of Artois, who both predeceased their husband without birthing any children.[11] The third marriage of Philip the Good denoted his desire to create a strong, centralised duchy ruled by a prestigious dynasty who owned a new cultural heritage, different from that of the French.[11]

Philip then began his territorial expansion, bringing many new lordships, among them being Arras, Péronne, Roye, and Picardy, into his realm. In 1420, He was able to purchase the county of Namur, a town located in the Holy Roman Empire, from Jean III in exchange of 132,000 écus. In 1425, he declared war on his cousin, Jacqueline, Countess of Hainaut,[b] in order to take her inheritance, the counties of Hainaut, Holland, Friesland, and Zeeland, form her. He successfully took the lands in April 1433, after she abandoned her rights to them.[13] In 1430, Philip inherited the Duchy of Brabant when Philip of Saint Pol, the son of Anthony, died suddenly and unexpectedly in the same year. The inheritance brought Philip three principalities: Brabant; Limburg, which had long been attached to the former; and Lotharingia, a theoretical title reminiscent of Carolingian era.[14] This expansions distressed the Holy Roman Emperor, Sigismund, who declared war on Philip in 1434, hoping that Charles VII would also come to his aid, only to be disappointed with the French and Burgundian reconciliation in 1435. His failure to gain help from Imperial princes also discouraged his efforts and his eventual death in 1437 put an end to the Empire's hostility with the growing power of Burgundy.[15]

Early life



La Duchesse de Bourgogne arrêtée aux portes de Bruges by Sophie Frémiet. This painting depicts the moment Isabella of Portugal, her son, Charles, and her entourage were arrested at the gates of Bruges

Charles Martin[16] was born on 10 November 1433 in the city of Dijon. He was the third child of Philip the Good with Isabella of Portugal and the only one to survive past infancy. His mother, in fear that she would lose another child, consecrated the infant to the Blessed Sacrament within days from his birth. Philip the Good arrived in Dijon on late November to celebrate the birth and made his son a knight of the Golden Fleece, a knightly order created by him in 1430.[17] The infant also became the count of Charolais, a title given to the heirs of the dukes of Burgundy.[18] He was baptised in 20 November, with Charles, Count of Nevers and Antoine I de Croÿ as his sponsors; he was named after the count of Nevers, who was Philip the Good's adopted son from his second wife, Bonne of Artois.[19] In early spring 1434, Isabella and the young Charles moved to the mountain fortress of Talant, in fear of the plague outbreak in Burgundy in the May and September of the same year.[20] The Duchess and her son descended the mountains in April 1435, when the danger of plague had finally waned. Afterwards, they travelled to Paris to join Philip the Good.[17] En route, they sojourned in Bruges, where a rebellion against Philip the Good was brewing. In 1436, when Isabella and her entourage were to leave the city, rebels forcefully stopped and arrested them near the city's gate. They searched through her carriage and rudely insulted her.[21] The rebellion was suppressed in 1438, when Philip the Good set an economical blockade on the city, which weakened Bruges and forced the rebels to surrender.[22]

Even during infancy, Charles was described as a robust child.[23] He showed his interest in martial matters and military operations early in his life; by the age of two, he was instructed on horsemanship while training on a wooden steed.[c][24] Philip the Good assigned many tutors for the young Charles, the most important among them being Antoine Haneron, professor of rhetoric in the University of Louvain who familiarized Charles with the works of Cicero, Quintilian, John of Salisbury, Seneca, Vegetius, and Bartolus de Saxoferrato.[25] Like his father, Charles developed a fondness for reading histories, chronicles and historical romances.[25] He especially enjoyed reading about the deeds of Caesar, Pompey, Hannibal, and Alexander the Great. He held the last one in high regards, building ambition in his early years to become a conqueror like him. The fact that both he and Alexander had fathers named Philip stimulated his imagination and further enhanced his ambition.[26]

In 1435, with the Treaty of Arras, Philip the Good reconciled with Charles VII, marking the end of the civil war that had ensured between his house and the royal family.[27] As a sign of good faith in his new ally, Charles VII also agreed to arrange a marriage between one of his daughters with Philip's heir. He sent his daughters to Burgundy and allowed Philip to choose one of them. Catherine, the king's ten-years-old daughter, was chosen to marry the six-year-old Charles.[28] The two were married in 11 June 1439, during a ceremony accompanied by concerts, jousts and banquets in the city of Saint-Omer.[29] The wedded children were put under the care of a governess, according to the wedding accounts, and were often separated from each other to spend their time with hobbies in tune with their age.[30]

Until the age of six, Charles was brought up by his cousins, John and Agnes of Cleves, who both were the children of Mary of Burgundy, the daughter of John the Fearless, with Adolph I, Duke of Cleves. From the two, the presence of Agnes was more prominent in Charles' early education. She was always in the company of Isabella of Portugal, thus reassuring that Charles was not far from his mother.[31] In 1441, Philip the Good appointed Jean d'Auxy, seigneur of Auxi-le-Château, as the eight-year-old Charles' guardian. He would go on to serve as Charles' chamberlain from 1456 to 1468.[32] Charles was around this age when he began partaking in public affairs of his father's duchy. In 1445, he accompanied his father in a state visit to Holland and Zealand, a rare event as the Duke rarely journeyed to the Flemish part of his lands. According to Olivier de la Marche, the inhabitants were delighted to see their count—the young Charles—in his lands after eight years of absence.[33]


Charles, aged 12 or 13, standing beside his father, Philip, Duke of Burgundy; Jean Wauquelin presenting his 'Chroniques de Hainaut' to Philip the Good, 1447

Charles became fast friends with his wife, Catherine.[34] It is recorded that they gave gifts to each other, for instance, the countess bought a harp for Charles in 1440, as music was one of his interests.[35] In February 1446, Catherine became bedridden with cold, high fever and persistent coughing. By March, she was too pale, lethargic and had no appetite.[34] From the start of her illness, Charles (and also his mother) remained as close to Catherine's side as possible. Charles urged the physicians sent by the King to do everything they could for his young wife. He visited her regularly and played the harp for her, the same harp she gifted to him six years ago.[36] In April, however, the three of them were forced to journey to Arras, when Philip the Good ordered them to join him in watching a tourney in that city. Wanting to please his father, Charles began anticipating the tourney instead of worrying over his wife.[37] During the tourney, Catherine's general state deteriorated, to the point when she was overwhelmed by coughing and had to return to bed soon after the tourney had started. When she was well enough to travel, Catherine and her mother-in-law, Isabella journeyed to Coudenberg, the princess' favourite place. She eventually died in 30 July 1446, and her death was deeply mourned by the court of Burgundy.[36]

When Charles was seventeen-year-old, he led his first joust in a practice tourney in Brussels. He jousted against Jacques de Lalaing, the renowned knight of Burgundy. In the first round, Charles was able to struck Jacques on the shield and with it, shatter his own lance into many pieces.[38] Philip the Good accused the knight holding back his real strength to let Charles win. He threatened to leave the tourney if the knight did not put up a real fight. During the second tilt, both lances were broken, which made the duke to cheer in excitement and the duchess, Isabella of Portugal, to worry over his son's safety.[39] During the actual journey, Charles managed to break sixteen or eighteen lances and receive prize from two princess. In his honour, heralds cried the well-known French battle cry, "Montjoie Saint Denis!" (which was also the motto of the Kingdom of France.)[40]

In 1449, a rebellion broke out in Ghent as a result of Philip the Good's deteriorated relation with the burghers of Ghent over imposing new taxes on salt.[41] The revolt cost Philip one of his illegitimate sons, Cornille of Burgundy, and his famous knight, Jacques de Lalaing.[42] Charles partook in the fighting too, however, in fear that he would die in the battlefield, Philip the Good had him removed from the battle by spuriously telling him that his mother was seriously ill in Lille. Charles left shortly before the decisive Battle of Gavere in 1453.[39] In Lille, his mother honoured him with a feast, and to everyone's surprise, encouraged him to return to the battlefield and fight for his inheritance, albeit by that time Philip the Good had won the battle and defeated the rebellious burghers.[43]

Charles remained a widower for eight years until he married Isabella of Bourbon in 1454.[44] Isabella was the daughter of Agnes of Burgundy, and Philip the Good's niece. Her father, Charles I, Duke of Bourbon, sent her as a child to the Burgundian court as a ward of Isabella of Portugal. A shy and pliant young woman, Isabella was adored by Philip the Good, who saw an opportunity to renew the treaty of Arras (which had been broken by the death of Catherine of France) by marrying his niece to his son.[45] Charles was not even aware of his father's aspiration until the night before his marriage in 31 October, however, he did not resist against the match.[46] With his marriage, the town of Chinon was incorporated into Philip the Good's realm, as part of Isabella's dowry.[47]

Struggle for power


Disputes with Philip the Good

Portraits of Philip the Good and Charles the Bold, folio from the Recueil d'Arras, c. 1535-1573.

Throughout the decade 1454–1464, Charles was excluded from power, the ducal council, and the Burgundian court by his father's bidding.[48] He came close to seizing a low portion of authority in 1454, when his father appointed him as "governor and lieutenant-general in absence" because he was to leave Burgundy for Regensburg to participate in the imperial diet.[49] Philip the Good was hoping to meet Frederick III and attach the emperor to his aspiring crusade in order to retake Constantinople from the Ottomans. However, the emperor did not show up.[50] Even as the regent, Charles held little to no power compared to his mother, the duchess, and his father, who arranged his marriage to Isabella of Bourbon during this time unbeknownst to Charles himself.[49] Nevertheless, Charles still was able to issue documents in his name. His regency, however, was short-lived, for Philip the Good returned to Burgundy in 7 or 9 August of the same year and, accordingly, Charles returned to his former powerless position.[49] The bitter relations between Charles and his father climaxed in 1457, when Charles wanted to appoint Antoin Rolin, the seigneur of Aymeries, as his chamberlain. Antoin was the son of Nicolas Rolin, Philip the Good's chancellor. The Duke, wary of the power his chancellor might get with this appointment, refused his son's request and instead proposed Philip de Croÿ, from House of Croÿ, as his chamberlain.[51] Charles resented de Croÿs, whom he considered at fault for his father's humiliation by the king of France, as Charles VIII had reportedly bribed de Croÿs numerous times.[52]

Charles thus refused his father's proposal. Philip was furious and his anger was such threat to Charles' life that his mother had him removed from the court. Charles thereafter fled to Dendermonde while Philip got lost in the forests of Soignies trying to find his son. With the mediation of Isabella of Bourbon, who at the time was pregnant with Charles' child, Philip and his son reached a truce.[53] When Charles' daughter, Mary, was born on 13 February 1457, neither Charles nor his father attended her baptism, for both wanted to avoid each other.[54] Nicolas Rolin was removed from chancellery, and with him, his close ally, Jean Chevrot, the president of the ducal council, as well. While de Croÿs emerged more powerful.[18] Charles left the court for his personal estate at Le Quesnoy in Hainaut. There, he was entrusted with minor tasks regarding the Flemish subjects of his father. In these times, he also constructed the Blue Tower castle in Gorinchem as his personal seat in 1461. He attempted to formalise his status as the heir to the Burgundian state, which in turn prompted his father to cut off his allowance.[18] Charles was deprived of any money to pay his staff or even keep his estate afloat, so in 1463, according to Georges Chastellain, he turned to his employees and asked those who could pay for themselves to stay with him, and those who cannot to leave him, so that they may return to his service in a better time. His staff, however, replied that they will live and die with him. Afterwards, they offered him a share of their money so that the state could function normally. Charles, accordingly, had tears in his eyes and expressed his gratitude to his staff.[55] Although this account is quite dramatic, there is no reason not to believe it, as such acts of altruism were typical of that time.[56]

In 1462, Charles survived an attempt to his life made by Jehan Coustain, premier valet de chambre, who wanted to poison him. Shortly after, Coustain was executed in Rupelmonde. Charles blamed de Croÿs for this attempt while de Croÿs came to believe that Charles staged this attempt to fuel their feud.[57] By the end of 1463, the disputes between Charles and his father had become a mask for the bitter rivalry between de Croÿs and Charles. With a major crisis rising in the horizon, the States General of the Burgundian Netherlands decided to intervene. In 5 February 1464, Charles made a speech to the deputies assembled in Ghent, which illuminates his emotional attitude with the text of the speech being more about de Croÿ family than his father.[58] At the end, Charles and Philip the Good reconciled in June 1464, after they met in Lille, although de Croÿs were able to hold their power yet.[48] Later in that year, Charles assumed full power, arguing that Philip the Good was becoming too senile, and instantly put pressure on de Croÿs. As a last act of power, Philip threatened Charles with a stick and ordered him to leave de Croÿs alone.[59] Ten days after this incident, the States General gave Charles full power by appointing him lieutenant général.[59] His first act was to confiscate de Croÿs estates; they were banished to France, where to their surprise, their French patron, Louis XI, showed them no support.[60]

Rivalry with Louis XI

The Duke of Burgundy providing a sumptuous feast for Louis, Dauphin of France, by Job, 1905

In 1457, Louis XI — then Dauphin of France — the heir of Charles VII, suddenly arrived in Philip the Good's court at Brussels.[61] The dauphin had fled from his personal estate in Dauphiné to Burgundy in fear of his father's army nearing his territory to arrest him.[62] Louis and his father did not have a good relationship, as the dauphin had married Charlotte of Savoy in 1451 without his father's permit and had partook in a small rebellion against his father's regime in 1440 known as the Praguerie.[63] On his way to Burgundy, he wrote a letter to his father saying he was going to participate in Philip the Good's crusade, which was overly insulting to Charles VII.[62] Philip the Good saw his guest as an opportunity to mend his relations with the crown and thus took the dauphin in, indulging him with kindness, showing humility and refused all the king's request to send the dauphin back. At Philip's expense, Louis lived in Genappe, where he led a comfortable life.[61] Charles VII attempted to regain his son but all his attempts failed. He, mindful of his son's cunning nature, reportedly said: "My cousin Burgundy is feeding a fox who will eat up all his chickens".[64] Dauphin Louis would go on to become Philip the Good's favourite after the fallout between him and his son, Charles.[65]

Louis' relationship with Philip the Good's heir was completely different than that of him and the duke. Charles did not like Louis and vice versa.[66] However, surprisingly, he asked the dauphin to be the godfather of his daughter, Mary.[54] Charles' hatred for Louis festered when he ascended the French throne after the death of his father in 22 July 1461.[66] Louis was crowned king in 31 August in Reims under the regnal name Louis XI. Philip the Good personally put the crown on his head.[67] While the duke thought that the hostilities between France and Burgundy were at last ended, the new king on his coronation ceremony showed coldness towards Philip with refusing to participate in the feast sponsored by Philip in his honour. The duke thus returned to his realm disappointed.[68] Charles feared Louis' intentions to demolish the Burgundian defensive system in Picardy, and he was furious when a crisis occurred in Autumn 1463 regarding his father's lands in Somme.[69] With de Croÿs' persuasion, Philip the Good ratified to an alteration in the Treaty of Arras (1435) — which had given him cities such as Saint-Quentin, Abbeville, Amiens, Péronne and Montdidier; he agreed to accept 400,000 gold ecus from Louis to return those cities to the crown domains.[70] When Charles was chosen as lieutenant général in 1464, he chose to actively rise arms against Louis XI by forming the League of the Public Weal.[71]

The League of the Public Weal was a confederation of prominent French Princes — Charles of Berry, the king's brother, Francis II, Duke of Brittany, John II, Duke of Bourbon and Jacques and John d'Armagnac — formed to act against Louis' authority.[71] They declared Charles of Berry the regent of France and appointed Francis II as the captain general of the army.[72] With the threat of the open rebellion looming, Louis XI offered pardon to all the dukes and lords. Minor lords accepted the pardon but the dukes persisted over their demands.[72] The members of the league chose Charles of Charolais as their leader and began amassing their army.[72] League of the Public Weal thus became the most dangerous of a series of princely revolts against the French crown; as one chronicle records the number of the participants, seven dukes, twelve counts, two lords, one marshal and 51,000 men-at-arms joined in hand against Louis XI.[73]

To counteract the rebels, Louis XI amassed an army and sent it southwards to central France to defeat John II of Bourbon. Charles of Charolais soon mustered an army of twenty-five thousand men and marched towards Paris.[72] With utmost haste, Louis and his army returned to Paris to defend the city against Charles' army.[74] On 15 July, Charles reached the village of Montlhéry; he sent patrols in hope to find his allies' armies, but instead discovered that the royal army was camped in Arpajon, a few miles south of Montlhéry.[75] When Louis was informed of Charles' position, he decided to fight him.[74]

Battle of Montlhéry, an early 16th century miniature by Philippe de Commines

On 16 July, the two armies met in the outskirts of Montlhéry.[74] The Burgundian vanguard, led by Louis of Saint-Pol, was positioned defensively, with his men-at-arms and archers dismounted and their rear and sides protected by wagons.[74] Charles positioned himself at the right of Saint-Pol's formation. He attacked into the French left flank led by Charles IV, Count of Maine. The count, seeing the approaching army, turned to flee, but Charles pursueded him.[74] As a result, the French vanguard, led by Pierre de Brézé, launched an attack, during which, he himself was killed.[74] As Charles circled back from pursuing the fleeing army, he was thrown in the fight with French army and took a wound in his throat. He returned to his lines before getting captured.[74] After his return, Charles ordered his gunners to shoot at the king's army, from which, 1,200 or 1,400 men and a large number of horses were killed, according to Charles himself.[76] By late eve, Louis XI had yield the fight, retreating eastwards to Paris.[75]

At the end of the Battle of Montlhéry, neither side emerged victorious.[74] Charles could not capture the king in the battlefield but Louis could not prevent him from joining his allies either. However, each side claimed victory.[75] Moreover, in spite of his ability to form his battle troops in a coherent battle order, Charles was yet to become an able tactician.[77] The rebel army joined in the town of Étampes and began marching towards Paris in 31 July.[76] The rebels laid siege on Paris in 1465, during which Charles directed his gunfire at the city's walls.[78] They then successfully entered the city when a nobleman named Charles de Melun opened Saint-Antoine gate for them.[79] Louis XI was eventually forced to negotiate.[74] The result of the negotiations was the Treaty of Conflans, which ceded the rule of Normandy to Charles, Duke of Berry and returned the Somme lands to Burgundy.[80]


Portrait of Charles the Bold depicted as Caesar during his Joyous Entry

On 12 June 1467, Philip the Good suddenly fell ill, despite his earlier healthy state.[81] In the next few days, his condition would only decrease, he hardly could breath and constantly vomited. Thus, Charles was summoned from Ghent to immediately come to his father.[82] But he did not have a chance to speak with his father, because when he arrived, Philip the Good had fallen unconscious and struggled with hard breathing, which eventually led to his death on 15 June.[82] Charles arranged the funeral for his father in the St. Donatian's Cathedral, attended by 1200 persons from both Charles' and Philip's household and courtiers, and lit by 1400 candles which heated up the inside of the church so much that holes had to be made in the windows to refresh the air.[83] Charles showed extreme emotions for his father's death: he shook; trembled; pulled his hair, and kept shouting and crying. The Court Chronicler, Georges Chastellain, doubted the sincerity of Charles' acts, noting his astonishment that he could show such emotions.[84]

Fourteen days later, Charles officially became the Duke of Burgundy. In celebrations, he paraded into the city of Ghent on 28 June 1467, emulating Caesar.[85] This Joyous Entry caused an uproar in the city.[86] The mob demanded an end to the humiliating retributions imposed on them after the revolt in 1449.[87] Charles left the city with his daughter, the ten-year-old Mary, and the treasure kept by Philip the Good in the Prinsenhof of Ghent.[88] In the following January, he coerced the mayors of Ghent to ask for his pardon. Then, he abolished their governmental rights and announced that only he could appoint the government in the town, contrary to Philip IV's constitution in 1301[89]

Duke of Burgundy


The third marriage


In 26 September 1465, Charles' wife, Isabella of Bourbon, died of tuberculosis at the age of 31. Court Chronicles of this era did not deem this event important, as they only recorded laconically the long months of her illness.[44] The most important part of her life for these chronicles was her marriage to Charles—of which she had only brought him one daughter and no male heirs—and the fact that she and Charles fell in love after the initially political marriage.[44] However, this love seems to be a creation of the court chronicles, especially since Charles, busy with the political negotiations after the War of the Public Weal, did not attend his wife's funeral.[44]

Within weeks after her death, Duchess Isabella of Portugal sought an English marriage for her son. She sent Guillaume de Clugny, one of Charles' close advisors, to London to negotiate with Edward IV over a probable marriage between his sister, Margaret of York, and Charles.[90] Louis XI, in order to prevent an English-Burgundian alliance, proposed the hand of his daughter, the four-year-old Anne to Charles in marriage. This proposal, however, was refused.[90] In Spring of 1466, an embassy led by Edward Woodville, Edward IV's brother-in-law, arrived in Burgundy to propose two marriages between the English royal family and the Burgundians: one between Margaret of York and Charles, and the other between Mary, Charles' daughter, and George Plantagenet, Duke of Clarence, Edward IV's younger brother.[90] The latter did not bear fruit, as Charles was not interested in marrying his young daughter to the Duke of Clarence.[91]

In October 1467, Edward IV publicly ratified the marriage between Charles and his sister, and Margaret of York appeared before the Magnum Concilium of Kingston upon Thames and formally gave her consent to the marriage.[92] Charles welcomed the British delegation—led by Edward and Anthony Woodville— to Burgundy, and then had her mother accompany him to negotiate the final marriage treaty.[93] Although the marriage treaty and the alliance was signed and ratified in February 1468, it would still take eight months for the marriage ceremony to take place due to the difficulties that caused delays.[94] Since Charles and Margaret were fourth degree cousins, they needed a Papal dispensation to legitimise their marriage.[95] It was the groom's duty to obtain the dispensation, hence, Charles sent a delegation to Rome, who did not succeed to take the dispensation until May 1469.[95] Once the dispensation was obtained, Edward IV announced the marriage of his sister to Charles and dubbed him as 'a mighty Prince who bears no crown'.[95]

Crown of Margaret of York, worn in her wedding. Mow in Aachen Cathedral Treasury

Charles and Margaret were married in 3 July at Damme, a town three miles from Bruges.[96] For their wedding ceremony, Charles prepared nine receptions each ending with a joust match. He wished to outdo his father's famous Feast of the Pheasant.[97] The marriage successfully displayed the ducal power, and demonstrated the bounty of the ducal treasury.[98] At the end of the wedding, Charles left his wife alone to catch up to sleep, thus they did not spend their wedding night together.[99]

Although Charles had commented on the fertility of his wife to his subjects, the pair never produced a child.[100] They spent little time together: only three weeks during the six months after their marriage; one-quarter of the time during the years 1469 and 1470, and only three weeks throughout 1473.[101] According to contemporary jurist, Filips Wielant, Charles always made sure to house Margaret far away from him, because he didn't want women to hamper his court.[102]

Territorial expansions


Like his father, Charles pursued expansionism, however, whereas Philip the Good realised this policy by peaceful means, Charles was charactrised by war and conflict.[103] In Netherlands, he sought to expand his realm to the north-east: the Duchy of Guelders.[104] This duchy, although never a part of the Burgundian lands, was dependent on the Burgundy trade routes to keep its cities afloat. Thus the relations between the two duchies were interlinked;[105] for example, when in 1463, Adolf of Egmond rebelled against his father, the ruling duke, Arnold, Philip the Good supported the former, and with his support, in 1465, Adolf was able to imprison his father and usurp the duchy.[106] Adolf's treatment of his father caused a scandal that resonated as far as Rome, where the Pope sought a mediator to end the conflict in Guelders. In 1471, Charles was appointed as the mediator; he marched into Guelders, released Arnold and put Adolf to house arrest.[107] After a failed attempt to escape, Charles had him actually imprisoned.[108] In order to attract Burgundian assistance, Arnold made Charles the Regent of Guelders, and when he died in February 1473, having left no heirs but his imprisoned son, he bequeathed the duchy to Charles.[109]

Territories of France (green) and Burgundy (vanilla) in 1477, Cambridge Modern History Atlas, 1912

However, Charles' inheritance caused opposition, with the Estates of Guelders, and the towns of Nijmegen, Arnhem, and Zutphen rejecting Arnold's will, and Louis XI pursuing Frederick III, the Holy Roman Empire, to confiscate the duchy.[110] Louis' attempt was futile, because the emperor had close diplomatic contact with Charles and did not oppose his rule over the duchy, but for the rebelling cities and the nobles of Guelders, Charles had to use his army to subdue them.[111] On 9 June 1473, with a sizeable army, he entered the city of Maastricht without resistance. Many towns followed suit; Roermond, one of the four principal towns, surrendered, Venlo only briefly resisted, and Moers, whose count, Vincent von Moers, was the leader of the resistance, yielded against Charles' artillery.[112] The only real challenge during this campaign was the Siege of Nijmegen, which caused severe damages to the Burgundian army. After the successful conquest of Guelders, Charles imposed heavy taxes, and changed the aldermen in the region. New regulations were instigated to the ducal judicial officers to obtain a firm control over the rebellious cities, and to bring about a central administration.[108]

The Burgundian State under Charles was divided into two blocks, the Duchy of Burgundy in the south and Flanders in the north.[113] To unify these two blocks, Charles needed the Duchy of Lorraine and Alsace.[114] On 21 March 1469, he received Sigismund, Archduke of Austria to his court to negotiate over purchase of his lands in Upper Alsace.[115] Sigismund eagerly agreed to sell those lands, for he was in desperate financial problem.[116] With this purchase, Charles acquired a claim on the city of Ferrette, a town close to Swiss borders which attracted a negative attention from the Swiss Confederation.[106] Moreover, Charles' rights and income from his new territories were severely limited,[117] because most of the rights to the lands in Upper Alsace, including Ferrette, were mortgaged to local nobles,[117] and the people themselves had demanded their liberties to be reserved and respected, so they were not to be treated like serfs.[118] However, Charles' deputy in the area, Peter von Hagenbach, violated this guarantee and imposed harsh taxes on the people.[118] Soon, ostracized by their governor, several towns of Alsace formed a league to unite against Hagenbach.[114] Charles himself was not concerned with the administration of Alsace, and paid no mind to the events taking place in the region.[119]

Meeting the Emperor in Trier

Meeting of Charles the Bold and Frederick III in Trier, 1473

Charles greatly desired a crown, a Burgundian kingdom from the borders of Savoy in the south up to the shores of the North Sea.[120] He wished to prise free from the limitations of vassalage to the French crown, in order to pursue personal glory.[121][d] Only the Holy Roman Emperor could grant him this wish.[120] Thus, by Charles' request, Sigismund of Austria proposed the Duke of Burgundy as the next King of the Romans, with the marriage between the Emperor's son and the Duke's daughter as an inducement.[123] With this premise, Frederick III, the Holy Roman Emperor, agreed to have an audience with Charles in Trier.[122]

In October 1473, both parties reached Trier; the Emperor with his son, Maximilian, and 2500 horsemen, whereas the Burgundy entourage consisted of 13000 men at arms (including artillery), Burgundian nobility, bishops, and treasures and relics.[120][e] However, despite all the grandeur, Frederick III was disappointed that Charles had not bring his daughter, Mary, with himself,[124] because there were plenty of rumours about Mary's physical defects, mainly spread by Habsburg adversaries.[125] Charles wished to become the King of the Romans to succeed Frederick as Emperor. In return, Maximilian would inherit the Burgundian state, and later on become Emperor.[126] In addition, Charles wanted to become a prince-elector, taking the Bohemian seat in the Electoral College, and also demanded to be recognised as the Duke of Guelders.[127]

Although Charles received legitimate recognition for the Duchy of Guelders, he still was not recognised as the King of Romans, partially because Frederick III had realised that he could not convince the prince-electors to vote for him in the future election.[128] The prince-electors were all irritated by Charles.[129] From the moment of entry, he disregarded most of them, exception being Frederick I, Elector Palatine, whom Charles unsuccessfully tried to reconcile with his enemy, Frederick III.[130] Then when he realised how much he needed their support, he tried to impress them by displaying his wealth, but contrary to his expectations, the Germans were not swayed by glamour as were the French in his homeland.[131] Thus Charles decided to only interact with the Emperor, a fatal mistake that showcased his ignorance of German political norms (i.e., elective practices).[130]

At last, it was made clear that Charles would not become the King of Romans, but as an alternative, a Kingdom of Burgundy was suggested, which appealed to Charles.[132] A coronation was set in 25 November, during which, Frederick III would crown Charles in the Trier Cathedral.[133] However, in the next day, the Emperor secretly departed from Trier, embarking on the Moselle at dawn.[134] Charles sent men to find Frederick, but they returned empty-handed.[134] He became enraged, locking himself in his room and smashing the furniture to small pieces. Yet, he did not break the betrothal between Maximilian and Mary, hoping that in the future he would use their marriage as a means to get his kingdom.[135]




Solemn opening session of the Parliament of Mechelen under Charles the Bold, Jan Coessaet, 1587, Museum Hof van Busleyden [nl]

Upon ascension as duke in 1468, Charles sought to dismantle the jurisdiction of the Parliament of Paris as the highest juridical power within his country. The cities and institutions in Burgundy relied on the Parliament of Paris for challenging legal decisions, a fact that irritated the Dukes of Burgundy, enough for Philip the Good to establish an itinerant court of justice that travelled all across the country (which was still not as powerful as the Paris Parliament).[136] In his ambition to become King, Charles needed the leadership of a judicial structure within his realm.[137] Therefore, he introduced major legal reforms in his 1473 ordinance of Thionville, namely, the establishment of a central sovereign court in Mechelen. The city would house the new Court of Auditors, who previously resided in Lille and Brussels. The language of this parliament was French, with two-thirds of its personnel being Burgundian.[138] The Mechelen parliament only held authority in Low Countries. In Burgundian mainlands, Charles established another parliament whose headquarters moved from Beaune and Dole.[139]

In Charles' own words, the proper administration of justice was "the soul and the spirit of the public entity."[140] He was recognised as the first sovereign to make serious effort to impose peace and justice upon the Low Countries, being regarded as "a prince of Justice" by historians such as Andreas van Haul a century later after his death.[141] However, one of Charles' shortcomings criticised by Georges Chastellaine was his lack of mercy while imposing justice.[142] He tarnished his relations with his people by inspecting and regulating every aspect of their life, thus committing unnecessary harshness.[143] Charles wanted to reduce the influence of the local aldermen all over his country who were viewed by the commoners as the local court, and thus, undermined the Mechelen parliament.[141] To both increase his grip on the seats of justice and to fill up his treasury, Charles seized the titles from those aldermen, and sold them to the highest bidders, which meant only the wealthiest subjects came to hold those positions.[141] Many institutions protested against these practices, but Charles did not change his ways, because he was in constant need of money to provide for his continuous wars.[144]


Charles the Bold presented by Saint George, Lieven van Lathem, the opening diptych of the Prayer Book of Charles the Bold, c. 1471

Charles the Bold was religious, and considered himself more devout and pious than any ruler of his day.[145] He considered his sovereignty bestowed upon him by God and thus owed his power to him alone.[146] From a young age, Charles chose Saint George as his patron saint.[147] He kept an alleged sword of Saint George in his treasury and showed reverence to other warrior saints like Saint Michael as well.[148] He commissioned a prayer book to Lieven van Lathem which was completed in 1469.[149] The opening diptych of the manuscript as well as two other pieces each demonstrate Charles' devotion to Saint George.[147] In Margaret of York's copy of La Vie de Sainte Colette, she and Charles are shown as devotees to Saint Anne. Many have drawn a connection between the saint and the duke for the fact that both were married three times. The portrayal of Charles and Saint Anne may also have been a means to legitimise his marriage to Margaret by reassuring those who were dubious about an alliance with England.[150]

Throughout his reign, Charles faced constant request for pledging his men to a crusade against the Ottoman Empire.[151] Pope Sixtus IV sent three instructions to the papal legate in the Burgundian court, Lucas de Tollentis, directing him to encourage Charles to undertake a crusade against the Ottomans.[152] Tollentis, reported to the Pope on 23 June 1472 that Charles was 'resolved in our favour,' and the welfare of Christendom was never far from his mind.[153] Charles may have considered an expedition to the east as the climax of his life's work, however, during his lifetime, he never undertook a crusade nor did he make preparations for it like his father did.[154] Only for a short time between late 1475 and early 1476 did he seriously consider a crusade and that was only after a meeting with the deposed Despot of the Morea (one of the sons of Thomas Palaiologos) who agreed to cede his claim as the Emperor of Trebizond to Charles.[155] However, his indolence in transforming promises into action denoted a change in the tradition of crusading.[156] Charles made sure to appear as one who would lend his sword to the church so that he could curry favours with the Papacy.[157] Yet, he only followed a dynastic and ritualized expectation set by his forefathers.[156] By incriminating his enemies as the cause of his inaction, he cautiously maintained the dynastic expectation while never fully committing to a full-scaled crusade.[158]


Charles the Bold ordering Louis IX to sign the Treaty of Péronne; 1913; Histoire de France et notions d'Histoire Générale by Gustave Hervé, illustrated by Valéry Müller

Charles the Bold pursued a risky and aggressive foreign policy.[159] Therefore, he always strove to have as many allies as possible. In fact, he thought of everyone, aside Louis XI, as his ally.[160] In 1471, he made a list of his nineteen allies. He increased the number to twenty-four by the next year and had twenty-six allies in 1473, in contrast to Louis XI's fifteen allies. Among Charles' allies were nine kings, six dukes and three archbishops.[160] Some of these relations, like with Scotland, were nothing more than a formality. Kings of Scotland and Denmark would even sign treaties with Louis XI and appear on his list of allies.[161] Charles himself harboured doubts that an alliance with Matthias Corvinus, King of Hungary, would work.[162] However, the mutual friendship with the Kingdom of Naples pushed Burgundy and Hungary to each other, and in his pursuit to ally with Frederick III's opponents, Charles made contacts with Matthias.[163] Charles hoped that by supporting Matthias' claim to the Kingdom of Bohemia, Matthias would back him in the electoral college.[164] The two successfully concluded a treaty in November 1474, in which they agreed to partition the Holy Roman Empire between themselves, with Charles becoming the King of Romans and having the lands along the Rhine under his authority whilst Matthias was to get Breslau and Bohemia.[165] In the Spanish peninsula, beside his Portuguese heritage, Charles also had a long-standing alliance with the Kingdom of Aragon.[166] He received the Order of the Jar from John II of Aragon on 1 November 1471 in the Abbey of Saint Bertin at St. Omer.[167] During the same ceremony, Charles announced a Burgundian-Neapolitan-Aragonese triple alliance with John II and John's nephew, King Ferdinand I of Naples against Louis XI.[168] In 1473, through negotiations with the new Duke of Lorraine, Rene II, he obtained the right to pass his armies through his lands, and assign Burgundian captains to important fortifications in Lorraine, essentially turning the duchy into a Burgundian protectorate.[169] Among Charles' other allies were Amadeus IX, Duke of Savoy, whose wife, Yolande of Valois, Louis XI's sister, drove the duchy into an alliance with Burgundy on the basis of their shared dismay for Louis.[170]

The intense rivalry between Louis XI and Charles the Bold kept both rulers always prepared for an eventual war.[171] The suspicious death of Charles of Valois, Duke of Berry, the King's brother, in 1472, prompted Charles to raise arms to avenge his former ally's death, stating he has been poisoned by Louis.[172] After a small conflict, the two ceased their fighting in the winter 1473 without any talks of peace, neither would ever declare war on the other for the rest of their respective reigns.[105] The hatred between Charles the Bold and Louis XI has been used as an example of condemnation in moralistic dialogues by figures such as François Fénelon in 17th century France, in Dialogues of the dead, Fénelon portrays Charles and Louis reconciling by drinking from the River Styx.[173] During their lifetimes, Charles and Louis had attempted to conclude a treaty of lasting peace in 1468, which caused astonishment throughout France.[174] Their talks of peace soon turned into hostility once Charles learned that Louis had his hands in a recent rebellion in Liége.[175] Afterwards, Charles imprisoned Louis in the city of Péronne and coerced him to sign a treaty favourable to Burgundy with conditions such as forfeiting the Duke of Burgundy from paying homage, guarantying Charles' sovereignty of Picardy, and abolishing French jurisdiction on Burgundian subjects.[176] Louis reluctantly agreed to all the demands and signed the Treaty of Péronne.[177] However, this treaty did not change the Franco-Burgundian relations, as the crown would not abide to the terms of the treaty, and Charles was not content with the fact that the French jurisdiction still reigned over his realm.[178]

King Ferdinand I of Naples depicted as a knight of the Oder of the Golden Fleece in Statuts, Ordonnances et Armorial by Gilles Gobet, the Toison d'or King of Arms, 1473. Although enlisted in 1473, Ferdinand received his insignia in 1475 by the hands of Anthony, the Grand Bastard of Burgundy, son of Philip the Good.[179]

Charles maintained close relations with the many states of Italy, closer than any of his predecessors.[180] Through his childhood friendship with Francesco D'Este (illegitimate son of Leonello d'Este), he developed a love for all things Italian and thus could speak Italian and fashioned his clothing similar to Italian style.[181] At the start of his reign, Italy's triple alliance between Duchy of Milan, Republic of Florence and Kingdom of Naples, allowed the influence of France grow in the peninsula, for MIlan and Florence were long-standing allies of Louis XI.[182] To remedy this, Charles enlarged Burgundy's sphere of influence in Italy to dwarf that of France.[183] The first Burgundian alliance with an Italian ruler was with King Ferdinand I of Naples, a ruler admired by both Charles and Louis XI.[184]

As the legitimised bastard of Alfonso I, Ferdinand's ascension to the throne was not recognised by the Pope.[185] Meanwhile, René of Anjou, the deposed King of Naples, persistently claimed kingship to Naples, and in the constant fear of an invasion from René or his heirs with the support of Louis XI, Ferdinand allied himself with Charles, who made him a member of the Order of the Golden Fleece in 1473, enhancing their affinity.[186] Throughout the years of their partnership, Charles toyed with the idea of marrying his daughter, Mary, to Ferdinand's second son, Frederick of Aragon, who visited the Burgundian court in 1469 and 1470.[187] In 1474, when a war with Louis XI was astutely on the horizon, Ferdinand's participation was dependent on his son's marriage with Mary. Charles hinted at his willingness to give his daughter's hand to Frederick, and with this premise, Ferdinand dispatched his son to Burgundy on 24 October 1474.[188] Although Frederick became a lieutenant and close military advisor to Charles, he failed in his ultimate mission in marrying Mary.[189]

Duchy of Milan was France's most important ally in the Italian peninsula. In 1465, Francesco I Sforza had dispatched an army to France to support Louis XI in the War of the Public Wheel and his successor, Galeazzo Maria Sforza was attached to the King of France through his marriage with Louis' niece, Bona of Savoy.[190] Galeazzo also considered himself one of Charles' two greatest adversaries, with other being Louis XI.[191] Still, Charles did not stop from attempting to form an alliance with Milan. In 1470, he offered Galeazzo membership in the Order of the Golden Fleece, on the premise of an alliance, but was rejected.[166] One time he even included Milan in one of his lists of allies, which caused Galeazzo to protest.[160] To bring about Galeazzo to his circle of allies, Charles started a rumour that he wished to conquer Milan.[192] Galeazzo's insecurity about a probable war along with Charles' diplomatic pressure by isolating Milan from France eventually defeated Galeazzo and in the climax of a Burgundian 'masterpiece' in diplomacy, he conceded to a treaty signed in 30 January 1475 at Moncalieri in the form of an alliance between Savoy, Burgundy and Milan.[193] As a result of this treaty, diplomatic relations between the two duchies were established with Galeazzo sending Giovanni Pietro Panigarola as his envoy to Burgundy.[194] Throughout 1475, Charles enthusiastically asked for Galeazzo's brother, Ludovico Sforza to visit the Burgundian court, though that never came to happen.[181]

Charles' relation with the Republic of Venice was based on his willingness to launch a crusade against the Turks.[195] With Ferdinand of Naples' insistence, the senate of Venice agreed to a treaty against the King of France on 20 March 1472.[196] From then on, Venice constantly urged Charles to uphold his part of the bargain and support them in their war with the Ottomans.[197] Charles' inaction caused gradual estrangement from Venice.[198] For instance, when he wanted to recruit the Venetian condottiero, Bartolomeo Colleoni to his ranks, (who would have brought with himself 10,000 men at arms) the Venetian government did not allow him to go. Charles spent two years negotiating with the Venetian ambassadors, but at the end, was unsuccessful in convincing them.[199] By 1475, the alliance between Venice and Burgundy did not liken a genuine union anymore.[200]

The Italian peninsula saw a shift in its sphere of influence after the Treaty of Moncalieri in 1475. Charles the Bold triumphantly replaced Louis XI as the dominant influence on the Italian politics, with three of four major secular powers in the region — Milan, Naples and Venice — all aligning towards him.[201] Only Florence remained a French ally, though they offered a stance of neutrality to Charles on the bases of their mutual alliance with Venice.[202] Charles successfully eliminated any possible support from Italy for France, and now could count on the support of his Italian allies if a war with France ensued,[201] However, from 1472, relations with France became a constant truce, and remained as such during rest of Charles' reign.[203]


Vasco de Lucena presenting his translation of Quintus Curtius Rufus' Histories of Alexander the Great to Charles the Bold. Folio from Le Jardin de vertueuse consolation by an anonymous master, between 1470 and 1475

The Burgundian court under Charles the Bold was reputable and magnificent.[204] It was seen as a place to learn arts and etiquette and where the chivalry and courtly life was more intact than the rest of the Europe. For this reason, the Burgundian court was the host to many young noblemen and princes from all across the continent.[205] Even future generations admired Charles' court. Philip II, for instance, on the urging of his father, Charles V, introduced the "ceremonial of the court of Burgundy" into Spain using Olivier de la Marche's account of Charles the Bold's court.[206] Charles' Burgundian court thus became the idealized courtly life that sparked inspirations throughout the 17th century Spain.[207] However, Charles' court did not differ much from his contemporaries, but his court possessed certain special features that made them appealing to all. The number of knights of nobles, the sacred image of the ruler who was distant from other courtiers, and the splendour of the court were among these features.[208] The dukes of Burgundy especially displayed their glamour through their extravagant patronage of arts, and like his forefathers, Charles was a patron as well.[209]

During Charles' reign, the production of illuminated manuscripts flourished and thrived.[210] After his ascension in 1467, Charles provided considerable budget for projects left incomplete after his father's death and commissioned new projects as well.[211] As a patron of Renaissance humanism, he commissioned the translation of Quintus Curtius Rufus' Histories of Alexander the Great into French to replace the inadequate Roman d'Alexandre en prose. And also commissioned the Portuguese Vasco de Lucena and Jehan de Chesne to respectively translate Xenophon's Cyropaedia and Caesar's De bello Gallico into French.[212] In 1468, he also commissioned Guillaume Fillastre to compose a "didactic chronicle" called Histoire de Toison d'Or containing moral and didactic stories of Jason, Jacob, Gideon, Mesha, Job and David, the Golden Fleeces.[213] He employed the finest calligraphers and illuminators to document his ordinances, for example the Ordinance of 1469 was illuminated by Nicolas Spierinc and was distributed among Charles' courtiers.[214] His prayer book illuminated by Lieven van Lathem is considered a masterpiece of Flemish illumination that influenced great illuminators such as Master of Mary of Burgundy.[215] Charles and his wife, Margaret were patrons of Simon Marmion, who illuminated a breviary and a panel painting for them.[216] As a bibliophile, Margaret also supported William Caxton, who wrote the first printed work in the English language, Recuyell of the Historyes of Troye.[214]

Charles was a patron of music and was a capable musician.[217] In his 1469 ordinance, Charles gave a clear view of what his musical entourage should be: a concert band, ceremonial trumpeters, chamber musicians, an organist and the chapel musicians, who had more variety than Philip the Good's chapel.[218] He brought his chapel with himself on his campaigns and had them sing a new song to him every night in his chambers.[219] Charles was a patron of Antoine Busnois, who became his choirmaster.[220] His favourite song was L'homme armé, a song that may have been written for him.[221] As a musician, Charles composed a motet that was sung in the Cambrai Cathedral, presumably in the presence of Guillaume Du Fay, one of the most well-known composers of his era.[222] Among his other works were chansons and secular songs.[223] Although no pieces from his motet or chansons remain, two songs are attributed to him: Del ducha di borghogna (of the Duke of Burgundy) and Dux Carlus (Duke Charles), both are from Italian songbooks wherein no name of the composers is mentioned, nevertheless, the songs have uncanny similarities to each other: in voice ranges; in their use of pitch C; their musical form, rondeau; and both songs start with the phrase Ma dame. According to the musicologist David Fallows, with such similar traits, the songs are most likely both composed by Charles in 1460s.[224] Charles also liked to sing, however he did not have a good singing voice.[225]


Military Ordinance of Charles the Bold by an unknown artist labeled Master of Fitzwilliam 268, circa 1475

When Charles became the Duke of Burgundy, his army functioned under a feudalistic system, with most of its men either recruited through summons or hired by contracts. The majority of his army ranks were occupied by French nobles and English archers and the army suffered from the inefficient distribution of resources and thus moved slowly.[226] Having lived through a period of peace under Philip the Good, the army scarcely trained and was unprepared. Furthermore, in comparison to other armies of Europe, their structure was old and dated.[227] To remedy these problems, Charles issued a series of military ordinances between 1468 and 1473, that not only would revolutionise the Burgundian army, but also would influence every European army in the 16th century.[228] The first of these ordinances, addressed to the Marshal of Burgundy, contains instructions on who could be recruited to the army and describes the personnel of the artillery, namely, masons, assistants, cannoneers, and carpenters.[229] The second ordinance, issued at Abbeville in 1471, proclaimed the formation of a standing army called Compagnie d'ordonnance, made up of 1250 lances fournies, who were accompanied by 1200 crossbows, 1250 handgunners and 1250 pikemen, under the ratio of 1:1:1.[230] A squad of these troops contained a man-at-arms, a mounted page, a mounted swordsman, three horse archers, a crossbowmen and a pikeman. Charles designed a uniform for each of the companies (Cross of Burgundy inscribed on the ducal colours).[231] He also designed an overlapping military hierarchy, that sought to cease the infighting between captains and their subordinates that would arose in a pyramidal hierarchy.[232]

Armour of Charles the Bold in The Vinkhuijzen collection of military uniforms, 1910, kept at New York Public Library

The last of these ordinances, issued at Thionville, marked the culmination of Charles' martial administration. The organisation of a squad was categorised to the merest detail, specific battle marches were created to keep order between the men, a soldier's equipment were explained in detail and discipline among the ranks was regarded with utmost importance.[233] Charles forbade individual soldier to have a camp follower, instead, he permitted each company of 900 to have 30 women in their ranks who would attend to them.[231] He set brutal rules against defaulters and deserters. In 1476, he appointed Jehan de Dadizele to arrest deserters. Those guilty of encouraging soldiers to desert were to be executed and the deserters were to return to the army.[234] However, unrealistic rules were set forth too, such as a ban on cursing and playing with dice.[235] Charles explained in detail that the soldiers were to be introduced to these new conditions in a private setting via other soldiers, so each can be tutors on these subjects without a disciplinarian presiding over them.[232] The biggest obstacle in Charles' path for implementing these changes was the ineptitude of his soldiers. Charles combined macromanagement with micromanagement, therefore, his erratic pace to write new detailed reforms every few year was too much for his captains and men-at-arms to sufficiently implement.[236]

Among his sources of influence, Charles' ordinances were mostly inspired by Xenophon's Cyropaedia.[237] After observing how Cyrus the Great achieved the willing obedience of his subjects, Charles became obsessed with discipline and order among his men-at-arms.[238] He applied Xenophon's comments in the Abbeville ordinance, thus ensuring that through a complex chain of command, his soldiers would both command and obey.[232] The influence of Vegetius' De re militari is also quite apparent in Charles' writings. Per Vegetius' suggestions, soldiers were to be recruited from men offering themselves to a martial life, afterwards, they would swear an oath to stay loyal to the duke, Charles adapted both ideas in his 1471 ordinance.[239] Moreover, Vegetius wrote exercises for soldiers to keep them prepared and disciplined, exercises that were reflected in the 1473 ordinance.[240]

The creation of the Burgundian standing army raised the problem of recruitment.[241] Although the numbers of men-at-arms, pikemen and mounted archers met their guidelines, the Burgundian army lacked culverins and foot archers.[242] To solve this problem, Charles diversified his army, recruiting men not only from his own subjects, but from other nationalities.[243] In this regard, Italian mercenaries were his favourite and by 1476, filled up most of his ranks.[244] Despite the constant warning from military authors of the past forbidding the recruitment of mercenaries, contemporary chronicler Jean Molinet praised Charles for his brilliant solution, stating that he is favoured by both heaven and earth and thus above the 'commandments of philosophers'.[245]

Burgundian Wars


League of Constance

Trial of Peter von Hagenbach, 1474

Over the span of five years, Peter von Hagenbach had made an enemy out of the neighbouring Swiss confederacy, who felt threatened by his rule; alienated the Alsatians; and showed aggressive intentions towards the city of Mulhouse. As a result, the Swiss sought alliances with German towns and Louis XI.[242] By February 1473, it was agreed upon by a handful of free cities that the Burgundian rule in Alsace must come to an end.[246]

Thus, the cities Strasbourg, Colmar, Basel and Sélestat pursued Sigismund of Austria to buy back Alsace by giving him enough money. But Charles strongly refused to sell his lands.[247] Determined to keep Alsace in his grasp, Charles toured the province at Christmas 1473, reportedly with an army.[248] He also tried to make peace with the Swiss, although his sincerity was questioned.[249] The threats from Burgundy prompted the Swiss to ally themselves with their former enemy, Sigismund, whom they deemed better than the Burgundian duke.[247]

All of this led to the establishment of the League of Constance in April 1474, formed to specifically eliminate Charles the Bold and Peter von Hagenbach from Alsace.[249] Subsequently, rebellion broke out in Alsace done by a group of Alsatian towns who had joined the League.[114] By May 1474, Hagenbach was overthrown, and after a trial, executed in 9 May.[247] Upon hearing this news, Charles threw a tantrum filled with rage, and In August, sent an army led by Peter's brother, Stefan von Hagenbach, into Alsace for retaliation.[250] After another refusal by Charles to give away Alsace, the League of Constance officially declared war on him.[251] In this way, the death of Hagenbach might be considered the catalyst to a cosmopolitan conflict now dubbed as the "Burgundian Wars".[250]

Siege of Neuss


When Alsace rose up against Burgundian authority, Charles was already preoccupied with another campaign.[251] The disputes between the Archbishop of Cologne, Ruprecht, and his subjects had tempted Charles to intervene in the situation to turn the electorate into a Burgundian protectorate.[252] To make peace, he held a conference in Maastricht on 14 May 1474, which failed. Therefore, from 22 June, he planned to siege Colognian cities and force Ruprecht's conditions on his subjects.[253] The first of his targets was the city of Neuss. Placed between Duchy of Guelders and Cologne, possession of Neuss was necessary to guarantee Burgundian supply lines for an attack on Cologne. Neuss was expected to fall within a few days, and many contemporary historians feared its fall would open up Germany to the Burgundians.[253]

Siege of Neuss by Charles the Bold in 1475, Adriaen Van den Houte

On 28 July 1474, Charles' army reached the southern gate of Neuss.[254] To isolate the city from outside world, Charles assigned men to every gate, blockaded the river across Neuss with fifty boats, and secured the two isles neighbouring the city.[255] Despite all attempts, communications between Neuss and the outside world continued. The residents delivered letters to relieving forces from Cologne (who raided Burgundian lines) by shooting them through cannons,[256] and in September, the Burgundian night watch caught a man swimming through the river with a letter detailing Emperor Frederick's intention to attack the Burgundian besiegers.[257] From the moment of arrival, the Burgundian artillery had bombarded Neuss' walls, hoping to breach them.[258] Upon the revelation of Frederick's plan, Charles intensified the barrage, and attempted dry out the city's moat by diverting the River Erft and sinking overloaded barges into the Rhine.[257]

Residents of Neuss endured the constant bombardments, and refused to surrender even though their food had reduced from cows to snails and weeds.[259] Their resistance brought admiration from all the contemporary chronicles.[260] Emperor Frederick was slow to amass an army. When he had gathered 20000 German forces in Spring 1475, he took seventeen days to march from Cologne to Zons, their encampment.[261] Charles was constantly pursued by his brother-in-law, Edward IV to leave the siege and join him in fighting the French. But finding himself close to a confrontation with the Emperor's forces, Charles did not want to lose his pride and withdraw.[262] The Emperor had no desire to fight the Burgundians and except for a few skirmishes, did not put his army to any other use.[263] The conflicts came to a rapid end when an emissary from the Pope successfully concluded a peace treaty on 29 May 1475 after threatening both sides of excommunication.[264]

Eventually, Charles left Neuss on 27 June.[265] Upon his departure, the city had been so badly damaged that it was on the verge of surrender.[264] His propagandists presented him as the Caesar of their age who had brought a humiliating defeat on the German forces, which seems to have worked on his adversaries, because after signing the peace treaty, hundreds of German soldiers lined up to see him. According to one chronicle, many of them threw themselves at Charles and worshipped him.[266] However, the Siege of Neuss still was a catastrophic defeat for Charles and Burgundy.[265] Besides the number of men and equipment lost, this siege also cost Charles a chance to destroy Louis XI and France. Edward IV, after seeing no support from his ally, agreed to sign the Treaty of Picquigny with Louis XI, causing a seven-year truce and a marriage alliance between the two kingdoms.[264] Charles had to sign a treaty with Louis as well, so that he would be free to march south and deal with the League of Constance, whose members besides the Swiss, now also included René II of Lorraine.[267]

Battle of Grandson

Battle of Grandson, illuminated in 1515 by Diebold Schilling the Younger in the Lucerne chronicle.

Charles commenced his full-fledged invasion on the Swiss and their allies immediately after signing the peace treaty with Louis XI; splitting his army into two parts, he advanced through Lorraine with no resistance and even captured the capital city Nancy.[268] At the beginning of 1475, Charles besieged the recently captured castle of Grandson which was fortified by a garrison from Bern.[269] Despite the many relief forces sent to defeat the Burgundians, the Swiss were unable to relieve the city from the siege and thus Charles successfully recaptured Grandson, executing all of the Bernese garrison as retaliation for Swiss brutality in Burgundian towns.[270] On 1 March, Charles, expecting the Swiss army to march towards him for a battle, decided to leave Grandson northwards for a mountain pass north of the town of Concise. As he had foreseen, the Swiss army marched from Neuchâtel, with their vanguard made up of eight thousand men several hours ahead of the rest. The vanguard reached the mountain pass first and surprised the Burgundian army.[271]

Despite the unexpected situation, Charles quickly rallied his troops, ordered his artillery to fire at the enemy lines and then launched an attack.[269] Meanwhile, the Swiss had knelt down to pray, which the Burgundians may have mistaken for submission, motivating them more for the attack.[272] The initial charge, commanded by Louis de Châlon-Arlay [fr], Lord of Grandson, failed to penetrate the Swiss defensive line, with Louis himself killed in the process.[272] Charles then made a second attack. In order to lure the enemy further down the valley to give his artillery a better target, Charles soon retreated.[273]

However, the rest of his army mistook his tactical retreat for a complete withdrawal. Around this time, the rest of the Swiss army had reached the valley, announcing their arrival by bellowing their horns. The Burgundians suddenly panicked and abandoned their positions, ignoring Charles' pleas to stay in line.[274] The panicking army even forsook their camp at Grandson, leaving it open for the Swiss to capture.[269] Subsequently, the Swiss reached Charles' camp and looted the treasures inside it.[275] The Battle of Grandson became a humiliating defeat for Charles the Bold, his army's cowardice had caused him the loss of many valuable treasures and all of his artillery and supplies.[276] For two or three days after the battle, Charles had been so shaken by the loss that he refused any food or drinks and by 4 March had begun to reorganize his army in hopes of entering the battlefield two weeks later.[277]

Battle of Morat

The flight of Charles the Bold after the Battle of Morat by Eugène Burnand, 1894, currently kept at the Eugène Burnand Museum in Moudon

Charles retreated to Lausanne, where he began to reorganize the whole of his army with utmost fury and resolve. Demanding more artillery and men-at-arms his lands, for example, in Dijon, where anything made of metals were melted to make canons and in the occupied Nancy and Lorraine, where all their artilleries were confiscated.[278][f] He received funds from all his allies and men from Italy, Germany, England and Poland came to join his army.[279] At the end of May, he had amassed 20,000 men in Lausanne, outnumbering the local population.[280] He trained these men from 14 to 26 May while he himself grew sicker by day, resulting in stagnation among his troops. With the supply lines delaying to deliver, and the payment long overdue, many things had to be cut from Charles' army. The number of horses reduced, with many of horse archers now functioning on foot. At last, the army, though luxurious in display, was questionably incoherent and destabilised.[281]

On 27 May, Charles and his army began their slow march towards the fortress of Morat. His main objective was the city of Bern, and to eliminate all supports to the city, he first needed to conquer Morat.[279] He arrived at Morat at 9 June and immediately began besieging the fortress. By 19 June, after several assaults on the fortress and with several of its walls destroyed, Morat sent a message to Bern, asking for help.[282] On 20 June, the Eidgenossen (oath companion[g]) arrived at Morat.[285] Their numbers was larger than the army at Grandson; the Swiss commanders estimated themselves to be 30,000 men, while recent historians offer the number 24,000.[286] Charles expected a decisive battle at the wake of 21 June, yet, the next day, he was met with inaction from the Swiss.[285] The Swiss instead attacked on 22 June, a holy day attributed to the Ten thousand martyrs, catching the slumbering Burgundians unexpected.[287] Charles was too slow in organizing his troops for a counterattack; he himself tarried in putting up his armour and while his men were taking their positions, the Swiss army had already reached them.[288] Accordingly, the Burgundian army soon abandoned their posts and began fleeting for their lives.[289]

The resulting affair was a mass slaughter of the fleeing Burgundian army. Many retreated into the Lake Morat, and either drowned or died swimming in the process. Some climbed the walnut trees, and were shot dead by the arquebuses and hand cannons. The Swiss showed no mercy to the yielding men. They killed knights, soldiers, and high officials alike.[290] Charles himself fled with his men and rode for days until he reached Gex.[291] The Milanese ambassador, Panigarola, reported that Charles would laugh and make jokes after the defeat at Morat. Charles refused to believe he was defeated and continued to think God was on his side.[292]



Battle of Nancy

Charles the Bold found after the Battle of Nancy, by Auguste Feyen-Perrin, 1865. Held at Musée des Beaux-Arts at Nancy

While Charles may have wanted to continue the war against the Swiss, his plans changed drastically when Nancy was reconquered by René II on 6 October.[292] In need of money, Charles took a large loan from the Medici bank with which he assembled 10,000 hastily gathered men.[293] The rest of his army consisted of the Italian mercenaries under the command of Count of Campobasso [fr]; Burgundian garrison in Nancy, and 8,000 reinforcement from the Netherlands.[294] He arrived in Nancy at 11 October and by 22 October began bombarding the city walls. The siege continued throughout the harsh winter.[295] Charles was hoping that he could enter the city before any of Rene's allies arrive at Nancy.[296]

Meanwhile, René spent November and December on negotiating with the Swiss for granting him an army of mercenaries and with Louis XI to pay the Swiss, eventually, he was successful with both and marched towards Nancy from Basel on 26 December with 9000 Swiss mercenaries.[297] On 31 December, Count of Campobasso, who may have communicated secretly with René, deserted the Burgundian army with 180 of his men.[298] And on 3 January 1477, his sons deserted with the rest 120 of his men.[299] Afterwards, he joined René and fought the Burgundians on the forthcoming battle.[299][h]

On 5 January, under heavy snow, René and his army marched towards the Burgundian position.[302] The snow was helpful in obscuring their movements, as they outflanked the Burgundian army by marching around towards the front of the Burgundians, where Charles had not placed pickets.[303] Around noon they attacked the Burgundians, whose artillery was too slow to engage with the quickly-approaching army.[304] Charles tried to rally his men, but to no avail, for the Burgundians where already fleeting from the battlefield.[305] Meanwhile, the Alsatian and Swiss infantry encircled Charles and his horsemen. In the River Meurthe he fell from his horse, and was struck on his head with a halberd, which pierced his helmet and went into his skull.[305] Half of the Burgundian army died during the battle or while retreating.[305] Only those who escaped fifty kilometers to Metz survived.[304]


Duke René II of Lorraine holding the hands of the corpse of Charles the Bold, Chronique scandaleuse by Jean de Roye

The corpse of Charles the Bold remained concealed until three days after the battle, when it was found lying on the river, with half of his head frozen.[305] It took a group consisting of Charles' Roman valet, his Portuguese personal physician, his chaplain, Olivier de la Marche, and two of his bastard brothers to identify the corpse through a missing tooth, ingrown toenail, and long fingernails.[306] His body was moved to Nancy with full honours, where it was displayed for 5 days.[305] Then, René buried him in the Saint-George collegiate church of Nancy.[307] In Artois, people refused to believe he was dead, instead believing he had escaped to Germany, to undergo seven years of penance but would reappear again.[306]

Margaret of York, Charles' wife, requested the return of his body, but was refused by René.[307] On 22 September 1550, Charles V, as a sign to strengthen his legitimacy over Burgundy, exhumed the body and brought it to Luxembourg. And three years later, Charles' bones were again exhumed to their final resting place, the Church of Our Lady, Bruges, beside his daughter, Mary of Burgundy.[307] On 1559, Philip II ordered the construction of a monument over the tomb of Charles, which was completed in 1563.[307] Philip would hold masses for the repose of the soul of Charles and death anniversaries on the date of his death, 5 January.[308]



Louis XI knew of Charles' death even before the news had reached Burgundy, and thus taking advantage of a defenseless country, he invaded Burgundy through Picardy, Artois and Mâcon only three weeks after the Battle of Nancy.[309] Meanwhile, Ghent rose in rebellion, executing two of Charles' closest collaborators, William Hugonet and Guy of Brimeu, lord of Humbercourt.[310] Charles' former conquests, Liége and Guelders, rapidly sought their independence, and in Luxembourg, a struggle broke out over consenting to the inheritance of Mary of Burgundy, or supporting another claimant.[309] Sigismund of Austria and the Swiss were vying for Franche-Comté and Holland, Zeeland, Frisia and Hainault were claimed by the Count Palatine and the Duke of Bavaria.[311]

Mary, the sole child of Charles, and Margaret of York, his widow, considered their only way out of the crisis to be an alliance with the Habsburgs. As a result, Mary married Maximilian in August 1477.[310] Afterwards, Maximilian successfully resisted Louis' aggression in Artois and forced Louis into an advantageous temporary truce.[309] The States General legitimized and accepted Mary's succession on 11 February, after Mary signed the Great Privilege, a series of constitutional reforms.[312] Mary died on 27 March 1482, and passed the Duchy of Burgundy onto her son and heir, Philip.[313]

Historiography and legacy


Charles the Bold's failure and untimely death directly caused the sudden collapse of the Burgundian state.[314] He had no legitimate male heir to succeed him and did not provide a capable husband for his daughter that he could train and prepare for succession.[314] He was obsessed over uniting the "lands over there" (Low Countries) and the "lands over here" (Burgundy proper) through Lorraine,[144] and sought to forge a national identity independent from that of the French, much like his father used to do.[315] He spent his short years as the Duke of Burgundy on securing a crown and forging a new kingdom, which would have united his subjects under one symbol, though Charles sought it more for his own glory.[121] However, inadvertently this helped to unite his German enemies under the banner of a "German nation" opposing Charles, whom they called "The Grand Turk of the West".[316]

His death was also one of the more pivotal moment in the modern history of Lorraine.[317] In Nancy, the victory of René II is still remembered fondly.[318] The Swiss victory at Morat was a confirmation to their national identity, a sign of pride and a preservation of their independence. While on the larger scales, the Battle of Morat also contributed to the decline of feudalism and heralded the end to the concept of chivalry.[319] The German-language historiography treats him ambivalently, because he is seen both as a tragic representation of the fall of the Middle Ages, and as an immoral and flawed prince. The latter image being more present in the Swiss literature up until recently.[320]


  1. ^ Contemporaneous historians and chroniclers gave Charles his epithet, le Téméraire, after his death. The English translation, Charles the Bold, suggests that he was named after the progenitor of his family, Philip the Bold. Whereas Philip's epithet, le Hardi can be translated to "bold", Charles' title in French means "foolhardy" and "reckless".[1]
  2. ^ Jacqueline was the daughter of Margaret of Burgundy, a daughter of Philip the Bold.[12]
  3. ^ Which was especially made for him by a saddler from Brussels called Jean Rampart.[24]
  4. ^ Charles owned a tapestry of Gundobad, the ancient King of the Burgundians, a kingdom he wished to restore.[122]
  5. ^ This encounter showcased the economical and cultural differences between Christendom's richer west and poorer east, with the Germans amazed by the wealth of the Burgundy and the Burgundians shocked by their poor equipment.[120]
  6. ^ Philippe de Commines, the Burgundian chronicler, reported that in his official decree to all of his realm, Charles ordered "Der Meyer zu Lockie an den Grafen zu Aarburg" (all the world to come to him with all (its) cannon and all (its) manpower).[278]
  7. ^ The word Eidgenossen is literary translated as 'oath companion', and was a synonym for Swiss, referring to the members of the Old Swiss Confederacy.[283] Until the Siege on Morat, most of the confederacy had not declared war on Burgundy, because Charles had yet to invade a territory officially part of one of its members. But during the siege, Charles attacked a bridge which was a part of Bernese territory, thus obligating the confederacy to join Bern in their campaign against Burgundy.[284]
  8. ^ It is not clear what was Campobasso's position during the battle. One Neapolitan account reports that Charles once found himself engaged in a duel with Campobasso.[300] According to Angelo de Tummmulilis, Charles had Campobasso in his mercy but spared him and told him to flee.[301]


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  244. ^ Walsh 2005, p. 341.
  245. ^ Golubeva 2013, p. 32.
  246. ^ Vaughan & Paravicini 2002, p. 273.
  247. ^ a b c Van Loo 2021, p. 429.
  248. ^ Vaughan & Paravicini 2002, p. 276.
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  250. ^ a b Simpson & Heller 2013, p. 37.
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  253. ^ a b Williams 2014, p. 22.
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  255. ^ Williams 2014, pp. 23–24.
  256. ^ Smith & De Vries 2005, p. 48.
  257. ^ a b Williams 2014, p. 24.
  258. ^ Villalon & Kagay 2005, p. 445.
  259. ^ Van Loo 2021, p. 431.
  260. ^ Smith & De Vries 2005, p. 180.
  261. ^ Smith & De Vries 2005, p. 182.
  262. ^ Williams 2014, p. 25.
  263. ^ Smith & De Vries 2005, pp. 182; Van Loo 2021, p. 431
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  265. ^ a b Smith & De Vries 2005, p. 183.
  266. ^ Van Loo 2021, p. 432.
  267. ^ Smith & De Vries 2005, p. 184.
  268. ^ Smith & De Vries 2005, p. 185.
  269. ^ a b c Baboukis 2010c.
  270. ^ Beazley 2014, p. 28.
  271. ^ Beazley 2014, p. 28; Baboukis 2010c
  272. ^ a b Beazley 2014, p. 29.
  273. ^ Van Loo 2021, p. 437.
  274. ^ Beazley 2014, p. 29; Baboukis 2010c
  275. ^ Van Loo 2021, p. 438.
  276. ^ Beazley 2014, p. 33.
  277. ^ Vaughan & Paravicini 2002, p. 378.
  278. ^ a b Winkler 2010, p. 20.
  279. ^ a b Winkler 2010, p. 21.
  280. ^ Van Loo 2021, p. 439.
  281. ^ Brunner 2011, p. 47.
  282. ^ Winkler 2010, pp. 24–25.
  283. ^ Vaughan & Paravicini 2002, p. 263.
  284. ^ Brunner 2011, p. 48.
  285. ^ a b Van Loo 2021, p. 443.
  286. ^ Winkler 2010, p. 26.
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  288. ^ Winkler 2010, p. 29.
  289. ^ Van Loo 2021, p. 444.
  290. ^ Winkler 2010, pp. 30–31.
  291. ^ Winkler 2010, p. 33.
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  293. ^ Van Loo 2021, p. 445.
  294. ^ Vaughan & Paravicini 2002, p. 419.
  295. ^ Smith & De Vries 2005, p. 198.
  296. ^ Vaughan & Paravicini 2002, p. 420.
  297. ^ Dean 2014, p. 40.
  298. ^ Dean 2014, p. 39.
  299. ^ a b Walsh 2005, p. 367.
  300. ^ Walsh 2005, p. 368.
  301. ^ Walsh 2005, p. 399.
  302. ^ Smith & De Vries 2005, p. 199.
  303. ^ Dean 2014, p. 41.
  304. ^ a b Smith & De Vries 2005, p. 200.
  305. ^ a b c d e Dean 2014, p. 43.
  306. ^ a b Monter 2007, p. 23.
  307. ^ a b c d Salet 1982, p. 343.
  308. ^ Salet 1982, p. 344.
  309. ^ a b c Blockmans & Pervenier 1999, p. 195.
  310. ^ a b Schnerb 2008, p. 455.
  311. ^ Knecht 2007, p. 104.
  312. ^ Koenigsberger 2001, p. 42.
  313. ^ Blockmans & Pervenier 1999, p. 199.
  314. ^ a b Vaughan & Paravicini 2002, p. 399.
  315. ^ Lecuppre-Desjardin 2022, p. 337.
  316. ^ Lecuppre-Desjardin 2022, p. 217.
  317. ^ Monter 2007, p. 15.
  318. ^ Monter 2007, p. 22.
  319. ^ Winkler 2010, p. 34.
  320. ^ Sieber-Lehmann 1997, p. 13.




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Charles the Bold
Cadet branch of the House of Valois
Born: 10 November 1433 Died: 5 January 1477
Regnal titles
Preceded by Duke of Burgundy, Brabant,
Limburg, Lothier and Luxemburg;
Margrave of Namur;
Count of Artois, Flanders,
Hainaut, Holland and Zeeland;
Count Palatine of Burgundy

15 July 1467 – 5 January 1477
Succeeded by
Count of Charolais
August 1433 – 5 January 1477
Preceded by Duke of Guelders
Count of Zutphen

23 February 1473 – 5 January 1477