The Valois of France

The Valois of France

France was ruled by the Valois Dynasty from the accession of Philip VI (Count of Valois, 1328) to the death of Henry III in 1589. Two hundred and sixty-one years of almost constant warfare. The Valois kings could not trust their dastardly cousins the English, but founded a tradition of trusting ( and funding) the Scots.

The succession was kept in the direct male line from the fourteenth century until the Orléans branch (q.v.) put the French crown on the head of their Louis XII in 1498. Something then went badly wrong, for the last three Valois monarchs, Francis II (died 1560), Charles IX (died 1574) and Henry III (died 1589) had no legitimate children. The Valois were replaced by the Bourbons, first king Henry IV –  of no blessed memory.

Reigning dates:

1328-50                   Philip VI

1350-64                   John II (‘The Good’: at the Battle of Poitiers this Valois was captured)

1364-80                   Charles V ‘The Wise’

1380-1422               Charles VI (‘The Foolish’: at the Battle of Agincourt his son was defeated)

1422-61                   Charles VII ‘The Victorious’

1461-83                   Louis XI

1483-98                   Charles VIII

1515-47                   Francis I

1547-59                   Henry II

1559-60                   Francis II

1560-74                   Charles IX

1574-89                   Henry III

The shortest reign was that of Francis II – one year only. The longest was that of Louis VI, called ‘The Foolish’, whose son’s army was soundly thrashed at Agincourt (1415).

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