Family Tree Details
Louis (XI, King of France 1461-1483)
+Margaret (Stewart) ( - d.1445)
An embassy of several Lancastrians, including the Duke of Somerset, travelled to France and the court of Charles VII to ask for men and a loan of money to continue the fight against the Yorkists. But the death of Charles on the 22nd put an end to their plans. Their situation became serious when they were arrested. The new French King, Louis XI, at this stage of the Wars of the Roses was a Yorkist supporter.
Charles VII died in July of 1461 after a long illness resulting in an abscess in his mouth that meant he could not eat or drink. Louis, his son, had refused to see his dying father, but as soon as he learnt of the King's death Louis headed to Rheims and Paris to claim the French throne.
Louis and his wife were crowned at Rheims Cathedral.
In an attempt to raise support for the Lancastrian cause, Queen Margaret sailed from Scotland to Brittany. She hoped she could get support from the French King, Louis XI.
Queen Margaret of England and Louis XI of France signed a treaty. Margaret promised that Calais would be returned to the French if he helped her return her husband King Henry VI of England to the throne.
King Edward IV married Elizabeth Woodville (Wydville) secretly during a hunting trip. The hunting trip that may have been arranged as a cover. Edward is supposed to have had a reputation as a lady's man and had many lovers. To Edward, Elizabeth could have been just another lover, but Elizabeth may have wanted more and persuaded Edward to marry her. The marriage took place in secret and was kept quiet until the spring of 1465. One problem with the marriage was that Elizabeth was the widow of Henry V's brother John, a Lancastrian and her family were Lancastrian supporters. The other problem was that Warwick had contacted the French king Louis XI and had been trying to arrange a marriage for Edward to a French princess. Edward's act upset Warwick's plans.
King Louis XI of France provided Jasper Tudor, the Earl of Pembroke, with three ships and fifty soldiers to invade Wales. The small invasion force planned to gain support against Edward IV and help the Lancastrian garrison trapped at Harlech Castle. The castle was surrounded by the English so Pembroke attacked and occupied Denbigh gaining many supporters. Lord Herbert was dispatched to deal with the threat and defeated Pembroke who managed to escape.
Louis XI, the French King devised a plan to remove Edward IV from the English throne. Louis persuaded the Yorkist Earl of Warwick and Margaret of Anjou the exiled wife of Henry VI, a Lancastrian, to combine forces and attempt to over through Edward. Warwick and Margaret met on 22 July at Anger Cathedral to put their differences aside and to agree on a course of action.
With an army and over fifty ships provided by King Louis, the Earl of Warwick set sail from France to England.
The plans of King Edward IV to unseat the King of France led to his invasion of France with a force of 10,000 men. He had been promised assistance from the Dukes of Brittany and Burgundy, and the King of Aragon. Unfortunately the Burgundian army did not turn up due to another conflict and Edward was left without sufficient men to proceed.
Louis and Edward agreed to a peace treaty to last seven years. The agreement signed at the Treaty of Picquigny meant Louis was to pay Edward an initial sum to leave France and a smaller yearly sum there-after. The French also paid a ransom to free Margaret of Anjou who had been held by the English since the Battle of Tewkesbury.
The Treaty of Arras of 1482 is not to be confused with a treaty of the same name in 1435. This treaty was signed by King Louis XI of France and Maximillian of Austria. It was agreed that Charles, the son of Louis, would marry Margaret, the daughter of Maximillian. Margaret's intended dowry, the gift to her husband was to include the counties of Artios and Burgundy. The marriage though would not take place.
King Louis XI of France had suffered from a series of strokes that had left him partially paralysed since 1480 and a further stroke in August of 1483 was the final one. He died a few days later. Louis had two daughters and a son. Before his death, Louis had declared that Charles, his son, should be the next King of France but because Charles was in poor health and had been given a poor education Louis specified that Anne, his eldest daughter, should act a regent until Charles was able to rule unaided.