Louis (XI, King of France 1461-1483)

 Born     Born At  
 Died     Buried At  
 Father  Charles (VII, King of France 1422-1461)   Mother  Marie (of Anjou)
King Louis XI, the spider, supported Henry VI the Lancastrians and he supported invasions of England against Edward IV. In 1440, before he became king of France, Louis plotted against his own father, King Charles VII, in what is known as the Praguerie. The plot led by French nobles wanted to remove Charles from the throne of France. The uprising was crushed and Charles forgave his son for the part he played. Louis' continued plotting against the King and his ministers led to his appointment as governor of a region called Dauphiné. Louis ruled his domain as if it were an independent state, collecting taxes and minting coins. In 1456 Charles sent an army to Dauphiné when Louis refused to submit to the King's authority. Louis fled to the court of Philip, the Duke of Burgundy (Philip the Good) and was granted an allowance and the castle of Genappe. Louis married Margaret, the daughter of James I, King of Scotland. But after her death in 1445 Louis annoyed his father by marrying the daughter of the Duke of Savoy without the King's approval. Charles VII died in July of 1461 after a long illness resulting in an abscess in the mouth that meant he could not eat or drink. Louis 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.


Do you want to explore a Saxon Hall, a medieval church or a large stone keep? Click the images below to enter a medieval world.

1461 Jul  Lancastrian Embassy in France
 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. [1]

Episode: Wars of the Roses  
 Jul 22  Death of Charles VII
 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 on, 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.[2] 
 Aug 15  Louis XI crowned King of France
 Louis and his wife were crowned at Rheims Cathedral. 
1462 Apr  Queen Margaret sails to France
 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.[1]

Episode: Wars of the Roses  
 Jun 28  Queen Margaret and Louis XI
 Queen Margaret of England and Louis XI of France sign a treaty. Margaret promised that Calais would be his if he helped her return Henry to the throne.[3]

Episode: Wars of the Roses  
1464 May  Edward secretly marries
 Edward 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.

Episode: Wars of the Roses  
1468 Jul  Jasper Tudor's invasion
 King Louis provider 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.

Episode: Wars of the Roses  
1470 Jul 22  Warwick and the Lancastrians
 Louis XI, the French King devised a plan to remove Edward IV from the English throne. Louis persuaded the Earl of Warwick (a Yorkist) 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.

Episode: Wars of the Roses  
 Sep 9  Warwick sails from France
 With an army and over fifty ships provided by King Louis, the Earl of Warwick set sail from France to England.[4]

Episode: Wars of the Roses  
1475 Jul  Edward invades France
 Edward's plans 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. 
 Aug  Peace treaty signed
 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. 
1482   Treaty of Arras
 Not to be confused with a treaty of the same name in 1435. This treaty was signed by 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 (what she would have brought as a gift to her husband) included the counties of Artios and Burgundy. The marriage though would not take place.[5] 
1483 Aug 30  Death of Louis XI
 Louis XI 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.[2] 

View walkthroughs of the TimeRef Virtual Medieval Abbey reconstruction.

Village Life

Talk to a medieval girl about her life in a medieval village

Talk to Villager


Please note that this area should be showing an interactive map of events. This area will not show if you are currently using an older version of web browser. The map viewer viewer has been tested on IE9 and the latest versions of Firefox and Chrome.