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  1. Isabeau of Bavaria (or Isabelle; also Elisabeth of Bavaria-Ingolstadt; c. 1370 – September 1435) was queen of France between 1385 and 1422. She was born into the House of Wittelsbach as the only daughter of Duke Stephen III of Bavaria-Ingolstadt and Taddea Visconti of Milan. At age 15 or 16, Isabeau was sent to the young King Charles VI of ...

  2. Isabeau of Bavaria was one of France's most despised queens. She was a German princess. born in 1371, the daughter of Stephen III of Bavaria and Thaddaea Visconti . In 1385, Isabeau married the French king Charles VI as part of a political alliance between Bavaria and France. Isabeau succeeded in the primary duty of a queen, to provide heirs to ...

    • Lineage and Marriage
    • Coronation
    • Charles' Illness
    • Political Factions and Early Diplomatic Efforts
    • Orléans' Assassination and Aftermath
    • Civil War
    • Treaty of Troyes and Later Years
    • Reputation and Legacy
    • Patronage
    • Children

    Isabeau's parents were Duke Stephen III of Bavaria-Ingolstadt and Taddea Visconti, whom he married for a 100,000 ducat dowry. She was most likely born in Munich where she was baptized as Elisabeth[note 1] at the Church of Our Lady. Hers was the ancient and well-established Wittelsbach family, descended from Charlemagne, and she was great-granddaughter to the Wittelsbach Holy Roman Emperor Louis IV.[note 2] At that period Bavaria was the most powerful of the German states and divided between members of the House of Wittelsbach, who confusingly all used the title Duke of Bavaria. Isabeau's uncle, Duke Frederick of Bavaria-Landshut, suggested in 1383 that she be considered as a bride to King Charles VI of France. The match was proposed again at the lavish Burgundian double wedding in Cambrai in April 1385—John the Fearless and his sister Margaret of Burgundy married Margaret and William of Bavaria-Straubing respectively. Charles, then 17, rode in the tourneys at the wedding. He was an...

    Isabeau's coronation was celebrated on 23 August 1389 with a lavish ceremonial entry into Paris. Her second cousin and sister-in-law Valentina Visconti, who had married her own cousin Louis of Orléans (Charles' younger brother), two years earlier by proxy and papal dispensation, arrived in style escorted across the Alps from Milan by 1,300 knights carrying personal luxuries such as books and a harp. The noblewomen in the coronation procession were dressed in lavish costumes with thread-of-gold embroidery and rode in littersescorted by knights. Philip the Bold wore a doublet embroidered with 40 sheep and 40 swans, each decorated with a bell made of pearls. The procession lasted from morning to night. The streets were lined with tableaux vivants displaying scenes from the Crusades, Deësis and the Gates of Paradise. More than a thousand burghers stood along the procession route; those on one side were dressed in green facing those on the opposite side in red. The procession began at th...

    Charles suffered the first of what was to become a lifelong series of bouts of insanity in 1392 when on a hot August day outside Le Mans, he attacked his household knights, including his brother Orléans, killing four men, after which he fell into a coma that lasted for four days. Few believed he would recover; his uncles, the dukes of Burgundy and Berry, took advantage of the King's illness and quickly seized power, re-established themselves as regents, and dissolved the Marmouset council. The King's sudden onset of insanity was seen by some as a sign of divine anger and punishment and by others as the result of magic; modern historians speculate he may have suffered from the onset of paranoid schizophrenia. The comatose king was returned to Le Mans, where Guillaume de Harsigny—a venerated and well-educated 92-year-old physician—was summoned to treat him. After Charles regained consciousness, and his fever subsided, he was gradually returned to Paris in September. His physician reco...

    Isabeau's life is well documented, most likely because Charles's illness placed her in an unusual position of power. Nevertheless, not much is known about her personal characteristics and historians even disagree about her appearance. She is variously described as "small and brunette", or as "tall and blonde". Contemporary evidence is contradictory; chroniclers said of her either she was "beautiful and hypnotic, or so obese through dropsy that she was crippled."[note 3]Despite living in France after her marriage, she spoke with a heavy German accent that never diminished, which Tuchman describes as giving her an "alien" cast at the French court. Historian Tracy Adams describes Isabeau as a talented diplomat who navigated court politics with ease, grace and charisma. Charles had been crowned in 1387, aged 20, attaining sole control of the monarchy. His first acts included the dismissal of his uncles and the reinstatement of the so-called Marmousets—a group of councilors to his father...

    In 1407, John the Fearless ordered Orléans' assassination. On 23 November, hired killers attacked the duke as he returned to his Paris residence, cut off his hand holding the horse's reins, and "hacked [him] to death with swords, axes, and wooden clubs". His body was left in a gutter. John first denied involvement in the assassination, but quickly admitted that the act was done for the Queen's honor, claiming he acted to "avenge" the monarchy of the alleged adultery between Isabeau and Orléans. His royal uncles, shocked at his confession, forced him to leave Paris while the Royal Council attempted a reconciliation between the Houses of Burgundy and Orléans. In March 1408, Jean Petit presented a lengthy and well-attended justification, at the royal palace before a large courtly audience. Petit argued convincingly that in the King's absence Orléans became a tyrant, practiced sorcery and necromancy, was driven by greed, and planned, while almost succeeding, in committing fratricide at...

    Despite Isabeau's efforts to keep the peace, the Armagnac–Burgundian Civil War broke out in 1411. John gained the upper hand during the first year but the Dauphin began to build a power base; Christine de Pizan wrote of him that he was the savior of France. Still only 15, he lacked the power or backing to defeat John, who fomented revolt in Paris. In retaliation against John the Fearless' actions, Charles of Orléans denied funds from the royal treasury to all members of the royal family. In 1414, instead of allowing her son, then 17, to lead, Isabeau allied herself with Charles of Orléans. The Dauphin, in return, then changed allegiance and joined John, which Isabeau considered unwise and dangerous. The result was continued civil war in Paris. Parisian commoners joined forces with John the Fearless in the Cabochien Revolt, and at the height of the revolt a group of butchers entered Isabeau's home in search of traitors, arresting and taking away up to 15 of her ladies-in-waiting.In h...

    By 1419, Henry V occupied much of Normandy and demanded an oath of allegiance from the residents. The new Duke of Burgundy, Philip the Good, allied with the English, putting enormous pressure on France and Isabeau, who remained loyal to the King. In 1420, Henry V sent an emissary to confer with the Queen, after which according to Adams, Isabeau "ceded to what must have been a persuasively posed argument by Henry V's messenger". France effectively was without an heir to the throne, even before the Treaty of Troyes. Charles VI had disinherited the Dauphin, whom he considered responsible for "breaking the peace for his involvement in the assassination of the duke of Burgundy". He wrote in 1420 of Charles that he had "rendered himself unworthy to succeed to the throne or any other title".Charles of Orléans, next in line as heir under salic law, had been taken prisoner at the Battle of Agincourt and was kept in captivity in London. In absence of an official heir to the throne, Isabeau ac...

    Isabeau was dismissed by historians as a wanton, weak and indecisive leader. Modern historians now see her as taking an unusually active leadership role for a queen of her period, forced to take responsibility as a direct result of Charles' illness. Her critics accepted skewed interpretations of her role in the negotiations with England, resulting in the Treaty of Troyes, and in the rumors of her marital infidelity with Orléans. Gibbons writes a queen's duty was to secure the succession to the crown and look after her husband; historians described Isabeau as having failed in both respects and she came to be seen as a one of the great villains in history.Gibbons goes on to say that even her physical appearance is uncertain and depictions of her vary depending on whether she was to be portrayed as good or evil. Rumored to be a bad mother, she was accused of "incest, moral corruption, treason, avarice and profligacy ... political aspirations and involvements".Adams writes that historia...

    Like many of the Valois, Isabeau was an appreciative art collector. She loved jewels and was responsible for the commissions of particularly lavish pieces of ronde-bosse—a newly developed technique of making enamel-covered gold pieces. Documentation suggests she commissioned several fine pieces of tableaux d'orfrom Parisian goldsmiths. In 1404, Isabeau gave Charles a spectacular ronde-bosse, known as the Little Golden Horse Shrine, (or Goldenes Rössli), now held in a convent church in Altötting, Bavaria.[note 7] Contemporary documents identify the statuette as a New Year's gift—an étrennes—a Roman custom Charles revived to establish rank and alliances during the period of factionalism and war. With the exception of manuscripts, the Little Golden Horse is the single surviving documented étrennes of the period. Weighing 26 pounds (12 kg) the gold piece is encrusted with rubies, sapphires and pearls. It depicts Charles kneeling on a platform above a double set of stairs, presenting him...

    The birth of each of Isabeau's 12 children is well chronicled; even the decoration schemes of the rooms in which she gave birth are described. She had six sons and six daughters. The first son, born in 1386, died as an infant and the last, Philip, born in 1407, lived a single day. Three others died young with only her youngest son, Charles VII, living to adulthood. Five of the six daughters survived; four were married and one, Marie(1393–1438), was sent at age four to be raised in a convent, where she became prioress. Her first son, Charles (b. 1386) died in infancy. A daughter, Joan, born two years later lived until 1390. The second daughter, Isabella, born in 1389, was married at age seven to Richard II of England and after his death to Charles, Duke of Orléans. The third daughter, Joan (1391–1433), who lived to age 42, married John VI, Duke of Brittany. The fifth daughter, Michelle (1395–1422), first wife to Philip the Good, died childless at age 27. The youngest, Catherine (1401...

    • Lineage
    • Career
    • Legacy
    • Children
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    Isabeau of Bavaria was the daughter of Stephen III of Bavaria-Ingolstadt and Taddea Visconti. Her paternal grandparents were Stephen II, Duke of Bavaria (a son of Emperor Louis IV) and Elisabeth of Sicily (whose name Isabella received), daughter of king Frederick III of Sicily and his wife Eleanor of Anjou. Eleanor was herself a daughter of Charles II of Naples and Maria Arpad of Hungary. Maria was a daughter of Stephen V of Hungary and Elizabeth of the Cumans (whose namesake her great-granddaughter, and through that, ultimately Queen Isabella became). Elizabeth was daughter of Kuthen of the Cumans, a chieftain apparently descending from the Kipchaks and lord of the clan of Kun which had settled to Hungary after Mongol pressure drove them westwards. Her maternal grandparents were Barnabò Visconti, Lord of Milan and Regina-Beatrice della Scala. Regina was daughter of Mastino II della Scala, Lord of Verona from 1329 to 1351 and his wife Taddea di Carrara.

    The role of Isabeau of Bavaria in French history has caused her to be the subject of barbed attacks from the pens of a variety of historians through the centuries. These attacks stem from skewed interpretations of her important role in the negotiations with England that resulted in the Treaty of Troyes (1420) and from simple acceptance of the rumors of her marital infidelity that were started in Paris 1422-1429 during the English occupation. These rumors were started in an attempt to throw doubt on the paternity of Isabeau's son Charles VII, who was then fighting to expel the English and to be accepted throughout the kingdom as the rightful king of France. The rumors found expression in a poem called the Pastoralet, that was circulated at the time. Isabeau was put in the position of having to assume an unusually powerful role in government to fill the gap left by her husband's frequent bouts of mental illness. Several months after the onset of the king's illness, his doctors recomme...

    Posterity has not been kind to Isabeau of Bavaria. A popular saying late in her life was that France had been lost by a woman and would be recovered by a girl. Many took this to be a prediction of Joan of Arc. In fairness to Isabeau it must be noted that her leadership confronted double prejudice as a woman and a foreigner. There are a few bright spots in her reign, such as her artistic patronage. Isabeau aided the era's most significant French author Christine de Pizan and sponsored artisans who developed innovative techniques in decorative arts. In fiction, her life was the inspiration for the Marquis de Sade's unpublished 1813 novel Histoire secrete d'Isabelle de Baviere, reine de France.

    Charles, Dauphin of Viennois (1386-1386)
    Joan (1388-1390)
    Isabella (1389-1409); m.1 Richard II of England; m.2 Charles, Duke of Orléans
    Joan (1391-1433); m. John VI, Duke of Brittany
  3. Isabeau of Bavaria (also Isabella of Bavaria-Ingolstadt; c. 1370 – 24 September 1435) was Queen consort of France (1385-1422) as spouse of King Charles VI of France, a member of the Valois Dynasty. She assumed a prominent role in public affairs during the disastrous later years of her husband's ...

  4. Sep 24, 2015 · Isabeau of Bavaria, queen of France (died 24 September 1435) Probably born about the year 1370, Isabeau of Bavaria was the daughter of Stephen III, duke of Bavaria-Ingoldstadt, and his first wife, Taddea Visconti, who was the daughter of Bernabò Visconti, lord of Milan. Isabeau was also the great-granddaughter of the Holy Roman emperor Louis IV.*.

  5. Nov 11, 2020 · Isabeau of Bavaria. Before Isabeau of Bavaria could have a tumultuous marriage and cause all sorts of scandal as the regent for her sons, she was born at some vague point between 1368 and 1371 at some location in the Kingdom of Bavaria that was most likely Munich (although, given that she was a woman in the late Middle Ages, we can’t be sure).

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