Charles VIII, called the Affable (French: l'Affable; 30 June 1470 – 7 April 1498), was King of France from 1483 to his death in 1498. He succeeded his father Louis XI at the age of 13. His elder sister Anne acted as regent jointly with her husband Peter II, Duke of Bourbon until 1491 when the young king turned 21 years of age.
Charles VIII, (born June 30, 1470, Amboise, Fr.—died April 7, 1498, Amboise), king of France from 1483, known for beginning the French expeditions into Italy that lasted until the middle of the next century.
- Childhood and Youth
- The Italian War
- Representations in Popular Culture
Charles was born at the Château d'Amboise in France, the only surviving son of King Louis XI by his second wife Charlotte of Savoy. His godparents were Charles II, Duke of Bourbon (the godchild's namesake), Joan of Valois, Duchess of Bourbon and Edward of Westminster, the son of Henry VI of England who had been living in France since the deposition of his father by Edward IV.Charles succeeded to the throne on 30 August 1483 at the age of 13. His health was poor. He was regarded by his contemporaries as possessing a pleasant disposition, but also as foolish and unsuited for the business of the state. In accordance with the wishes of Louis XI, the regency of the kingdom was granted to Charles' elder sister Anne, a formidably intelligent and shrewd woman described by her father as "the least foolish woman in France." She would rule as regent, together with her husband Peter of Bourbon, until 1491.
Charles was betrothed on 22 July 1483 to the 3-year-old Margaret of Austria, daughter of the Archduke Maximilian of Austria (later Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian I) and Mary, Duchess of Burgundy. The marriage was arranged by Louis XI, Maximilian, and the Estates of the Low Countries as part of the 1482 Peace of Arrasbetween France and the Duchy of Burgundy. Margaret brought the Counties of Artois and Burgundy to France as her dowry, and she was raised in the French court as a prospective Queen consort. In 1488, however, Francis II, Duke of Brittany, died in a riding accident, leaving his 11-year old daughter Anne as his heiress. Anne, who feared for the independence of her duchy against the ambitions of France, arranged a marriage in 1490 between herself and the widower Maximilian, thus making Anne a stepmother to Margaret of Austria. The Regent Anne of France and her husband Peter refused to countenance such a marriage, however, since it would place Maximilian and his family, the Ha...
To secure France against invasions, Charles made treaties with Maximilian I of Austria (the Treaty of Barcelona with Maximilian of Austria on January 19, 1493) and England, (the Treaty of Étaples with England on November 34, 1492) buying their neutrality with large concessions. He devoted France's resources to building up a large army, including one of Europe's first siege trains with artillery. In 1489, Pope Innocent VIII (1484-1492), then being at odds with Ferdinand I of Naples, offered Naples to Charles, who had a vague claim to the Kingdom of Naples through his paternal grandmother, Marie of Anjou. Innocent's policy of meddling in the affairs of other Italian states, was continued by Innocent's successor, Pope Alexander VI (1492-1503) when the Pope supported a plan for a carving out a new state in central Italy. The new state would have impacted Milan the worse than any of all states involved. Consequently, in 1493, Ludovico Sforza, the Duke of Milan, appealed for help to Charl...
Charles died in 1498, two and a half years after his retreat from Italy, as the result of an accident. While on his way to watch a game of jeu de paume (real tennis) in Amboise he struck his head on the lintel of a door.At around 2 PM, while returning from the game, he fell into a sudden coma, and died nine hours later, perhaps of a subdural hematoma.
Charles bequeathed a meagre legacy: he left France in debt and in disarray as a result of his ambition. However, his expedition did strengthen cultural ties to Italy, energizing French art and letters in the latter part of the Renaissance. Since his children predeceased him, Charles was the last of the elder branch of the House of Valois. Upon his death, the throne passed to his father's second cousin, the Duke of Orléans, who reigned as King Louis XII. Left childless at his death, Charles' widow, Anne returned to Brittany and there, as hereditary Duchess of Brittany, began steps to regain the independence of the Duchy. It was exactly to stymie these moves toward independence that Charles VIII's successor—Louis XII—had his 24 year marriage to Joan of Franceannulled so that he could marry Anne of Brittany on June 7, 1500.
The marriage with Anne resulted in the birth of four children: 1. Charles-Orland, Dauphin of France (11 October 1492 – 16 December 1495). 2. Charles, Dauphin of France (8 September – 2 October 1496). 3. Francis, Dauphin of France (July 1497). 4. Anne (Tours, 20 March 1498).
Charles VIII's invasion of Italy and his relations with Pope Alexander VI are depicted in the novel The Sultan's Helmsman. In the 2011 Showtime series The Borgias, Charles VIII is portrayed by French actor Michel Muller. In the 2011 French-German historical drama Borgia, Charles VIII is played by Simon Larvaron.The event of the king's death is depicted in the TV series Borgia with a small twist: in the episode, Charles plays himself a game of jeu de paume with Cesare Borgia and loses; while exitingthe game, Charles strikes his head on the lintel of a door.
May 08, 2018 · CHARLES VIII (FRANCE) (1470 – 1498, ruled 1483 – 1498), king of France. Charles VIII was the last king of France in the direct line of the Valois dynasty. The only son of Louis XI (ruled 1461 – 1483) of France and Charlotte of Savoy, he was born on 30 June 1470.
Charles VIII was King of France, and the leader of one of the most powerful armies in Europe.
Mar 17, 2015 · Charles VIII became king of France at the age of 12 in 1483. As Louis XI during his reign had pushed France towards absolute monarchy, the nobility’s power had suffered accordingly. Now, under Charles they attempted to get back the power that they thought should be theirs by right. Charles was “feeble in body and intellect” (E N Williams)
Dec 18, 2014 · Charles VIII of France (1470-98, reigned 1483-98) began the long series of French invasions of Italy (Italian Wars), paying a great cost for his temporary occupation of Naples. Charles was the only son of Louis XI, and came to the throne in 1483 when aged only 13.
Jun 30, 2020 · Charles VIII of France, known as the Affable, was born at Château d’Amboise on the 30th of June 1470. He was the only surviving son of King Louis XI of France, called the Prudent and the Spider, and his second queen, Charlotte de Savoy. His four brothers were all either stillborn or shortlived.