King Philip the Handsome: biography, life story and reign, what made him famous

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King Philip the Handsome: biography, life story and reign, what made him famous
King Philip the Handsome: biography, life story and reign, what made him famous

In the residence of the French kings, in the Palace of Fontainebleau, in June 1268, the royal couple, Philip III the Bold and Isabella of Aragon, had a son, who was named after his father - Philip. Already in the first days of little Philip's life, everyone noted his unprecedented angelic beauty and the piercing gaze of his huge brown eyes. No one then could have foreseen that the newly born second heir to the throne would be the last of the Capetian family, an outstanding king of France.

Atmosphere of childhood and youth

During the childhood and youth of Philip, when his father Philip III ruled, France expanded its territory, annexing the province of Toulouse, the counties of Valois, Brie, Auvergne, Poitou and the pearl - the Kingdom of Navarre. Champagne was promised in joining the kingdom, thanks to an early agreement on the marriage of Philip to the heiress of the county,Princess Joan I of Navarre. The annexed lands, of course, bore fruit, but France, torn apart by large feudal lords and papal legates, was on the verge of disaster with an empty treasury.

Failure began to haunt Philip III. His heir to the throne, the first son Louis, dies, on whom he had high hopes. The king, being weak-willed and led by his advisers, gets involved in adventures that ended in failure. So in March 1282, Philip III was defeated in the Sicilian national liberation uprising, where the Sicilians exterminated and expelled all the French who were there. Philip III's next and final setback was a military campaign against the King of Aragon, Pedro III the Great. This company was attended by the seventeen-year-old Philip IV, who, along with the reigning father, participated in the battles. Despite intensified advances, the royal army and navy were defeated and held under the walls of the fortress of Girona, in northeastern Spain. The ensuing retreat undermined the he alth of the king, he was overcome by illnesses and fevers, which he could not bear. So, in the fortieth year, the life of King Philip III, nicknamed the Bold, ended, and the hour of the reign of Philip IV.

king philip handsome

Long live the king

The coronation was scheduled for October 1285, immediately after the funeral of his father, in the Abbey of Saint-Denis.

After the coronation, the wedding of Philip IV with the Queen of Navarre Joan I of Navarre took place, which served to annex the lands of the county of Champagne and strengthened the power of France.

Taught by the bitter experience of his father, Philip understood one rule for himself, which he followed all his life - sole rule, the pursuit of only his own interests and the interests of France.

The young king's first task was to resolve conflicts related to the failure of the Aragonese company. The king went against the will of Pope Martin IV and the passionate desire of his brother Charles of Valois to become king of Aragon, and withdrew French troops from Aragonese land, thereby ending the military conflict.

The next action, which shocked the entire French and European high society, was the removal from the affairs of all the late father's advisers and the appointment of people who distinguished themselves by their services to the king. Philip was a very attentive person, he always noted in people the qualities he needed, therefore, not noticing managerial notes in the nobility who became lazy from a well-fed life, he opted for intelligent people of not noble origin. So they were appointed Catholic titular Bishop Enguerrand Marigny, Chancellor Pierre Flotte and Keeper of the Royal Seal Guillaume Nogaret.

Large feudal lords were outraged by such actions of the young king, which threatened a bloody revolution. To prevent the emergence of a rebellion and weaken the powerful feudal society, the king is carrying out a serious reform, which concerned the administration of the state. He limits the influence of ordinary and ecclesiastical rights on royal power, relying on the codes of Roman law, and appointsThe Treasury (Accounting Chamber), the Parlement of Paris and the Supreme Court. Weekly discussions were held in these institutions, in which respectable citizens and minor knights (legists) with knowledge of Roman law participated and served.

king philip 4 handsome

Confronting Rome

Being a solid and purposeful person, Philip IV continued to expand the borders of his state, and this required constant replenishment of the royal treasury. At that time, the church had a separate treasury, from which the funds were distributed for subsidies for the townspeople, for the needs of the church and for contributions to Rome. It was this treasury that the king planned to use.

By coincidence for Philip IV, at the end of 1296, Pope Boniface VIII decided to be the first to take possession of church savings and issues a document (bull) that prohibits granting citizens subsidies from the church treasury. Until that time, being in very warm and friendly relations with Boniface VIII, Philip still decides to take open and harsh actions for the Pope. Philip believed that the church was obliged not only to participate in the life of the country, but to allocate funds for its needs. And he issues a decree forbidding the export of the church treasury to Rome, thereby depriving the Papacy of the permanent financial income that the French church provided them. For this reason, the quarrel between the king and Baniface was hushed up by issuing a new bull, canceling the first, but for a short time.

Having made concessions, the French king Philip the Handsome allowed the export of funds to Rome andcontinued the harassment of churches, which led to complaints from the ministers of the church against the king to the Pope. Because of these complaints, which pointed to violations of subordination, disrespect, disobedience and insult by vassals, Boniface VIII sends the Bishop of Pamieres to France to the king. He was supposed to oblige the king to fulfill his earlier promises to participate in the Aragonese crusade and release the captive Count of Flanders from prison. Sending a bishop, who was not restrained in character, very sharp and quick-tempered, in the role of ambassador and allowing him to decide such delicate issues was the greatest mistake of Banifacius. Failing to meet Philip's understanding and having been refused, the bishop allowed himself to speak in harsh and elevated tones, threatening the king with a ban on all church services. Despite all his natural restraint and calmness, Philip the Handsome could not restrain himself, and he orders the arrest and imprisonment of the arrogant bishop in Sanli.

Meanwhile, the French King Philip IV the Handsome took care of collecting information about the unlucky ambassador and found out that he spoke negatively about the power of the king, offended his honor and pushed his flock to revolt. This information was enough for Philip to demand in a letter from the Pope the urgent deposition of the Bishop of Pamiers and committing him to a secular court. To which Banifacius responded by threatening to excommunicate Philip from the church and ordering the presence of the royal person at his own court. The king was angry and promised the high priest to burn his decree on the unlimited power of the Roman Church over secular power.

The disagreements that arose prompted Philip to take more decisive action. He convenes for the first time in the history of France the Estates General, which was attended by all the prosecutors of the cities of France, nobles, barons and high clergy. To increase indignation and exacerbate the situation, those present at the council were provided with a forged papal bull in advance. At the council, after some hesitation of the representatives of the church, it was decided to support the king.

The conflict flared up, opponents exchanged blows: Banifacius was followed by the excommunication of the king from the church, the seizure of seven provinces and the liberation from vassal control, and Philip publicly declared the pope a warlock, a false pope and a heretic, organized a conspiracy and entered into an agreement with enemies of the Pope.

The conspirators led by Nogare captured Banifacius VIII, who at that time was in the city of Anagni. Dignified, the Pope endures the attacks of his enemies, and awaits the release of the inhabitants of Anagni. But the experiences he endured caused irreparable damage to his mind, and Baniface goes mad and dies.

The next Pope Benedict XI stopped the attacks and persecution of the king, but his faithful servant Nogare was excommunicated for participating in the arrest of Banifacius VIII. The Pope did not serve long, he died in 1304, and Clement V came to his place.

The new Pope treated King Philip with obedience and never challenged his demands. By order of the royal person, Clement transferred the papal throne and residence from Rome to the city of Avignon, which was understrong influence of Philip. Another significant favor in 1307 for the king was the agreement of Clement V to accuse the knights of the Templars (Templars). Thus, under the reign of Philip IV, the papacy became obedient bishops.

king of france philip 4 handsome

Declaration of war

During the intensifying conflict with Boniface VIII, King Philip IV of France was busy strengthening the country and expanding its territories. He was most interested in Flanders, which at that time was a self-sufficient handicraft and agricultural state with an anti-French direction. Since the vassal Flanders was not in the mood to obey the French king, it was more satisfied with good relations with the English house, Philip did not fail to take advantage of this set of circumstances and summoned the English king Edward I to trial in the Paris Parliament.

The English king, focused on a military campaign with Scotland, refuses his presence at the court, which was opportunely for Philip IV. He declares war. Torn apart by two military companies, Edward I is looking for allies and finds them in the Count of Brabant, Guelders, Savoy, Emperor Adolf and the King of Castile. Philip also enlists the support of the allies. He was joined by the Counts of Luxembourg and Burgundy, the Duke of Lorraine and the Scots.

At the beginning of 1297, fierce battles unfolded for the territory of Flanders, where in Fürn Count Robert d'Artois defeated the troops of Count Guy de Dampierre of Flanders, and captured him along with hisfamily and remaining soldiers. In 1300, troops under the command of Charles de Valois captured the city of Douai, passed through the city of Bruges and entered the city of Ghent in the spring. The king, meanwhile, was engaged in the siege of the fortress of Lille, which, after nine weeks of confrontation, capitulated. In 1301, part of Flanders surrendered to the mercy of the king.

Philip IV

Rebellious Flanders

King Philip the Handsome did not fail to take advantage of the obedience of his newly minted subordinates, and decided to take advantage of this by imposing exorbitant taxes on the Flemings. To control the country, Jacques of Châtillon was placed, who, with his harsh administration, increased the discontent and hatred of the inhabitants of the country towards the French. The Flemings, who have not yet calmed down from the conquest, do not stand up and stage a rebellion, which was quickly suppressed, and the participants in the rebellion were heavily fined. At the same time, in the city of Bruges, Jacques of Châtillon orders the inhabitants to demolish the city wall and begins the construction of the citadel.

The people, exhausted by taxes, decided on a new, more organized rebellion, and in the spring of 1302, the French garrison clashed with the Flemings. During the day, the embittered Flemings destroyed three thousand two hundred French soldiers. The army that approached to pacify the rebellion was destroyed along with the commander Robert d'Artois. Then about six thousand mounted knights perished, whose spurs were removed as trophies and placed at the altar of the church.

Insulted by the defeat and death of a relative, King Philip the Handsome makes another attempt, and leadinga large army enters the battle in Flanders at Mons-en-Pevel and defeats the Flemings. Successfully besieges Lille again, but the Flemings no longer submit to the king of France.

After numerous bloody battles that did not bring due success, Philip decides to conclude a peace treaty with Count of Flanders Robert III of Bethune with full preservation of privileges, restoration of rights and return of Flanders.

Only the release of captured soldiers and counts meant the payment of legal indemnity. As collateral, Philip annexed the cities of Orches, Bethune, Douai and Lille to his territory.

The Case of the Templars

The Brotherhood of the Knights Templar was founded in the 11th century, and in the 12th century it was officially approved as the Order of the Knights Templar by Pope Honorius II. Over the centuries of its existence, the society has established itself as the protectors of the faithful and excellent economists. For two centuries, the Templars regularly participated in the Crusades, but after the loss of Jerusalem, unsuccessful battles for the Holy Land and numerous losses in Acre, they had to move their headquarters to Cyprus.

At the end of the 13th century, the Knights Templar were not so numerous, but still remained a well-formed militarized structure, and the last 23rd head of the Order was Grand Master Jacques de Molay. In the last years of the reign of Philip IV, the Order was engaged in financial affairs, intervening in the secular affairs of the state and protecting its treasures.

The impoverished treasury from constant spending on military needs needed urgent replenishment.As a personal debtor to the Templars, Philip was puzzled by the question of how to get rid of accumulated debts and get to their treasury. In addition, he considered the Knights Templar a danger to roy alty.

Therefore, supported by the non-intervention of tamed popes, Philip in 1307 begins a case against the religious Order of the Templars, arresting every single templar in France.

The case against the Templars was obviously falsified, terrible tortures were used during interrogations, far-fetched accusations of links with Muslims, witchcraft and devil worship. But no one dared to argue with the king and act as the protector of the Templars. For seven years, the investigation into the case of the Templars continued, who, exhausted by long imprisonment and torture, confessed to all the charges, but renounced them during a public trial. During the trials, the Templar treasury completely passed into royal hands.

In 1312, the destruction of the order was announced, and the following year, in the spring, Grand Master Jacques de Molay and some of his associates were sentenced to death by burning.

The execution was attended by the King of France, Philip the Handsome (you can see the portrait in the article) with his sons and Chancellor Nogaret. Jacques de Molay, engulfed in flames, cursed the entire Capetian race, and predicted the imminent death of Pope Clement V and the Chancellor.

philip the handsome king of france portrait

Death of the King

Having good he alth, Philip did not pay attention to de Molay's curse, but in the very near future,In the same spring, after the execution, the Pope died suddenly. The predictions began to come true. In 1314, Philip the Handsome goes hunting and falls from his horse, after which he suddenly falls ill with an unknown debilitating disease, which is accompanied by delirium. In the autumn of the same year, the forty-six-year-old king dies.

What was the king of France, Philip Handsome

Why "Beautiful"? Was he really like that? The French king Philip IV the Handsome remains a controversial and mysterious figure in the history of Europe. Many of his contemporaries called the king cruel and despotic, led by his advisors. If you look at the policy pursued by Philip, you will involuntarily think - in order to carry out such serious reforms and achieve the desired goals, you must have rare energy, iron, unbending will and perseverance. Many who were close to the king and did not support his policies, decades after his death, will remember his reign with tears in their eyes, as a time of justice and great deeds.

People who knew the king personally spoke of him as a modest and meek person who attended services accurately and regularly, observed all fasts while wearing a sackcloth, and always avoided obscene and immodest conversations. Philip was distinguished by kindness and condescension, often trusting people who did not deserve his trust. Often the king was reserved and imperturbable, sometimes frightening his subjects with a sudden numbness and a piercing gaze.

All the courtiers whispered softly as the king strolled through the groundscastle: “God forbid, the king look at us. At his glance, the heart stops, and the blood runs cold in the veins.”

The nickname "Beautiful" King Philip 4 deserved rightly, since the addition of his body was perfect and bewitching, like a superbly cast sculpture. His facial features were distinguished by their regularity and symmetry, large intelligent and beautiful eyes, black wavy hair framed his melancholic forehead, all this made his image unique and mysterious for people.

french king philip iv handsome

Heirs of Philip the Handsome

The marriage of Philip IV with Joan I of Navarre can rightly be called a happy marriage. The royal couple loved each other and were faithful to the marital bed. This confirms the fact that after the death of his wife, Philip rejected lucrative proposals for remarriage.

In this union they gave birth to four children:

  • Louis X the Grumpy, future King of Navarre from 1307 and King of France from 1314
  • Philip V the Long, future King of France and Navarre since 1316
  • Charles IV the Handsome (Handsome), future King of France and Navarre since 1322
  • Isabella, future wife of King Edward II of England and mother of King Edward III.
french king philip handsome

King Philip the Handsome and his daughters-in-law

King Philip never worried about the future of the crown. He had three heirs who were happily married. It remained only to wait for the appearance of the heirs. But alas, the wishes of the kingshould not have come true. The king, being a believing man and a strong family man, having learned about the adultery of his daughters-in-law with the courtiers, imprisoned them in a tower and inflicted judgment on them.

Until their death, the unfaithful wives of the royal sons languished in prison casemates and hoped that the untimely death of the king would free them from captivity. But they never deserved forgiveness from their husbands.

The traitors were destined for a different fate:

  • Marguerite of Burgundy, wife of Louis X, gave birth to a daughter, Jeanne. After her husband's coronation, she was strangled in captivity.
  • Blanca, wife of Charles IV. A divorce followed and the replacement of prison confinement with a monastic cell.
  • Jeanne de Chalon, wife of Philip V. After her husband's coronation, she was forgiven and released from prison. She gave birth to three daughters.

Second wives of the heirs to the throne:

  • Clementia of Hungary became the last wife of King Louis the Grumpy. In this marriage, the heir John I the Posthumous was born, who lived for several days.
  • Mary of Luxembourg, second wife of King Charles.

Despite the opinions of disgruntled contemporaries, Philip IV the Handsome created a powerful French kingdom. During his reign, the population increased to 14 million, many buildings and fortifications were built. France reached the peak of economic prosperity, arable land expanded, fairs appeared, and trade flourished. The descendants of Philip the Handsome got a renewed, strong and modern country with a new way of life and system.

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