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Charles the Bold - Last Duke of Burgundy, 1433-1477

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The Project Gutenberg EBook of Charles the Bold, by Ruth Putnam
This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.net
Title: Charles the Bold  Last Duke Of Burgundy, 1433-1477
Author: Ruth Putnam
Release Date: December 28, 2004 [EBook #14496]
Language: English
Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1
*** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK CHARLES THE BOLD ***
Produced by Jonathan Ingram, Lesley Halamek and the PG Online Distributed Proofreading Team
CHARLES THE BOLD
LAST DUKE OF BURGUNDY
1433-1477
BY
[plate 1]
RUTH PUTNAM
AUTHOR OF "WILLIAM THE SILENT," "A MEDIÆVAL PRINCESS," ETC.
G.P. PUTNAM'S SONS
NEW YORK AND LONDON
The Knickerbocker Press 1908
COPYRIGHT 1908,
BY
G. P. PUTNAM'S SONS
The Knickerbocker Press, New York
[page iii]
PREFACE
The admission of Charles, Duke of Burgundy into the series of Heroes of the Nations, is justified by his relation to events rather than by his national or his heroic qualities."Il n'avait pas assez de sens ni de malice pour conduire ses entreprises,"is one phrase of Philip de Commines in regard to the master he had once served. Rendersens bygeniusandmalicebydiplomacyand the words are not far wrong. Yet in spite of the failure to obtain either a kingly or an imperial crown, the story of those same unaccomplished enterprises contains the germs of much that has happened later in the borderlands of France and Germany where the projected "middle kingdom" mi ght have been erected. A sketch of the duke's character with its traits of ambition and shortcomings may therefore be placed, not unfitly, among the pen portraits of individuals who have attempted to change the map of Europe.
[page iv]
[page v]
The materials for an exhaustive study of the times, and of the participants in the scenes thereof, are almost overwhelming in quantity. Into this narrative, I have woven the wor ds of contemporaries when these related what they saw and thought, or at least what they said they saw or thought, about events passing within their sight or their ken. The veracity attained is only that of a mosaic of bits, each with its morsel of truth. And the rim in which these bits are set is too slender to contain all the illumination necessary. The narrative is, of necessity, partial and fragmentary, for a complete story would require a series of biographies presented in parallel columns. My own preliminary chapter to this book—a mere expl anation of the presence of the dukes of Burgundy in the Netherlands—grew into an account of a sovereign whom they deposed and was published under the title ofA Mediæval Princess.
John Foster Kirk gave 1713 pages to his record of C harles the Bold, Duke of Burgundy. Forty years have elapsed since that publication appeared and a mass of interesting material pertinent to the subject has been given out to the public, while separate phases of it have been minutely discussed by competent critics, so that at every point there is new temptation for the biographer to expand the theme where the scope of his work demands brevity.
In using the later fruit of historical investigation, it is delightful for an American to find that scholars of all nations do justice to Mr. Kirk's accuracy and industry even when they may differ fro m his conclusions. It has been my privilege to be permitted free access to this scholar's collection of books, and I would here express my deep gratitude to the Kirk family for their generosity and courtesy towards me.
After some preliminary reading at Brussels and Paris and in England, the work for this volume has been completed in America, where the opportunity of securing the latest results of research and criticism is constantly increasing, although these results are still lodged under many roofs. I have had many reasons to thank the librarians of New York, Boston, and Washington, and also those of Harvard, Columbia, and Cornell universities for courtesies and for serviceable aid; and just as many reasons to regret the meagreness of what can be put between two covers as the gleanings from so rich a harvest.
One word further in explanation of the use ofBold. The adjective has been retained simply because it has been so long id entified with Charles in English usage. I should have preferred the wordRash as a better equivalent for the contemporary term, applied to the duke in his lifetime,—le téméraire.
WASHINGTON, D.C., 1908.
R.P.
[page vii]
CONTENTS
CHAPTER I CHILDHOOD
CHAPTER II YOUTH
CHAPTER III THE FEAST OF THE PHEASANT
CHAPTER IV BURGUNDY AND FRANCE
CHAPTER V THE COUNT AND THE DAUPHIN
CHAPTER VI THE WAR OF PUBLIC WEAL
CHAPTER VII LIEGE AND ITS FATE
CHAPTER VIII THE NEW DUKE
CHAPTER IX THE UNJOYOUS ENTRY
CHAPTER X THE DUKE'S MARRIAGE
CHAPTER XI THE MEETING AT PERONNE
CHAPTER XII AN EASY VICTORY
CHAPTER XIII A NEW ACQUISITION
CHAPTER XIV ENGLISH AFFAIRS
CHAPTER XV NEGOTIATIONS AND TREACHERY
PAGE 1
24
45
67
86
109
130
154
170
183
197
227
244
261
293
[page xi]
CHAPTER XVI GUELDERS
CHAPTER XVII THE MEETING AT TRÈVES
CHAPTER XVIII COLOGNE, LORRAINE, AND ALSACE
CHAPTER XIX THE FIRST REVERSES
CHAPTER XX THE CAMPAIGNS OF 1475 AND 1476
CHAPTER XXI THE BATTLE OF NANCY
BIBLIOGRAPHY
INDEX
CHARLES BURGUNDY
ILLUSTRATIONS
THE
BOLD,
DUKE
320
339
362
382
402
427
463
469
PAGE OFFrontispiece
From MS. statute book of the Order of the Golden Fleece at Vienna. The artist is unknown. Date of the codex is between
[page xii]
1518 and 1565. This portrait is possibly redrawn from that attributed to Roger van der Weyden. That, however, shows a much stronger face.
PHILIP THE GOOD AS FOUNDER OF THE ORDER OF THE GOLDEN FLEECE
From a reproduction of a miniature in MS. at Brussels.
A DUKE OF BURGUNDY AND THE POPE AT AVIGNON
From a contemporary reproduced in Petit's Hist. de Bourgogne.
miniature
PHILIP THE GOOD, DUKE OF BURGUNDY, AS PATRON OF LETTERS
From a reproduction of part of a miniature in a beautiful MS. copy in Brussels Library of Jacques de Guise'sAnnales. The author is depicted presenting his book to the duke, who is attended by his son and his courtiers. The miniature is attributed by turns to Roger van der Weyden, to Guillaume Wijelant or Vrelant, and to Hans Memling.
A CASTLE IN BURGUNDY
From Petit'sHist. de Bourgogne.
FRONTISPIECE OF ACCOUNT BOOK
A
XVTH
CENTURY
COUNT OF ST. POL AND HIS JESTER
From reproduction of a miniature in Barante,Les ducs de Bourgogne.
THE STATUE OF CHARLES OF BURGUNDY AT INNSBRÜCK
LOUIS XI
From an engraving by A. Boilly after a drawing by G. Boilly.
PHILIP AND CHARLES OF BURGUNDY
From a drawing in a MS. at Arras.
BATTLE OF MONTL'HÉRY (JULY 16, 1465)
4
16
18
24
31
46
68
84
101
124
[page xiii]
From a contemporary reproduced in Comines-Lenglet.
miniature
LOUIS XI, WITH THE PRINCES AND SEIGNEURS OF THE WAR OF THE PUBLIC WEAL
From a contemporary miniature reproduced in Comines-Lenglet.
ANTHONY OF BURGUNDY
After Hans Memling, Dresden Gallery.
CHARLES, DUKE OF BURGUNDY, PRESIDING OVER A CHAPTER OF THE ORDER OF THE GOLDEN FLEECE
From reproduction of a miniature in MS. at Brussels.
PHILIP DE COMMINES
OLIVIER DE LA MARCHE
From sketch in MS. at Arras reproduced in Mémoires couronnés de l'acad. royale de Belgique,xlix.
MARY OF BURGUNDY
From a contemporary reproduced in Barante, Les ducs de Bourgogne.
MAP OF ALSACE TERRITORIES
AND
miniature
ADJACENT
From Toutey,Charles le téméraire.
MEDAL OF BURGUNDY
CHARLES,
DUKE
OF
BURGUNDIAN STANDARD CAPTURED AT BEAUVAIS
ARNOLD, DUKE OF GUELDERS
From engraving by G. Robert in Comines-Lenglet.
MARY OF BURGUNDY
After design by C. Laplante.
128
150
189
210
232
250
260
280
310
322
336
[page xiv]
CHARLES THE BOLD
Idealised by P. P. Rubens, Vienna Gallery. (By permission of J. J. Löwy, Vienna.)
MAXIMILIAN OF AUSTRIA
Medal.
A FORTIFIED CHURCH IN BURGUNDY
From Petit'sHist. de Bourgogne.
KING RUHMREICH AND HIS DAUGHTER EHRENREICH
(These characters in Maximilian's poem of Theuerdankrepresent Charles and Mary of Burgundy.) From a reproduction of a wood engraving by Schäufelein in edition of 1517.
A PLAN OF THE BATTLE OF MORAT
Used by kind permission of Miss Sophia Kirk and J. B. Lippincott Company.
PHILIBERT, DUKE OF SAVOY
After a design by Matthey reproduced in Comines-Lenglet.
PLAN OF THE BATTLE OF NANCY
Used by kind permission of Miss Sophia Kirk and the J. B. Lippincott Company.
THE BATTLE OF NANCY
From contemporary miniature reproduced in Comines-Lenglet.
A MONUMENT ON THE BATTLEFIELD AT NANCY
From Barante,Let ducs de Bourgogne.
THE TOMB OF CHARLES OF BURGUNDY
Church of Notre Dame, Bruges
340
350
383
404
422
430
433
435
436
460
[page 1]
[page 2]
CHARLES THE BOLD
CHAPTER I
CHILDHOOD
1433-1440
On St. Andrew's Eve, in the year 1433, the good people of Dijon were abroad, eager to catch what glimpses they might of certain stately functions to be formally celebrated by the Duke of Burgundy. The mere presence of the sovereign in the capital of hi s duchy was in itself a gala event from its rarity. Various cities of the dominions agglomerated under his sway claimed his attentions successively. His residence was now here and now there, without l ong tarrying anywhere. His coming was usually very welcome. In times of peaceful submission to his behest, the city of his sojourn reaped many advantages besides the amusement of seeing her streets alive beyond their wont. In the outlay for the necessities and the luxuries of the peripatetic ducal court, the expenditures were lavish, and in the temporary commercial activity enjoyed by the merchants, the fact that the burghers' own contributions to this luxury were heavy, passed into 1 temporary oblivion.
This autumn visit of Philip the Good to Dijon was more significant than usual. It had lasted several weeks, and among its notable occasions was an assembly of the Knights of the Gol den Fleece for the third anniversary of their Order. On this November 30th, Burgundy was to witness for the first time the pompous cerem onials
[page 3]
[page 4]
inaugurated at Bruges in January, 1430. Three years had sufficed to render the new institution almost as well known as its senior English rival, the Order of the Garter, which it was destined to outshine for a brief period at least. Its foundation had formed part of the elaborate festivities accompanying the celebration of the marriage of Philip, Duke of Burgundy, to Isabella of Portugal. As a signal honour to his bride, Philip published his intention of creating a new order of knighthood which would evince "his great and perfect love for the noble state of chivalry."
Rumour, indeed, told various tales about the duke's real motives. It was whispered that a certain lady of Bruges, whom h e had distinguished by his attentions, was ridiculed for her red hair by a few merry courtiers, whereupon Philip declared that her tresses should be 2 immortally honoured in the golden emblem of a new society. But that may be set down as gossip. Philip's own assertion, when he instituted the Order of the Golden Fleece, was that he intended to create a bulwark
"for the reverence of God and the sustenance of our Christian faith, and to honour and enhance the noble order of chivalry, and also for three reasons hereafter declared; first, to honour the ancient knights ...; second, to the end that these present.... may exercise the deeds of chivalry and constantly improve; third, that all gentlemen marking the honour paid to the knights will exert 3 themselves to attain the dignity."
The special homage to the new duchess was expressed in the device
Aultre n'aray 4 Dame Isabeau tant que vivray
This pledge of absolute fidelity to Dame Isabella w as, indeed, utterly disregarded by the bridegroom, but in outward and formal honour to her he never failed.
The new institution was, from the beginning, pre-eminently significant of the duke's magnificent state existence, wherein his Portuguese consort proved herself an efficient and able helpme et. Again and again during a period of thirty years, rich in diplomatic parleying, did Isabella act as confidential ambassador for her husband, and many 5 were the negotiations conducted by her to his satisfaction.
But it must be noted that whatever lay at the exact root of Philip's motives when he conceived the plan of his Order, the actual result of his foundation was not affected. He failed, indeed, to bring back into the world the ancient system of knighthood in its i deal purity and strength. Rather did he make a notable contribution to its decadence and speed its parting. What was brought into existence was a house of peers for the head of the Burgundian family, a b ody of faithful satellites who did not hamper their chief overmuch with the criticism permitted by the rules of their society, while thei r own glory added
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