Anne of France - Lady of Beaujeu (1461-1522)

Anne of France - Lady of Beaujeu (1461-1522)

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Anne from France, said Anne of Beaujeu, was regent of France until Charles VIII came of age. She governed with firmness, united the States General of 1484 and defeated the feudal revolt led by the Duke of Orleans, the future Louis XII, during the "crazy war" (1485-88). Consolidating royal power, it completed the territorial unification achieved by Louis XI by preparing for the attachment of the Duchy of Brittany to the Crown of France.

Anne of France and the Mad War

Eldest daughter of Louis XI and Charlotte of Savoy, elder sister of Charles VIII, she was married at the age of twelve to Pierre II, Sire de Beaujeu and Duke of Bourbon. For her strength of character, she was appointed by her father the King of France to exercise the regency during the minority of her brother Charles VIII from 1483 to 1491.

After the disappearance of the last count of Maine and the last duke of Anjou, the French crown acquired, by right of return, the provinces of Maine (1481), Provence (1481) and Anjou (1482), thus increasing considerably the territory under monarchical control. Powerful and authoritarian, Louis XI, father of Charles VIII, knew how to subdue the claims of the great political bodies, of the princes, and to keep the clergy on the edge. Saint-Pol and de Nemours will be executed for their betrayals, and Balue will be punished for eleven years for his intrigues with the enemy.

Also, when Louis XI died on August 30, 1483, leaving his thirteen-year-old son Charles as heir, everything suggests that France will once again be plunged into a civil war. During the States General of 1484, Anne of France plotted to remove Louis of Orleans, the future Louis XII from the regency. The latter formed, the following year, with François II of Brittany, Maximilian of Austria and Richard III of England, a protest league. Disagreements of interests between leaguers enabled the regent to assert its authority, while working for the attachment of the Duchy of Brittany, however insurgent, to the royal domain.

Anne de Beaujeu, Duchess of Bourbon

The revolt continued for three years, however, until the rout of Louis of Orleans at the battle of Saint-Aubin-du-Cormier (1488). The Duke of Orleans was taken prisoner; the Duke of Brittany, François II, had to sign the Treaty of Sablé which enshrines the primacy of royal power. On her death in 1491, Anne de Beaujeu seized the Breton towns and arranged the marriage of Charles VIII with the Duchess Anne of Brittany, who had been promised by her father to Maximilian of Austria.

After this alliance, celebrated in 1491, Anne de Beaujeu handed over power to Charles VIII. The Duchess of Bourbon now devotes herself to the administration of the immense possessions of the House of Bourbon, her husband - who became Duke of Bourbon in 1488 - having died in 1503. Mother of Suzanne de Bourbon, married to Charles de Bourbon, she supports , until his death on November 14, 1522, his son-in-law against the territorial claims of François Ier.


- Anne de France: Daughter of Louis XI, Duchess of Bourbon, of Jean Cluzel. Fayard, 2002.

- Anne de France: Art and power in 1500. Collective work, Picard Histoire, 2014.

Video: LAvènement des Bourbon - Histoire de France