1470 (30th June)
King Charles VIII of France was born at Chateau d’Amboise, France, to King Louis XI of France and Charlotte of Savoy. He was the couple’s third child after his sisters Anne and Joan.
1472 (3rd September)
Charles’ brother, Francis, was born to King Louis XI of France and Charlotte of Savoy.
Charles’ brother, Francis, died.
Charles thrived but was often ill.
1482 (23rd December)
Treaty of Arras
This treaty brought peace between France and Burgundy. It was to be sealed with the marriage of Charles and Margaret of Austria.
1483 (22nd July)
Charles was betrothed to three year old Margaret of Austria, daughter of Maximilian of Austria.
1483 (30th August)
Charles became King Charles VIII of France after King Louis XI died. As he was a minor, 13 years old, his elder sister, Anne de Beaujeu acted as regent. However, Charles’ cousin, Louis, Duke of Orleans, felt that he should be regent.
1484 (15th January)
A meeting of representatives of the three estates in society was held in Tours. Known as the Estates General, representatives discussed what they wanted from the new monarch and then advised the King. The Estates General had no real power but was was a useful indicator of the mood of the country and a good indicator of the direction the King’s policies should take to retain the favour of the people. The Estates turned down Louis of Orleans’ request to be regent. They made a number of suggestions for reforms that should take place but they were not implemented.
1484 (7th March)
Charles VIII left Tours due to ill health.
1484 (11th March)
Members of the Estates General were told that there was no money to pay their wages and so the assembly was disbanded.
Louis of Orleans tried to capture King Charles VIII. He was caught and placed under house arrest at Gien.
1485 (17th January)
Louis managed to escape from Gien and with the support of Francis II of Brittany, tried to raise support to take Paris but was unsuccessful.
1485 (12th March)
Louis was forced to beg forgiveness of King Charles on his knees in a ritual known as ‘amende honourable’. He was confined to Orleans and surrounded by troops to prevent him rejoining Francis of Brittany.
1485 (30th August)
Louis of Orleans made another verbal attack on the regency. He escaped from Orleans but was soon captured and agreed a truce.
1485 (2nd November)
Peace of Bourges
Louis of Orleans and Francis of Brittany agreed with the regent Anne of Beaujeu to call a truce for one year. The hostilities of the previous year are often referred to as the ‘Mad War’.
Mad War/ War of Brittany
Hostilities between Anne of Beaujeu and Louis of Orleans and his supporters resumed.
1488 (20th January)
The ‘Parlement of Paris’ declared Louis and Francis of Brittany as rebels to the crown.
Francis of Brittany had gained support from Spain, Austria and England all of whom sent armed men.
1488 (24th April)
An order was made confiscating all property and possessions of Louis of Orleans.
1488 (28th July)
Battle of Saint-Aubin-du-Cormier
This battle saw the forces of Louis of Orleans and Francis of Brittany decisively beaten by the royal army. Louis of Orleans was taken prisoner.
1488 (20th August)
Treaty of Sable
This treaty, signed by Francis of Brittany and Charles VIII of France ended hostilities between France and Brittany.
1488 (9th September)
Francis II of Brittany died in a riding accident. His 11 year old daughter Anne was his only heir.
Pope Innocent VIII offered Charles the Kingdom of Naples over Ferdinand I of Naples who had fallen out with the Pope.
Charles VIII came of age and took over the rule of France. He pardoned Louis of Orleans and released him from captivity.
Although she had betrothed herself to Maximilian of Austria, Charles forced Anne of Brittany to renounce her betrothal and marry him instead. They were married at the Chateau de Langeais. The marriage added Brittany to the crown property.
1492 (25th July)
Pope Innocent VIII, who had offered Charles the Kingdom of Naples, died. He was succeeded by Pope Alexander VI.
1492 (11th October)
A son, Charles, was born to King Charles and Anne of Brittany. He was styled Dauphin of France.
1492 (3rd November)
Treaty of Etaples
This was a peace treaty between France and England. Under the terms of the treaty Charles had agreed not to support the pretender to the English throne, Perkin Warbeck
Pope Alexander VI wanted to create a new state in Italy. This would have an impact on Milan and Ludovico Sforza, Duke of Milan, was not happy. He asked King Charles VIII of France to come to his aid.
1493 (19th January)
Treaty of Barcelona
This was a peace treaty between France and Maximilian of Austria.
Anne of Brittany was delivered of a stillborn son.
1494 (25th January)
Ferdinand I, King of Naples, died. He was succeeded by Alfonso II. Alfonso told Charles that he would back a French campaign to take Milan.
Anne of Brittany was delivered of a stillborn daughter.
Charles VIII invaded Italy and marched south.
1495 (22nd February)
The French army took Naples. Alfonso II was expelled and Charles claimed the title King of Naples.
Anne of Brittany was delivered of a stillborn daughter.
1495 (31st March)
Having seen the speed with which Charles had taken Naples, the other Italian rulers formed the League of Venice to prevent him making further gains in Italy.
1495 (6th July)
Battle of Fornovo
This battle between the forces of Charles and those of the League of Venice saw the French defeated. However, the League had lost more men than the French and Charles was able to escape to France.
1495 (16th December)
Charles’ son, Charles, died of the measles. He was buried at Tours Cathedral.
1496 (8th September)
A son, Charles, was born to Charles VIII and Anne of Brittany. He was styled Dauphin of France.
1496 (2nd October)
Charles’ son, Charles, died. He was buried at Tours Cathedral.
A son, Francis, was born to Charles VIII and Anne of Brittany. He died the same day.
1498 (20th March)
A daughter, Anne, was born to Charles VIII and Anne of Brittany. She died the same day.
1498 (7th April)
King Charles VIII died after hitting his head on a lintel. As he had no surviving male children, he was succeeded by Louis of Orleans
, his nearest male relative.