1462 (27th June)
King Louis XII of France was born Louis d’Orleans at Chateau de Blois, Touraine to Charles, Duke of Orleans and Marie of Cleves.
1465 (5th January)
Louis became Duke of Orleans after his father died.
Louis was forced to marry Joan, the handicapped and sterile daughter of King Louis XI. The king hoped to eliminate the Orleans family from the succession.
1483 (30th August)
King Louis XI died. He was succeeded by his son, Charles VIII
. As Charles was a minor, 13 years old, his elder sister, Anne de Beaujeu acted as 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. Louis attended the Estates General and, with the support of Francis II of Brittany and a few other lords, tried to persuade the estates to back him as regent rather than Anne de Beaujeu but the majority refused. The Estates 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 went to Brittany to join Duke Francis II.
Louis sent a message to the Pope requesting that his marriage to Joan of France be annulled.
1484 (23rd November)
Louis signed a treaty with Francis of Brittany to be sealed with the marriage of Louis and Francis’ sister, Anne of Brittany.
Louis of Orleans returned to court and 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 tried to raise support to take Paris but was unsuccessful.
1485 (3rd February)
Louis reached Alencon.
1485 (12th March)
Louis was forced to beg forgiveness of the King 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 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 and Francis of Brittany agreed with 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 Louis and his supporters and Anne of Beaujeu resumed.
1487 (11th June)
Louis managed to reach Brittany and join forces with Francis of Brittany. However, Francis had failed to raise widespread support in Brittany and the royal army was advancing.
1488 (20th January)
The ‘Parlement of Paris’ declared Louis and Francis of Brittany as rebels to the crown.
Although he had failed to gain widespread support in Brittany, 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 and Francis of Brittany decisively beaten. Louis was taken prisoner.
1488 (20th August)
Treaty of Sable
This treaty, signed by Francis of Brittany and Charles VIII of France ended hostilities.
1488 (9th September)
Francis II of Brittany died in a riding accident. His 11 year old daughter Anne was his only heir.
Charles VIII came of age and took over the rule of France. He pardoned Louis of Orleans and released him from captivity.
Although she was betrothed to Maximilian of Austria, Charles VIII forced Anne of Brittany to renounce her betrothal and marry him instead. This added Brittany to the crown property.
Louis joined Charles VIII’s invasion of Italy.
1495 (22nd February)
The French army took Naples. Alfonso II was expelled and Charles claimed the title King of Naples.
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
Louis of Orleans fought in this battle against the League of Venice. He was angered by Ludovico Sforza, Duke of Milan, who decided to join Venice against France. Although the French were defeated, the League lost considerably more men and the French were able to escape back to France.
1498 (7th April)
King Charles VIII died after hitting his head on a lintel. As he had no surviving male children, Louis, as the nearest male relative, took the throne as King Louis XII.
1498 (late Spring)
King Louis XII began putting in place many of the reforms suggested by the Estates General in 1484.
Louis made peace with Holy Roman Emperor, Maximillian I. He also signed a non-aggression treaty with Spain.
Louis’ marriage to Joan of France was annulled.
Louis married Charles VIII’s widow, Anne of Brittany.
Louis signed a military aid agreement with the Swiss Confederation. He also negotiated permission for French troops to cross Savoy en route to Milan.
1499 (10th August)
King Louis XII decided to pursue a claim to the Duchy of Milan. He believed that he had a right to the title through his grandmother Valentina Visconti and crossed the Milanese border at the head of an army.
1499 (2nd September)
Duke Ludovico Sforza fled and Milan surrendered to the French. Louis added the title Duke of Milan to his name.
1499 (6th October)
Louis made an official entry into Milan.
1499 (13th October)
A daughter, Claude, was born to King Louis XII and Anne of Brittany.
Ludovico Sforza returned to Milan at the head of an army.
1500 (1st February)
The French governor, Marshal Trivulzio, was unable to hold Milan and was forced to retreat.
The mercenaries that Sforza had used to re-take Milan deserted and the French were able to re-take the city. Sforza was captured and imprisoned.
Having gained Milan, Louis turned his attention to Naples. However, he soon realised that he had too many opponents.
1500 (11th November)
Treaty of Granada
King Louis XII of France signed this treaty with Ferdinand II of Aragon
. They agreed that they would share Naples between them once it had been taken.
Louis sent his army, commanded by Bernard Stuart of Aubigny, to Naples. On the way they gained the backing of the Pope before marching south. Aubigny was a strict commander but as the army marched through Capua the men raped and plundered the city. News of the violence shown to Capua spread and the army entered Naples unopposed. Louis claimed the title King of Naples and, as agreed, gave half the spoils to Ferdinand of Aragon.
1501 (10th August)
It was agreed that Louis’s daughter Claude would marry Charles, son of Philip and Juana of Castile
when the children came of age.
Relations between France and Spain over Naples had broken down. Although negotiations were taking place, Louis decided to send an army against the Spanish to Apulia (part of Naples).
1504 (22nd September)
First Treaty of Blois
This treaty between Maximilian I, Philip of Burgundy and Louis XII further agreed the marriage of Louis’ daughter Claude to Charles, son of Philip. It was agreed that Claude’s dowry would include Brittany, Burgundy and Blois, while Charles would inherit Naples.
King Louis XII was taken ill. He decided that rather than ally France with the Habsburgs his daughter should marry Francis d’Orleans
and he should succeed as King of France. Francis and Claude were betrothed. This decision set off a lifelong rivalry between Charles and Francis.
Second Treaty of Blois
In this treaty, agreed by Louis XII and Ferdinand of Aragon, Louis agreed to give up his claim to Naples and make it part of the dowry of his niece, Germaine de Foix. Ferdinand II would then marry Germaine de Foix and become King of Naples.
King Louis XII travelled to Genoa to put down a rebellion.
War of the League of Cambrai
This was a war between Venice and an alliance of Louis XII, Ferdinand of Aragon, Pope Julius II and Holy Roman Emperor, Maximillian. All members of the League had grievances against Venice.
1509 (14th May)
Battle of Agnadello
This battle between the French and Venice saw the French victorious. The Venetians retreated.
Pope Julius II added his army to the League of Cambrai making a new Holy League. Julius was opposed to France.
1510 (25th October)
A daughter, Renee, was born to King Louis XII and Anne of Brittany.
The French army were driven out of Milan.
1514 (9th January)
Louis’ wife, Anne of Brittany, died of a kidney stone.
1514 (18th May)
Louis’ daughter, Claude, married Francis of Angouleme at Saint-Germain-en-Laye.
1514 (9th October)
1514 (24th December)
Louis was taken ill suffering from a severe case of gout.
1515 (1st January)
King Louis XII died. He was succeeded by his heir and son-in-law, Francis of Angouleme who became King Francis I.