King Charles VII of France

14th King of France (1422-1461)

Died aged 58

Charles VII (22 February 1403 – 22 July 1461), called the Victorious (French: le Victorieux) or the Well-Served (French: le Bien-Servi), was King of France from 1422 to his death in 1461. In the midst of the Hundred Years' War, Charles VII inherited the throne of France under desperate circumstances. Forces of the Kingdom of England and the Duke of Burgundy occupied Guyenne and northern France, including Paris, the most populous city, and Reims, the city in which French kings were traditionally crowned. In addition, his father Charles VI had disinherited him in 1420 and recognized Henry V of England and his heirs as the legitimate successors to the French crown instead. At the same time, a civil war raged in France between the Armagnacs (supporters of the House of Valois) and the Burgundian party (supporters of the House of Valois-Burgundy allied to the English). With his court removed to Bourges, south of the Loire River, Charles was disparagingly called the "King of Bourges", because the area around this city was one of the few remaining regions left to him. However, his political and military position improved dramatically with the emergence of Joan of Arc as a spiritual leader in France. Joan of Arc and other charismatic figures led French troops to lift the siege of Orléans, as well as other strategic cities on the Loire river, and to crush the English at the battle of Patay. With the local English troops dispersed, the people of Reims switched allegiance and opened their gates, which enabled the coronation of Charles VII in 1429 at Reims Cathedral. A few years later he ended the English-Burgundian alliance by signing the Treaty of Arras with Burgundy in 1435, followed by the recovery of Paris in 1436 and the steady reconquest of Normandy in the 1440s using a newly organized professional army and advanced siege cannons. Following the battle of Castillon in 1453, the French expelled the English from all their continental possessions except for the Pale of Calais. The last years of Charles VII were marked by conflicts with his turbulent son, the future Louis XI of France.

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Commemorated on 3 plaques

Jeanne d'Arc conduisant le roi Charles VII à Reims a séjourné dans la ville de Chalons le 14 et 15 juillet 1429. Cinquième centenaire le 14 juillet 1929

English translation: Joan of Arc, bringing King Charles VII to Reims, stayed in the city of Chalons on 14 and 15 July 1429. Fifth Centenary 14 July 1929

, Châlons-en-Champagne, France where they was (1429)

Jeanne d'Arc fait sacrer Charles VII à Reims le 17 Juillet 1429 accomplissant ainsi sa mission. Cinquième centenaire.

English translation: Joan of Arc brought Charles VII to his coronation in Reims on 17 July 1429 fulfilling his mission. Fifth centenary.

Place du forum, Reims, France where they was crowned King (1429)

Jeanne d'Arc conduisant Charles VII à Reims a été reçue le 10 juillet 1429 dans cette église par les Troyens revenus spontanément à leur roi légitime. Cinquième centenaire 7 Juillet 1929

English translation: Joan of Arc leading Charles VII to Reims was received 10 July 1429 in this church by the Troyens who spontaneously returned to their legitimate king. Fifth Centenary 7 July 1929

, Troyes, France where they was (1429)