Charles I, Duke of Brittany

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Charles of Blois
Duke of Brittany
Reign 30 April 1341 – 29 September 1364
Predecessor John III
Successor John V
Spouse Joanna, Duchess of Brittany
Issue John I of Blois-Châtillon
Marie, Lady of Guise
Marguerite, Countess of Angoulême
House House of Blois
Father Guy I of Blois-Châtillon
Mother Margaret of Valois
Born c. 1319
Died 29 September 1364 (aged 44-45)

Charles of Blois (1319 – 29 September 1364) claimed the title Duke of Brittany, from 1341 to his death.

Charles was born in Blois, the son of Guy I of Blois-Châtillon, count of Blois, by Margaret of Valois, a sister of king Philip VI of France. He was a devout man, who took piety to the extreme of mortifying his own flesh. It is said that he placed pebbles in his shoes, wore ropes tight with knots near his flesh and confessed every night in fear of sleeping in a state of sin. He was nevertheless an accomplished military leader, who inspired loyalty by his religious fervour.

On 4 June 1337 in Paris, he married Joanna of Penthièvre, heiress and niece of duke John III. Together, Charles and Joanna fought the House of Montfort in the Breton War of Succession (1341–1364), with the support of the crown of France. Despite his piety, Charles did not hesitate in ordering the massacre of 2000 civilians after the siege of Quimper. After initial successes, Charles was taken prisoner by the English in 1347. Thomas Dagworth was the official captor of Charles of Blois.[1] He was released nine years afterwards against a ransom of about half a million ecús, and resumed the war against the Montforts.


By his marriage to Joanna, he had five children:

Death and legacy[edit]

Charles died in 1364 in the Battle of Auray which determined the end of the Breton War of Succession with the victory of the Montforts.

He was canonized as saint of the Roman Catholic church for his devotion to religion. However the canonization process was nullified by Pope Gregory XI at the request of Duke John V of Brittany, Charles' final opponent in the Breton War of Succession and the recognized Duke of Brittany under the first Treaty of Guerande.

Subsequently, in 1904, Charles was beatified and therefore may be referred to as the Blessed Charles of Blois. His Roman Catholic Feast Day is September 30.[a]


  1. ^ See the Franciscan Description of the Blessed Charles of Blois

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Historical Note Vagabond by Bernard Cornwell 2002 pg 405

External links[edit]

Charles I, Duke of Brittany
Born: 1319 Died: 1364
Regnal titles
Preceded by
John III
Duke of Brittany jure uxoris
with Joanna
disputed with John IV and John V

Succeeded by
John V
undisputed from 1364 under the
Treaty of Guérande
Preceded by
Count of Penthièvre jure uxoris
with Joanna

Succeeded by
Jean de Blois