Charles, Duke of Brittany
|Charles of Blois-Châtillon|
|Duke of Brittany|
|Reign||30 April 1341 – 29 September 1364|
|Died||29 September 1364 (aged 44–45)
|Spouse||Joanna, Duchess of Brittany|
|Issue||John I of Blois-Châtillon
Marie, Lady of Guise
Margaret, Countess of Angoulême
|House||House of Blois|
|Father||Guy I of Blois-Châtillon|
|Mother||Margaret of Valois|
|Saint Charles de Châtillon|
|Duke of Britanny
Patron of Europe
|Venerated in||Roman Catholicism|
|Beatified||1904 by Pie X|
|Canonized||1364 by Pope Urban V|
|Feast||29 September (General Roman Calendar)|
Charles of Blois-Châtillon (1319 – 29 September 1364) "the Saint", was the legalist Duke of Brittany from 1341 to his death via his marriage to Joan of Penthiève, holding the title against the claims of John of Montfort. He was later canonized as a Saint of the Roman Catholic Church for his devotion to religion. This canonization was later annulled, although he remains beatified.
Charles was born in Blois, son of Guy de 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 de Châtillon 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 1400 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. 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:
- John (Jean) I of Châtillon (1340–1404), also known as Jean de Blois
- Henri (d. 1400)
- Marie (1345–1404), Lady of Guise, married in 1360 Louis I, Duke of Anjou
- Marguerite, married in 1351 Charles de la Cerda (d. 1354)
Death and legacy
Charles de Châtillon was canonized as a Saint of the Roman Catholic church for his devotion to religion. The canonization process was nullified by Pope Gregory XI at the request of Duke John IV 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 de Châtillon was beatified and therefore may be referred to as the Blessed Charles of Blois. His Roman Catholic Feast Day is 30 September.[a]
The Saint Charles de Châtillon de Blois, battles gallery, Versailles castle, France
The Saint Charles de Châtillon in the glass window of the Church Saint-Pierre in Plounéour-Trez, France
The Saint Charles de Châtillon in the glass window of the Church Saint-Malo in Dinan, France
The Knight Charles de Blois-Châtillon, with is army, in the attack of Siege of Hennebont in 1342, an epic battle during the war of succession of Brittany
Battle of Auray in the glass window of the Church of Notre-Dame-de-Bonne-Nouvelle, Rennes
- See the Franciscan Description of the Blessed Charles of Blois
- Michael Prestwich, The Three Edwards: War and State in England, 1272-1377, (Routledge, 1993), 174.
- Jonathan Sumption, The Hundred Years War, Volume 1: Trial by Battle, (Faber & Faber, 1999), 434.
- Michael Jones, Creation of Brittany: A Late Medieval State, (The Hambledon Press, 1988), 265.
- France under Charles V and Charles VI, Francoise Autrand, The New Cambridge Medieval History: Volume 6, C.1300-c.1415, ed. Michael Jones, (Cambridge University Press, 2000), 441.
|Wikisource has the text of the 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica article Charles (Duke of Brittany).|
- The Saint Charles of Blois Chattilon
- "Charles de Blois". The American Cyclopædia. 1879.
- Treccani.it, l'Enciclopedia italiana
- House of de Châtillon (-sur-Marne), Champagne (Soissonnais),Bourgogne, Ponthieu & Ternois, Genealogy and Heraldry
- House of de Nanteuil Le-Haudouin, Genealogy and Heraldry
Charles, Duke of BrittanyBorn: 1319 Died: 1364
|Duke of Brittany jure uxoris
disputed by John of Montfort and John IV
as sole countess
|Count of Penthièvre jure uxoris
as sole countess