Jacques de Châtillon

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Jacques de Châtillon (died 11 July 1302) was Seigneur de Leuze, de Condé, de Carency, de Huquoy et d'Aubigny, the son of Guy III, Count of Saint-Pol and Matilda of Brabant. He married Catherine de Condé and had issue; his descendants brought Condé, Carency, etc. into the House of Bourbon. One of his daughters, Béatrice, married in 1315 Jean/John (c.1295 - 1325), son of Guillaume of Flanders (son of Guy, Count of Flanders) and his wife Alix de Clermont-Nesle (daughter of Raoul II of Clermont).

King Philip IV of France succeeded in his attempt to annex the County of Flanders by appointing Jacques, the uncle to his wife Joan I of Navarre, as governor of the County in 1300. The Flemish Count Guy of Dampierre and his two sons had been taken captive by the French.

This soldier was a bad choice for governor. He was entering a power vacuum where previously the Count of Flanders had maintained an equilibrium. He understood little about the specific situation in Flanders, where cities like Bruges and Ghent were far richer and more powerful than any city in France. He didn't see the opposition between the supporters of the count (Liebaards) and those in favor of the king of France (Leliaarts) as an opportunity for himself to be an arbiter. Neither did he recognize the rivalry between the city rulers and the common people, organised in guilds. They wanted political power. When de Châtillon chose the side of the patricians, the natural allies of the king and thus the easier choice, the workers sided with the Liebaards.

After his appointment, Jacques de Châtillon entered Bruges. His recklessness, the extortions by his civil servants and the provocative visit of King Philip to Bruges in May 1301, at which occasion the French party held huge feasts which appeared to frivolously spend the funds expropriated from the commoners, resulted in anger by the popular party. A number of popular movements erupted, such as in Bruges, where on 19 May 1302, the French party was murdered at the Brugse Metten. De Châtillon escaped with his life, but died a few months later at the Battle of the Golden Spurs in July 1302.