Welcome to Grand Dukes of the West

The story of Valois Burgundy is one of the most exciting of the Late Middle Ages. The four Valois Dukes of Burgundy used political intrigue, calculated splendor, economic power, and good old-fashioned violence to forge a state out of the many Duchies and Counties between France and the Holy Roman Empire. During Burgundy’s height its Dukes were seen by many as the equals of Kings and Emperors and their court was at the center of Western Europe’s cultural and political development. And then it all fell apart. Please join me as I explore the history and legacy of this forgotten kingdom.

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  • Episode 9: The Ghent War

    The Battle of Roosebeke was a triumph for Philip the Bold. He may not have led the French army in the field, but he had used his influence at court to marshal the army to protect his inheritance. The Battle did not mark the end of the Ghent War, but it did pacify all of Flanders save for Ghent.

    In 1380 the death of King Charles V of France opened up all sort of doors for his younger brothers. Philip the Bold took charge and assumed control of the regency council of the new, young king, Charles VI. Philip’s time at the helm of the ship of state would not be all smooth sailing. Revolts popped up all over the kingdom in response to taxes being raised, and Flanders was still being consumed by the conflict between Count Louis of Male and the townsfolk of Ghent. Throughout this period, Philip continued to strengthen his position using the resources of the French government.

    Time Period Covered: 1380-1384

    Notable People: Philip the Bold, Charles VI, Louis of Male, Philip Van Artevelde, Henry Despenser, John Duke of Berry, Louis Duke of Anjou, Francis Ackerman

    Notable Events/Developments: The Ghent War, The Maillotin Uprising, The Battle of Roosebeke, Despenser’s Crusade


    Chronicles by Jean Froissart

    The Hundred Years War: Divided Houses by Jonathan Sumption

    Philip the Bold by Richard Vaughan

    The Promised Lands by Wim Blockmans and Walter Prevenier

    The Golden Age of Burgundy by Joseph Calmette

    The Burgundians by Bart Van Loo

    Medieval Flanders by David Nicholas

    A History of the Low Countries by Paul Arbalaster

    The City, the Duke, and their Banker by Bart Lambert