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
2 thoughts on “Episode 9: The Ghent War”
Interesting episode! I am excited for what is to come in the French civil war
1) You speak of the younger Artevelde receiving financial support from England, how much did this improve his position as far as leadership of Ghent is concerned?
2) You highlight the fact that Charles VI was out of touch with the life of the peasant and this was a problem for him. This is a little strange to me, as it is surely true of almost every person discussed in this show, who are almost all either aristocrats or wealthy townsfolk
3) You playfully bring up the fact Philip the bold descends from the Burgundian attempted conquerer. Louis of Male’s mother was of course a Capetian countess of Burgundy, so he was in fact a more direct descendant of our Burgundian friend than Philip and had already realised the acquisition)
1 – I don’t think Philip Van Artevelde receiving an English Salary did anything to help his position in Ghent, it was more that the English had cultivated an ally in him so when he did gain power in Ghent the English would be in a powerful position in the Low Countries.
2 – It’s absolutely true of basically everyone in the show, but I do think that it’s especially true of a young Charles VI. As the crown prince, Charles was brought up in extreme privilege and at the time of the revolts he would have just started dealing with being King. All the other nobles in the story would have been equally out of touch with the daily existence of the peasantry, but would have likely faced adversity of some kind at some point in their lives. As Charles was so young and inexperienced, he didn’t even have that shared experience.
3 – I really was mostly being playful here. It was a fun way to reference episode one for me more than anything else. Like you mentioned Louis of Male was directly descended from the Capetians and you could make a similar argument for the German Emperors of the Salian and Hohenstaufen dynasties being Kings of Burgundy and holding overlordship over most of the Low Countries.