Episode 20: Uncle and Nephew

The Tour Jean Sans Peur (Tower of John the Fearless) is the last surviving portion of the Hotel d’Artois, the Parisian residence of the Dukes of Burgundy. In the winter of 1401 the Hotel d’Artois became a fortress as both Philip the Bold and Louis of Orleans summoned soldiers to Paris in anticipation of a military confrontation between the Dukes. Philip the Bold had controlled the Royal Government for two decades and his nephew Louis was determined to dislodge him. Both Dukes were willing to defend their interests with force if needed.

Louis of Orleans grows more powerful by the day. The Duke of Burgundy had been out of Paris in mid-1401 dealing with affairs in his own territories, and in that time Orleans had taken control of the capital. In order to reestablish his hold on the French Government, Philip the Bold now has to turn to arms. The rivalry between Uncle and Nephew is consuming not only Paris, but France and its neighbors as well.

Time Period Covered: 1401 – 1404

Notable People: Philip the Bold, Louis Duke of Orleans, King Charles VI, Queen Isabeau of Bavaria, John Duke of Berry, Waleran of Luxembourg Count of Saint-Pol, King Henry IV of England, Jost of Moravia

Notable Events/Developments:  1401 Confrontation between Philip the Bold and Louis of Orleans, Transfer of Luxembourg to Louis of Orleans, Piracy between England and France, Anglo-Flemish Trade Negotiations, French Return to Avignon

This map from Jonathan Sumption’s The Hundred Years War: Cursed Kings shows the territories held by the Duke of Burgundy and Orleans and their supporters. Throughout the early 1400s the Duke of Orleans worked to expand into the lands between the Two Burgundies and the Low Countries and between the Low Countries and Paris.


Philip the Bold by Richard Vaughan

The Hundred Years War: Cursed Kings by Jonathan Sumption

Royal Intrigue Crisis at the Court of Charles VI 1392-1420 by R.C. Famiglietti

The Life and Afterlife of Isabeau of Bavaria by Tracy Adams

Medieval Flanders by David Nicholas

Magnanimous Dukes and Rising States by Robert Stein

The Promised Lands by Wim Blockmans and Walter Prevenier

The Golden Age of Burgundy by Joseph Calmette

The Valois: Kings of France 1328-1589 by Robert Knecht

Wise and Foolish Kings by Anne Denieul-Cormier


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