Online Encyclopedia

PHILIP THE BOLD (1342-1404)

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Originally appearing in Volume V21, Page 387 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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PHILIP THE BOLD (1342-1404), duke of Burgundy, fourth son of John II. of France and Bonne of Luxemburg, was born on the 15th of January 1342. He earned his surname by his bravery while fighting by his father's side on the field of Poitiers. After the defeat of King John he accompanied him into captivity at Avignon in 1395 in the hope of obtaining a voluntary resignation from him. But the growing influence of the king's brother, Louis of Orleans, who was on terms of great intimacy with Queen Isabel and was accused of being her lover, was a serious obstruction. Discord broke out in the council, and but for the intervention of the dukes of Berry and Bourbon the two princes would have come to an open struggle. For a brief period Philip was dispossessed of authority, but he regained it in 1402 and kept it till his death, which took place on the 27th of April 1404. The cathedral of St Benigne at Dijon contains his remains, and his tomb (formerly in the Chartreuse of Dijon) is now in the museum in the Hotel-de-ville. Although he had to curb the independent spirit of the seigneurs of Franche-Comte, and in spite of frequent collisions with his vassals in Flanders and with the citizens of Besancon (who in 1386 extracted from him a promise to respect their privileges), Philip appears to have governed his territories with sagacity and a certain moderation, and he was particularly successful in employing the resources of France in the interests of Burgundy. He granted numerous privileges to the inhabitants of Dijon, and created in 1386 two chambres des comptes, one at Dijon and the other at Lille. He was, in the phrase of a contemporary, " kindly and amiable to high and low and those of middle rank, liberal as an Alexander, noble and pontifical, in court and state magnificent." But his liberality and his love of display involved him in enormous expense, and he left so many debts that his widow was compelled to renounce her personal estate to avoid the responsibility of discharging them. By his wife Margaret (d. 1405) he had a numerous family: John the Fearless, who succeeded him; Charles and Louis, who both died in infancy; Anthony, count of Rethel, and Philip, count of Nevers, both killed at Agincourt; Margaret, who married William of Bavaria, count of Ostrevant; Catherine, wife of Leopold, duke of Austria; Mary, wife of Amadeus VIII. of Savoy; and Bonne, who was betrothed to John of Bourbon and died young. (R. Po.)
End of Article: PHILIP THE BOLD (1342-1404)
PHILIP THE GOOD (1396-1467)

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