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Louis VI (1 December 1081 – 1 August 1137), called the Fat ( ), was King of France from 1108 until his death (1137). Chronicles called him "roi de Saint-Denis". The first member of the House of Capet to make a lasting contribution to the centralizing institutions of royal power, Louis was born in Parismarker, the son of Philip I and his first wife, Bertha of Holland. Almost all of his twenty-nine-year reign was spent fighting either the "robber barons" who plagued Paris or the Norman kings of England for their continental possession of Normandy. Nonetheless, Louis VI managed to reinforce his power considerably and became one of the first strong kings of France since the division of the Carolingian Empire. His biography by his constant advisor Abbot Suger of Saint Denis renders him a fully-rounded character to the historian, unlike most of his predecessors.

In his youth, Louis fought the duke of Normandy, Robert Curthose, and the lords of the royal demesne, the Île de Francemarker. He became close to Suger, who became his adviser. He succeeded his father on Philip's death on 29 July 1108. Louis's half-brother prevented him from reaching Rheimsmarker and so he was crowned on 3 August in the cathedral of Orléansmarker by Daimbert, Archbishop of Sens. The archbishop of Reims, Ralph the Green, sent envoys to challenge the validity of the coronation and anointing, but to no avail.

On Palm Sunday 1115, Louis was present in Amiensmarker to support the bishop and inhabitants of the city in their conflict with Enguerrand I of Coucy, one of his vassals, who refused to recognize the granting of a charter of communal privileges. Louis came with an army to help the citizens to besiege Castillon (the fortress dominating the city, from which Enguerrand was making punitive expeditions). At the siege, the king took an arrow to his hauberk, but the castle, considered impregnable, fell after two years.

Louis VI died on 1 August 1137, at the castle of Béthisy-Saint-Pierremarker, nearby Senlis and Compiègnemarker, of dysentery caused by his excesses, which had made him obese. He was interred in Saint Denis Basilicamarker. He was succeeded on the throne by his son Louis VII, called "the Younger," who had originally wanted to be a monk.

Marriages and children

He married in 1104: 1) Lucienne de Rochefort — the marriage was annulled.
  • Their child:
    • 1) Isabelle (c.1105 – before 1175), married (ca 1119) William of Vermandois, seigneur of Chaumont


He married in 1115: 2) Adélaide de Maurienne (1092–1154)



Ancestry




Notes

  1. Norman F. Cantor, The Civilization of the Middle Ages 1993, p 410.


References

  • Suger, Abbot of Saint Denis,. The Deeds of Louis the Fat. Translated with introduction and notes by Richard Cusimano and John Moorhead. Washington, DC : Catholic University of America Press,1992. (ISBN 0-8132-0758-4)
  • Suger, Abbot of Saint Denis,. The Deeds of Louis the Fat. Translated by Jean Dunbabin (this version is free, but has no annotations)



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