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Louis II of Flanders

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Louis II of Flanders

Louis II of Flanders (25 October 1330, Male – 30 January 1384, Lille), also Louis III of Artois and Louis I of Palatine Burgundy, known as Louis of Male, was the son of Louis I of Flanders and Margaret I of Burgundy daughter of king Philip V of France. He was Count of Flanders from 1346 until his death.

On his father's death at the Battle of Crécy in 1346, he inherited the counties of Flanders, Nevers, and Rethel. The Guilds, depending on the English wool trade, forced Louis to recognize Edward III of England as his overlord and arrange an engagement to the daughter of the English king, Isabella. Louis managed to avoid this by fleeing to France in 1347.

On the death of his father-in-law in 1355, he took the title of Duke of Brabant, but was unable to wrest the duchy from his sister-in-law Joanna, Duchess of Brabant in the War of the Brabantian Succession. Louis managed to defeat the Brabantians in the battle of Scheut near Anderlecht (17 August 1356) and capture the cities of Mechelen, Brussels, Antwerp and Leuven, but he was unable to acquire the duchy. By the Peace of Ath (1357) he gained the Lordship of Mechelen and the city of Antwerp.

Louis tried to govern as a Realpolitiker. With regards to his internal policy, his main aim was to prevent the formation of a broad coalition against him, as happened against his father. Except for his last years, he was successful in preventing this. However, even in his latter years he managed to get the support of Bruges against the revolt of Ghent. His foreign policy was one of neutrality in the Hundred Years' War, which kept him in favor with both France and England.

The latter years of his rule however were marked by civil strife. In 1379, he obtained aid from his son-in-law, Philip II of Burgundy, to put down a revolt in Ghent. The Flemings again rose under Philip van Artevelde and expelled him from Flanders after the Battle of Beverhoutsveld; however, the influence of Philip procured a French army to relieve him, and the Flemings were decisively defeated at the Battle of Roosebeke. However, the citizens of Ghent continued to resist (with English aid) until after his death in 1384. His mother had died two years previously, leaving him the counties of Artois and the Franche-Comté.

The Louis Ducat

The ducat (pronounced /ˈdʌkət/) is a gold coin that was used as a trade coin throughout Europe before World War I. Its weight is 3.4909 grams of .986 gold, which is 0.1107 troy ounce, actual gold weight. The most common type of ducat were the old Dutch ducats, bearing the impression of an armed figure, which gave way, for a short time only, to the figure of Louis II of Flanders.

Family

In 1347, he married Margaret of Brabant (1323–1368), daughter of John III, Duke of Brabant. They had three children:

He also left several illegitimate sons, three of whom were killed at the Battle of Nicopolis.

Without any surviving sons, on his death, his extensive possessions in the Low Countries were inherited by his daughter Margaret.

Legacy

The main line of the House of Dampierre, originally only counts of Flanders, had through a clever marriage policy managed to inherit the counties of Nevers (1280) and Rethel (1328). Through Louis' mother, a daughter of King Philip V of France, the counties of Artois and Burgundy (the "Franche Comté") were added to this (1382). These lands were to provide the core of the dominions of the House of Valois-Burgundy, which were, together with the Duchy of Burgundy, to provide them with a power base to challenge the rule of their cousins, the Valois kings of France in the 15th century.

Ancestors

Louis II, Count of Flanders
House of Dampierre
Born: 25 October 1330 Died: 30 January 1384
Preceded by
Louis I

1346–1384
Succeeded by
Margaret III of Flanders with Philip the Bold
Preceded by
Margaret I of Artois

1382–1384

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