Louis X, the Quarrelsome, King of France

The twelfth Capetian king, he reigned from only 1314 to 1316. His father accused Louis’s wife of adultery on the flimsiest of grounds. Did she survive it?

To get the big picture, let’s begin with two genealogical tables from the Encyclopedia Medieval France:

The next three tables explain how Edward I of England and his descendants and Philip IV of France and his descendants relate:

Here is Dan Jones’s table from his book the Plantagenets.

Let’s get started with Louis X.

Louis X was the elder son of Philip IV and Jeanne (or Joan) of Champagne and Navarre and was born at Paris 4 Oct 1289. He had been engaged to Jeanne (Joan) of Burgundy and Artois before 1300, but he was married to Marguerite of Burgundy, a granddaughter of Louis IX, on 23 Sep 1305. (Louis was a great-grandson of Louis IX.)  He was crowned King of Navarre in Pamplona on 1 Oct 1307.

Louis X was dominated by his father Philip IV. Philip IV is the one who believed the accusation in the last year of his reign against his three-daughters-in-law (he died in 1314). Apparently Isabelle and some ministers kept the accusations alive. Louis’s wife Marguerite was accused of committing adultery. Isabelle was the wife of King Edward II of England, and perhaps was embittered that she did not receive more power or honor at the French court, after her father’s death, for he had kept in close contact with her.

Marguerite supposedly had an affair with one of the two brothers and knights of Aulnay, Philip and Walter. On one of her visits she gave gloves to her sisters-in-law. On a subsequent visit she saw the two gloves in possession of the two knights. Historian Bradbury: The brothers were judged guilty, castrated, flayed alive and burned at Pontoise. Their private parts were thrown to dogs, their bodies dragged through the streets and hanged on a public gibbet, their possessions confiscated.

Marguerite was kept in prison at Chateau-Gaillard, given no decent clothes to wear and shut in a high tower open to winter winds. She died after getting a cold in Apr 1315.

Louis wooed Clemence of Hungary and married her on 31 July 1315 (one researcher says 31 Aug 1315). He was crowned four days later on Aug 3 at Reims (one researcher says 24 Aug 1315). Perhaps the delay was due to his marital problems. It is most likely, however, that he was ill, for he was a sickly king.

When Louis died on 5 June 1316, Clemence was pregnant. Louis declared his daughter Jeanne or Joan, whom Marguerite had borne him in 1312, to be the heiress to the throne.

Clemence’s son John I lived less than a week, born on the night of 13 Nov 1316 and lived five days. The corpse was taken to St. Denis for burial.

Louis X died at Vincennes Castle 5 June 1316 and was buried in the Abbey of Saint Denis on 7 June.  Clemence took the veil at the convent of the Dominicans and died at the Hotel of the Temple at Paris on 12 (or 13) Oct 1328 and was buried at the church of the Jacobins at Paris on 15 Oct.

Actually, he had three burials.

The first was held two days after his death, as noted.

The second was held probably because his successor, his brother Philip the Tall, was absent on royal business at Lyon. It was the practice of the successor to be at the funeral of his predecessor. The second one simpler and less expensive and emphasized his position as heir.

In 1793 his bones were exhumed by the Revolutionaries and thrown into a ditch. When Louis XVIII was restored, he ordered a mass reburial for the disturbed royal bones (other kings’ bones were desecrated).

It was his sister Isabelle or Isabella or Isabel of France (1292-1358) who stirred up the accusations of adultery. So who was she?

She was the daughter of King Philip IV and Jeanne or Joan of Champagne and Navarre and born at Paris. She became Queen of Edward II (r. 1307-25) and mother of Edward III (r. 1327-77). Her marriage was under discussion as early as 1298 and took place on 25 Jan 1308.

She played a leading role in mediating between her husband and his nobles. She was refused entry to Leeds castle, so in 1322 a war broke out between Edward II and his uncle, Thomas Lancaster, who was executed in Mar 1322.

In Sep 1324 a war broke out between her brother Charles IV of France and her husband Edward II. She was sent to negotiate in Mar 1325, her son Edward (future III) coming later.

He did homage to Charles for the duchy of Aquitaine and county of Ponthieu on Sep 14.

Isabella had a liaison with rebel and exiled Roger Mortimer, refused to return to England, and traveled to Hainaut, where young Edward was betrothed to the count’s daughter, Philippa.

Mortimer and Isabella invaded England on Sep 24, 1326, and the barons favored of Edward III.

Edward II was captured on 16 Nov and abdicated on 20 Jan 1327. In Sept he was murdered in prison.

Isabella and Mortimer, made Earl of March in September 1328, together ruled England.

However, from 18-19 Oct 1330 Edward III seized power in a coup and had Mortimer executed on 20 Nov. Isabella’s role diminished, although she regained Ponthieu and Montreuil in 1322. She died at Hertford, England, on 23 Aug 1358.


Robert I (r. 922-23) (House of Robertines)

Hugh the Great (r. 938-956)


Hugh Capet (r. 987-996)

Robert II (r. 996-1031)

Henri I (r. 1031-60)

Philip I (r. 1059 or 1060-1108)

Louis VI (r. 1108-1037)

Louis VII  (r. 1137-1180)

Philip II Augustus (r. 1180-1223)

Louis VIII (r. 1223-1226)

Louis IX, the Saintly King (r. 1226-1270)

Philip III (r. 1270-1285)

Philip IV (r. 1285-1314)

Louis X (r. 1314-1316)

Philip V (r. 1316-1322)

Charles IV (r 1322-1328) (last Capetian king)


These two dynasties lived before the Capetians.

Charlemagne: Interesting Facts and Stories

Pippin, Son of Charlemagne

Bernard, King of Italy

Pippin, Great-Grandson of Charlemagne (transition to the House of Vermandois)


Herbert I, Count of Vermandois

Herbert II, Count of Vermandois


Jim Bradbury, The Capetians: Kings of France (Continuum, 2007).

René de la Croix (duc de Castries), Kings and Queens of France, trans. Anne Dobell (Knopf, 1979.

Jean Favier, Philippe le Bel (Fayard, 1978). There is a second edition, but this edition is good enough for this post.

Jones, Dan. The Plantagenets: The Warrior Kings and Queens Who Made England. Rev. ed. (Penguin, 2014).

Medieval France: An Encyclopedia, eds. William W. Kibler and Grover A. Zinn (New York: Garland, 1995).

Michael Prestwich, Edward I, new edition, Yale English Monarchs (Yale UP: 1997).

Douglas Richardson, Royal Ancestry: A Study in Colonial and Medieval Families, 5 volumes (Salt Lake: Published Privately, 2013).

Joseph R. Strayer, The Reign of Philip the Fair (Princeton UP, 1980).

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