Philip V, the Tall, King of France

He was the thirteenth Capetian king, reigning only from 1316 to 1322. He was nicknamed the Tall or the Long because … well … he was tall. His wife was accused of concealing adultery. Would she survive?

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

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

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

Philip V the Tall (Magnus in Latin or le Long in French) was the second son of Philip IV and Jeanne (Joan) of Champagne and Navarre. He was born in late 1290 or early 1291.

He succeeded his brother Louis X and Louis’s posthumous son John I. In Jan 1307 he married Jeanne or Joan, daughter of Count Otto of Burgundy and Countess Matilda (or Mahaut) of Artois. She was born in 1294. She brought to France the county of Burgundy because of a marriage contract with Philip IV in 1295.

Philip (V) was made regent for his brother on 16 July 1316, but Louis’s posthumous son John died in November 1316, so the regency was unnecessary.

Philip was crowned on 9 Jan 1317.

A little opposition to him arose from the supporters, including the Duke of Burgundy, of Philip’s niece Joan, daughter of Louis X. But an agreement was reached. Joan was given a pension of £15,000 and lands in Champagne and Brie and her kingdom of Navarre. Her remaining supporters were defeated by Charles of Valois.

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. Philip’s wife Joan was accused of concealing the adulterous affairs of her two sisters-in-law, married to Philip’s two brothers Louis and Charles. 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. She had a very unhappy marriage with him, since he was having a homosexual affair with one of the lords named Gaveston.

On a visit to the French court she gave gloves to her sisters-in-law. On a subsequent visit she saw the gloves in the possession of two brothers and royal knights, Philip and Walter of Aulnay. After torture one of them confessed that an affair had lasted three years, though Joan was cleared by a special assembly.

Her two other sisters-in-law were not. Philip’s two sisters-in-law were kept in prison. Blanche was released after ten years, took the vows of a nun, and died in 1326. Marguerite was kept in a tower of a castle, given inadequate clothing, and the winter winds gave her a cold, from which she died in 1315.

The two knights were judged guilty, castrated, flayed alive, and burned at Pontoise. Their private parts were thrown to the dogs, and their bodies dragged through the streets and hanged on a public gibbet, their possessions confiscated. Apparently affairs in the royal household had to be publically and excessively punished.

Once crowned, Philip V toured the towns in his royal domain, achieving support from local assemblies, despite problems over taxation. In 1313, the king announced he intended to go on a crusade, which never happened. But the talk did stir up the Pastoureaux rising. Poor folk led by a defrocked priest marched on Paris. A provost was thrown down the steps of Chatelet. Then they marched on Toulouse. The authorities dispersed them and hanged them in groups of 20s and 30s.

In general terms, Philip was popular. As noted, his wife Jeanne / Joan was cleared of adultery, and they had four daughters and a son who died Feb 1317. He showered his wife with property, including full rights to the county of Burgundy. He pacified the leagues of disgruntled nobles that had plagued Louis X’s reign, received homage from his brother-in-law Edward II of England, and made peace with Flanders.

Philip V had one son Louis and four daughters: Jeanne (or Joan), wife of Eudes IV (Odo) Duke of Burgundy, Count of Artois, Auxonne, and Chalon, seigneur of Salins; Marguerite, wife of Louis II, Count of Flanders, Nevers and Rethel; Isabelle or Isabella, wife of Guigues VIII, Dauphin of Viennois, Count of Albon, seigneur of La Tour du Pin and Jean III, seigneur of Faucogney); and Blanche (nun at Longchamp).

He died from a lingering illness on 2 or 3 Jan 1322 at Longchamp near Paris, where his daughter Blanche had taken her vows in 1322.

He was sickly throughout his reign. After visiting his brother Charles of La Marche at Crécy-en-Brie, he returned to Paris in a hot summer. By the time he reached Bois de Vincennes, he had dysentery and fever. He left a will dated 26 Aug 1321, codicil dated 2 Jan 1322. He ordered his body should be buried at St. Denis, his heart to the Cordeliers’ church in Paris, where his wife and son were also buried. The entrails were to go to the Dominican church of the Jacobins in Paris.

Medievalist Jim Bradbury writes: “The early death of Philip V was perhaps the worst of the tragedies that befell the dynasty in this last period. He was the most promising of the sons of Philip IV, and in a brief reign showed the potential to be a great reforming monarch, ‘the most inventive and imaginative of the sons of Philip the Fair’” (p. 283).

His widow Joan died at Roye (Somme) 21 Jan 1330 and was buried in the church of the Cordeliers at Paris. The crown went to his brother Charles IV of La Marche.


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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