Isabella, Isabeau

ISABELLA, ISABEAU, or ELIZABETH OF BAVARIA (1370-1435), wife of Charles VI. of France, was the daughter of Stephen II., duke of Bavaria. She was born in 1370, was married to Charles VI. on the 17th of July 1385, and crowned at Paris on the 22nd of August 1389. After some years of happy married life she fell under the influence of the dissolute court in which she lived, and the king having become insane (August 1392) she consorted chiefly with Louis of Orleans. Frivolous, selfish, avaricious and fond of luxury, she used her influence, during the different periods when she was invested with the regency, not for the public welfare, but mainly in her own personal interest. After the assassination of the duke of Orleans (November 23, 1407) she attached herself sometimes to the Armagnacs, sometimes to the Burgundians, and led a scandalous life. Louis de Bosredon, the captain of her guards, was executed for complicity in her excesses; and Isabella herself was imprisoned at Blois and afterwards at Tours (1417). Having been set free towards the end of that year by John the Fearless, duke of Burgundy, whom she had called to her assistance, she went to Troyes and established her government there, returning afterwards to Paris when that city had capitulated to the Burgundians in July 1418. Once more in power, she now took up arms against her son, the dauphin Charles; and after the murder of John the Fearless she went over to the side of the English, into whose hands she surrendered France by the treaty of Troyes (May 21, 1420), at the same time giving her daughter Catherine in marriage to the king of England, Henry V. After her triumphal entry into Paris with the latter she soon became an object of loathing to the whole French nation. She survived her husband, her son-in-law, and eight out of her twelve children, and she passed the last miserable years of her life in poverty, solitude and ill-health. She died at the end of September 1435, and was interred without funeral honours in the abbey of St Denis, by the side of her husband, Charles VI.

See Vallet de Viriville, Isabeau de Baviere (1859) ; Marcel Thibault, Isabeau de Baviere, Reine de France, La Jeunesse,\ 1370-1405 (1903).

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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