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Plantagenet

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Registered: 10/30/09
Posts: 27
Reply with quote  #1 
I've read recently that the French adopted the salic law, barring descent from a female ,specifically to bar Edward III from the throne.  I had first thought that the salic law had always been in effect but now  I don't know. Edward's mother was Isabella of France, a french princess.  I do know that in England the salic law has never actually applied meaning that if females could not actually claim the throne their male heirs could.   I know that the underlying reason for the hundred years war was to give the english nobles something to do other than plot against the monarch and win riches to boot. Opinions?


Oh and here is another twist. How could Henry V lawfully claim the French throne when his father was a usurper king? He was a great grandson of Edward III but he was not of the senior line  Henry V's claim of course was spelled out with the edge of a sword imo. The fact that the French didn't accept Edward III himself compounded it.


Peter

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Reply with quote  #2 

The Salic Law was adopted prior to Edward III's claim. Jean I, born King as his father Louis X was already dead, lived only days. He had a sister Jeanne, eight years old or so, but no other sibling. Did Jeanne succeed, or her father's eldest brother? The latter person had definite views on the question and became Philippe V, establishing the principle of Salic succession. In practice the succession had always been Salic, but as the King had always had a son to follow him the matter had not really been put to the test before.

Philippe V had no son himself, so was succeeded by the next brother, Charles IV. When he died without sons and the supply of brothers had run out, there was again a question over the succession. By pure agnatic primogeniture the heir would be the Count of Valois, the senior male patrilateral cousin of the late King. By semi-Salic succession Edward III, nephew of Charles IV, was the most senior. He also could claim by proximity of blood, a nephew being more closely related to the last sovereign than a cousin.

The principle had not yet been decided, the situation never having arisen before that the King died with neither son nor brother to follow him. The nobles of France preferred a mature Frenchman to a fifteen-year-old Englishman and elected the Count of Valois, who became Philippe VI. By this pure Salic law was established as the succession law of France.

Well, by this and by victory in the Hundred Years War. Edward III under his mother's tutelage and later when ruling for himself resented but accepted the choice, even paying personal homage to Philippe VI for his lands in France. Those lands were a perpetual cause of tension between the Kings of England and France, as the latter wanted them for themselves. And eventually got them, of course.

Edward III's assumption of the title King of France was really more of a campaign move in one of the endless string of conflicts over these lands than a serious attempt to assert lawful dominion over the whole realm. Though his claim at the time was in law not at all unreasonable. It seems likely that what he was really after was untrammeled sovereignty over his French feudal domains. And he did obtain this, no more homage was paid or required to be paid for them ever after, they became essentially a part of the Kingdom of England and were no longer within the realm of France.

In return he agreed to renounce his claim to all France. He never actually did so, as the French never fulfilled various of their other obligations under the relevant treaty. And in fact the claim remained in being for centuries, until George III relinquished it. But it had long ceased to be a practical claim. The last person to try to put it into effect was Henry V as you observe. He was not in my opinion the son of a usurper. His father Henry IV was elected to a vacant throne after Richard II, removed from power and held prisoner due to his arbitrary, capricious, irresponsible, cruel and generally disastrous rule, had abdicated the throne. Admittedly Richard had not been given a great deal of choice in the matter, nevertheless abdicated he had, like Edward II before him, so there was precedent.

The alternative to Henry IV was a child of seven or so, the Earl of March. Henry was the senior Angevin, a mature man, an exceptional knight and warrior, a fine general, pious and virtuous, a Crusader and a pilgrim to the Holy Land, and generally both admirable and admired. So his being preferred to a young boy of unknown and unpredictable qualities was not surprising (the latter was permitted to live to full age and turned out to be a rather unimpressive individual who would not have made much of a King, but that is by the by).

Henry was also the heir ahead of March under the will of Edward III, though that was not generally known then or indeed until centuries later when the document was discovered, and the will was in any case of doubtful effect and arguably had been overruled by Richard II in his various choices of successor, also of doubtful effect.

Anyway the situation and law as regards succession were uncertain enough to make it unfair to my mind to call Henry IV usurper. That's for England and Ireland, now what about France? Henry V's claim there was actually crystal clear. He was the undoubted agnatic heir to Edward III's reasonable claim. The accession of Philippe V, years before that claim had been or could be made, had settled the succession as being agnatic, the question then being whether it were semi- or full Salic. The accession of Philippe VI established that it was the latter, but not to the satisfaction of the English. Cue the Hundred Years War, the outcome of which did finally settle the question.

Sorry to have gone on so long, but I wanted to make everything very clear. This is just my understanding of it, of course, but I believe it is a reasonable and reasonably correct understanding.

Pachacutec

Registered: 10/07/09
Posts: 139
Reply with quote  #3 
George III never renounced his claim to the throne of France, he merely dropped it from his list of titles following the Act of Union of 1801.
Peter

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Reply with quote  #4 
As an aside to the above, the question of homage for the French lands was key to the whole saga of Edward II's deposition and Edward III's accession. In deep trouble at home, the former was due to go to France and render homage, that or be in serious default on his feudal obligations, a casus belli which the French king would have seized on with glee. But he, Edward II, did not dare leave England.

A perfectly acceptable solution was for his heir to have the lands settled on him, then he could go and pay homage. And, in one of the most staggering acts of blind stupidity and naivety in the whole annals of these realms, so it was done. It was quite incredibly stupid because the deeply estranged Queen was in France, enjoying the entire support of her brother Charles IV, and was never going to let her young son go again once she got him in her clutches. Nor did she, instead raising the standard of revolt in the boy's name and sweeping the land virtually without opposition, so detestable and detested had Edward II made himself.

Whether Edward II ever saw his very dearly beloved and cherished son again after putting him on a ship to France is debatable. I believe he did, more than once, long after the older Edward's supposed murder. That might seem improbable, but actually there is a lot of quite sound evidence for it and the historical consensus seems to be moving that way. That he could have expected to ever see his son again is not improbable, but unbelievable.
Peter

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Reply with quote  #5 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pachacutec
George III never renounced his claim to the throne of France, he merely dropped it from his list of titles following the Act of Union of 1801.

A difference that makes no difference...

Nevertheless I have changed the word to 'relinquished', so as to be absolutely technically correct. Please let me know whether this is acceptable to you.
Pachacutec

Registered: 10/07/09
Posts: 139
Reply with quote  #6 
In practical terms true enough but only because the claim itself was not practically achievable by that point. It did however leave him and his heirs as claimants, indeed the only ones who never did renounce the throne of France.
Peter

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Reply with quote  #7 

I'm somewhat puzzled as to how a person who does not claim can be a claimant. Also as to when Louis XVIII, the titular Henri V, or the members of the two lines claiming succession to him renounced their claims. Charles X and the titular Louis XIX of course both abdicated, but that still leaves George III as far from the only person who never in so many words 'renounced' his claim. And is not in any case the same thing as a renunciation, neither of the two renounced the claim of their line, only their own personal representation of it.

BaronVonServers

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Registered: 07/22/06
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Reply with quote  #8 

If he had 'keep the pretense' would the Duke of Bavaria be the pretender in succession?


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Peter

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Reply with quote  #9 
To Jacobites His Royal Highness the Duke of Bavaria is His Majesty Francis II, King of England, Scotland, France and Ireland. Since in their eyes George III was never lawfully King he could not change the title, which remains as it was in 1688. The deposed James II and VII did not change it, nor did the Jacobite Kings James III and VIII, Charles III and Henry IX and I. And since none of the Jacobite 'sovereigns' since has made the slightest gesture towards claiming of course they have not either.

There has not strictly speaking been a Jacobite pretender since 1807, if you accept my theory that to be a pretender you have to in fact pretend. Just as a claimant really ought to be making some sort of claim before he gets called that.
BaronVonServers

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Registered: 07/22/06
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Reply with quote  #10 
Your answer caused my 'rememberer' to kick in - I think.....

It would Ernst of Hannover from George III;
The Duke of Bavaria from James II's family, right?



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Peter

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Reply with quote  #11 

Well, if the claim is made on the same basis as Edward III's there is no one to make it, since his last agnatic male descendant of legitimate line perished on the scaffold in 1499. If it is made as a customary claim which had become attached to the English titles, which is the only basis on which any sovereign from Henry VII on could possibly make it, I don't see why it would have been diverted to the King of Hanover as agnatic heir of William IV, since William IV was not agnatic heir of Edward III.

If the title in pretence had still been in use then Victoria would have been "of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and of France Queen", and so forth. Her uncle the Duke of Cumberland who ascended the Hanoverian throne would not have added "of France" to his titles. Or if he had, I can't imagine what the reasonable basis for it would have been.

PS There are no legitimate descendants of James II and VII. The Duke of Bavaria's claim if he made one would be as heir of line to James's sister Henrietta Anne.

Pachacutec

Registered: 10/07/09
Posts: 139
Reply with quote  #12 
Point conceded. Interestingly having said that the claim of the English monarchs to France is impractical we actually came within a hairsbreadth of it taking place, and a lot closer than the other two ever got. Damn Eden, damn cabinet, damn foreign office...
Peter

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Reply with quote  #13 
I think France is a very beautiful country, that French is a lovely language, and that France has made great contributions to European civilisation. That doesn't mean I want us to be united with it, though. I'm glad that we lost all the Continental possessions except Calais as a result of the Hundred Years War, since that meant our Kings could concentrate on their proper business, England. Though it might have been nice to have hung on to Calais right up to the present day, just as one of those charming little historical curiosities.

Thinking about I was wrong to say that no one could claim on the same basis as Edward III after the (unjust and wicked, a blot on the name of a great King, Henry VII) execution of the Earl of Warwick. On proximity of blood, the eldest son of his sister Margaret, Countess of Salisbury, could have. On seniority of descent, Arthur, Prince of Wales. From him, because it's easier for me, let's see, Henry VIII, originally as Duke of York, Edward VI, search me as there was then a long period with no male in the line.

First to be born was Edward Seymour, but his legitimacy was questionable, then five years later the undoubtedly legitimate James VI of Scots. Say it was him, then Charles I through to the Jacobite Henry I and IX, and from him I think it actually would be the Jacobite succession (with one minor detour, the Jacobite Mary III, grrrr, and II succeeding her uncle Charles Felix rather than her father Victor) through to the Duke of Bavaria. I haven't really thought that one through, but off the top of my head I would say so. Though after the death of the present Duke and, assuming he survives him, his brother Max, this "succession" would break away from the Jacobite succession, remaining with the Wittelsbachs instead of going to the Liechtensteins.

Or so I think. All purely theoretical, as the claim such as it was long ago ceased to be on the same basis that Edward III originally made it. But the Baron kind of asked, so having thought about it more I kind of answered. And having thought about it more again, if you accept the exclusion of Catholics from 1689, then the Baron was right all along. It would have followed the actual succession all the way to William IV, then diverted down the Cumberland/Hanover line. Apologies, Baron.
Plantagenet

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Registered: 10/30/09
Posts: 27
Reply with quote  #14 

I've been studing the Bourbon claim to the french throne and it's quite interesting.  The last Valois king died with out a direct heir and since inheritance through the female was frowned upon they went back 10 generations (guess) to a descendent of a earlier king. Thus Henry IV the first Bourbon king was crowned, I've read that there were a lot of opposition to this choice since many viewed that he was too far away from the recent royal family. They were actually going to convene a estates general and elect a new king. Strict salic law seems to be very inconvenient especially since I'm sure there were several close male members of the royal family who were ignored because of their descent throught a female.

BaronVonServers

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Reply with quote  #15 
No apology needed Peter.
I learned a good bit, well, if I can retain it, then I've learned....

Thanks!

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