Anne of Brittany

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Anne of Brittany,

1477–1514, queen of France as consort of Charles VIIICharles VIII,
1470–98, king of France (1483–98), son and successor of Louis XI. He first reigned under the regency of his sister Anne de Beaujeu. After his marriage (1491) to Anne of Brittany, he freed himself from the influence of the regency and prepared to conquer
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 from 1491 to 1498 and consort of Louis XIILouis XII,
1462–1515, king of France (1498–1515), son of Charles, duc d'Orléans. He succeeded his father as duke. While still duke, he rebelled against the regency of Anne de Beaujeu and was imprisoned (1488), but was released (1491) by his cousin King Charles
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 from 1499 until her death. The daughter of Duke Francis IIFrancis II,
1435–88, duke of Brittany. He succeeded (1458) his uncle Arthur III. In his struggle with the French crown for the independence of his duchy, Francis entered (1465) the League of the Public Weal against King Louis XI and invaded Normandy in 1467.
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 of Brittany, she was heiress to his duchy. Shortly before her father's death (1488), a French army under Louis de La Trémoille successfully invaded Brittany and secured the duke's promise that Anne would marry only with the consent of the French crown. Upon becoming duchess, the young Anne's hand and her duchy were eagerly sought. To prevent France from swallowing up the duchy, a coalition including Archduke Maximilian of Austria (later Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian IMaximilian I,
1459–1519, Holy Roman emperor and German king (1493–1519), son and successor of Holy Roman Emperor Frederick III. As emperor, he aspired to restore forceful imperial leadership and inaugurate much-needed administrative reforms in the increasingly
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), King Henry VIIHenry VII,
1457–1509, king of England (1485–1509) and founder of the Tudor dynasty. Claim to the Throne

Henry was the son of Edmund Tudor, earl of Richmond, who died before Henry was born, and Margaret Beaufort, a descendant of Edward III through John
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 of England, and King Ferdinand IIFerdinand II
or Ferdinand the Catholic,
1452–1516, king of Aragón (1479–1516), king of Castile and León (as Ferdinand V, 1474–1504), king of Sicily (1468–1516), and king of Naples (1504–16).
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 of Aragón sent forces to Anne's aid. Nevertheless, Anne's situation was perilous and she appealed (1489) directly to Maximilian for protection. In 1490, Maximilian married Anne by proxy but failed to assist her with armed strength. Besieged at Rennes in 1491, Anne was forced by the French to annul her marriage and was quickly married to Charles VIII. It was agreed that if Charles died before Anne without issue, she was to marry his successor. Accordingly, in 1499, she married Louis XII, who had previously obtained a divorce from his first wife. The marriage (1514) of Claude, Anne's daughter by Louis XII, to Francis of Angoulême (later Francis I of France) led to the eventual incorporation (1532) by France of Brittany, which had previously remained theoretically separate.

Bibliography

See biography by H. J. Sanborn (1917).