NameLouis VI (The Fat) King of France
Birth1081, Paris, France
Death1 Aug 1137, Chateau Bethizy, Paris, Seine, France
BurialSt. Denis, France
MotherBertha of Holland (1055-1094)
Misc. Notes
Byname LOUIS THE FAT, French LOUIS LE GROS, king of France from 1108 to 1137; he brought power and dignity to the French crown by his recovery of royal authority over the feudal nobles in his domains of the Île-de-France and the Orléanais.

Louis was designated by his father, Philip I, as his successor in 1098 and was already effectively the ruler well before Philip's death in 1108. He quickly recognized that his priority must be to bring the unruly barons of the royal lands under firm control, and he spent much of his reign in conflict with such men as Hugh de Puiset. His success won him the respect of his greater vassals and was crucial to later Capetian expansion. From his pacification program Louis developed several important concepts for future kings: for example, that the king was a vassal of no man.

Louis had a good relationship with the church and clergy. He has been presented by some historians as the father of communes or towns, but in fact he recognized towns only out of circumstance rather than from principle.

Louis's major wars were against King Henry I of England during the periods 1104-13 and 1116-20. When Charles the Good, count of Flanders, was assassinated in 1127, Louis supported William Clito, who became the successor; even though William was eventually toppled, Louis's actions demonstrated the new strength of the monarchy. In 1124 he was able to muster forces from many parts of France to counter a threatened invasion by the Holy Roman emperor Henry V. Louis's last major achievement was to arrange a marriage between his son Louis VII and Eleanor, heiress of William X, duke of Aquitaine. Abbot Suger of Saint-Denis, a most trusted adviser, is the primary historian for Louis's reign.


Compton's Encyclopedia (America Online, 1995) reports: Louis VI, the Fat (born 1081, ruled 1108-37), was the first important king of the Capetian line. This line sprang from Hugh Capet, who became king in 987. Louis the Fat was a great fighter, a great hunter, and a great eater. At 46 he became too fat to mount a horse, but he remained the embodiment of
warlike energy. His great task was to reduce to order the petty nobles of the royal domain, who could truly be called robber
barons. When Louis came to the throne, every lord of a castle robbed at will and it was not safe for even the king to pass
along the road. Twenty years of hard fighting were necessary to remedy this condition, but in the end, law and order
prevailed. So that such evils might not recur, every castle that was captured was destroyed or given to faithful followers.

References: [AR7],[Weis1],[Paget1],[FarisPA],[ES], [PlantagenetA],[Talbot1]
Spouses
Birth1092, Savoy, France
Death18 Nov 1154
BurialMontmartre Abbey, ,Savoie, France
MotherGisele of Burgundy (1070-1133)
MarriageApr 1115, Paris
ChildrenPeter (~1121-1183)
 Constance (1124-1176)
 Robert (~1121-1185)
Last Modified 18 Oct 1999Created 4 Sep 2012 using Reunion for Macintosh