The 11th child of Charles VI and Isabeau of Bavaria was born in Paris in 1403 and became Dauphin and Lieutenant General of the kingdom in 1417. Early on he considered the capital the seat of all troubles between rival factions. The Armagnacs were fighting the Burgundians while Henry V of England seemed to be getting the upper hand in the Hundred Years’ War. In 1418, when political tension was at its height, the Dauphin fled Paris and withdrew to his estates. His lands included the duchies of Berry and Touraine and the earldom of Poitou. Fortunately, they were close together, safe and loyal. The Royal Court was set up in an area that had been of little importance until then. This was in fact the temporary abandonment of the Île-de-France properties of the kings of France. It was a time of uncertainty and Court residencies were temporary. This trend was heightened by the sovereign’s own mental state; he often seemed worried and feared being captured. As a result, he rarely remained more than three months in the same spot and preferred castles in the countryside, located in smaller communities.


Martial d’Auvergne, “Massacre of the inhabitants of Paris (1418)”, Vigils of Charles VII, 1484-1485, French 5054, folio 16v. ©BnF.