On December 21, 1419, the future Charles VII set off for Languedoc where he intended to be recognised as regent by the towns he would pass through and by lords and people of high office. Several wagons and some 40 horses assigned to various offices of his household followed the Dauphin on his journey. He covered 1,443 kilometres in 169 days, making 38 stops. We have details of the various stages of his journey: Bourges (starting point), Moulins (December 28th), Roanne, Lyon (January 22nd-February 5th), Vienne (February 9th), Brioude, Rodez, Albi (February 27-28th), Toulouse (March 1st), Carcassonne (March 15-25th), Béziers, Montpellier, Nîmes (April 4th), Villeneuve d’Avignon (April 18th), Pont-Saint-Esprit (May 2nd), Le Puy (May 14/17th), Brioude, Clermont (May 22/27th) and Poitiers (June 8th).

During this first major trip, Charles managed to get his subjects to rally round him through coercion or by offering concessions. Therefore this tour was all about securing his hold over the land. He created strong institutions and installed reliable men – those able to govern regions to which he would not return. This progress enabled him to literally build the Kingdom of Bourges, a region that had remained faithful against “English France”.


Martial d’Auvergne, “Charles VII and Lords”, Vigils of Charles VII, 1484-1485, French 5054, folio 224. © BnF.