Charles the Bold
November 10, 1433 - January 5, 1477
Duke Charles the Bold of Burgundy was the last of the four Valois dukes of Burgandy. He was innovative and ambitious leader who created a well-trained standing army, equipped with field artillery. He fought in the French civil war at Montlhéry in 1465, then crushed Liège 1464-68. He reformed his army before engaging in an ambitious campaign for conquest. Charles' ambition was to create a kingdom stretching from the mouth of the Rhine to the mouth of the Rhône. He formed the League of the Public Weal against Louis XI of France, invaded France in 1471, and conquered the country as far as Rouen. He ruled a heterogeneous collection of territories running from the North Sea and the Neatherlands around the eastern edge of the kingdom of France and terminating near the Mediterranean coast in Provence. The independent policy of Charles's predecessors, Philip the Bold, John the Fearless, and Philip the Good, had made Burgundy the key power in resolving the Hundred Years War between England and France, as well as the most important influence on the political stability of the French kingdom. The life and career of Charles the Bold represented the greatest threat to the efforts of Louis XI to stabilize the kingdom of France by restoring royal authority over that of the great princes. The Holy Roman Emperor, the Swiss, and Lorraine united against him.
He captured Nancy in November 30, 1475, and from Nancy he marched against the Swiss, hanging or drowning the garrison of Grandson. March 2, 1476 Charles brought a large mercenary army with him together with many heavy cannon, but he was defeated at Granson. He succeeded in raising a fresh army of 30,000 men, with which he attacked Morat, but he was again defeated by the Swiss army, assisted by the cavalry of René II, Duke of Lorraine June 22, 1476. On this occasion, and unlike the debacle at Grandson, little booty was lost, but Charles certainly lost about one third of his entire army, the unfortunate losers being pushed into the nearby lake where they were drowned or shot at whilst trying to swim to safety on the opposite shore. They were overrun and slaughtered by the Swiss pikemen.
On October 6, 1476 Charles lost Nancy, which was re-entered by René. Making a last effort, Charles formed a new army about 8,000 men and arrived in the depth of winter before the walls of Nancy. Having lost many of his troops through the severe cold, it was with only a few thousand men that he met the joint forces of the Lorrainers and the Swiss, who had come to the relief of the town, at the Battle of Nancy January 5, 1477. Determined to the last, Charles and his generals tried in vain to rally the broken army, but without success. His small band was carried with the flight until eventually surrounded by a party of Swiss. A halberdier quickly swung at the Duke's head and landed a deadly blow directly on his helm. He was seen to fall but the battle flowed on around him. After Charles army was scattered, his mangled body was found three days later half eaten by wolves. So passed the last of the Valois Dukes of Burgundy.
Nancy was lost, and he was killed while attempting to recapture it. His possessions in the Netherlands passed to the Habsburgs by the marriage of his daughter Mary to Maximilian I of Austria. Charles the Bold has often been regarded as the last representative of the feudal spirit - a man who possessed no other quality than a blind bravery.
*This is my version of "the fall of the bold"... the concept is to intentionally bring this war to a somehow fantasy version... sword, armor, hairstlye, settings ect.. are all just my fiction..
"heroes become history... history become legend... legend become myth..."