Throughout the course of the Hundred Years’ War, the Valois kings had been so preoccupied, first with the problem of survival and later with the organisation of victory over England, that they had willingly reduced their burden of administration and jurisdiction by allowing members of their own family and certain trusted nobles to undertake the government of their own private territories. The regions of greatest independence were the apanages of Burgundy, Bourbon, Orleans and Anjou, which were granted with virtually sovereign powers to junior members of the royal family. But among the more conventional fiefs too, the noble houses of Brittany, Armagnac, Albret and Foix had become accustomed to administer their territories with little reference to the king. Consequently, by the time the English had been defeated, Louis XI inherited from Charles VII not so much a kingdom as a confederation of self-regarding princedoms.
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.