09.09.

1488: Death of Francis II, the Last Independent Male Ruler of Brittany

1488: Death of Francis II, the Last Independent Male Ruler of Brittany
Photo Credit To Wikipedia Commons

Story Highlights

  • Historical event:
  • 9 September 1488
  • The Duke of Brittany Francis II tried to prevent his state from joining France. This day in 1488 marked his death. Francis II died after he had fallen off a horse.

Francis II, the last independent male ruler of the Duchy of Brittany died on this day in 1488.

It is interesting to note that the Duchy of Brittany functioned as a state independent of France until the beginning of the early modern period.

The Breton rulers had their own army, castles, estates, and feudal substructure. French kings were trying for centuries to submit Brittany to their own authority, but it managed to maintain its independence for a long time.

The last independent male ruler Duke Francis II (Breton: Française II) was a member of the Dreux-Montfort dynasty, which ruled this country for centuries.

He was born in the Clisson Castle (French: Château de Clisson), south of the Loire River, and was a contemporary of many famous Renaissance artists (for example Leonardo da Vinci, Donatello etc.).

Francis II tried to prevent his country from joining France (during the late Middle Ages, the French kings wanted to establish their hegemony).  Nantes was the important seat of Francis II (the castle still bears the name Castle of the Dukes of Brittany – French: Chateau des Ducs de Bretagne).

Francis II died at the age of 55, after he had fallen off a horse. Francis II didn’t have sons, and his daughter Ana was his heiress.

The French king probably married her because he wanted to gain control over Brittany. Brittany completely lost its independence and became a part of France.

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