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Louis XII of France
In 1476 Louis was required to marry the pious, but disabled Jeanne of France (1464 – 1505), the daughter of his second cousin, Louis XI, King of France. After Louis’s predecessor Charles VIII, King of France died childless, this marriage was annulled in order to allow Louis to marry Charles’ widow, Anne of Brittany (1477-1514), the heiress and daughter of Francis I of Brittany in a strategy meant to ally the French Monarchy with the duchy of Brittany. After Anne's death, Louis married Mary Tudor (1496 – 1533), the daughter of Henry VIII, King of England in Abbeville, France on October 9, 1514 in an attempt to conceive an heir to his throne, but was unsuccessful.
Louis's only marriage which produced any issue was his second, with Anne of Brittany. By her he had two surviving daughters:
- Claude of France (1499 – 1524), later married to Francis I, King of France.
- Renée of France (1510 – 1575), later married to Ercole d'Este, Duke of Ferrara .
In an attempt to make good his claim to the duchy of Milan, Louis led several invasions of Italy. He successfully secured Milan in 1499 from his enemy Ludovico Sforza, and it remained a French stronghold until 1511, when Pope Julius II formed the Holy League to oppose the French ambition in Italy. The French were eventually driven from Milan by the Swiss in 1513.
Louis also pursued Charles VIII's claim to the kingdom of Naples with Ferdinand II, King of Aragon. Each power took a partition of this kingdom during the Treaty of Granada (1500), but were eventually at war over the partitioning, and by 1504 France had lost its share of Naples.
Louis proved to be a popular king, introducing reforms in the judicial system and reducing taxes. These reforms and his caring nature earned him the epithet Father of the People. He died on January 1, 1515 and was interred in Saint Denis Basilica. Because of the Salic Law, which did not allow women to inherit the throne of France, he was succeeded by his cousin, Francis, Count of Angoulême, husband of his daughter Claude of France, who reigned as Francis I.
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|King of France|| Succeeded by:|
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