Saturday, August 07, 2004

HYW(Duncan2): Edward III Plantagenet's Claim to The Throne of France


What started as a skirmish at the sea has by early 1339 turned into a greater and more open conflict between England and France. As King Edward criticizes France's attack on Navarre, King Philippe in turn declares the English king's lands and titles in France forfeit. Soon King Edward forms a cabinet, appoints myself as Lord Chief Justice, and after looking into the propriety of Philippe VI de Valois' claim to the Throne of Light, asks me to determine the proper "Roi de France." In the autumn of that same year, I produce the following document and send a copy to all the lords and ladies of Christendom.

Most Holy Father Benedict XII,
Lords and Ladies of Christendom,

Upon exhaustive investigation we hereby present the case to prove that Edward III Plantagenet justly and legitimately claims the Throne of France and that Philippe VI Valois unjustly and illegally holds said Throne.

Philippe III the Bold of the House of Capet, King of France, had four sons and two daughters. They were Louis, Philippe, Charles, Louis the Younger, Blanche, and Marguerite. On his death the throne passed - in the spirit of our common custom - to his oldest surviving son, Philippe IV.

Philippe IV the Fair, King of France, had three sons and a daughter. They were Louis, Philippe, Charles, and Isabelle. On his death the throne passed - in the spirit of our common custom - to his eldest son, Louis X.

Louis X the Strong-Willed, King of France, had a son and a daughter. They were Jean and Jeanne. On his death the throne passed - in the spirit of our common custom - to his only son, Jean.

Jean the Posthumous, King of France, were but five days old when he died and the throne passed - in the spirit of our common custom - to his uncle, the younger brother of King Louis X and the oldest surviving son of King Philippe IV, Philippe V. This was justly so because Jeanne II, the Queen of Navarre and sister to King Jean, had abandoned her right to the Throne of France.

Philippe V the Tall, King of France, had a son and three daughters. They were Philippe, Jeanne, Marguerite, and Isabelle. On his death the throne passed - in the spirit of our common custom - to his youngest brother, Charles IV. This was justly so because his son Philippe had before died and his three daughters Jeanne, Marguerite, and Isabelle had abandoned their right to the Throne of France.

Charles IV the Fair, King of France, had four daughters. They were Jeanne, Jeanne the Younger, Marie, and Blanche. On his death the throne did not pass -as it ought to have been in the spirit of our common custom - to either of his two surviving daughters, Marie and Blanche. But this was justly so because both Marie and Blanche had abandoned their right to the Throne of France.

Nor did the throne pass - as it ought to have been in the spirit of our common custom - to Isabelle, whom is sister to King Charles IV, King Phillipe V, and King Louis X, and whom is aunt to King Jean, and whom is daughter of King Philippe IV and thus is of Capetian line directly related to five Kings of France.

Instead the throne unjustly passed - contrary to the spirit of our common custom and in absence of a bona fide legal ground - to Philippe VI, whose Capetian line has ceased to be direct with his father Charles, Count of Valois as far back as five kings past, and of which is still the case so long as the direct Capetian line that issued from King Philippe IV continues through his children and descendants.

Although of the seven potential claimants of direct Capetian line presented above, six have abandoned their right to the Throne of France, the seventh, Isabelle Capet has not done so and indeed, has had no intention of doing so.

Isabelle Capet, having retired at Norfolk but having never abandoned her right to the Throne of France through her direct Capetian kinship with the previous five Kings of France, has instead passed on her right to the Throne of France - in the spirit of our common custom - to her eldest son, Edward III Plantagenet.

Thus Edward III Plantagenet, being of direct Capetian line by the virtue demonstrated above, does now claim justly and legitimately the Throne of France in the spirit of our common custom, that is to say, the custom as has been practiced by Christian Kings and Queens, Princes and Princesses, and Nobles since the time of Charlemagne, and that which is based on none other than the Will of our Lord God as revealed to us in the Book of Numbers of His Holy Scripture.

Within the Book of Numbers is read: "If a man die, and have no son, then ye shall cause his inheritance to pass unto his daughter. And if he have no daughter, then ye shall give his inheritance unto his brethen. And if he have no brethen, then ye shall give his inheritance unto his father's brethen. And if his father have no brethen, then ye shall give his inheritance unto his kinsman that is next to him of his family."

And so we conclude the case on the Throne of France with the following: Edward III Plantagenet, being a direct member of Capetian line, claims justly and legitimately the Throne of France, thus he is the true King of France. Philippe VI Valois, having come out off a bypassed branch five kings past, holds unjustly and illegally the Throne of France, thus he is a Usurper.

Lord Chief Justice
Hereford and Essex

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