Charles IV
Charles IV
King of Anglia
Reign 26th May, 1390 - 3rd April, 1423
Predecessor Henry II
Successor Henry III
Born 12th November, 1355
Mons, Hainault
Died 3rd April, 1423
Spouse Philippa of Wessex

Matilda of Sint-Maarten

Issue Henry III

Charles of Middelburg
Richard I
Katherine of Brussels
William I

House Estridsson
Father Henry II
Mother Jeanne of France

Charles IV was King of Anglia from 1390 to 1423. He is said to have described his own reign as 'a series of disappointments'.

Despite his best efforts Anglia would be beset by an almost unending succession of rebellion during his reign. This would constrain his ambitions to further Anglian domination of France and also wreck his plans to exploit his continental territories to make up for the lack of discretion over domestic Anglian affairs.

Flanders and Hainault would be struck by a Peasant's Revolt in 1391-3 which was firstly, a reaction to food prices and taxation, and secondly partially a continuation of the Jacquerie which had struck France previously which ironically Anglia had done so much to ferment.

As Anglia's Witenage was keen to limit the powers of the monarchy and was partially fearful of another Peasant Revolt if too large a taxation was granted Charles felt his options shrank in Anglia. On the continent however he felt and indeed assumed he would have much more scope to exercise his power. However the merchant towns and cities were not oblivious to the reforms, laws and governmental levers that Anglia enjoyed through its Witenage, and increasingly they demanded the same. Henry II's virtual abolition of serfdom was especially attractive to the peasantry. Therefore when he raised taxes through the Duchies of Flanders and Brabant, and the Counties of Hainault and Zeeland, he was met with increasing resistance. The cities already had some exemption thanks to their charters but even these suffered through taxation. Charles would be rewarded with revolt in Ghent and Bruges in 1397, Mons in 1400 and the whole of Brabant in 1406.

Meanwhile he had unwisely provoked a dispute with Man over the Duchy of Lancaster. The Duchy had revolted in 1399 and several of its lords appealed to Charles for assistance. Charles took the opportunity to potentially recover the lost duchy with glee. However the Manx King Sigurd IV appealed to Hordaland and Scotland for support which soon raised an entire web of connections in northern Anglia whose lords had cheerfully intermarried with all three for generations. Invaded from Scotland in 1400 Charles proved victorious but his lords urged peace. Valdemar II of Denmark personally oversaw a the treaty between Man and Anglia in Bruges later that year.

Valdemar had travelled to visit Charles to attempt him to swap sides in the long-running Imperial civil war to the anti-Luxembourg camp: with little joy. Henry II had cultivated a reproachment to Luxembourg swapping Anglia's long-standing opposition to their control over the Empire for co-operation to keep the Low Countries in order. Charles continued this policy with enthusiasm, he was after all a lord and elector of the Empire. While Denmark, Austria and others tacitly supported Rupert of Wittelsbach in his repeated attempts to seize the imperial crown, Anglia stayed loyal to Wenceslaus I and then the frequently embattled Charles II. Charles IV's eldest daughter Katherine of Brussels would go on to marry the future emperor Matthew while he would also name his youngest Wenceslaus in honour of the dynasty. Much of the Luxembourgs' attentions lay to the East and with Italia anyway so Charles IV was left with considerable leeway, both in terms of dictating to his smaller Rhineland neighbours but also ensuring they remained loyal to Wenceslaus and Charles' sides.

In 1413 this friendship blossomed into a full-blown alliance. France had taken advantage of its position, and the Empire's weakness, by declaring a regency over the Duchy of Bar whose previous duke had been declared insane. Afraid that Philip IV (or at least his own regents) were looking to dominate the Francophone areas of the Empire Charles II cultivated a cordon around it. Alongside Arles and Auvergne Anglia was invited to restrain France by whatever means necessary. Philip would die the next year with his cousin John II of Berry succeeding him. Charles IV of course protested this succession and resurrected the Anglian claim to the French throne to which Charles II readily conceded his approval.

Charles IV would not be able to push the claim forward himself though. France had rebounded from its crises of the 14th century with vigour and boasted a strong treasury, a robust population and a united nobility dedicated to the job at hand. The taxes Charles needed to attempt such an undertaking as completely breaking the French state were simply not forthcoming and while Arles and Auvergne engaged the French in Champagne Charles had to be content with overseeing interminable sieges on the Flemish borders. His hope was that Charles II would finally reach an end to his own troubles and rally the anti-French alliance. It was not to be.

Charles would die in 1423 of pneumonia. He would be succeeded by his three eldest surviving sons in turn.


Charles married Philippa of Wessex in 1366 and they had six children:

After Philippa's death in 1396 he married Matilda of Sint-Maarten in 1399. They had two children:

  • William I (1406-1486)
  • Wenceslaus (1411-1460) - married Ingeborg of Oldenburg and had one daughter, Joanna of Oldenburg

By the late 1480s his direct descendants had narrowed to William II of Anglia, Eric IX of Denmark and Sigismund II of Luxembourg (and their respective siblings). The death of William II in 1493 would leave Anglia and its valuable continental territory in a quandary over who exactly should inherit it. William's sister Anna was perfectly acceptable to the Anglian nobles but the continental lords argued she was not eligible thanks to Salian Law. This then allowed both Luxembourg and Denmark to claim the throne thanks to their almost equal lineages, and ambitions.

of Wessex
Charles IV
of Sint-Maarten
Henry III
Richard I
of Brussels
of Luxembourg
William I
John II
of Luxembourg
of Oldenburg
of Denmark
Sigismund II
of Luxembourg
William II
Anna I
Eric IX
of Denmark

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