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Artois (Traditional province, France)

Last modified: 2004-07-03 by
Keywords: artois | fleur-de-lys (yellow) | castles: 9 (yellow) | label (red) |
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[Artois]by Pierre Gay


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History of Artois

Artois was originally known as the pagus Atrebatensis. It was a a part of the county of Flanders, ruled by the house founded by Baudoin, son-in-law of Charles le Chauve, king of Francia Occidentalis. In 1180, Philippe d'Alsace gave Artois as a dowry to his niece Isabelle de Hainaut, who married king of France Philippe-Auguste. Their son Louis was granted Artois as his apanage. When Louis was crowned king of France as Louis VIII le Lion in 1223, Artois was incorporated to the royal domain. At that time, Artois included the seigniories of Arras, Bapaume, Aire, Saint-Omer, Lens and Hesdin, as well as the Boulenois and the Ternois.

In 1237, king of France Louis IX (Saint Louis) gave Artois as his apanage to his brother Robert. Artois was then ruled by Capetian counts and countesses (Robert I, Robert II, Mahaut and Jeanne) and later by the dukes of the first house of Burgundy (Eudes IV, Phillipe de Rouvres).

In 1382, Louis de Male, count of Flanders, received Artois by marriage. His daughter married duke of Burgundy Philippe le Hardi, and Artois was ruled by the house of Burgundy from 1384 to 1477. The marriage of Marie de Bourgogne with Maximilian of Austria offered Artois to the house of Austria. King of France Louis XI reincorporated Artois to France, but Charles VIII had to give it back (treaty of Senlis, 1493). However, Artois remained under French suzereignty until 1526 (treaty of Madrid). The treaty of Cambrai (the Ladies' Peace, 1529) confirmed the Spanish-Austrian rule.

In 1640, France reconquered Artois, which was incorporated to the kingdom by the treaty of the Pyrénées (1659). This treaty was confirmed by the treaty of Nijmegen (1678), which added the cities of Aire and Saint-Omer to the French possessions.

Louis XV gave the title of count of Artois to his grandson Charles-Philippe (1757-1836), the youngest brother of Louis XVI. The count of Artois was crowned as Charles X after the death of his brother Louis XVIII in 1824. His ultraconservative and authoritarian rule caused the revolution of July 1830. Charles X abdicated on 2 August and died in exile in Görz, then in Austria, now divided between Italy (Gorizia) and Slovenia (Nova Gorica).

Ivan Sache, 15 December 2002


Description of the flag of Artois

The banner of arms of Artois is:

D'azur semé de fleurs de lys d'or et brisé en chef d'un lambel de gueules de trois pendants chargés chacun de trois petits châteaux aussi d'or rangés en pal (GASO)

In English:

Azure semy de lis or a label gules of three points each charged with three castles of the second (Brian Timms)

These are the arms of the county of Artois, designed by the first apanagist count Robert I. He used the arms of France (France ancient) and added a red label (for the youngest branch) as a mark of cadency. The castles refer to Robert's mother, Blanche of Castile. Each castle represents one of the nine seigniories which constituted then the county of Artois.

Ivan Sache, 15 December 2002

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