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Duke of Burgundy (French: duc de Bourgogne) was a title used by the rulers of the Duchy of Burgundy, from its establishmemt in 843 to its annexation by France in 1477, and later by Habsburg sovereigns of the Burgundian Low Countries (1478-1556).

The Duchy of Burgundy a small portion of traditional lands of Burgundians west of river Saône which in 843 was allotted to Charles the Bald's kingdom of West Franks. Under the Ancien Régime, the Duke of Burgundy was the premier lay peer of the kingdom of France. Beginning with Robert II of France, the title was held by the Capetians, the French royal family. It was granted to Robert's younger son, Robert, who founded the House of Burgundy. When the senior line of the House of Burgundy became extinct, it was inherited by John II of France through proximity of blood. John granted the duchy as an appanage for his younger son, Philip the Bold. The Valois Dukes of Burgundy became dangerous rivals to the senior line of the House of Valois.

When the male line of the Valois Dukes of Burgundy became extinct in 1477, the Duchy of Burgundy was confiscated by Louis XI of France. The title Duke of Burgundy passed to Habsburg monarchs via marriage. The Habsburgs used it to have a claim on Burgundy proper and to rule their Burgundian Inheritance. Today, the title is used by the House of Bourbon as a revived courtesy title.

List of Dukes of Burgundy


The first margrave (marchio), later duke (dux), of Burgundy was Richard of the House of Ardennes, whose duchy was created from the merging of several regional counties of the kingdom of Provence which had belonged to his brother Boso.

His descendants and their relatives by marriage ruled the duchy until its annexation over a century later by the French crown, their suzerain.

In 1004, Burgundy was annexed by the king, of the House of Capet. Otto William continued to rule what would come to be called the Free County of Burgundy. His descendants formed another House of Ivrea.

  • Robert (1004–1016) (also king of the Franks as Robert II)
  • Henry (1016–1032) (also king of the Franks as Henry I)

Robert, son of Robert II of France, received the Duchy as a peace settlement, having disputed the succession to the throne of France with his brother Henry.

John II of France, the second Valois king, successfully claimed the Duchy after the death of Philip, the last Capet duke. John then passed the duchy to his youngest son Philip as an apanage.

In 1477, the territory of the Duchy of Burgundy was annexed by France. In the same year, Mary married Maximilian, Archduke of Austria, giving the Habsburgs control of the remainder of the Burgundian Inheritance.

Although the territory of the Duchy of Burgundy itself remained in the hands of France, the Habsburgs remained in control of the title of Duke of Burgundy and the other parts of the Burgundian inheritance, notably the Low Countries and the Free County of Burgundy in the Holy Roman Empire. They often used the term Burgundy to refer to it (e.g. in the name of the Imperial Circle it was grouped into), until the late 18th century, when the Austrian Netherlands were lost to French Republic. The Habsburgs also continued to claim Burgundy proper until the Treaty of Cambrai in 1529, when they surrendered their claim in exchange for French recognition of Imperial sovereignty over Flanders and Artois.

See also


Further reading


  • Calmette, Joseph. Doreen Weightman, trans. The Golden Age of Burgundy; the Magnificent Dukes and Their Courts. New York: W.W. Norton, 1962.
  • Chaumé, Maurice. Les Origines du Duché de Bourgogne. 2v. in 4 parts. Dijon: Jobard, 1925 (Darmstadt: npub, 1977).
  • Michael, Nicholas. Armies of Medieval Burgundy 1364–1477. London: Osprey, 1983. ISBN 0-85045-518-9.
  • Vaughan, Richard. Valois Burgundy. London: Allen Lane, 1975. ISBN 0-7139-0924-2.
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