Sunday, February 19, 2012

Reader Comment: The First Valentine Message


Byter Tobye advised that the first ever Valentine’s Day missive (apart from that of Valentine himself) had a happy ending.  Readers will recall that I posted that Charles, Duke of Orleans, sent a poem to his wife on Valentine’s Day in 1415. He was captured at the Battle of Agincourt and was imprisoned in the Tower of London to await execution.  Tobye points out that after a quarter of a century imprisoned at the Tower and other castles, he was released on payment of a ransom. 

Some other notes:

·        During his 24 years imprisonment he became an accomplished poet with over 500 of his poems surviving.

·        After he was captured at the Battle of Agincourt in 1415 by Sir Richard Waller, they became good friends.  His capture allowed Waller to refurbish his manor house.  Waller later added the fleur-de-lis to the Waller coat of arms.

·       Charles’ captivity was not strict and he lived in the manner to which he was accustomed, along with other nobles.  However, because he was directly in line to the French throne, he was not permitted to be ransomed.

·      He also appears to have been a bit of a swordsman in more ways than one.  He was married three times: 

o   In 1406 he married Isabella, daughter of Charles VI of France.  Isabella died in chaildbirth.

o   In 1410 he married Bonne of Aemagnac  but she died before he returned from captivity.

o   On his return to France in 1440 he married Anne of Cleves amd had three children.

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