Charles III, Duke of Bourbon

From Academic Kids

Charles III of Bourbon-Montpensier (February 17 1490 1527 in Rome) was Count of Montpensier and Dauphin of Auvergne. Having lost his father already as child, in 1503 he as heir-male became claimant to Duchy of Bourbon, and in 1505 through marriage which combined two claims he became undisputed Duke of Bourbon and Auvergne, by his marriage with his cousin Suzanne, only surviving daughter and heiress of the previous duke, Pierre de Beaujeu of Bourbon. Through his father Gilbert of Bourbon-Montpensier, Charles was great-grandson of John I, Duke of Bourbon and the head of the junior branch of the ducal family. He was thus, in his own right, the heir in male line to Bourbon.

In 1521 he lost his wife. Whose first cousin, Louise of Savoy, mother of the king (though not the heiress general of Susan), desired to stake herself as claimant of Bourbon and/or Auvergne, using the royal powers. It has been said that she would have liked to marry Charles. The heir general of Bourbons however was Emperor Charles V, as direct heir of the eldest aunt of Susan.

A dispute with King Francis I led Charles, who held the office of Constable, the highest military office in France, to betray his King and offer his services to the Emperor Charles V. The Emperor, the Constable, and King Henry VIII of England devised a grand plan to partition France, which came to nothing. The Emperor gave Duke Charles command of a mixed Spanish-German army (which included a number of Lutherans) sent to chastise Pope Clement VII. He neglected to supply this army with money or food, and Charles was only able to keep it together by promises of loot. Though Clement arranged a truce with the Emperor, the army continued its advance, reaching Rome in May, 1527. The death of Duke Charles, outside the walls, removed the last restraints from the army which preceded to mercilessly sack the city.

By Suzanne, Charles was the father of a pair of twins and Francis of Bourbon, Count of Clermont. Since none of them survived a year of age, the senior line of the Dukes of Bourbon was extinct in male line with his death in battle, and the junior line (Dukes of Vendome) were not allowed to inherit, because Charles had forfeited his fiefs because of his treason. Charles' sister however was later allowed to inherit the county of Montpensier. According to Vitold de Golish, as cited by this external link (, Charles had an affair with Alaigne, a Mongol princess and by her a son, John Philip, born in 1525. This son made his life in the court of the khan of Delhi, were he married and had issue.


Preceded by:
Duke of Bourbon
with Suzanne
Succeeded by:
Duke of Auvergne
with Suzanne

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