Louis XII, King of France

Louis XII, 1462—1515, king of France (1498—1515), son of Charles, duc d'Orléans. He succeeded his father as duke. While still duke, he rebelled against the regency of Anne de Beaujeu and was imprisoned (1488), but was released (1491) by his cousin King Charles VIII, whom he succeeded (1498) on the throne. Immediately after his accession he ensured the continuance of the personal union of Brittany and France by having his first marriage annulled and marrying his predecessor's widow, Anne of Brittany.

Thereafter the king and his minister, Georges d'Amboise, attempted to assert French claims in Italy . Louis conquered Milan and Genoa, and also pursued Charles VIII's claim to the kingdom of Naples with Ferdinad II, the Catholic, King of Aragón. Each power took a partition of this kingdom during theTreaty of Granada, but were eventually at war over the partitioning and by 1504 France had lost their share of Naples.

By the treaties of Blois (1504), Louis attempted a compromise with Spain and with Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian I, who had so far remained an inactive opponent; but the treaties subsequently collapsed.

In 1507, Louis suppressed the revolt of Genoa (1506—7), and in 1508 he joined the League of Cambrai against Venice, defeating the Venetians at Agnadello (1509). When his Italian territories were attacked (1511) by Pope Julius II's "Holy League"—which was composed by Pope Julius II, Venice, Swiss Cantons, Ferdinad II of Aragón, Henry VIII of England and Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian—Louis committed their defense to Gaston de Foix, but after Gaston's death (1512) his troops were forced by the Swiss to evacuate Milan. In 1513 the Swiss routed his army at Novara while another army was defeated at Guinegate by Maximilian and King Henry VIII of England. In 1514 he made a truce with all his enemies save Maximilian.

Louis proved to be a popular king, introducing reforms in the judicial system and reducing taxes. These reforms and his caring nature earned him the epithet Father of the People. He died on January 1, 1515 and was interred in Saint Denis Basilica. Louis XII, King of France was succeeded by his son-in-law, Francis I, King of France.