Diplomatic Aspects of Charles the Bold’s Relations with the Holy See

Diplomatic Aspects of Charles the Bold’s Relations with the Holy See

By R.J. Walsh

Bijdragen en mededelingen betreffende de geschiedenis der Nederlanden, Vol.95 (1980)

Introduction: This paper is offered only as a small contribution to a large subject. There is an obvious need, and there is certainly no shortage of material, for a detailed study of Charles the Bold’s relations with the Holy See comparable with the works by Joseph Combet and Paul Ourliac on the relations between Rome and Louis XI. Today, however, owing to limitations of both time and knowledge, I shall confine myself to discussing some of the diplomatic aspects of the duke’s relations with the papacy.

I shall consider five topics: – first, the activities of papal legates in connection with Charles the Bold’s disputes in the field of diplomacy; second, the question of appointments to bishoprics in his lands; third, his attempts to win friends at the papal court; fourth, the monopoly given to papal alum in his lands between 1468 and 1473; and, lastly, the effect on his relations with the Holy See of the increasingly Italianate character of the fifteenth-century papacy.

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