Louis VII of France

Louis VII Of France, called "Le Jeune," son of Louis le Gros, was born in 1119, and succeeded his father in 1137. By nature of a cruel disposition, he had been especially harsh towards disobedient subjects, and, under the pretense that he must aid the Church to atone for his great sins, he was advised by St. Bernard, abbot of Clairvaux, to go on a crusade. Accordingly, the king set out, at the head of a large army, in 1147. Suger and Raoul, count of Vermandois, Louis's brother-in-law, were left regents of the kingdom. This second crusade proved unsuccessful: the Christians were defeated near Damascus, and Louis, after several narrow escapes, returned to France in 1149. The repudiation of his first wife, Eleanor of Aquitaine, and his marriage with Constance of Castile, brought on a war with Henry II of England, who had taken Eleanor for his wife. The war was, however, unimportant in its consequences. In Henry's controversy with Thomas a Becket, Louis VII greatly furthered the cause of Becket (comp. Robertson, Becket [London, 1859, sm. 8vol, page 211 sq., 295). He died at Paris in September, 1180. See Reichel, Roman See in the Middle Ages, page 327 sq.; Milman, History of Latin Christianity, book 8, chapter 6 and ch. 8. (J.H.W.)

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