Charles IV, Duke of Alençon

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Coat of arms of the dukes of Alençon of the House of Valois.
Coat of arms of Charles IV, duke of Alençon and counts of Armagnac.

Charles IV of Alençon (1489, Alençon –1525, Lyon) was the son of René of Alençon and the Margaret of Vaudémont.

He succeeded his father in 1492 as Duke of Alençon and Count of Perche, and was also Count of Armagnac, Fézensac, Viscount of Rodez, Count of Fezensaguet, l'Isle-Jourdain, and Perdiac.

In 1509 he married Margaret of Angoulême,[1] sister to Francis, Duke of Valois, who would in 1515 become King Francis I of France. Their marriage was childless: his wife was allowed to retain most of his titles.

As first prince of the blood, Charles was a prominent figure in the early part of his brother-in-law's reign. Made governor of Normandy,[2] Charles fought at Marignano in 1515,[3] and in 1521 defended Champagne against an imperial invasion. He accompanied his brother-in-law on his second expedition to Italy in 1525, and after the disaster at Pavia, took command of the defeated French forces, leading them in retreat back to French territory. He was made a scapegoat for the defeat and accused of abandoning the king, and died soon after. Although Charles had a sister, Françoise, who survived him, his widow took possession of his lands after his death.


  1. Kathleen Wellman, Queens and Mistresses of Renaissance France, (Yale University Press, 2013), 152.
  2. R.J. Knecht, Francis I, (Cambridge University Press, 1984), 15.
  3. R.J. Knecht, Francis I, 44-45.
French nobility
Preceded by
Duke of Alençon
Succeeded by
Count of Perche