Philip The Good (le Bon), duke of Burgundy, grandson of Philip the Bold, and only son of John the Fearless, born in Dijon, June 13, 1396, died in Bruges, June 15, 1467. He was educated under the direction of his mother, apart from the dissensions which at that time disturbed France and absorbed the attention of his father, until in 1419 he was called by the assassination of the latter to succeed him in the government. With the help of Queen Isabella, who was inspired by hatred of her son the dauphin, he secured the regency of France which his father had held. This attained, he turned at once toward what formed the object of a great part of his life, revenge on the dauphin for the murder of his father. (See John the Fearless.) This he first sought by favoring the demands of • England, going, so far as to sign (May 21, 1420) the treaty of Troyes, which was little less than an agreement to cede France to the English king. After the death of Charles VI. he recognized Henry VI. of England as sovereign of France, and, assisted by the English, kept up the war waged against the dauphin (now Charles VII.), the rightful ruler.
But seeing that if France and England really became united, he must give up further personal ambitions and resign himself to living in the position which his own dukedom would afford him as a subject prince, he changed his policy after years of persistence. On Aug. 6, 1435, he brought about negotiations at Arras for a treaty between the two countries, by which Charles VII. was only to lose a few provinces. The English refused these conditions; but on Sept. 21 Philip made a separate peace with the French king, by the terms of which he largely increased his possessions, already augmented by his marriage in 1424 with his cousin Jacobaea of Holland. From this time Philip devoted himself to the improvement of his own states, and made his court one of the leading ones of Europe. But he was frequently disturbed in his rule by the insurrections of Ghent and Bruges, and these several times attained formidable dimensions. His last great military measure was his endeavor to unite the princes of the German empire in a crusade against the Turks. The undertaking failed, chiefly through Philip's anxiety concerning the designs of his old enemy Charles VII., whose son, afterward Louis XL, had sought refuge in his territory.
Philip's later years were disturbed by dissensions with his son and the French dauphin, whom he had protected. After the death of Jacobsea, who left him without issue, he was twice married, his last wife being Isabella of Portugal, the mother of his only son, Charles the Bold.