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February 4

In 1458, on this day Philip IV the Duke of Burgundy was born in Dijon to Charles the Bold and his second wife Isabella of Bourbon.

The Last Move of the Spider KingAt the tender age of nineteen he inherited the Duchy. During his regency the family ambition of turning the Burgundian Estates into a Kingdom continued to be blocked by his father's old nemises, Louis XI King of France (pictured).

For years the scheming and intrigue of the "Spider King" had sustained the power of the House of Valois. And so it was a surprise, but not a total shock, when Louis took Philip under his wing, proposing a marriage with his eldest daughter Anne, the Duchess of Bourbon.

During the minority of King Charles VIII of France, Anne would serve as regent. This unexpected development placed Philip at the very centre of political dealings between France, England, and the Holy Roman Emperor. By the time Charles died at the age of just twenty-seven, the long-term future of the Duchy had been secured.