Louis VIII, 1187–1226, king of France (1223–26), son and successor of King Philip II. He fought (1215, 1219) against the Albigenses in S France. Invited by English lords in rebellion against their king, John, to become king of England, he invaded (1216) England, although his action caused his excommunication by Pope Innocent III. The death of John and the accession of Henry III as king of England lost Louis much support among the English nobility. After his defeat (1217) at Lincoln, he withdrew. In 1224 he conquered Poitou from the English. To make his peace with the church, he pledged to go on crusade, and in 1226 he resumed the Albigensian Crusade and conquered most of Languedoc. He continued his father's policy of strong central authority.
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