Anjou

Anjou (French pronunciation: ​[ɑ̃ʒu]; Latin: Andegavia) is a historical province of France straddling the lower Loire River. Its capital was Angers and it was roughly coextensive with the diocese of Angers. It bordered Brittany to the west, Maine to the north, Touraine to the east and Poitou to the south. The adjectival form of Anjou is Angevin, and inhabitants of Anjou are known as Angevins. During the Middle Ages, the County of Anjou, ruled by the Counts of Anjou, was a prominent fief of the French crown.

The region takes its name from the Celtic tribe of the Andecavi, which submitted to Roman rule following the Gallic Wars. Under the Romans, the chief fortified settlement of the Andecavi became the city of Juliomagus, the future Angers. The territory of the Andecavi was organized as a civitas (called the civitas Andegavensis or civitas Andegavorum).

Under the Franks, the city of Juliomagus took the name of the ancient tribe and became Angers. Under the Merovingians, the history of Anjou is obscure. It is not recorded as a county (comitatus) until the time of the Carolingians. In the late ninth and early tenth centuries the viscounts (representatives of the counts) usurped comital authority and made Anjou an autonomous hereditary principality. The first dynasty of counts of Anjou, the House of Ingelger, ruled continuously down to 1205. In 1131, Count Fulk V became the King of Jerusalem; then in 1154, his grandson, Henry "Curtmantle" became King of England. The territories ruled by Henry and his successors, which stretched from Ireland to the Pyrenees, are often called the Angevin Empire. This empire was broken up by the French king Philip II, who confiscated the dynasty's French lands, including Anjou in 1205.

The county of Anjou was united to the royal domain between 1205 and 1246, when it was turned into an apanage for the king's brother, Charles I of Anjou. This second Angevin dynasty, a branch of the Capetian dynasty, established itself on the throne of Naples and Hungary. Anjou itself was united to the royal domain again in 1328, but was detached in 1360 as the Duchy of Anjou for the king's son, Louis I of Anjou. The third Angevin dynasty, a branch of the House of Valois, also ruled for a time the Kingdom of Naples. The dukes had the same autonomy as the earlier counts, but the duchy was increasingly administered in the same fashion as the royal domain and the royal government often exercised the ducal power while the dukes were away. When the Valois line failed and Anjou was incorporated into the royal domain again in 1480, there was little change on the ground. Anjou remained a province of crown until the French Revolution (1790), when the provinces were reorganized.

Anjou
Flag of Anjou

Flag
Coat of arms of Anjou

Coat of arms
Etymology: Territory of Angers
The Province of Anjou in 1789.
The Province of Anjou in 1789.
Established929
Dissolved1790
SeatAngers
Government
 • TypeFeudal administrative province
 • Counts/DukesIngelger (first)
Louis XVI (last)
Demonym(s)Angevins

Position

Under the kingdom of France, Anjou was practically identical with the diocese of Angers, bound on the north by Maine, on the east by Touraine, on the south by Poitou (Poitiers) and the Mauges, and the west by the countship of Nantes or the duchy of Brittany.[1][2]

It occupied the greater part of what is now the department of Maine-et-Loire. On the north, it further included Craon, Candé, Bazouges (Château-Gontier), Le Lude; on the east, it further added Château-la-Vallière and Bourgueil; while to the south, it lacked the towns of Montreuil-Bellay, Vihiers, Cholet, and Beaupréau, as well as the district lying to the west of the Ironne and Thouet on the left bank of the Loire, which formed the territory of the Mauges.[2]

History

Gallic state

Anjou's political origin is traced to the ancient Gallic state of the Andes.[2]

Roman tribe

After the conquest by Julius Caesar, the area was organized around the Roman civitas of the Andecavi.[2]

Frankish county

The Roman civitas was afterward preserved as an administrative district under the Franks with the name first of pagus—then of comitatus or countship—of Anjou.[2]

At the beginning of the reign of Charles the Bald, the integrity of Anjou was seriously menaced by a twofold danger: from Brittany to the west and from Normandy to the north. Lambert, a former count of Nantes, devastated Anjou in concert with Nominoé, duke of Brittany. By the end of the year 851, he had succeeded in occupying all the western part as far as the Mayenne. The principality which he thus carved out for himself was occupied on his death by Erispoé, duke of Brittany. By him, it was handed down to his successors, in whose hands it remained until the beginning of the 10th century. The Normans raided the country continuously as well.[2]

A brave man was needed to defend it. The chroniclers of Anjou named a "Tertullus" as the first count, elevated from obscurity by Charles the Bald.[1] A figure by that name seems to have been the father of the later count Ingelger but his dynasty seems to have been preceded by Robert the Strong, who was given Anjou by Charles the Bald around 861. Robert met his death in 866 in a battle at Brissarthe against the Normans. Hugh the Abbot succeeded him in the countship of Anjou as in most of his other duties; on his death in 886, it passed to Odo, Robert's eldest son.[2]

The Fulks

Odo acceded to the throne of France in 888, but he seems to have already delegated the country between the Maine and the Mayenne to Ingelger as a viscount or count around 870,[1] possibly owing to the connections of his wife Adelais of Amboise.[3] Their son Fulk the Red succeeded to his father's holdings in 888,[1] is mentioned as a viscount after 898, and seems to have been granted or usurped the title of count by the second quarter of the 10th century. His descendants continued to bear that rank for three centuries. He was succeeded by his son Fulk II the Good, author of the proverb that an unlettered king is a wise ass, in 938.[1] He was succeeded in turn by his son Geoffrey I Grisegonelle ("Greytunic") around 958.[1]

Geoffrey inaugurated a policy of expansion, having as its objects the extension of the boundaries of the ancient countship and the reconquest of those parts of it which had been annexed by other states; for, though western Anjou had been recovered from the dukes of Brittany since the beginning of the 10th century, in the east all the district of Saumur had already by that time fallen into the hands of the counts of Blois and Tours. Geoffrey Greytunic succeeded in making the Count of Nantes his vassal and in obtaining from the Duke of Aquitaine the concession in fief of the district of Loudun. Moreover, in the wars of King Lothaire against the Normans and against the emperor Otto II, he distinguished himself by feats of arms which the epic poets were quick to celebrate.[2]

Donjon de Langeais
Remains of the fortress of Langeais, built by Fulk III

Geoffrey's son Fulk III Nerra ("the Black"; 21 July 987 – 21 June 1040) gained fame both as a warrior and for the pilgrimages he undertook to the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem to atone for his deeds.[1] He found himself confronted on his accession with a coalition of Odo I, count of Blois, and Conan I of Rennes. The latter having seized upon Nantes, of which the counts of Anjou held themselves to be suzerains, Fulk Nerra came and laid siege to it, routing Conan's army at the battle of Conquereuil (27 June 992) and re-establishing Nantes under his own suzerainty. Then turning his attention to the count of Blois, he proceeded to establish a fortress at Langeais, a few miles from Tours, from which, thanks to the intervention of the king Hugh Capet, Odo failed to oust him.

Etendard de l'Anjou à Champtoceaux
Flag of Anjou in Champtoceaux, facing Brittany

On the death of Odo I, Fulk seized Tours (996); but King Robert the Pious turned against him and took the town again (997). In 997 Fulk took the fortress of Montsoreau. In 1016 a fresh struggle arose between Fulk and Odo II, the new count of Blois. Odo II was utterly defeated at Pontlevoy (6 July 1016), and a few years later, while Odo was besieging Montboyau, Fulk surprised and took Saumur (1026).[2]

Finally, the victory gained by Geoffrey Martel (21 June 1040 – 14 November 1060), the son and successor of Fulk, over Theobald III, count of Blois, at Nouy (21 August 1044), assured to the Angevins the possession of the countship of Touraine. At the same time, continuing in this quarter also the work of his father (who in 1025 took prisoner Herbert Wakedog and only set him free on condition of his doing him homage), Geoffrey succeeded in reducing the countship of Maine to complete dependence on himself. During his father's life-time he had been beaten by Gervais de Château-du-Loir, bishop of Le Mans (1038), but later (1047 or 1048) succeeded in taking the latter prisoner, for which he was excommunicated by Pope Leo IX at the council of Reims (October 1049). He was a vigorous opponent of William the Bastard, when the latter was still merely the duke of Normandy.[1] Despite concerted attacks from William and from King Henry, he was able to force Maine to recognize his authority in 1051. He failed, however, in his attempts to revenge himself on William.[2]

On the death of Geoffrey Martel (14 November 1060), there was a dispute as to the succession. Geoffrey Martel, having no children, had bequeathed the countship to his eldest nephew, Geoffrey III the Bearded, son of Geoffrey, count of Gâtinais and of Ermengarde, daughter of Fulk Nerra. But Fulk le Réchin (the Cross-looking), brother of Geoffrey the Bearded, who had at first been contented with an appanage consisting of Saintonge and the châtellenie of Vihiers, having allowed Saintonge to be taken in 1062 by the duke of Aquitaine, took advantage of the general discontent aroused in the countship by the unskilful policy of Geoffrey to make himself master of Saumur (25 February 1067) and Angers (4 April), and cast Geoffrey into prison at Sablé. Compelled by the papal authority to release him after a short interval and to restore the countship to him, he soon renewed the struggle, beat Geoffrey near Brissac and shut him up in the castle of Chinon (1068). In order, however, to obtain his recognition as count, Fulk IV Réchin (1068 – 14 April 1109) had to carry on a long struggle with his barons, to cede Gâtinais to King Philip I, and to do homage to the count of Blois for Touraine. On the other hand, he was successful on the whole in pursuing the policy of Geoffrey Martel in Maine: after destroying La Flèche, by the peace of Blanchelande (1081), he received the homage of Robert Curthose ("Courteheuse"), son of William the Conqueror, for Maine. Later, he upheld Elias, lord of La Flèche, against William Rufus, king of England, and on the recognition of Elias as count of Maine in 1100, obtained for Fulk V the Young, his son by Bertrade de Montfort, the hand of Ermengarde, Elias's daughter and sole heiress.[2]In 1101 Gautier I count of Montsoreau gave the land to Robert of Arbrissel and Hersende of Champagne his mother in law to found the Abbey of Fontevraud.

Fulk V the Young (14 April 1109 – 1129) succeeded to the countship of Maine on the death of Elias (11 July 1110); but this increase of Angevin territory came into such direct collision with the interests of Henry I of England, who was also duke of Normandy, that a struggle between the two powers became inevitable. In 1112 it broke out, and Fulk, being unable to prevent Henry I from taking Alençon and making Robert, lord of Bellême, prisoner, was forced, at the treaty of Pierre Pecoulée, near Alençon (23 February 1113), to do homage to Henry for Maine. In revenge for this, while Louis VI was overrunning the Vexin in 1118, he routed Henry's army at Alençon (November), and in May 1119 Henry demanded a peace, which was sealed in June by the marriage of his eldest son, William the Aetheling, with Matilda, Fulk's daughter. William the Aetheling having perished in the wreck of the White Ship (25 November 1120), Fulk, on his return from a pilgrimage to the Holy Land (1120–1121), married his second daughter Sibyl, at the instigation of Louis VI, to William Clito, son of Robert Curthose, and a claimant to the duchy of Normandy, giving her Maine for a dowry (1122 or 1123). Henry I managed to have the marriage annulled, on the plea of kinship between the parties (1123 or 1124). But in 1127 a new alliance was made, and on 22 May at Rouen, Henry I betrothed his daughter Matilda, widow of the emperor Henry V, to Geoffrey the Handsome, son of Fulk, the marriage being celebrated at Le Mans on 2 June 1129. Shortly after, on the invitation of Baldwin II of Jerusalem, Fulk departed to the Holy Land for good, married Melisinda, Baldwin's daughter and heiress, and succeeded to the throne of Jerusalem (14 September 1131). His eldest son, Geoffrey V the Handsome or "Plantagenet", succeeded him as count of Anjou (1129 – 7 September 1151).[2]

The Plantagenets

From the outset, Geoffrey Plantagenet tried to profit by his marriage and, after the death of his father-in-law Henry I (1 December 1135), laid the foundation of the conquest of Normandy by a series of campaigns: about the end of 1135 or the beginning of 1136, he entered that country and rejoined his wife, the Empress Matilda, who had received the submission of Argentan, Domfront and Exmes. Having been abruptly recalled into Anjou by a revolt of his barons, he returned to the charge in September 1136 with a strong army, including in its ranks William, duke of Aquitaine, Geoffrey, count of Vendome, and William Talvas, count of Ponthieu. After a few successes he was wounded in the foot at the Siege of Le Sap (1 October) and had to fall back.[2]

May 1137 began a fresh campaign in which he devastated the district of Hiémois (near Exmes) and burnt Bazoches. In June 1138, with the aid of Robert of Gloucester, Geoffrey obtained the submission of Bayeux and Caen; in October he devastated the neighbourhood of Falaise; and finally, in March 1141, on hearing of his wife's success in England, he again entered Normandy, when he made a triumphal procession through the country. Town after town surrendered: in 1141, Verneuil, Nonancourt, Lisieux, Falaise; in 1142, Mortain, Saint-Hilaire, Pontorson; in 1143, Avranches, Saint-Lô, Cérences, Coutances, Cherbourg; in the beginning of 1144 he entered Rouen, and on 19 January received the ducal crown in its cathedral. Finally, in 1149, after crushing a last attempt at revolt, he handed over the duchy to his son Henry Curtmantle, who received the investiture at the hands of the king of France.[2]

All the while that Fulk the Younger and Geoffrey the Handsome were carrying on the work of extending the countship of Anjou, they did not neglect to strengthen their authority at home, to which the unruliness of the barons was a menace. As regards Fulk the Young, we know only a few isolated facts and dates: about 1109 Doué and L'Île Bouchard were taken; in 1112 Brissac was besieged, and about the same time Eschivard of Preuilly subdued. In 1114 there was a general war against the barons who were in revolt; and in 1118 a fresh rising, which was put down after the siege of Montbazon: in 1123 the lord of Doué revolted, and in 1124 Montreuil-Bellay was taken after a siege of nine weeks. Geoffrey the Handsome, with his indefatigable energy, was eminently fitted to suppress the coalitions of his vassals, the most formidable of which was formed in 1129. Among those who revolted were Guy IV of Laval, Giraud II of Montreuil-Bellay, the viscount of Thouars, the lords of Mirebeau, Amboise, Parthenay and Sablé. Geoffrey succeeded in beating them one after another, razed the keep of Thouars and occupied Mirebeau.[2]

Another rising was crushed in 1134 by the destruction of Cand and the taking of L'Île Bouchard. In 1136, while the count was in Normandy, Robert III of Sablé put himself at the head of the movement, to which Geoffrey responded by destroying Briollay and occupying La Suze; and Robert of Sablé himself was forced to beg humbly for pardon through the intercession of the bishop of Angers. In 1139 Geoffrey took Mirebeau, and in 1142 Champtoceaux, but in 1145 a new revolt broke out, this time under the leadership of Elias, the count's own brother, who, again with the assistance of Robert of Sablé, laid claim to the countship of Maine. Geoffrey took Elias prisoner, forced Robert of Sablé to beat a retreat, and reduced the other barons to reason. In 1147 he destroyed Doué and Blaison. Finally in 1150 he was checked by the revolt of Giraud, Lord of Montreuil-Bellay; for a year he besieged the place until it had to surrender, and he then took Giraud prisoner and only released him on the mediation of the king of France.[2]

Thus, on the death of Geoffrey the Handsome (7 September 1151), his son Henry found himself heir to a great empire, strong and consolidated, and to which his marriage with Eleanor of Aquitaine (May 1152) further added Aquitaine.[2]

At length on the death of King Stephen, Henry was recognised as King of England (19 December 1154), as agreed in the Treaty of Wallingford. But then his brother Geoffrey, Count of Nantes, who had received as appanage the three fortresses of Chinon, Loudun and Mirebeau, tried to seize upon Anjou, on the pretext that, by the will of their father, Geoffrey the Handsome, all the paternal inheritance ought to descend to him, if Henry succeeded in obtaining possession of the maternal inheritance. On hearing of this, Henry, although he had sworn to observe this will, had himself released from his oath by the pope, and hurriedly marched against his brother, from whom in the beginning of 1156 he succeeded in taking Chinon and Mirebeau; and in July he forced Geoffrey to give up even his three fortresses in return for an annual pension. Henceforward Henry succeeded in keeping the countship of Anjou all his life; for though he granted it in 1168 to his son Henry the Young King when the latter became old enough to govern it, he absolutely refused to allow him to enjoy his power. After Henry II's death in 1189 the countship, together with the rest of his dominions, passed to his son Richard I of England, but on the death of the latter in 1199, Arthur of Brittany (born in 1187) laid claim to the inheritance, which ought, according to him, to have fallen to his father Geoffrey, fourth son of Henry II, in accordance with the custom by which "the son of the eldest brother should succeed to his father's patrimony." He therefore set himself up in rivalry with John Lackland, youngest son of Henry II, and supported by Philip Augustus of France, and aided by William des Roches, seneschal of Anjou, he managed to enter Angers (18 April 1199) and there have himself recognized as count of the three countships of Anjou, Maine and Touraine, for which he did homage to the King of France. King John soon regained the upper hand, for Philip Augustus, having deserted Arthur by the Treaty of Le Goulet (22 May 1200), John made his way into Anjou; and on 18 June 1200 was recognized as count at Angers. In 1202 he refused to do homage to Philip Augustus, who, in consequence, confiscated all his continental possessions, including Anjou, which was allotted by the king of France to Arthur. The defeat of the latter, who was taken prisoner at Mirebeau on 1 August 1202, seemed to ensure John's success, but he was abandoned by William des Roches, who in 1203 assisted Philip Augustus in subduing the whole of Anjou. A last effort on the part of John to possess it himself in 1214, led to the taking of Angers (17 June), but broke down lamentably at the Battle of La Roche-aux-Moines (2 July), and the countship was attached to the crown of France.[2]

Chateaudepouance
Castle of Pouancé, built to defend Anjou against Brittany.

Shortly afterwards it was separated from it again, when in August 1246 King Louis IX gave it as an appanage to his brother Charles, Count of Provence, soon to become king of Naples and Sicily. Charles I of Anjou, engrossed with his other dominions, gave little thought to Anjou, nor did his son Charles II, the Lame, who succeeded him on 7 January 1285. On 16 August 1290, the latter married his daughter Margaret, Countess of Anjou to Charles of Valois, son of Philip III the Bold, giving her Anjou and Maine for dowry, in exchange for Charles of Valois's claims to the kingdoms of Aragon and Valentia and the countship of Barcelona. Charles of Valois at once entered into possession of the countship of Anjou, to which Philip IV, the Fair, in September 1297, attached a peerage of France. On 16 December 1325, Charles died, leaving Anjou to his eldest son Philip of Valois, on whose recognition as King of France (Philip VI) on 1 April 1328, the countship of Anjou was again united to the crown.[2]

French duchy

On 17 February 1332, Philip VI bestowed it on his son John the Good, who, when he became king in turn (22 August 1350), gave the countship to his second son Louis I, raising it to a duchy in the peerage of France by letters patent of 25 October 1360. Louis I, who became in time count of Provence and titular king of Naples, died in 1384, and was succeeded by his son Louis II, who devoted most of his energies to his Neapolitan ambitions, and left the administration of Anjou almost entirely in the hands of his wife, Yolande of Aragon. On his death (29 April 1417), she took upon herself the guardianship of their young son Louis III, and, in her capacity of regent, defended the duchy against the English. Louis III, who also devoted himself to winning Naples, died on 15 November 1434, leaving no children. The duchy of Anjou then passed to his brother René, second son of Louis II and Yolande of Aragon.[2]

Carte de l'ancienne province d'Anjou
Map of Anjou in the 18th century.
In yellow: the Maine-et-Loire current département.
In red: the former border of Anjou

Unlike his predecessors, who had rarely stayed long in Anjou, René from 1443 onwards paid long visits to it, and his court at Angers became one of the most brilliant in the kingdom of France. But after the sudden death of his son John in December 1470, René, for reasons which are not altogether clear, decided to move his residence to Provence and leave Anjou for good. After making an inventory of all his possessions, he left the duchy in October 1471, taking with him the most valuable of his treasures. On 22 July 1474 he drew up a will by which he divided the succession between his grandson René II of Lorraine and his nephew Charles II, count of Maine. On hearing this, King Louis XI, who was the son of one of King René's sisters, seeing that his expectations were thus completely frustrated, seized the duchy of Anjou. He did not keep it very long, but became reconciled to René in 1476 and restored it to him, on condition, probably, that René should bequeath it to him. However that may be, on the death of the latter (10 July 1480) he again added Anjou to the royal domain.[2]

Later, King Francis I again gave the duchy as an appanage to his mother, Louise of Savoy, by letters patent of 4 February 1515. On her death, in September 1531, the duchy returned into the king's possession. In 1552 it was given as an appanage by Henry II to his son Henry of Valois, who, on becoming king in 1574, with the title of Henry III, conceded it to his brother Francis, duke of Alençon, at the treaty of Beaulieu near Loches (6 May 1576). Francis died on 10 June 1584, and the vacant appanage definitively became part of the royal domain.[2]

At first Anjou was included in the gouvernement (or military command) of Orléanais, but in the 17th century was made into a separate one. Saumur, however, and the Saumurois, for which King Henry IV had in 1589 created an independent military governor-generalship in favour of Duplessis-Mornay, continued till the Revolution to form a separate gouvernement, which included, besides Anjou, portions of Poitou and Mirebalais. Attached to the généralité (administrative circumscription) of Tours, Anjou on the eve of the Revolution comprised five êlections (judicial districts):--Angers, Baugé, Saumur, Château-Gontier, Montreuil-Bellay and part of the êlections of La Flèche and Richelieu. Financially it formed part of the so-called pays de grande gabelle, and comprised sixteen special tribunals, or greniers à sel (salt warehouses):--Angers, Baugé, Beaufort, Bourgueil, Candé, Château-Gontier, Cholet, Craon, La Flèche, Saint-Florent-le-Vieil, Ingrandes, Le Lude, Pouancé, Saint-Rémy-la-Varenne, Richelieu, Saumur. From the point of view of purely judicial administration, Anjou was subject to the parlement of Paris; Angers was the seat of a presidial court, of which the jurisdiction comprised the sénéchaussées of Angers, Saumur, Beaugé, Beaufort and the duchy of Richelieu; there were besides presidial courts at Château-Gontier and La Flèche. When the Constituent Assembly, on 26 February 1790, decreed the division of France into départments, Anjou and the Saumurois, with the exception of certain territories, formed the départment of Maine-et-Loire, as at present constituted.[2]

Saumur chateau 350

Notes

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Baynes 1878.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w Halphen 1911.
  3. ^ Collins, p. 33.

References

  • Wikisource Baynes, T.S., ed. (1878), "Anjou" , Encyclopædia Britannica, 2 (9th ed.), New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, p. 58
  • Collins, Paul, The Birth of the West: Rome, Germany, France, and the Creation of Europe in the Tenth Century.

Attribution:

Further reading

  • The chronicles of Normandy by William of Poitiers and of Jumièges and Ordericus Vitalis (in Latin)
  • The chronicles of Maine, particularly the Actus pontificum cenomannis in urbe degentium (in Latin)
  • The Gesta consulum Andegavorum (in Latin)
    • Chroniques des comtes d'Anjou, published by Marchegay and Salmon, with an introduction by E. Mabille, Paris, 1856–1871 (in French)
  • Louis Halphen, Êtude sur les chroniques des comtes d'Anjou et des seigneurs d'Amboise (Paris, 1906) (in French)
  • Louis Halphen, Recueil d'annales angevines et vendómoises (Paris, 1903) (in French)
  • Auguste Molinier, Les Sources de l'histoire de France (Paris, 1902), ii. 1276–1310 (in French)
  • Louis Halphen, Le Comté d'Anjou au XIe siècle (Paris, 1906) (in French)
  • Kate Norgate, England under the Angevin Kings (2 vols., London, 1887)
  • A. Lecoy de La Marche, Le Roi René (2 vols., Paris, 1875). (in French)
  • Célestin Port, Dictionnaire historique, géographique et biographique de Maine-et-Loire (3 vols., Paris and Angers, 1874–1878) (in French)
  • idem, Préliminaires. (in French)
  • Edward Augustus Freeman, The History of the Norman Conquest of England, its Causes and its Results (2d vol.)
  • Luc d'Achery, Spicilegium, sive Collectio veterum aliquot scriptorum qui in Galliae bibliothecis, maxime Benedictinorum, latuerunt (in Latin)
Anjou, Isère

Anjou is a French commune in the Isère department in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region of southeastern France.

The inhabitants of the commune are known as Anjoulois or Anjouloises

Capetian House of Anjou

The Capetian House of Anjou was a royal house and cadet branch of the direct French House of Capet, part of the Capetian dynasty. It is one of three separate royal houses referred to as Angevin, meaning "from Anjou" in France. Founded by Charles I of Naples, the youngest son of Louis VIII of France, the Capetian king first ruled the Kingdom of Sicily during the 13th century. Later the War of the Sicilian Vespers forced him out of the island of Sicily, leaving him with the southern half of the Italian Peninsula — the Kingdom of Naples. The house and its various branches would go on to influence much of the history of Southern and Central Europe during the Middle Ages, until becoming defunct in 1435.

Historically, the House ruled the counties of Anjou, Maine, Touraine, Provence and Forcalquier, the principalities of Achaea and Taranto, and the kingdoms of Sicily, Naples, Hungary, Croatia, Albania, and Poland.

Charles I of Anjou

Charles I (early 1226/1227 – 7 January 1285), commonly called Charles of Anjou, was a member of the royal Capetian dynasty and the founder of the second House of Anjou. He was Count of Provence (1246–85) and Forcalquier (1246–48, 1256–85) in the Holy Roman Empire, Count of Anjou and Maine (1246–85) in France; he was also King of Sicily (1266–85) and Prince of Achaea (1278–85). In 1272, he was proclaimed King of Albania; and in 1277 he purchased a claim to the Kingdom of Jerusalem.

Being the youngest son of Louis VIII of France and Blanche of Castile, he was destined for a Church career until the early 1240s. He acquired Provence and Forcalquier through his marriage to their heiress, Beatrice. His attempts to secure comital rights brought him into conflict with his mother-in-law and the nobility. He received Anjou and Maine from his brother, Louis IX of France, in appanage. He accompanied Louis during the Seventh Crusade to Egypt. Shortly after he returned to Provence in 1250, Charles forced three wealthy free imperial cities—Marseilles, Arles and Avignon—to acknowledge his suzerainty.

Charles supported Margaret II, Countess of Flanders and Hainaut against her eldest son in exchange for Hainaut in 1253. Two years later Louis IX persuaded him to renounce the county, but compensated him by instructing Margaret to pay him 160,000 marks. Charles forced the rebellious Provençal nobles and towns into submission and expanded his suzerainty over a dozen towns and lordships in the Kingdom of Arles. In 1263, after years of negotiations, he accepted the offer of the Holy See to seize the Kingdom of Sicily from the Hohenstaufens. This kingdom included, in addition to the island of Sicily, southern Italy to well north of Naples and was known as the Regno. Pope Urban IV declared a crusade against the incumbent Manfred of Sicily and assisted Charles to raise funds for the military campaign.

Charles was crowned king in Rome on 5 January 1266. He annihilated Manfred's army and occupied the Regno almost without resistance. His victory over Manfred's young nephew, Conradin, at the Battle of Tagliacozzo in 1268 strengthened his rule. In 1270 he took part in the Eighth Crusade (which had been organized by Louis IX) and forced the Hafsid caliph of Tunis to pay a yearly tribute to him. Charles's victories secured his undisputed leadership among the popes' Italian partisans (known as Guelphs), but his influence on papal elections and his strong military presence in Italy disturbed the popes. They tried to channel his ambitions towards other territories and assisted him in acquiring claims to Achaea, Jerusalem and Arles through treaties. In 1281 Pope Martin IV authorised Charles to launch a crusade against the Byzantine Empire. Charles' ships were gathering at Messina, ready to begin the campaign when a riot—known as the Sicilian Vespers—broke out on 30 March 1282. It put an end to Charles' rule on the island of Sicily, but he was able to defend the mainland territories (or the Kingdom of Naples) with the support of France and the Holy See.

Counts and dukes of Anjou

The Count of Anjou was the ruler of the county of Anjou, first granted by Charles the Bald in the 9th century to Robert the Strong. Ingelger and his son were viscounts of Angers until Ingelger's son Fulk the Red assumed the title of Count of Anjou. The Robertians and their Capetian successors were distracted by wars with the Vikings and other concerns and were unable to recover the county until the reign of Philip II Augustus, more than 270 years later.

Ingelger's male line ended with Geoffrey II, Count of Anjou. Subsequent counts of Anjou were descended from Geoffrey's sister Ermengarde of Anjou and Geoffrey II, Count of Gâtinais. Their agnatic descendants, who included the Angevin kings of England, continued to hold these titles and property until the French monarchy gained control of the area. Thereafter the titles Count of Anjou and, after 1360, Duke of Anjou were granted several times, usually to members of the French ruling houses of Valois and Bourbon.

Similar to the title of Duke of York in England, none of those who received the title Duke of Anjou (except the first creation), were able to transmit it; they either died without a male heir, returned it to the royal domain, or succeeded to the throne.

The title was held by Philippe, a grandson of King Louis XIV, until he ascended the Spanish throne as Philip V of Spain in 1700. Since then, some Spanish legitimist claimants to the French throne have borne the title even to the present day, as does a nephew of the Orléanist pretender.

Francis, Duke of Anjou

Francis, Duke of Anjou and Alençon (Hercule François; 18 March 1555 – 10 June 1584) was the youngest son of Henry II of France and Catherine de' Medici.

Fulk, King of Jerusalem

Fulk (Latin: Fulco, French: Foulque or Foulques; c. 1089/92 – 13 November 1143), also known as Fulk the Younger, was the Count of Anjou (as Fulk V) from 1109 to 1129 and the King of Jerusalem from 1131 to his death. During his reign, the Kingdom of Jerusalem reached its largest territorial extent.

Geoffrey Plantagenet, Count of Anjou

Geoffrey V (24 August 1113 – 7 September 1151)—called the Handsome or the Fair (French: le Bel) and Plantagenet—was the Count of Anjou, Touraine, and Maine by inheritance from 1129 and then Duke of Normandy by conquest from 1144. By his marriage to the Empress Matilda, daughter and heiress of Henry I of England, Geoffrey had a son, Henry Curtmantle, who succeeded to the English throne as King Henry II (1154–1189) and was the first of the Plantagenet dynasty to rule England; the name "Plantagenet" was taken from Geoffrey's epithet. His ancestral domain of Anjou gave rise to the name Angevin for three kings of England (Henry II his son and heir, and Henry's sons Richard and John), and what became known as the Angevin Empire in the 12th century.

Henry III of France

Henry III (19 September 1551 – 2 August 1589; born Alexandre Édouard de France, Polish: Henryk Walezy, Lithuanian: Henrikas Valua) was King of France from 1574 until his death and also King of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth from 1573 to 1575. Henry was the thirteenth king from the House of Valois, the sixth from the Valois-Orléans branch, the fifth from the Valois-Orléans-Angoulême branch, and the last male of his dynasty.

As the fourth son of King Henry II of France, he was not expected to inherit the French throne and thus was a good candidate for the vacant throne of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, where he was elected King/Grand Duke in 1573. During his brief rule, he signed the Henrician Articles into law, recognizing the Polish nobility's right to freely elect their monarch. Aged 22, Henry abandoned Poland upon inheriting the French throne when his brother, Charles IX, died without issue.

France was at the time plagued by the Wars of Religion, and Henry's authority was undermined by violent political parties funded by foreign powers: the Catholic League (supported by Spain and the Pope), the Protestant Huguenots (supported by England and the Dutch) and the Malcontents, led by Henry's own brother, the Duke of Alençon, which was a party of Catholic and Protestant aristocrats who jointly opposed the absolutist ambitions of the king. Henry III was himself a politique, arguing that a strong and religiously tolerant monarchy would save France from collapse.

After the death of Henry's younger brother Francis, Duke of Anjou, and when it became apparent that Henry would not produce an heir, the Wars of Religion developed into a succession crisis, the War of the Three Henrys. Henry III's legitimate heir was his distant cousin, King Henry III of Navarre, a Protestant. The Catholic League, led by Henry I, Duke of Guise, sought to exclude Protestants from the succession and championed the Catholic Charles, Cardinal of Bourbon, as Henry III's heir.

In 1589, Jacques Clément, a Catholic fanatic, murdered Henry III. He was succeeded by the King of Navarre who, as Henry IV, assumed the throne of France after converting to Catholicism, as the first French king of the House of Bourbon.

Henry II of England

Henry II (5 March 1133 – 6 July 1189), also known as Henry Curtmantle (French: Court-manteau), Henry FitzEmpress or Henry Plantagenet, ruled as King of England, Duke of Normandy and Aquitaine, Count of Anjou, Maine, and Nantes, and Lord of Ireland; at various times, he also partially controlled Scotland, Wales and the Duchy of Brittany. Before he was 40 he controlled England, large parts of Wales, the eastern half of Ireland and the western half of France—an area that would later come to be called the Angevin Empire.

Henry was the son of Geoffrey of Anjou and Matilda, daughter of Henry I of England. He became actively involved by the age of 14 in his mother's efforts to claim the throne of England, then occupied by Stephen of Blois, and was made Duke of Normandy at 17. He inherited Anjou in 1151 and shortly afterwards became the Duke of Aquitaine by marrying Eleanor of Aquitaine, whose marriage to Louis VII of France had recently been annulled. Stephen agreed to a peace treaty after Henry's military expedition to England in 1153, and Henry inherited the kingdom on Stephen's death a year later. Henry was an energetic and sometimes ruthless ruler, driven by a desire to restore the lands and privileges of his grandfather Henry I. During the early years of his reign the younger Henry restored the royal administration in England, re-established hegemony over Wales and gained full control over his lands in Anjou, Maine and Touraine. Henry's desire to reform the relationship with the Church led to conflict with his former friend Thomas Becket, the Archbishop of Canterbury. This controversy lasted for much of the 1160s and resulted in Becket's murder in 1170. Henry soon came into conflict with Louis VII and the two rulers fought what has been termed a "cold war" over several decades. Henry expanded his empire, often at Louis' expense, taking Brittany and pushing east into central France and south into Toulouse; despite numerous peace conferences and treaties, no lasting agreement was reached.

Henry and Eleanor had eight children – three daughters and five sons. Three of his sons would be king, though Henry the Young King was named his father's co-ruler rather than a stand-alone king. As the sons grew up, tensions over the future inheritance of the empire began to emerge, encouraged by Louis and his son King Philip II. In 1173 Henry's heir apparent, "Young Henry", rebelled in protest; he was joined by his brothers Richard (later a king) and Geoffrey and by their mother, Eleanor. France, Scotland, Brittany, Flanders, and Boulogne allied themselves with the rebels. The Great Revolt was only defeated by Henry's vigorous military action and talented local commanders, many of them "new men" appointed for their loyalty and administrative skills. Young Henry and Geoffrey revolted again in 1183, resulting in Young Henry's death. The Norman invasion of Ireland provided lands for his youngest son John (later a king), but Henry struggled to find ways to satisfy all his sons' desires for land and immediate power. By 1189, Young Henry and Geoffrey were dead, and Philip successfully played on Richard's fears that Henry II would make John king, leading to a final rebellion. Decisively defeated by Philip and Richard and suffering from a bleeding ulcer, Henry retreated to Chinon castle in Anjou. He died soon afterwards and was succeeded by Richard.

Henry's empire quickly collapsed during the reign of his youngest son, John. Many of the changes Henry introduced during his long rule, however, had long-term consequences. Henry's legal changes are generally considered to have laid the basis for the English Common Law, while his intervention in Brittany, Wales, and Scotland shaped the development of their societies and governmental systems. Historical interpretations of Henry's reign have changed considerably over time. In the 18th century, scholars argued that Henry was a driving force in the creation of a genuinely English monarchy and, ultimately, a unified Britain. During the Victorian expansion of the British Empire, historians were keenly interested in the formation of Henry's own empire, but they also expressed concern over his private life and treatment of Becket. Late-20th-century historians have combined British and French historical accounts of Henry, challenging earlier Anglocentric interpretations of his reign.

Honoré-Mercier (electoral district)

Honoré-Mercier (formerly Anjou—Rivière-des-Prairies) is a federal electoral district in Quebec, Canada, that has been represented in the House of Commons of Canada since 1988.

House of Plantagenet

The House of Plantagenet () was a royal house which originated from the lands of Anjou in France. The name Plantagenet is used by modern historians to identify four distinct royal houses: the Angevins, who were also counts of Anjou; the main body of the Plantagenets following the loss of Anjou; and the Plantagenets' two cadet branches, the houses of Lancaster and York. The family held the English throne from 1154, with the accession of Henry II, until 1485, when Richard III died in battle.

Under the Plantagenets, England was transformed – although this was only partly intentional. The Plantagenet kings were often forced to negotiate compromises such as Magna Carta. These constrained royal power in return for financial and military support. The king was no longer just the most powerful man in the nation, holding the prerogative of judgement, feudal tribute and warfare. He now had defined duties to the realm, underpinned by a sophisticated justice system. A distinct national identity was shaped by conflict with the French, Scots, Welsh and Irish, and the establishment of English as the primary language.

In the 15th century, the Plantagenets were defeated in the Hundred Years' War and beset with social, political and economic problems. Popular revolts were commonplace, triggered by the denial of numerous freedoms. English nobles raised private armies, engaged in private feuds and openly defied Henry VI.

The rivalry between the House of Plantagenet's two cadet branches of York and Lancaster brought about the Wars of the Roses, a decades-long fight for the English succession, culminating in the Battle of Bosworth Field in 1485, when the reign of the Plantagenets and the English Middle Ages both met their end with the death of King Richard III. Henry VII, of Lancastrian descent, became king of England; five months later, he married Elizabeth of York, thus ending the Wars of the Roses, and giving rise to the Tudor dynasty. The Tudors worked to centralise English royal power, which allowed them to avoid some of the problems that had plagued the last Plantagenet rulers. The resulting stability allowed for the English Renaissance, and the advent of early modern Britain.

Louis Alphonse, Duke of Anjou

Prince Louis Alphonse de Bourbon, Duke of Anjou (Spanish: Luis Alfonso Gonzalo Víctor Manuel Marco de Borbón y Martínez-Bordiú, French: Louis Alphonse Gonzalve Victor Emmanuel Marc de Bourbon; born 25 April 1974 in Madrid) is a member of the Royal House of Bourbon, and one of the current heirs to the defunct French throne as Louis XX.

As the senior male heir of Hugh Capet by traditional male-line primogeniture, he is often recognised as the "Head of the House of Bourbon", and by Legitimist royalists as the rightful claimant to the French crown, being the senior agnatic descendant of King Louis XIV of France (ruled 1643–1715) through his grandson King Philip V of Spain.Louis Alphonse is patrilineally the senior great-grandson of King Alfonso XIII of Spain. However, his grandfather Infante Jaime, Duke of Segovia, renounced his rights to the Spanish throne for himself and his descendants due to his disability. The crown of Spain has descended to his second cousin, King Felipe VI of Spain. Through his mother, he is also a great-grandson of Spain's caudillo, General Francisco Franco and through his father, a great-great-great-grandson of Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom.

Louis XIV of France

Louis XIV (Louis Dieudonné; 5 September 1638 – 1 September 1715), known as Louis the Great (Louis le Grand) or the Sun King (Roi Soleil), was a monarch of the House of Bourbon who reigned as King of France from 1643 until his death in 1715. Starting on 14 May 1643 when Louis was 4 years old, his reign of 72 years and 110 days is the longest recorded of any monarch of a sovereign country in European history. In the age of absolutism in Europe, Louis XIV's France was a leader in the growing centralisation of power.Louis began his personal rule of France in 1661, after the death of his chief minister, the Italian Cardinal Mazarin. An adherent of the concept of the divine right of kings, Louis continued his predecessors' work of creating a centralised state governed from the capital. He sought to eliminate the remnants of feudalism persisting in parts of France and, by compelling many members of the nobility to inhabit his lavish Palace of Versailles, succeeded in pacifying the aristocracy, many members of which had participated in the Fronde rebellion during Louis' minority. By these means he became one of the most powerful French monarchs and consolidated a system of absolute monarchical rule in France that endured until the French Revolution.

Louis encouraged and benefited from the work of prominent political, military, and cultural figures such as Mazarin, Colbert, Louvois, the Grand Condé, Turenne, Sébastien Le Prestre de Vauban, André Charles Boulle, Molière, Racine, Boileau, La Fontaine, Lully, Marais, Le Brun, Rigaud, Bossuet, Le Vau, Mansart, Charles, Claude Perrault, and Le Nôtre. Under his rule, the Edict of Nantes, which granted rights to Huguenots, was abolished. The revocation effectively forced Huguenots to emigrate or convert in a wave of dragonnades, which managed to virtually destroy the French Protestant minority.

During Louis' long reign, France was the leading European power, and it fought three major wars: the Franco-Dutch War, the War of the League of Augsburg, and the War of the Spanish Succession. There were also two lesser conflicts: the War of Devolution and the War of the Reunions. Warfare defined the foreign policy of Louis XIV, and his personality shaped his approach. Impelled "by a mix of commerce, revenge, and pique", Louis sensed that warfare was the ideal way to enhance his glory. In peacetime he concentrated on preparing for the next war. He taught his diplomats that their job was to create tactical and strategic advantages for the French military.

Margaret of Anjou

Margaret of Anjou (French: Marguerite; 23 March 1430 – 25 August 1482) was the Queen of England by marriage to King Henry VI from 1445 to 1461 and again from 1470 to 1471. Born in the Duchy of Lorraine into the House of Valois-Anjou, Margaret was the second eldest daughter of René, King of Naples, and Isabella, Duchess of Lorraine.

She was one of the principal figures in the series of dynastic civil wars known as the Wars of the Roses and at times personally led the Lancastrian faction. Owing to her husband's frequent bouts of insanity, Margaret ruled the kingdom in his place. It was she who called for a Great Council in May 1455 that excluded the Yorkist faction headed by Richard of York, 3rd Duke of York, and this provided the spark that ignited a civil conflict that lasted for more than 30 years, decimated the old nobility of England, and caused the deaths of thousands of men, including her only son Edward of Westminster, Prince of Wales, at the Battle of Tewkesbury in 1471.

Margaret was taken prisoner by the victorious Yorkists after the Lancastrian defeat at Tewkesbury. In 1475, she was ransomed by her cousin, King Louis XI of France. She went to live in France as a poor relation of the French king, and she died there at the age of 52.

Philip V of Spain

Philip V (Spanish: Felipe V, French: Philippe, Italian: Filippo; 19 December 1683 – 9 July 1746) was King of Spain from 1 November 1700 to his abdication in favour of his son Louis on 14 January 1724, and from his reaccession of the throne upon his son's death on 6 September 1724 to his own death on 9 July 1746.

Before his reign, Philip occupied an exalted place in the royal family of France as a grandson of King Louis XIV. His father, Louis, Grand Dauphin, had the strongest genealogical claim to the throne of Spain when it became vacant in 1700. However, since neither the Grand Dauphin nor Philip's older brother, Louis, Duke of Burgundy, could be displaced from their place in the succession to the French throne, the Grand Dauphin's maternal uncle (Philip's granduncle) King Charles II of Spain named Philip as his heir in his will. It was well known that the union of France and Spain under one monarch would upset the balance of power in Europe, such that other European powers would take steps to prevent it. Indeed, Philip's accession in Spain provoked the 13-year War of the Spanish Succession, which continued until the Treaty of Utrecht forbade any future possibility of unifying the French and Spanish thrones.

Philip was the first member of the French House of Bourbon to rule as king of Spain. The sum of his two reigns, 45 years and 21 days, is the longest in modern Spanish history.

Pyotr Anjou

Pyotr Fyodorovich Anjou (Russian: Пётр Фёдорович Анжу) (15 February 1796 – 12 October 1869), was an Arctic explorer and an admiral of the Imperial Russian Navy.

René of Anjou

René of Anjou (Occitan: Rainièr d'Anjau; French: René d'Anjou; 1409–1480), also known as René I of Naples (Italian: Renato I di Napoli) and Good King René (Occitan: Rai Rainièr lo Bòn; French: Le bon roi René), was count of Piedmont, Duke of Bar (1430–80), Duke of Lorraine (1431–53), Duke of Anjou, Count of Provence (1434–80), briefly King of Naples (1435–42; titular 1442–80), titular King of Jerusalem (1438–80) and Aragon including Sicily, Majorca and Corsica (1466–70).

He was a member of the House of Valois-Anjou, a cadet branch of the French royal house, and the great-grandson of John II of France (d. 1364). He was a prince of the blood, and for most of his adult life also the brother-in-law of the reigning king Charles VII of France. His lands were very extensive, but often contested, as was his claim to be King of Naples.

Saint-Léonard—Anjou

Saint-Léonard—Anjou (formerly known as Saint-Léonard) was a federal electoral district in Quebec, Canada that was represented in the House of Commons of Canada from 1979 to 1988.

This riding was created in 1976 as "Saint-Léonard" riding from parts of Maisonneuve—Rosemont, Mercier and Saint-Michel ridings. It consisted of the City of Saint-Léonard, the Town of Anjou, and part of the City of Montreal.

The electoral district was abolished in 1987 when it was redistributed into Anjou—Rivière-des-Prairies, Papineau and Saint-Léonard ridings.

Spanish royal family

The House of Bourbon-Anjou (or simply House of Bourbon-Spain) is the reigning royal house of the Kingdom of Spain. The current Spanish royal family consists of the present king, the queen consort, their children and the king's parents. The House of Bourbon-Anjou is a branch of the House of Bourbon that descends from Philip V of Spain.

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