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Fulk IV, Count of Anjou

Count Of Anjou
Coins minted in Anjou by Fulk Réchin.

Fulk IV (1043–1109), called le Réchin, was a French nobleman who was the Count of Anjou from 1068 until he was deposed in 1096. He rebelled against his older brother Geoffrey III and took the countship of Anjou by force.


Contents

Early careerEdit

Fulk, born 1043,[1] was the younger son of Geoffrey II, Count of Gâtinais and Ermengarde-Blanche of Anjou. Ermengarde-Blanche was a daughter of Fulk Nerra, count of Anjou,[2] When Geoffrey Martel died without direct heirs he left Anjou to his nephew Geoffrey III, Fulk le Réchin's older brother.[3] Geoffrey III was not an effective count.[4] In 1062 Geoffrey failed to defend Saintonge and it was lost.[5] In 1063 the county of Maine was lost to Anjou.[5] In 1065 Geoffrey angered Archbishop Barthelemy of Tours and was excommunicated.[6]

Count of AnjouEdit

Fulk had enough and took the countship of Anjou by force. He fought with his brother and captured him in 1067.[7] Under pressure from the Church he released Geoffrey. The two brothers started fighting again. This time Geoffrey was imprisoned for the rest of his life.[8] Substantial territory was lost to Angevin control because of Geoffrey's poor rule and the civil war that followed. Fulk was forced to give the Gâtinais to Philip I of France the king.[9] Fulk spent the rest of his reign as count trying to regain control of his barons and all the lost lands. He also struggled with Normandy trying to regain control in Maine and Brittany.[10]

Author of the History of AnjouEdit

In 1096 Fulk wrote a history of Anjou and its rulers titled Fragmentum historiae Andegavensis or "History of Anjou."[a][12] Only the first part of the history still exists. It describes Fulk's ancestry. The second part was thought to cover Fulk's own rule. This part has not been found. If he did write it, it is one of the first medieval works of history written by a layman.[b][14]

FamilyEdit

Fulk appears to have been married as many as five times.[15]

His first wife was Hildegarde of Beaugency.[2] Together they had a daughter:

Fulk then married Ermengarde of Bourbon in 1070. Together they had a son:

c. 1076 he married Orengarde de Châtellailon.[2]

He next married an unnamed daughter of Walter I of Brienne. This marriage also ended in divorce, in 1087. they had no children.[2]

In 1089 he married Bertrade de Montfort.[c][2] They had a son:

NotesEdit

  1. The text of the Fragmentium Historiae Andegavensis begins: "I Fulk, Angevin count, who was the son of Geoffrey of Chateau-Landon and of Ermengardis, the daughter of Fulk count of Anjou, and nephew of Geoffrey Martel who was the son of the same Fulk, my grandfather, and my mother's brother..." He does not say how he became count of Anjou. But his introduction does show that his 'inheritance' was due to his mother being a daughter of Fulk Nerra. At this time during the Capetian dynasty most counts inherited their countship from their father, not their mother.[11]
  2. In tenth century France only Anjou and Aquitaine had noblemen who valued learning and who were literate (could read and write) in the Latin language. Outside these two counties it was rare for a nobleman to be able to read and write in Latin at this time. Letters and writing were considered the work of the clergy. Latin was the language of most written works, but by this time most people were speaking a language that was rapidly becoming Old French. They no longer spoke Latin and were not as familiar with it as their ancestors had been.[13]
  3. She either left Fulk or was taken by force by King Philip I of France about 1092. Chroniclers have presented different versions of the story.[16]

ReferencesEdit

  1. Jim Bradbury, 'Fulk le Rechin and the Origin of the Plantagenets', Studies in Medieval History Presented to R. Allen Brown, eds. Christopher Harper-Bill, Christopher J. Holdsworth, Janet L. Nelson (Woodbridge, UK: The Boydell Press, 1989), p. 27
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 Detlev Schwennicke, Europäische Stammtafeln: Stammtafeln zur Geschichte der Europäischen Staaten, Neue Folge, Band II (Marburg, Germany: J. A., Stargardt, 1984) Tafel 82
  3. Jim Bradbury, 'Fulk le Réchin and the Origin of the Plantagenets', Studies in Medieval History Presented to R. Allen Brown, Ed. Christopher Harper-Bill, Christopher J. Holdsworth, Janet L. Nelson (The Boydell Press, 1989), p. 27
  4. W. Scott Jesse, Robert the Burgundian and the Counts of Anjou, c.1025-1098 (Catholic University of America Press, 2000), p. 55
  5. 5.0 5.1 Henk Teunis, The Appeal to the Original Status: Social Justice in Anjou in the Eleventh Century (Hilversum: Uitgeverij Verloren, 2006), p. 75
  6. W. Scott Jesse, Robert the Burgundian and the Counts of Anjou, c.1025-1098 (Catholic University of America Press, 2000), p. 61
  7. Jim Bradbury, 'Fulk le Réchin and the Origin of the Plantagenets', Studies in Medieval History Presented to R. Allen Brown, Ed. Christopher Harper-Bill, Christopher J. Holdsworth, Janet L. Nelson (The Boydell Press, 1989), p. 31
  8. Jim Bradbury, 'Fulk le Réchin and the Origin of the Plantagenets', Studies in Medieval History Presented to R. Allen Brown, Ed. Christopher Harper-Bill, Christopher J. Holdsworth, Janet L. Nelson (The Boydell Press, 1989), p. 32
  9. Jean Dunbabin, France in the Making, 843-1180, Second Edition (Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press, 2005), p. 189
  10. Jean Dunbabin, France in the Making, 843-1180, Second Edition (Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press, 2005), pp. 189–90
  11. Jane Martindale, 'Secular Propaganda and Aristocratic Values: The Autobiographies of Count Fulk le Réchin of Anjou and Count William of Poitou, Duke of Aquitaine', Writing Medieval Biography; Essays in Honour of Frank Barlow, eds. David Bates; Julia Crick; Sarah Hamilton (Woodbridge: The Boydell Press, 2006), p. 149
  12. Nicholas L. Paul, 'The Chronicle of Fulk le Rechin: a Reassessment', The Haskins Society Journal 18: Studies in Medieval History, ed. Stephen Morillo, Diane Korngiebel (The Boydell Press, Woodbridge, 2007) pp. 20-1
  13. Harvey J. Graff, he Legacies of Literacy: Continuities and Contradictions in Western Culture and Society (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1987), p. 62
  14. Nicholas L. Paul, The Chronicle of Fulk le Rechin: a reassessment, Haskins Society Journal 18: Studies in Medieval History, 2006, eds. Stephen Morillo; Diane Korngiebel (Woodbridge: The Boydell Press, 2007), pp. 19–35.
  15. Jim Bradbury, 'Fulk le Réchin and the Origin of the Plantagenets', Studies in Medieval History Presented to R. Allen Brown, Ed. Christopher Harper-Bill, Christopher J. Holdsworth, Janet L. Nelson (The Boydell Press, 1989), p. 36
  16. Jim Bradbury, The Capetians; Kings of France, 987-1314 (London: Hambledon Continuum, 2007) p. 119