Fulk I of Anjou
Fulk I of Anjou (870 – 942), called the Red (French: Le Roux, Latin: Rufus), was first the viscount of Anjou, then Count of Anjou until his death. He was the Count of Tours, Count of Nantes, and a lay abbot. Fulk increased the size of the county of Anjou as well as the prestige of his family.
He ruled the county of Anjou from c. 908 to 942, first as Viscount then in 929 as Count. It is not known why there was a period of time between Ingelger's rule and his son Fulk's. In 899 he became Viscount of Tours and in 905, Count of Tours. About 900-918 he was Count of Nantes. He increased the territory of the county of Anjou. During his reign, he was permanently at war with the Normans and the Bretons. He lost Nantes to the Normans in 919. Normans and their Viking allies often invaded Brittany and Anjou. c. 927, Ingelger, Fulk's oldest son was killed defending Anjou against Norman attacks.
Fulk built important connections for his family. His wife's family helped secure his countship of Nantes. His son Guy became the Bishop of Soissons. Fulk also succeeded his father-in-law, Warnerius, as lay abbot[a] of Saint-Aubin. Fulk was lay abbot of St. Lézin as well. Through these many positions Fulk elevated his family's status and fortune. Fulk I died c. 942.
Fulk married Roscille de Loches. She was the daughter of Warnerius (Widone),Seigneur de Loches, de Villentrois, & de la Haye, and his wife Tecandra. He and Roscille had:
- The position of lay abbot was a desirable reward for a count or magnate. It allowed him to rule a monastery and manage the rich lands it owned. It was always intended that an abbot be a father to the other monks. But lay abbots were administrators who functioned to protect the monastery and it's property. While a lay abbot made money he also had great influence in the church. Because Fulk I was lay abbot of St. Aubin he could influence who became bishop. The bishops of Angers were consecrated at St. Aubin.
- K.S.B. Keats-Rohan, Family Trees and the Root of Politics; A Prosopography of Britain and France from the Tenth to the Twelfth Century (Woodbridge: The Boydell Press, 1997), p. 255
- Detlev Schwennicke, Europäische Stammtafeln|Europäische Stammtafeln: Stammtafeln zur Geschichte der Europäischen Staaten, Neue Folge, Band III Teilband 1 (Verlag von J. A. Stargardt, Marburg, Germany, 1984), Tafel 116
- Bernard S. Bachrach, Fulk Nerra, the neo-Roman consul, 987-1040 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1993), p. 6
- Henk Teunis, The Appeal to the Original Status: Social Justice in Anjou in the Eleventh Century, (Hilversum, Netherlands: Uitgeveri Verloren, 2006), p. 26
- Heinrich Fichtenau, Living in the Tenth Century: Mentalities and Social Orders (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1991), p. 232
- The Annals of Flodoard of Reims, 919-966;, Ed. Steven Fanning, Bernard S. Bachrach (University of Toronto Press, 2011), p. 30