Category:Kings of West Francia
Pages in category "Kings of West Francia"
The following 12 pages are in this category, out of 12 total. This list may not reflect recent changes (learn more).
The following 12 pages are in this category, out of 12 total. This list may not reflect recent changes (learn more).
1. Carloman II – Carloman II might refer to the second Carolingian of that name, otherwise known as Carloman I. Carloman II, King of West Francia, was the youngest son of King Louis the Stammerer and Ansgarde of Burgundy, initially some Frankish nobles advocated electing Louis III as the sole king, but eventually both brothers were elected kings. Meanwhile, the powerful Duke Boso of Provence had renounced his allegiance to both brothers and had been elected King of Provence, in the summer of 880 Carloman and Louis III marched against Boso, took Mâcon and the northern parts of his realm. Despite receiving help from their cousin Charles the Fat, who ruled East Francia, only in the summer of 882 Vienne was taken after being besieged by Richard, Count of Autun. After the accidental death of Louis III in August 882, Carloman II became the king of West Francia. The kingdom was in a condition partly owing to repeated incursions from the Viking raiders. Carloman II died while hunting on 12 December 884 and was succeeded in the throne by his cousin and this article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain, Chisholm, Hugh, ed. Carloman
2. Charles the Bald – Charles the Bald was the King of West Francia, King of Italy and Holy Roman Emperor. After a series of wars during the reign of his father, Louis the Pious. He was a grandson of Charlemagne and the youngest son of Louis the Pious by his second wife and he was born on 13 June 823 in Frankfurt, when his elder brothers were already adults and had been assigned their own regna, or subkingdoms, by their father. The attempts made by Louis the Pious to assign Charles a subkingdom, first Alemannia, at a diet in Aachen in 837, Louis the Pious bade the nobles do homage to Charles as his heir. Pepin of Aquitaine died in 838, whereupon Charles at last received that kingdom, which angered Pepins heirs, the death of the emperor in 840 led to the outbreak of war between his sons. In the following year, the two confirmed their alliance by the celebrated Oaths of Strasbourg. The war was brought to an end by the Treaty of Verdun in August 843, Louis received the eastern part of the Carolingian Empire, known then as East Francia and later as Germany. Lothair retained the title and the Kingdom of Italy. He also received the regions from Flanders through the Rhineland. The first years of Charless reign, up to the death of Lothair I in 855, were comparatively peaceful, during these years the three brothers continued the system of confraternal government, meeting repeatedly with one another, at Koblenz, at Meerssen, and at Attigny. In 858, Louis the German, invited by disaffected nobles eager to oust Charles, Charles was so unpopular that he was unable to summon an army, and he fled to Burgundy. He was saved only by the support of the bishops, who refused to crown Louis the German king, and by the fidelity of the Welfs, in 860, he in his turn tried to seize the kingdom of his nephew, Charles of Provence, but was repulsed. On the death of his nephew Lothair II in 869, Charles tried to seize Lothairs dominions, besides these family disputes, Charles had to struggle against repeated rebellions in Aquitaine and against the Bretons. Led by their chiefs Nomenoë and Erispoë, who defeated the king at the Battle of Ballon and the Battle of Jengland, the Bretons were successful in obtaining a de facto independence. Charles also fought against the Vikings, who devastated the country of the north, the valleys of the Seine and Loire, at the Vikings successful siege and sack of Paris in 845 and several times thereafter Charles was forced to purchase their retreat at a heavy price. By the same edict, he ordered fortified bridges to be put up at all rivers to block the Viking incursions, two of these bridges at Paris saved the city during its siege of 885–886. In 875, after the death of the Emperor Louis II, Charles the Bald, supported by Pope John VIII, traveled to Italy, receiving the crown at Pavia. Louis the German, also a candidate for the succession of Louis II, revenged himself by invading and devastating Charles dominions, and Charles had to return hastily to West Francia
3. Charles the Fat – Charles the Fat, also known as Charles III, was the Carolingian Emperor from 881 to 888. The youngest son of Louis the German and Hemma, Charles was a great-grandson of Charlemagne and was the last Carolingian to rule over the briefly re-united empire, over his lifetime, Charles became ruler of the various kingdoms of Charlemagnes former Empire. Crowned Emperor in 881 by Pope John VIII, his succession to the territories of his brother Louis the Younger the following year reunited the kingdom of East Francia. Upon the death of his cousin Carloman II in 884, he inherited all of West Francia, the reunited Empire would not last. During a coup led by his nephew Arnulf of Carinthia in November 887, Charles was deposed in East Francia, Lotharingia, forced into quiet retirement he died of natural causes in January 888, just a few weeks after his deposition. The Empire quickly fell apart after his death, splintering into five separate successor kingdoms, the nickname Charles the Fat is not contemporary. It was first used by the Annalista Saxo in the twelfth century, there is no contemporary reference to Charless physical size, but the nickname has stuck and is the common name in most modern European languages. Regino of Prüm, a contemporary of Charless recording his death, calls him Emperor Charles, third of that name, Charles was the youngest of the three sons of Louis the German, first King of East Francia, and Hemma from the House of Welf. An incident of demonic possession is recorded in his youth, in which he was said to have been foaming at the mouth before he was taken to the altar of the church and this greatly affected his father and himself. In 859 Charles was made Count of the Breisgau, an Alemannic march bordering southern Lotharingia, in 863 his rebellious eldest brother Carloman revolted against their father. The next year Louis the Younger followed Carloman in revolt and Charles joined him, Carloman received rule over the Duchy of Bavaria. In 865 the elder Louis was forced to divide his lands among his heirs, Duchy of Saxony went to Louis. Lotharingia was to be divided between the younger two, Louis the German sent first Charles and then Carloman himself, with armies containing Italian forces under Berengar of Friuli, their cousin, to the Italian kingdom. These wars, however, were not successful until the death of Charles the Bald in 877, in 876 Louis the German died and the inheritance was divided as planned after a conference at Ries, though Charles received less of his share of Lotharingia than planned. In his charters, Charles reign in Germania is dated from his inheritance in 876, three brothers ruled in cooperation and avoided wars over the division of their patrimony, a rare occurrence in the Early Middle Ages. In 877 Carloman finally inherited Italy from his uncle Charles the Bald, Louis divided Lotharingia and offered a third to Carloman and a third to Charles. In 878 Carloman returned his Lotharingian share to Louis, who divided it evenly with Charles. In 879 Carloman was incapacitated by a stroke and divided his domains between his brothers, Bavaria went to Louis and Italy to Charles, Charles dated his reign in Italia from this point, and from then he spent most of his reign until 886 in his Italian kingdom
4. Charles the Simple – Charles III, called the Simple or the Straightforward, was the King of West Francia from 898 until 922 and the King of Lotharingia from 911 until 919–23. He was a member of the Carolingian dynasty, Charles was the third and posthumous son of king Louis the Stammerer by his second wife Adelaide of Paris. As a child, Charles was prevented from succeeding to the throne at the time of the death in 884 of his half-brother, instead, Frankish nobles of the realm asked his cousin, Emperor Charles the Fat to assume the crown. The nobility then elected Odo, the hero of the Siege of Paris as the new king, in 893 Charles was crowned by a faction opposed to the rule of Odo at the Reims Cathedral, becoming monarch of West Francia only after the death of Odo in 898. In 911 a group of Vikings led by Rollo besieged Paris, after a victory near Chartres on 26 August, Charles decided to negotiate with Rollo, resulting in the Treaty of Saint-Clair-sur-Epte which created the Duchy of Normandy. Rollo also agreed to be baptised and to marry Charles daughter Gisela, Charles had tried to win Lotharingian support for years, for instance, by marrying in April 907 a Lotharingian woman named Frederuna, and in 909 his niece Cunigunda married Wigeric of Lotharingia. Charles defended Lotharingia against two attacks by Conrad I, in 925 Lotharingia was once again seized by East Francia. Queen Frederuna died on 10 February 917 leaving six daughters and no sons, on 7 October 919 Charles married Eadgifu, the daughter of Edward the Elder, King of England, who bore him a son, the future King Louis IV of France. By this time Charles excessive favouritism towards a certain Hagano had turned the aristocracy against him and he endowed Hagano with monasteries that were already the benefices of other barons, alienating them. In Lotharingia he earned the enmity of the new duke Gilbert, opposition to Charles in Lotharingia was not universal, however, he retained support of Wigeric. The nobles, completely exasperated with Charles policies and especially his favoritism of count Hagano, after negotiations by Archbishop Herveus of Reims the king was released. In 922 the Frankish nobles revolted again led by Robert of Neustria, Robert, who was Odos brother, was elected king by the rebels and crowned, while Charles had to flee to Lotharingia. On 2 July 922, Charles lost his most faithful supporter, Herveus of Reims, Charles returned with a Norman army in 923 but was defeated on 15 June near Soissons by Robert, who died in the battle. Charles was captured and imprisoned in a castle at Péronne under the guard of Herbert II of Vermandois, Roberts son-in-law Rudolph of Burgundy was then elected to succeed him as king. Charles died in prison on 7 October 929 and was buried at the abbey of Saint-Fursy. His son by Eadgifu would eventually be crowned in 936 as Louis IV of France, in the initial aftermath of Charless defeat, Queen Eadgifu and children had fled to England. On 6 December 884 King Carloman II of West Francia died without a heir and his half-brother. Because of this, their cousin Charles the Fat, already Holy Roman Emperor, since the beginning, the new monarch was forced to deal with constant Viking raids, with little success
5. Rudolph of France – Rudolph or Rudolf was the elected King of France from 923 until his death in 936. Prior to his election as king, he was Duke of Burgundy and he was the son of Richard, Duke of Burgundy and Adelaide of Auxerre inheriting the Duchy of Burgundy from his father. He married Emma of France, daughter of king Robert I of France and he is frequently confused with his uncle Rudolph I of Burgundy. Rudolph was elected king of West Francia in 923 by an assembly of Frankish nobles and he was crowned by Walter, Archbishop of Sens at St. Médard in Soissons on Sunday,13 July 923. On assuming the crown he passed the Duchy of Burgundy to his younger brother Hugh the Black, in contemporary Latin documents, his name is usually Rodulfus, from the Germanic roots hruod, glory, and wulf, wolf. Rodulf and Rudolf are variants of this name, the French form is Rodolphe, by contrast, the king is normally known as Raoul in modern French, a name which derives from Radulfus, from Germanic rad, counsel, and wulf. Although this name is of different origin, it was used interchangeably by contemporaries with Rodulfus. The king himself, however, always, used Rodulfus, as on his personal seal, nonetheless, he is sometimes called Ralph or Radulf in English. The deposed Charles the Simple was still alive and claimed the throne and this was solved when Rudolphs brother-in-law, Herbert II, Count of Vermandois, who was married to Emmas sister, tricked Charles, a fellow Carolingian, into meeting and then took him prisoner. Rudolphs first act was to lead an army against the king of East Francia Henry the Fowler, after trying to annex Lotharingia Henry met Rudolph with a considerably-sized army and made peace again. However, in 925 Henry attacked Gilbert, Duke of Lorraine and took over Lotharingia permanently, in 924 Vikings made a fresh series of raids into West Francia. From the Loire Valley they threatened Hugh the Great, brother of Queen Emma, soon they attacked Burgundy, domain of Rudolphs brother and were repulsed, moving on to Melun, where they threatened the royal lands. Joined only by his vassals and Herbert, he recruited troops in Burgundy. After Vikings left, the Normans, whom Charles the Simple had settled in Duchy of Normandy in 911, also in that year, Rudolph conversed with Louis the Blind, king of Provence, over the Magyars, the newest barbarian migrants to Europe, then menacing Louis. In 930 Magyars invaded the region around Rheims, but left before the king could engage them, in 935 Magyars invaded Burgundy and Rudolph brought a large army against them, causing their retreat without a battle. West Francia was temporarily safe from both Vikings and Magyars at Rudolphss death, the complaints from Rudolph led Herbert II to bring Charles before William Longsword, Count of Rouen, for homage and then to Rheims to press Charles claim on Pope John X. In 928 Herbert II finally got possession of Laon, but the next year Charles died at Péronne, in 929 Rudolph attempted to reduce the power of Ebalus, Duke of Aquitaine. He withdrew from him access to Berry, and in 932 granted the title of prince of Gothia to the count of Toulouse, Raymond Pons and he also transferred the title Count of Auvergne to Raymond
6. Lothair of France – Lothair, sometimes called Lothair III or Lothair IV, was the Carolingian king of West Francia from 10 September 954 until his death in 986. Lothair was born in Laon near the end of 941, as the eldest son of king Louis IV and Gerberga of Saxony. He succeeded his father on 10 September 954 at the age of thirteen and was crowned at the Abbey of Saint-Remi by Artald of Reims, Archbishop of Reims on 12 November 954. Queen Gerberga made an arrangement with her brother-in-law Hugh the Great, Duke of the Franks and Count of Paris, in exchange for supporting Lothairs rule Hugh was given rule over Duchy of Aquitaine and much of Kingdom of Burgundy as more or less a regent. Lothair inherited a kingdom, where the great magnates took lands, rights. Magnates like Hugh the Great and Herbert II, Count of Vermandois were always a veiled threat, in 955 Lothair and Hugh the Great together took Poitiers by siege. With Hugh the Greats death in 956 Lothair, only fifteen, came under the guardianship of his maternal uncle Bruno, archbishop of Cologne, with Brunos advice, Lothair mediated between Hughs sons - Hugh Capet and Otto, Duke of Burgundy. The King gave Paris and the title of dux francorum to Hugh Capet, the guardianship of Archbishop Bruno of Cologne lasted until 965 and oriented Lothair towards policy of submission towards the East Francia, which was evolving into German Holy Roman Empire. Despite his youth, Lothair wanted to rule alone and reinforced his authority over his vassals and this desire of political independence led to a deterioration in relations between the King and his maternal relatives and a struggle with the new Holy Roman Empire. Despite this, Lothair wanted to maintain ties with Emperor Otto I by marrying Princess Emma of Italy in early 966, in 962 Baldwin III, Count of Flanders, son, co-ruler, and heir of Arnulf I, Count of Flanders died and Arnulf bequeathed Flanders to Lothair. On Arnulfs death in 965, Lothair invaded Flanders and took many cities and he temporarily remained in control of Arras and Douai. Lothair attempted to increase his influence in the Lotharingia, once held by his family, a great battle, which remained undecided, took place in Mons. Although Lothair secretly encouraged this war, he did not intervene directly to help his brother, Charles took advantage of the situation and established himself in Lotharingia. In 977, Charles accused Queen Emma of adultery with Bishop Adalberon of Laon, the Synod of Sainte-Macre, led by Archbishop Adalberon of Reims, took place in Fismes to discuss the matter. Due to a lack of evidence, both the Queen and Bishop were absolved, but Charles, who maintained the rumors, was expelled from the kingdom by Lothair. The House of Ardennes and the Lotharingian party, who were favorable to an agreement with Otto II, rewarding Charles, who had questioned the honor of the wife of the King of the Franks, was a way to offend the King himself. In August 978 Lothair mounted an expedition into Lorraine accompanied by Hugh Capet and upon their crossing the Meuse river took Aachen, Lothair then sacked the imperial Palace of Aachen for three days, and reversed the direction of the bronze eagle of Charlemagne to face east instead of west. In retaliation Otto II, accompanied by Charles, invaded West Francia in October 978 and ravaged Reims, Soissons and Laon
7. Louis the Stammerer – Louis the Stammerer was the King of Aquitaine and later the King of West Francia. He was the eldest son of emperor Charles the Bald and Ermentrude of Orléans, Louis the Stammerer was physically weak and outlived his father by only two years. He succeeded his younger brother Charles the Child as the ruler of Aquitaine in 866 and his father in West Francia in 877, in the French monarchial system, he is considered Louis II. The pope may have offered him the imperial crown. Louis had relatively little impact on politics and he was described a simple and sweet man, a lover of peace, justice, and religion. In 878, he gave the counties of Barcelona, Girona and his final act was to march against the invading Vikings, but he fell ill and died on 9 April or 10 April 879, not long after beginning this final campaign. On his death, his realms were divided between his two sons, Carloman II and Louis III of France, during the peace negotiations between his father and Erispoe, duke of Brittany, Louis was betrothed to an unnamed daughter of Erispoe in 856. It is not known if this was the daughter who later married Gurivant. The contract was broken in 857 after Erispoes murder and his first wife Ansgarde of Burgundy had two sons, Louis and Carloman, both of whom became kings of West Francia, and two daughters, Hildegarde and Gisela. His second wife Adelaide of Paris had one daughter, Ermentrude and a son, Charles the Simple. This article incorporates text from a now in the public domain, Chisholm, Hugh
8. Louis III of France – Louis III was the king of West Francia from 879 until his death in 882. Louiss short reign was marked by military success, Louis was born while his father was King of Aquitaine and his grandfather Charles the Bald was ruling West Francia. Some doubts were raised about his legitimacy, since his parents had married secretly, in September 879 Louis was crowned at Ferrières Abbey. In March 880 at Amiens the brothers divided their fathers kingdom, Louis receiving the northern part, duke Boso, one of Charles the Balds most trusted lieutenants renounced his allegiance to both brothers and was elected King of Provence. In the summer of 880 Carloman II and Louis III marched against him and captured Mâcon and they united their forces with those of their cousin Charles the Fat, then ruling East Francia and Kingdom of Italy, and unsuccessfully besieged Vienne from August to November. In 881 Louis III achieved a victory against Viking riders, whose invasions had been ongoing since his grandfathers reign. Within a year of the battle an anonymous poet celebrated it, Louis III died on 5 August 882 at Saint-Denis in the centre of his realm, having hit his head and fallen from his horse while chasing a girl with amorous intent. He hit the lintel of a door with his head while mounting his horse and fractured his cranium on impact, which led to his death. Since he had no children, his brother Carloman II became the king of West Francia. The Ludwigslied and the Battle of Saucourt, in Judith Jesch, The Scandinavians from the Vendel Period to the Tenth Century, the Context of the Old High German Ludwigslied, Medium Aevum,46, 87–103. Kingship and Politics in the Late Ninth Century, Charles the Fat, the Frankish Kingdoms under the Carolingians, 751–987
9. Louis IV of France – Louis IV, called dOutremer or Transmarinus, reigned as king of West Francia from 936 to 954. A member of the Carolingian dynasty, he was the son of king Charles the Simple and Eadgifu of Wessex. His reign is known thanks to the Annals of Flodoard. The only child of king Charles the Simple and his second wife Eadgifu of Wessex, from his fathers first marriage with Frederuna he had six half-sisters and was the only male heir to the throne. Young Louis was raised in the Anglo-Saxon court until his teens, during this time he enjoyed legendary stories about Edmund the Martyr, King of East Anglia, an ancestor of his maternal family who had heroically fought against the Vikings. Once he took the throne, Louis wanted to free himself from the tutelage of Hugh the Great, in 945, following the death of William I Longsword, Duke of Normandy, Louis tried to conquer his lands, but was kidnapped by the men of Hugh the Great. The Synod of Ingelheim in 948 allowed the excommunication of Hugh the Great, from 950 Louis gradually imposed his rule in the northeast of the kingdom, building many alliances and under the protection of the Ottonian kingdom of East Francia. In spring of 936 Hugh the Great sent an embassy to Wessex inviting Louis to come, after a few hours of sea journey, Louis received the homage of Hugh and some Frankish nobles on the beach of Boulogne, who kissed his hands. Chronicler Richerus gives us an anecdote about this first encounter, Then the Duke hastily brought a horse decorated with the royal insignia. By the time he wanted to put the King in the saddle, the horse ran in all directions, but Louis, a young man, jumped suddenly, without stirrups. This pleased all those presented and caused recognition from all, Louis and his court then began the trip to Laon where the coronation ceremony was to take place. The chronicler Flodoard records the events as follows, During the ritual, almost nothing is known about the coronation ceremony of Louis IV. It seems certain that the King would wear the crown and sceptre of his predecessor and he must have promised before the bishops of France to respect the privileges of the Church. Maybe he received the ring, the sword and the stick of Saint Remigius, historians have wondered why the powerful Hugh the Great called the young Carolingian prince to throne instead of taking it himself, as his father had done fifteen years earlier. First, he had rivals, especially Hugh, Duke of Burgundy and Herbert II. But above all, it seems that he was shocked by the death of his father. Richerus explains that Hugh the Great remembered his father who had died for his pretentions and it was then that the Gauls, anxious to appear free to elect their King, assembled under the leadership of Hugh to deliberate about the choice of a new King. According to Richerus, Hugh the Great delivered the following speech, if my father and us, we hurt your Majesty by some of our actions, we must use all our efforts to erase the trace
10. Louis V of France – Louis V, was the king of West Francia from 986 until his premature death a year later. He died childless and was the last monarch in the Carolingian line in West Francia. The eldest son of King Lothair and his wife Emma of Italy, daughter of Lothair II of Italy, Louis was born c. Louis V was the last Carolingian King of West Francia and reigned in Laon from 2 March,986 until his death, at the age of 20, in 21 May,987. Immediately after their wedding, Louis and Adelaide-Blanche were crowned King, Louis, without suspecting the artifice, yielded to the advice of his wife, and went with her. When they were in Aquitaine, she left her husband to join his family, however, despite being recorded by relative contemporary and later sources, the existence of this marriage was recently challenged by historian Carlrichard Brülh. Upon his fathers death on 2 March 986, the already-crowned Louis V became the undisputed King of the Franks, in addition, the young monarch inherited a battle between his fathers line of elected kings, and the Ottonian house of the Holy Roman Emperor Otto I. As defender of Rome, Otto I had the power to name the clergy in Carolingian territory, the escape of the Archbishop was perceived by Louis V as treason, he turned violently against Adalberon and threatened him with a siege of Reims. The matter was settled in a trial court at Compiègne. Before all these events were resolved, Louis V died on 21 May 987 from a fall while hunting in the Forest of Halatte near the town of Senlis. He was buried in the Abbey of Saint-Corneille in Compiègne and he left no legitimate heirs, so his uncle Charles, Duke of Lower Lorraine, was nominated as the hereditary successor to the throne. Capet was elected to the Frankish throne and Adalberon crowned him, thus the rule of the Carolingian dynasty ended and the Capetian era had begun. Gwatkin, H. M. Whitney, J. P. et al, the Cambridge Medieval History, Volume III. Frantz Funck-Brentano, National History of France, ferdinand Lot, Les derniers Carolingiens, Lothaire, Louis V, Charles de Lorraine, Paris 1891. Walther Kienast, Deutschland und Frankreich in der Kaiserzeit, vol