Geoffrey IV, Count of Anjou

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Geoffrey IV (c. 1073–1106), called Martel (the Hammer), was a French nobleman who was the Count of Anjou from 1096 until his death.

Early career[change | edit source]

Geoffey, born c. 1073 was the oldest son of Fulk IV Réchin and his second wife Ermengarde of Bourbon.[1] She was the daughter of Archambaud IV, Sire de Bourbon.[1] In his youth his bravery in battle won him the nickname "Martel the second".[2] He was so named after his great-uncle Geoffrey II of Anjou. Elias I, Count of Maine intended to go on crusade with Robert "Curthose", Duke of Normandy, who had already left. Elias asked Robert's brother William Rufus for protection for a crusader's lands while he was away.[a] William flatly refused and made it known he wanted Maine (province) for himself.[4] Elias was then captured, brought to William Rufus in chains and imprisoned.[4] Geoffrey IV had been contracted to marry Elias's daughter, Eremburge.[4] Geoffrey hurried to Maine to defend against any attacks by William Rufus.[4] At the same time his father created a diversion on the border of Normandy. Elias however, did not trust Fulk Réchin and agreed to give William Rufus control of Maine for his release.[2] William Rufus took Maine back and held it until his death in 1100.[2]

Count of Anjou[change | edit source]

In 1096 Geoffrey IV's father released his brother Geoffrey III the legitimate but deposed count of Anjou. This was through the intervention of Pope Urban II in 1096.[5] The pope directed that Geoffrey IV Martel was to take over the countship of Anjou.[6] Fulk IV consented to stepping down and making his son count of Anjou.[6] According to Orderic Vitalis Geoffrey restored peace in Anjou and was a very effective count for several years.[6] In 1103 Fulk le Réchin disinherited his son Geoffrey.[7] He favored his younger son by Bertrade de Montfort, Fulk "Le June". By now Fulk le Réchin was old but he still tried to regain control of the countship.[8] There was some brief fighting.[7] Fulk le Réchin was supported by his son-in-law William IX, Duke of Aquitaine. Geoffrey Martel was supported by Elias I, Count of Maine. In the end Fulk le Réchin lost and Geoffrey remained the count of Anjou.[7] Three years later Geoffrey was laying siege to Candé. When the rebels wanted to negotiate for peace and surrender. While Geoffrey was discussing the situation suddenly a crossbowman shot a bolt (short arrow) from the castle and hit Geoffrey in the arm. Geoffrey died the next day, 11 May 1106.[9] Geoffrey died unmarried.[b]

Notes[change | edit source]

  1. A crusader's family, possessions and all his lands were under the protection of the Church and the pope while on crusade.[3]
  2. Geoffrey died before his marriage to Eremburge, heiress of Maine could take place. Her youth had prevented them being married earlier. She married instead his half-brother, Fulk "le June".[10]

References[change | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 Detlev Schwennicke, Europäische Stammtafeln: Stammtafeln zur Geschichte der Europäischen Staaten, Neue Folge, Band II (Marburg, Germany: J. A., Stargardt, 1984) Tafel 82
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Kate Norgate, England Under the Angevin Kings (London; New York: Macmillan & Co., 1887), p. 226
  3. Dana Carleton Munro, Urban and the Crusaders (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania; London: P.S. King, 1895), p. 13
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 Kate Norgate, England Under the Angevin Kings (London; New York: Macmillan & Co., 1887), pp. 225-26
  5. 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. 37
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Ordericus Vitalis, The Ecclesiastical History of England and Normandy, trans. Thomas Forester, Vol. 3 (London: Henry G. Bohn, 1856), p. 370
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 Kate Norgate, England Under the Angevin Kings (London; New York: Macmillan & Co., 1887), p. 228
  8. Bernard S. Bachrach, 'Henry II and the Angevin Tradition of Family Hostility', Albion: A Quarterly Journal Concerned with British Studies, Vol. 16, No. 2 (Summer,1984), p. 126
  9. Ordericus Vitalis, The Ecclesiastical History of England and Normandy, trans. Thomas Forester, Vol. 3 (London: Henry G. Bohn, 1856), p. 370, note 1
  10. Kate Norgate, England Under the Angevin Kings (London; New York: Macmillan & Co., 1887), p. 227