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The House of Anjou may refer to three distinct medieval dynasties that originated as counts (from 1360, dukes) of the western French province of Anjou but later came to rule far greater areas including England, Ireland, Hungary, Croatia, Poland, Naples and Sicily, Albania, and Jerusalem.Angevin ( ; French, the adjectival form, from Medieval Latin Andegavinus, from Andegavia "Anjoumarker") is a name applied to these dynasties, to the residents of Anjou, a former province of the Kingdom of France, and to the residents of Angersmarker.

The First Angevin Dynasty (1128-1485), also called the House of Plantagenet, followed by its cadet houses of Lancaster and York, ruled Englandmarker from the accession of Henry II in 1154 until the House of Tudor came to power when Richard III fell at the Battle of Bosworth Fieldmarker in 1485. They also ruled Irelandmarker and laid claim to Jerusalemmarker.

The Second Angevin dynasty (1246-1435) or Senior or Elder House of Anjou was a cadet branch of the Capetian dynasty, established by Charles, Count of Anjou, the youngest son of Louis VIII of France. In its time, the Capetian House of Anjou ruled Naplesmarker and Sicily, Hungarymarker and Polandmarker.

The Third Angevin Dynasty (1350-1480) or Junior or Younger House of Anjou ruled Naplesmarker.

Since Philip V of Spain also had been Duke of Anjou, it is possible to talk about a Fourth Angevin Dynasty, Bourbon-Anjou, but it is not often practised.

House of Ingelger

The first ruling count of the county of Anjou was an obscure 9th century nobleman named Ingelger, who initiated the House of Ingelger.

Ingelger or Ingelgarius (died 888) was a Frankish nobleman. Later generations of his family believed he was the son of Tertullus (Tertulle) and Petronilla. Around 877 he inherited his father Tertullus's lands in accordance with the Capitulary of Quierzy which Charles the Bald had issued. His father's holdings from the king included Château-Landon in beneficium, and he was a casatus in the Gâtinais and Franciamarker. Contemporary records refer to Ingelger as a miles optimus, a great military man.Bernard S. Bachrach (1993), Fulk Nerra, the Neo-Roman Consul, 987–1040: A Political Biography of the Angevin Count (Berkely: University of California Press, ISBN 0 520 07996 5), 4–5.

Later family tradition makes his mother a relative of Hugh the Abbot, an influential counselor of both Louis II and Louis III of France, from whom he received preferment. By Louis II Ingelger was appointed viscount of Orléansmarker, which city was under the rule of its bishops at the time. At Orléans Ingelger made a matrimonial alliance with one of the leading families of Neustria, the lords of Amboisemarker. He married Adelais, whose maternal uncles were Adalard, Archbishop of Tours, and Raino, Bishop of Angers. Later Ingelger was appointed prefect (military commander) at Tours, then ruled by Adalard.

At some point Ingelger was appointed Count of Anjou, at a time when the county stretched only as far west as the Mayenne Rivermarker. Later sources credit his appointment to his defence of the region from Vikings, but modern scholars have been more likely to see it as a result of his wife's influential relatives. He was buried in the church of Saint-Martin at Châteauneuf and was succeeded by his son Fulk the Red.

Counts of the House of Ingelger

After the reign of Geoffrey I Greymantle, the reigning house of Ingelger transformed into the House of Anjou, with its first member being his son, Fulk III. This newly christened House of Anjou later split into two branches, one which ruled over the kingdom of Jerusalem and the other that perpetuated the House of Plantagenet and ruled over Englandmarker.

Later members of this house included Fulk, a crusader who became King of Jerusalem, whose son, Geoffrey, went on to marry Matilda, Lady of the English. His nickname Plantagenet, named the dynasty, that was perpetuated by his son, Henry, who was the first of the family to rule England.

Counts of the House of Anjou

Monarchs of Jerusalem and Monarchs of England

Angevins of Jerusalem

By 1127 Fulk was preparing to return to Anjoumarker when he received an embassy from King Baldwin II of Jerusalem. Baldwin II had no male heirs but had already designated his daughter Melisende to succeed him. Baldwin II wanted to safeguard his daughter's inheritance by marrying her to a powerful lord. Fulk was a wealthy crusader and experienced military commander, and a widower. His experience in the field would prove invaluable in a frontier state always in the grip of war.

However, Fulk held out for better terms than mere consort of the Queen; he wanted to be king alongside Melisende. Baldwin II, reflecting on Fulk's fortune and military exploits, acquiesced. Fulk abdicated his county seat of Anjou to his son Geoffery and left for Jerusalemmarker, where he married Melisende on June 2, 1129. Later Baldwin II bolstered Melisende's position in the kingdom by making her sole guardian of her son by Fulk, Baldwin III, born in 1130.

Fulk and Melisende became joint rulers of Jerusalem in 1131 with Baldwin II's death. From the start Fulk assumed sole control of the government, excluding Melisende altogether. He favored fellow countrymen from Anjou to the native nobility. The other crusader states to the north feared that Fulk would attempt to impose the suzerainty of Jerusalem over them, as Baldwin II had done; but as Fulk was far less powerful than his deceased father-in-law, the northern states rejected his authority.

The death of Fulk, as depicted in MS of William of Tyre'sHistoria andOld French Continuation, painted in Acre, 13C.

In Jerusalem as well, Fulk was resented by the second generation of Jerusalem Christians who had grown up there since the First Crusade. These "natives" focused on Melisende's cousin, the popular Hugh II of Le Puiset,count of Jaffa, who was devotedly loyal to the Queen. Fulk saw Hugh as a rival, and in 1134, in order to expose Hugh, accused him of infidelity with Melisende. Hugh rebelled in protest and secured himself to Jaffa, allying himself with the Muslims of Ascalon. He was able to defeat the army set against him by Fulk, but this situation could not hold. The Patriarch interceded in the conflict, perhaps at the behest of Melisende. Fulk agreed to peace and Hugh was exiled from the kingdom for three years, a lenient sentence.

However, an assassination attempt was made against Hugh. Fulk, or his supporters, were commonly believed responsible, though direct proof never surfaced. The scandal was all that was needed for the queen's party to take over the government in what amounted to a palace coup. Author and historian Bernard Hamilton wrote that the Fulk's supporters "went in terror of their lives" in the palace. Contemporary author and historian William of Tyre wrote of Fulk "he never attempted to take the initiative, even in trivial matters, without (Melisende's) consent". The result was that Melisende held direct and unquestioned control over the government from 1136 onwards. Sometime before 1136 Fulk reconciled with his wife, and a second son, Amalric born.

In 1143, while the king and queen were on holiday in Acremarker, Fulk was killed in a hunting accident. His horse stumbled, fell, and Fulk's skull was crushed by the saddle, "and his brains gushed forth from both ears and nostrils", as William of Tyre describes. He was carried back to Acre, where he lay unconscious for three days before he died. He was buried in the Church of the Holy Sepulchremarker in Jerusalem. Though their marriage started in conflict, Melisende mourned for him privately as well as publicly. Fulk was survived by his son Geoffrey of Anjou by his first wife, and Baldwin III and Amalric I by Melisende.

Baldwin III ascended the throne with his mother as co-ruler, in 1143. His early reign was leaced with squabbles with his mother over the possession of Jerusalem, till 1153, when he took personal hold of the government. He died in 1162, without heirs, and the kingdom passed to his brother,Amalric I, although there was some opposition among the nobility to Agnes; they were willing to accept the marriage in 1157 when Baldwin III was still capable of siring an heir, but now theHaute Cour refused to endorse Amalric as king unless his marriage to Agnes was annulled. The hostility to Agnes, it must be admitted, may be exaggerated by the chronicler William of Tyre, whom she prevented from becoming Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem decades later, as well as from William's continuators like Ernoul, who hints at a slight on her moral character: "car telle n'est que roine doie iestre di si haute cite comme de Jherusalem" ("there should not be such a queen for so holy a city as Jerusalem").

Nevertheless, consanguinity was enough for the opposition. Amalric agreed and ascended the throne without a wife, although Agnes continued to hold the title Countess of Jaffa and Ascalon and received a pension from that fief's income. The church ruled that Amalric and Agnes' children were legitimate and preserved their place in the order of succession. Through her children Agnes would exert much influence in Jerusalem for almost 20 years. Almaric was succeeded by his son by Agnes, Baldwin IV.

Almaric's wives, Agnes of Courtenay, now married to Reginald of Sidon, and Maria Comnena, the dowager Queen, who had married Balian of Ibelin in 1177. His daughter by Agnes, Sibylla, was already of age, the mother of a son, and was clearly in a strong position to succeed her brother, but Maria's daughter Isabella had the support of her stepfather's family, the Ibelins.

In 1179, Baldwin began planning to marry Sibylla to Hugh III of Burgundy, but by spring 1180 this was still unresolved. Raymond III of Tripoli attempted a coup, and began to march on Jerusalem with Bohemund III, to force the king to marry his sister to a local candidate of his own choosing, probably Baldwin of Ibelin, Balian's older brother. To counter this, the king hastily arranged her marriage to Guy of Lusignan, younger brother of Amalric, the constable of the kingdom. A foreign match was essential to bring the possibility of external military aid to the kingdom. With the new French king Philip II a minor, Guy's status as a vassal of the King and Sibylla's first cousin Henry II of England - who owed the Pope a penitential pilgrimage - was useful.

By 1182, Baldwin IV, increasingly incapacitated by his leprosy, named Guy as bailli. Raymond contested this, but when Guy fell out of favour with Baldwin the following year, he was re-appointed bailli and was given possession of Beirutmarker. Baldwin came to an agreement with Raymond and the Haute Cour to make Baldwin of Montferrat, Sibylla's son by her first marriage, his heir, before Sibylla and Guy. The child was crowned co-king as Baldwin V in 1183 in a ceremony presided by Raymond. It was agreed that, should the boy die during his minority, the regency would pass to "the most rightful heirs" until his kinsmen - the Kings of England and France and Frederick I, Holy Roman Emperor - and the Pope were able to adjudicate between the claims of Sibylla and Isabella. These "most rightful heirs" were not named.

Baldwin IV died in spring 1185, and was succeeded by his nephew. Raymond was bailli, but he had passed Baldwin V's personal guardianship to Joscelin III of Edessa, his maternal great-uncle, claiming that he did not wish to attract suspicion if the child, who does not seem to have been robust, were to die. Baldwin V died during the summer of 1186, at Acre. Neither side paid any heed to Baldwin IV's will.

After the funeral, Joscelin had Sibylla named as her brother's successor, although she had to agree to divorce Guy, just as her father had divorced her mother, with the guarantee that she would be allowed to choose a new consort. Once crowned, she immediately crowned Guy. Meanwhile, Raymond had gone to Nablusmarker, home of Balian and Maria, and summoned all those nobles loyal to Princess Isabella and the Ibelins. Raymond wanted instead to have her and her husband Humphrey IV of Toron crowned. However, Humphrey, whose stepfather Raynald of Chatillon was an ally of Guy, deserted him and swore allegiance to Guy and Sibylla.

Lists of Monarchs of Jerusalem

Fulk lost influence after 1136, and died in 1143. Melisende continued to reign by right of law

Jerusalem was lost in 1187; Sybilla died in 1190, but Guy refused to cede the crown; kingship disputed until 1192, after which kings ruled over a narrow coastal strip.

The Angevins of Jerusalem became extinct with the death of Isabella of Jerusalem. There were several disputes over the throne of Jerusalem, until the conquering of it by the Saracens. However, although Outremer (Jerusalem's name under the crusaders) was lost to the Saracens, the claim to the title of King of Jerusalem continued to be passed down through several generations, until almost every monarch in Europe used the title.

House of Plantagenet

Later coat of arms of the Capetian House of Anjou (kings of Jerusalem).
The Capetian House of Anjou, sometimes known as the House of Anjou-Sicily was an important European royal house and cadet branch of the direct House of Capet. Founded by Charles I of Sicily a 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 just the southern half of the Italian Peninsula — the Kingdom of Naples. The house and its various cadets would go on to influence much of the history of Southern and Central Europe during the Middle Ages, until becoming defunct in 1434. In its time, the House ruled Naples and Sicily, Hungary and Poland.


Charles of France, the son of Louis VIII, was made count of the western Frenchmarker province of Anjoumarker by his elder brother, King Louis IX in 1246.

In 1266 Charles was granted the crown of Naples and Sicily by the Pope in return for overthrowing the territories' Hohenstaufen rulers.

Charles was driven out of Sicily in 1282, but his successors ruled Naples until 1435.

This House of Anjou included the branches of Anjou-Hungary, which ruled Hungary (1308–1385, 1386–1395) and Polandmarker (1370–1399), Anjou-Tarantomarker, which ruled the remnants of the Latin Empire (1313–1374) and Anjou-Durazzomarker, which ruled Naples (1382–1435) and Hungary (1385–1386).

The line became extinct in the male line with the death of King Ladislas of Naples in 1414, and totally extinct with the death of his sister Joan II in 1435.

House of Valois-Anjou

Coat of arms of the House of Valois (counts of Anjou).
Coat of arms of the House of Valois-Anjou (dukes of Anjou).
The Valois House of Anjou, or the Younger House of Anjou, was a noble French family, deriving from the royal family, the House of Valois. They were monarchs of Naples, as well as various other territories.

The house began in the 1350s, when king John II of France, of the House of Valois line of Capetians, came to power. His paternal grandmother, Marguerite, Countess of Anjou and Maine, had been a princess of the Capetian House of Anjou or Elder Angevin Dynasty. She was the eldest daughter of king Charles II of Naples and gave the county, and then duchy of Anjou to the second son of king John II of France, Louis.

Within a couple of decades, Queen Joan I of Naples, also of the senior Angevin line, realized that she would remain childless. Although there were extant heirs of the senior branch, for example, the Anjou-Durazzo cadet line, she decided to adopt Louis as her final heir.

Thus, in addition to the struggle of the Angevins with the Aragonese in Southern Italy, the two Angevin lines, senior and junior, now began to contest with each other for the possession of the Kingdom of Naples.

The Anjou-Durazzo line was initially successful in securing control of Naples, but the Valois House of Anjou managed to secure Provence and continued to contest the throne, with Louis II actually in control of the city of Naples from 1389 to 1399.

The extinction of the line of the House of Anjou-Durazzo in 1435 temporarily secured Naples for the Valois House of Anjou, but they were driven from Naples by Alfonso V of Aragon in 1442.

René, the last duke of this, third, Angevin line, died in 1480, and Anjou reverted to the French crown. With the death of his nephew the Duke of Maine in 1481 all Angevin possessions, including Provence, reverted to the crown.

The Angevin pretensions to Naples were continued intermittently by the House of Lorraine, which descended from René's eldest daughter Yolande, particularly during the Valois-Habsburg War of 1551 to 1559, when François, Duke of Guise, a member of a cadet branch of the family, led an unsuccessful French expedition against Naples.


See also


  1. Vauchez, Encyclopedia of the Middle Ages, 65.
  2. The anonymous twelfth-century Gesta Consulum Andegavorum names his father as Tertullus nobilem dux, but both the name Tertullus and the title dux are unusual. Another twelfth-century source, the Chronicon Turonensis (c.1180) records that Ingelger was nepos Hugonis ducis Burgundiæ, a nephew of Hugh, Duke of Burgundy—chronologically stretched. Modern scholars are divided as to the historicity of Tertullus and Petronilla.
  3. This man is distinct from abbot Hugh, son of Charlemagne, but the two are frequently confused, resulting in some 19th century sources erroneously naming Petronilla as granddaughter of Charlemagne.
  4. Anjou: Chapter 1. Comtes d'AnjouatFoundation for Medieval Genealogy: Medieval Lands Project.
  5. The younger half-brothers of GeoffreyPlantagenet,Baldwin and Amalric, would ruleJerusalem.
  6. Benjamin, Appleton's New Practical Cyclopedia, 288.

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