Duke of Normandy

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Family tree of the early dukes of Normandy and Norman kings of England Chronological tree of William I.svg
Family tree of the early dukes of Normandy and Norman kings of England

In the Middle Ages, the Duke of Normandy was the ruler of the Duchy of Normandy in north-western France. The duchy arose out of a grant of land to the Viking leader Rollo by the French king Charles III in 911. In 924 and again in 933, Normandy was expanded by royal grant. Rollo's male-line descendants continued to rule it until 1135. In 1202 the French king Philip II declared Normandy a forfeited fief and by 1204 his army had conquered it. It remained a French royal province thereafter, still called the Duchy of Normandy, but only occasionally granted to a duke of the royal house as an apanage.

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Despite the 13th century loss of mainland Normandy, in the Channel Islands the monarch of the United Kingdom is to this day referred to by the title "Duke of Normandy", whether King or Queen.

History of the title

There is no record of Rollo holding or using any title. His son and grandson, Duke William I and Duke Richard I, used the titles "count" (Latin comes or consul) and "prince" (princeps). [1] Prior to 1066, the most common title of the ruler of Normandy was "Count of Normandy" (comes Normanniae) or "Count of the Normans" (comes Normannorum). [2] The title Count of Rouen (comes Rotomagensis) was never used in any official document, but it was used of William I and his son by the anonymous author of a lament ( planctus ) on his death. Defying Norman pretensions to the ducal title, Adhemar of Chabannes was still referring to the Norman ruler as "Count of Rouen" as late as the 1020s. In the 12th century, the Icelandic historian Ari Thorgilsson in his Landnámabók referred to Rollo as Ruðu jarl (earl of Rouen), the only attested form in Old Norse, although too late to be evidence for 10th-century practice. [3] The late 11th-century Norman historian William of Poitiers used the title "Count of Rouen" for the Norman rulers down to Richard II. Although references to the Norman rulers as counts of Rouen are relatively sparse and confined to narrative sources, there is a lack of documentary evidence about Norman titles before the late 10th century. [4]

The first recorded use of the title duke (dux) is in an act in favour of the Abbey of Fécamp in 1006 by Richard II, Duke of Normandy. Earlier, the writer Richer of Reims had called Richard I a dux pyratorum, but which only means "leader of pirates" and was not a title. During the reign of Richard II, the French king's chancery began to call the Norman ruler "Duke of the Normans" (dux Normannorum) for the first time. [1] As late as the reign of Duke William II (1035–87), the ruler of Normandy could style himself "prince and duke, count of Normandy" as if unsure what his title should be. [2] The literal Latin equivalent of "Duke of Normandy", dux Normanniae, was in use by 1066, [5] but it did not supplant dux Normannorum until the Angevin period (1144–1204), at a time when Norman identity was fading. [6]

Richard I experimented with the title "marquis" (marchio) as early as 966, when it was also used in a diploma of King Lothair. [7] Richard II occasionally used it, but he seems to have preferred the title duke. It is his preference for the ducal title in his own charters that has led historians to believe that it was the chosen title of the Norman rulers. Certainly it was not granted to them by the French king. In the twelfth century, the Abbey of Fécamp spread the legend that it had been granted to Richard II by Pope Benedict VIII (ruled 1012–24). The French chancery did not regularly employ it until after 1204, when the duchy had been seized by the crown and Normandy lost its autonomy and its native rulers. [2]

The actual reason for the adoption of a higher title than that of count was that the rulers of Normandy began to grant the comital title to members of their own family. The creation of Norman counts subject to the ruler of Normandy necessitated the latter taking a higher title. The same process was at work in other principalities of France in the eleventh century, as the comital title came into wider use and thus depreciated. The Normans nevertheless kept the title of count for the ducal family and no non-family member was granted a county until Helias of Saint-Saens was made Count of Arques by Henry I in 1106. [2]

From 1066, when William II conquered England, becoming King William I, the title Duke of Normandy was often held by the King of England. In 1087, William died and the title passed to his eldest son, Robert Curthose, while his second surviving son, William Rufus, inherited England. In 1096, Robert mortgaged Normandy to William, who was succeeded by another brother, Henry I, in 1100. In 1106, Henry conquered Normandy. It remained with the King of England down to 1144, when, during the civil war known as the Anarchy, it was conquered by Geoffrey Plantagenet, the Count of Anjou. Geoffrey's son, Henry II, inherited Normandy (1150) and then England (1154), reuniting the two titles. In 1202, King Philip II of France, as feudal suzerain, declared Normandy forfeit and by 1204 his armies had conquered it. Henry III finally renounced the English claim in the Treaty of Paris (1259).

Thereafter, the duchy formed an integral part of the French royal demesne. The kings of the House of Valois started a tradition of granting the title to their heirs apparent. The title was granted four times (1332, 1350, 1465, 1785) between the French conquest of Normandy and the dissolution of the French monarchy in 1792. The French Revolution brought an end to the Duchy of Normandy as a political entity, by then a province of France, and it was replaced by several départements .

Counts and Dukes of Normandy

Kings of England indicated by an asterisk (*)

Counts (911–996)

Dukes (996–1204)

House of Plantagenet

French province (1204–1792)

In 1204, the King of France confiscated the Duchy of Normandy (with only the Channel Islands remaining under English control) and subsumed it into the crown lands of France. Thereafter, the ducal title was held by several French princes.

In 1332, King Philip VI gave the Duchy in appanage to his son John, who became king John II of France in 1350. He in turn gave the Duchy in appanage to his son Charles, who became king Charles V of France in 1364. In 1465, Louis XI, under constraint, gave the Duchy to his brother Charles de Valois, Duke of Berry. Charles was unable to hold the Duchy and in 1466 it was again subsumed into the crown lands and remained a permanent part of them. The title was conferred on a few junior members of the French royal family before the abolition of the French monarchy in 1792.

Title today

"La Reine, Notre Duc": title of a Diamond Jubilee exhibition at the Jersey Arts Centre La Reine Notre Duc 2012.jpg
"La Reine, Notre Duc": title of a Diamond Jubilee exhibition at the Jersey Arts Centre

In the Channel Islands, the British monarch is known as the "Duke of Normandy", notwithstanding the fact that the current monarch, Queen Elizabeth II, is a woman. The Channel Islands are the last remaining part of the former Duchy of Normandy to remain under the rule of the British monarch. Although the English monarchy relinquished claims to continental Normandy and other French claims in 1259 (in the Treaty of Paris), the Channel Islands (except for Chausey under French sovereignty) remain Crown dependencies of the British throne. The British historian Ben Pimlott noted that while Queen Elizabeth II was on a visit to mainland Normandy in May 1967, French locals began to doff their hats and shout "Vive la Duchesse!", to which the Queen supposedly replied "Well, I am The Duke of Normandy!". [9] Both Channel Islands legislatures refer to Elizabeth II in writing as "The Queen in the right of Jersey" or "The Queen in the right of Guernsey" respectively.[ citation needed ] However, the Queen is referred to as "The Duke of Normandy", the title used by the islanders, especially during their loyal toast, where they say, "The Duke of Normandy, our Queen", or "The Queen, our Duke" or, in French "La Reine, notre Duc", rather than simply "The Queen", as is the practice in the United Kingdom. [10] [11]

Statue

A statue of the first seven dukes was erected in Falaise in Normandy in the 19th century. [12] It depicts William the Conqueror, the Duke of Normandy and later King of England, on a horse, and is surrounded by statues of his six predecessors.

Related Research Articles

William I, usually known as William the Conqueror and sometimes William the Bastard, was the first Norman monarch of England, reigning from 1066 until his death in 1087. He was a descendant of Rollo and was Duke of Normandy from 1035 onward. By 1060, following a long struggle to establish his throne, his hold on Normandy was secure. In 1066, following the death of Edward the Confessor, William invaded England, leading an army of Normans to victory over the Anglo-Saxon forces of Harold Godwinson at the Battle of Hastings, and suppressed subsequent English revolts in what has become known as the Norman Conquest. The rest of his life was marked by struggles to consolidate his hold over England and his continental lands, and by difficulties with his eldest son, Robert Curthose.

Rollo 9th and 10th-century Viking and later count of Normandy

Rollo was a Viking who became the first ruler of Normandy, a region in northern France. He emerged as the outstanding warrior among the Norsemen who had secured a permanent foothold on Frankish soil in the valley of the lower Seine. After the Siege of Chartres in 911, Charles the Simple, the king of West Francia, gifted them lands between the mouth of the Seine and what is now Rouen in exchange for Rollo agreeing to end his brigandage, swearing allegiance to him, religious conversion and a pledge to defend the Seine's estuary from Viking raiders.

Duke is a male title either of a monarch ruling over a duchy, or of a member of royalty, or nobility. As rulers, dukes are ranked below emperors, kings, and grand dukes. As royalty or nobility, they are ranked below princes of nobility and grand dukes. The title comes from French duc, itself from the Latin dux, 'leader', a term used in republican Rome to refer to a military commander without an official rank, and later coming to mean the leading military commander of a province. In most countries, the word duchess is the female equivalent.

Robert Curthose 11th and 12th-century Duke of Normandy, crusader, and claimant to the English throne

Robert Curthose or Robert II of Normandy was the eldest son of William the Conqueror and succeeded his father as Duke of Normandy in 1087, reigning until 1106. Robert was also an unsuccessful claimant to the throne of the Kingdom of England. The epithet "Curthose" had its origins in the Norman French word courtheuse 'short stockings' and was apparently derived from a nickname given to Robert by his father; the chroniclers William of Malmesbury and Orderic Vitalis reported that William the Conqueror had derisively called Robert brevis-ocrea.

Robert I, Duke of Normandy 11th-century Duke of Normandy

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Duchy of Brittany Medieval duchy in northwestern France

The Duchy of Brittany was a medieval feudal state that existed between approximately 939 and 1547. Its territory covered the northwestern peninsula of Europe, bordered by the Atlantic Ocean on the west, the English Channel to the north. It was less definitively bordered by the Loire River to the south, and Normandy and other French provinces to the east. The Duchy was established after the expulsion of Viking armies from the region around 939. The Duchy, in the 10th and 11th centuries, was politically unstable, with the dukes holding only limited power outside their own personal lands. The Duchy had mixed relationships with the neighbouring Duchy of Normandy, sometimes allying itself with Normandy, and at other times, such as the Breton-Norman War, entering into open conflict.

Maine (province) Place in France

Maine is one of the traditional provinces of France. It corresponds to the former County of Maine, whose capital was also the city of Le Mans. The area, now divided into the departments of Sarthe and Mayenne, counts about 857,000 inhabitants.

Duchy of Normandy Medieval duchy in northern France

The Duchy of Normandy grew out of the 911 Treaty of Saint-Clair-sur-Epte between King Charles III of West Francia and the Viking leader Rollo. The duchy was named for its inhabitants, the Normans.

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Richard I, also known as Richard the Fearless, was the count of Rouen from 942 to 996. Dudo of Saint-Quentin, whom Richard commissioned to write the "De moribus et actis primorum Normanniae ducum", called him a dux. However, this use of the word may have been in the context of Richard's renowned leadership in war, and not as a reference to a title of nobility. Richard either introduced feudalism into Normandy or he greatly expanded it. By the end of his reign, the most important Norman landholders held their lands in feudal tenure.

House of Normandy historical European noble family

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Guy I, Count of Ponthieu

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William of Talou

William of Talou, Count of Talou (Arques) was a powerful member of the Norman ducal family who exerted his influence during the early reign of William the Conqueror Duke of Normandy.

Robert II (archbishop of Rouen) Archbishop of Rouen

Robert II or Robert the Dane, Archbishop of Rouen, and Count of Évreux was a powerful and influential prelate, and a family member of and supporter of five dukes of Normandy.

William Longsword was the second ruler of Normandy, from 927 until his assassination in 942.

History of Normandy

Normandy was a province in the North-West of France under the Ancien Régime which lasted until the latter part of the 18th century. Initially populated by Celtic tribes in the West and Belgic tribes in the North East, it was conquered in AD 98 by the Romans and integrated into the province of Gallia Lugdunensis by Augustus. In the 4th century, Gratian divided the province into the civitates that constitute the historical borders. After the fall of Rome in the 5th century, the Franks became the dominant ethnic group in the area, built several monasteries, and replaced the barbarism of the region with the civilization of the Carolingian Empire. Towards the end of the 8th century, Viking raids devastated the region, prompting the establishment of the Duchy of Normandy in 911. After 150 years of expansion, the borders of Normandy reached relative stability. These old borders roughly correspond to the present borders of Lower Normandy, Upper Normandy and the Channel Islands. Mainland Normandy was integrated into the Kingdom of France in 1204. The region was badly damaged during the Hundred Years War and the Wars of Religion, the Normans having more converts to Protestantism than other peoples of France. In the 20th century, D-Day, the 1944 Allied invasion of Western Europe, started in Normandy. In 1956, mainland Normandy was separated into two regions, Lower Normandy and Upper Normandy, which were reunified in 2016.

Fécamp Abbey

The Abbey of the Holy Trinity at Fécamp, commonly known as Fécamp Abbey, is a Benedictine abbey in Fécamp, Seine-Maritime, Upper Normandy, France.

Normans European ethnic group emerging in the 10th and 11th century in France

The Normans were inhabitants of the early medieval Duchy of Normandy. They were descendents of Norse Viking settlers and the native Franks and Gallo-Romans of West Francia. The term is also used to denote emigrants from the duchy who conquered other territories such as England and Sicily. The Norse settlements in West Francia followed a series of raids on the French northern coast mainly from Denmark, although some also sailed from Norway and Sweden. Said settlements were finally legitimized when Rollo, a Danish viking leader, agreed to swear fealty to King Charles III of West Francia following the siege of Chartres in 911 AD. The intermingling between the Norse settlers and the indigenous Franks and Gallo-Romans in Normandy produced an ethnic and cultural "Norman" identity in the first half of the 10th century, an identity which continued to evolve over the centuries.

County of Apulia and Calabria Norman state in southern Italy and Sicily from 1043 to 1130

The County of Apulia and Calabria, later the Duchy of Apulia and Calabria, was a Norman state founded by William of Hauteville in 1042 in the territories of Gargano, Capitanata, Apulia, Vulture, and most of Campania. It became a duchy when Robert Guiscard was raised to the rank of duke by Pope Nicholas II in 1059.

References

  1. 1 2 Marjorie Chibnall, The Normans (Blackwell, 2006), pp. 15–16.
  2. 1 2 3 4 David Crouch, The Image of Aristocracy in Britain, 1000–1300 (Taylor and Francis, 1992), pp. 40–41.
  3. David C. Douglas, "The Earliest Norman Counts", The English Historical Review, 61, 240 (1946): 129–56.
  4. Elizabeth van Houts (ed.), The Normans in Europe (Manchester University Press, 2000), p. 41, n. 58.
  5. George Beech, "The Participation of Aquitanians in the Conquest of England 1066–1100", in R. Allen Brown, ed., Anglo-Norman Studies IX: Proceedings of the Battle Conference, 1986 (Boydell Press, 1987), p. 16.
  6. Nick Webber, The Evolution of Norman Identity, 911–1154 (Boydell Press, 2005), p. 178.
  7. David Crouch, The Normans: The History of a Dynasty (Hambledon Continuum, 2002), p. 19.
  8. Weir, Alison (1996). 258. Britain's Royal Families: The Complete Genealogy. Revised Edition. Random House, London. ISBN   0-7126-7448-9.
  9. The Queen: Elizabeth II and the Monarchy , p. 314, at Google Books
  10. "The Loyal Toast". Debrett's . 2016. Archived from the original on 7 March 2016. Retrieved 25 January 2016.
  11. The Channel Islands , p. 11, at Google Books
  12. Base Mérimée : Statue de Guillaume le Conquérant , Ministère français de la Culture. (in French)

Further reading