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 down to 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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History of the title

There is no record of Rollo holding or using any title. His son and grandson, William I and 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. 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 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 Islands owe allegiance to her in her role as their duke. [9] 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!". [10] 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 [11] 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. [12]

Statue

A statue of the first seven dukes was erected in Falaise in the 19th century. [13] 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 predecesors.

Related Research Articles

William I, usually known as William the Conqueror and sometimes William the Bastard, was the first Norman King of England, reigning from 1066 until his death in 1087. He was a descendant of Rollo and was Duke of Normandy from 1035 onward. His hold was secure on Normandy by 1060, following a long struggle to establish his throne, and he launched the Norman conquest of England six years later. 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 was a Viking who became the first ruler of Normandy, a region in northern France. He is sometimes called the first Duke of Normandy. His son and grandson, William Longsword and Richard I, used the titles "count" and "prince", respectively. His great-grandson Richard II was the first to officially use the title of Duke of Normandy..

A duke (male) can either be a monarch ranked below the emperor, king, and grand duke ruling over a duchy or a member of royalty or nobility, historically of highest rank, 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. However, in some countries, the term duke is used even for females, and the word duchess is reserved for those who marry dukes.

Robert Curthose, sometimes called Robert II, succeeded his father William the Conqueror as Duke of Normandy in 1087 and reigned 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 the Magnificent, was the duke of Normandy from 1027 until his death in 1035.

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[mɛːn] 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 Rollo, leader of the Vikings. The duchy was named for its inhabitants, the Normans.

Richard II, called the Good, was the eldest son and heir of Richard I the Fearless and Gunnor. He was a Norman nobleman of the House of Normandy. He was the paternal grandfather of William the Conqueror.

Richard I, also known as Richard the Fearless, was the Count of Rouen or Jarl 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.

Treaty of Saint-Clair-sur-Epte peace treaty

The treaty of Saint-Clair-sur-Epte (911) is the foundational document of the Duchy of Normandy, establishing Rollo, a Norse warlord and Viking leader, as the first Duke of Normandy in exchange for his loyalty to the king of West Francia. The territory of Normandy centered on Rouen, a city in the Marches of Neustria which had been repeatedly raided by Vikings since the 840s, and which had finally been taken by Rollo in 876.

House of Normandy usual designation for the family that were the Dukes of Normandy and Kings of England

The House of Normandy is the usual designation for the family that were the counts of Rouen, dukes of Normandy and kings of England which immediately followed the Norman conquest of England and lasted until the House of Plantagenet came to power in 1154. The house emerged from the union between the Viking Rollo and Poppa of Bayeux, a West Frankish noblewoman. William the Conqueror and his heirs down through 1135 were members of this dynasty.

Guy I, Count of Ponthieu French aristocrat

Guy I of Ponthieu was born sometime in the mid to late 1020s and died 13 October 1100. He succeeded his brother Enguerrand as Count of Ponthieu.

William of Talou Peerage person ID=104804

William of Talou, Count of Talou 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 régions, Lower Normandy and Upper Normandy, and were reunified in 2016.

Fécamp Abbey Benedictine abbey in Normandy, northern France

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 an ethnic group that arose from contact between Norse Viking settlers of a region in France, named Normandy after them, and indigenous Franks and Gallo-Romans. The settlements in France followed a series of raids on the French coast from mainly Denmark, but also Norway, and Iceland, and they gained political legitimacy when the Viking leader Rollo agreed to swear fealty to King Charles III of West Francia. The distinct cultural and ethnic identity of the Normans emerged initially in the first half of the 10th century, and it continued to evolve over the succeeding centuries.

County of Apulia and Calabria Norman country

The County of Apulia and Calabria, later the Duchy of Apulia and Calabria, was a Norman country 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. CharlotteDunn (4 June 2018). "Crown Dependencies". The Royal Family. Retrieved 4 June 2018.
  10. The Queen: Elizabeth II and the Monarchy , p. 314, at Google Books
  11. "The Loyal Toast". Debrett's . 2016. Archived from the original on 7 March 2016. Retrieved 25 January 2016.
  12. The Channel Islands , p. 11, at Google Books
  13. Monuments historiques at culture.gouv.fr (retrieved 12 October 2018). English translation via Google Translate: Historical monuments

Further reading