|Duke of Brittany|
|Reign||July 1181 – 19 August 1186|
|Born||23 September 1158|
|Died||19 August 1186 (aged 27)|
|Spouse||Constance, Duchess of Brittany|
| Eleanor, Fair Maid of Brittany |
Arthur I, Duke of Brittany
|House||Plantagenet / Angevin|
|Father||Henry II, King of England|
|Mother||Eleanor, Duchess of Aquitaine|
Geoffrey II (Breton : Jafrez; Latin : Galfridus, Anglo-Norman : Geoffroy; 23 September 1158 – 19 August 1186) was Duke of Brittany and 3rd Earl of Richmond between 1181 and 1186, through his marriage with the heiress Constance. Geoffrey was the fourth of five sons of Henry II, King of England and Eleanor, Duchess of Aquitaine.
In the 1160s, Henry II began to alter his policy of indirect rule in Brittany and to exert more direct control.Henry had been at war with Conan IV, Duke of Brittany. Local Breton nobles rebelled against Conan, so Conan sought Henry II's help. In 1164, Henry intervened to seize lands along the border of Brittany and Normandy and, in 1166, he invaded Brittany to punish the local barons. Henry then forced Conan to abdicate as duke and to give Brittany to his five-year-old daughter, Constance, who was handed over and betrothed to Henry's son Geoffrey. This arrangement was quite unusual in terms of medieval law, as Conan might have had sons who could have legitimately inherited the duchy. Geoffrey and Constance eventually married, in July 1181.
Growing tensions between Henry and Louis VII of France finally spilled over into open war in 1167, triggered by a trivial argument over how money destined for the Crusader states of the Levant should be collected.Louis allied himself with the Welsh, Scots and Bretons and the French king attacked Normandy. Henry responded by attacking Chaumont-sur-Epte, where Louis kept his main military arsenal, burning the town to the ground and forcing Louis to abandon his allies and make a private truce. Henry was then free to move against the rebel barons in Brittany, where feelings about his seizure of the duchy were still running high.
Geoffrey was fifteen years old when he joined the first revolt against his father. He later reconciled to Henry in 1174 when he participated in the truce at Gisors.Geoffrey prominently figured in the second revolt of 1183, fighting against Richard, on behalf of Henry the Young King.
Geoffrey was a good friend of Louis VII's son Philip, and the two men were frequently in alliance against King Henry. Geoffrey spent much time at Philip's court in Paris, and Philip made him his seneschal. There is evidence to suggest that Geoffrey was planning another rebellion with Philip's help during his final period in Paris in the summer of 1186. As a participant in so many rebellions against his father, Geoffrey acquired a reputation for treachery. Gerald of Wales wrote the following of him: "He has more aloes than honey in him; his tongue is smoother than oil; his sweet and persuasive eloquence has enabled him to dissolve the firmest alliances and by his powers of language able to corrupt two kingdoms; of tireless endeavour, a hypocrite in everything, a deceiver and a dissembler."
Geoffrey also was known to attack monasteries and churches in order to raise funds for his campaigns. This lack of reverence for religion earned him the displeasure of the Church and, as a consequence, of the majority of chroniclers who wrote about his life.
Geoffrey and Constance had three children, one born after Geoffrey's death:
Geoffrey died on 19 August 1186, at the age of 27, in Paris. There is also evidence that supports a death date of 21 August 1186.There are two alternative accounts of his death. The more common first version holds that he was trampled to death in a jousting tournament. At his funeral, a grief-stricken Philip is said to have tried to jump into the coffin. Roger of Hoveden's chronicle is the source of this version; the detail of Philip's hysterical grief is from Gerald of Wales.
In the second version, in the chronicle of the French royal clerk Rigord, Geoffrey died of sudden acute chest pain, which reportedly struck immediately after his speech to Philip, boasting his intention to lay Normandy to waste. Possibly, this version was an invention of its chronicler, sudden illness being God's judgment of an ungrateful son plotting rebellion against his father, and for his irreligiosity. Alternatively, the tournament story may be an invention of Philip's to prevent Henry II's discovery of a plot; inventing a social reason, a tournament, for Geoffrey's being in Paris, Philip obscured their meeting's true purpose.
Marie of Champagne, with whom Geoffrey was on good terms, was present at the requiem for her half-brother and established a mass chantry for the repose of his soul.
Geoffrey was buried in the choir of Notre Dame de Paris Cathedral, ft 6.5 in (1.69 m).but his tombstone was destroyed in the 18th century before the French revolution. His body was exhumed in 1797 and measured at 5
After Geoffrey's death, Henry II arranged for Constance, Geoffrey's widow, to marry Ranulf de Blondeville, 6th Earl of Chester. Ranulf would become Duke of Brittany, jure uxoris, for a short time before this marriage was annulled.
|Ancestors of Geoffrey II, Duke of Brittany|
Louis VII, called the Younger or the Young, was King of the Franks from 1137 to 1180. He was the son and successor of King Louis VI, hence his nickname, and married Duchess Eleanor of Aquitaine, one of the wealthiest and most powerful women in western Europe. The marriage temporarily extended the Capetian lands to the Pyrenees, but was annulled in 1152 after no male heir was produced.
Arthur I was 4th Earl of Richmond and Duke of Brittany between 1196 and 1203. He was the posthumous son of Geoffrey II, Duke of Brittany and Constance, Duchess of Brittany. His father, Geoffrey, was the son of Henry II, King of England.
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.
Constance was Duchess of Brittany from 1166 to her death in 1201 and Countess of Richmond from 1171 to 1201. Constance was the daughter of Duke Conan IV by his wife, Margaret of Huntingdon, a sister of the Scottish kings Malcolm IV and William I.
Alan IV was Duke of Brittany from 1084 until his abdication in 1112. He was also Count of Nantes and Count of Rennes. His parents were Duchess Hawise and Duke Hoel II. He is also known as Alan Fergant. Through his father, he was of the Breton House of Cornouaille dynasty. He was the last Breton-speaking Duke of Brittany.
Conan III, also known as Conan of Cornouaille and Conan the Fat was duke of Brittany, from 1112 to his death. He was the son of Duke Alan IV and Ermengarde of Anjou.
Hoèl of Cornwall was count of Nantes, from 1148 to his death. He was raised the son of Duke Conan III and Maud FitzRoy, an illegitimate daughter of King Henry I of England. However, he was disinherited by his father when on his death-bed, as Conan III claimed that Hoèl was illegitimate and no son of his. Bertha then became heiress to Duke Conan's lands in Brittany, while Hoèl was allowed to remain Count of Nantes. He was accused by St. Bernard of Clairvaux of having an incestuous affair with his sister Bertha.
Odo II, Count of Porhoet was the son of Geoffroy, Viscount de Porhoët, and his wife Hawise. He became Duke of Brittany in 1148 upon his marriage to Bertha, Duchess of Brittany.
Conan IV, called the Young, was the Duke of Brittany from 1156 to 1166. He was the son of Bertha, Duchess of Brittany, and her first husband, Alan, Earl of Richmond. Conan IV was his father's heir as Earl of Richmond and his mother's heir as Duke of Brittany. Conan and his daughter Constance would be the only representatives of the House of Penthièvre to rule Brittany.
The now-extinct title of Earl of Richmond was created many times in the Peerage of England. The earldom of Richmond was initially held by various Breton nobles associated with the Ducal crown of Brittany; sometimes the holder was the Breton Duke himself, including one member of the cadet branch of the French Capetian dynasty. The historical ties between the Ducal crown of Brittany and this English Earldom were maintained ceremonially by the Breton dukes even after England ceased to recognize the Breton Dukes as Earls of England and those dukes rendered homage to the King of France, rather than the English crown. It was then held either by members of the English royal families of Plantagenet and Tudor, or English nobles closely associated with the English crown. It was eventually merged into the English crown during the reign of Henry VII and has been recreated as a Dukedom.
The Angevin Empire describes the possessions of the Angevin kings of England who held lands in England and France during the 12th and 13th centuries. Its rulers were Henry II, Richard I (r. 1189–1199), and John (r. 1199–1216). The Angevin Empire is an early example of a composite state.
The House of Plantagenet was a royal house which originated from the lands of Anjou in France. The name Plantagenet is used by modern historians to identify four distinct royal houses: the Angevins, who were also counts of Anjou; the main body of the Plantagenets following the loss of Anjou; and the Plantagenets' two cadet branches, the houses of Lancaster and York. The family held the English throne from 1154, with the accession of Henry II, until 1485, when Richard III died in battle.
The Counts of Nantes were originally the Frankish rulers of the Nantais under the Carolingians and eventually a capital city of the Duchy of Brittany. Their county served as a march against the Bretons of the Vannetais. Carologinian rulers would sometimes attack Brittany through the region of the Vannetais, making Nantes a strategic asset. In the mid-ninth century, the county finally fell to the Bretons and the title became a subsidiary title of the Breton rulers. The control of the title by the Breton Dukes figured prominently in the history of the Duchy. The title Count of Nantes was given to Hoel, a disinherited son of a Duke. He lost the Countship due to a popular uprising. That uprising presented an opportunity for King Henry II of England to attack the Breton Duke. In the treaty ending their conflicts, the Breton Duke awarded the Countship of Nantes to Henry II.
Guihomar, Guidomar, or Guyomar IV was the Viscount of Léon from 1168 until his death. He was the son and successor of Harvey II. His reign was spent in constant rebellion against his nominal lords in an effort to preserve his historical independence.
Geoffrey VI was Count of Nantes from 1156 to 1158. He was also known as Geoffrey of Anjou and Geoffrey FitzEmpress.
Bertha of Cornouaille, also known as Bertha of Brittany, was hereditary Duchess of Brittany between 1148 until her death and Dowager Countess of Richmond. Bertha was the elder daughter of Conan III of Brittany by Maude, the illegitimate daughter of King Henry I of England. She was the last member of the Breton House of Cornouaille to reign over Brittany.
Margaret of Huntingdon was a Scottish princess and Duchess of Brittany. She was the sister of Scottish kings Malcolm IV and William I, wife of Conan IV, Duke of Brittany, and the mother of Constance, Duchess of Brittany. Her second husband was Humphrey de Bohun, hereditary Constable of England. Following her second marriage, Margaret styled herself as the Countess of Hereford.
Henry II, also known as Henry Curtmantle, Henry FitzEmpress or Henry Plantagenet, was King of England from 1154 to his death. He was the first king of the House of Plantagenet. King Louis VII of France made him Duke of Normandy in 1150. Henry became Count of Anjou and Maine upon the death of his father, Geoffrey of Anjou, in 1151. His marriage in 1152 to Eleanor, Duchess of Aquitaine, whose marriage to Louis VII had recently been annulled, made him Duke of Aquitaine. He became Count of Nantes by treaty in 1185. At various times, Henry also partially controlled Scotland, Wales and the Duchy of Brittany. Before he was 40 he controlled England, large parts of Wales, the eastern half of Ireland and the western half of France—an area that would later come to be called the Angevin Empire.
The Angevins were a royal house of French origin that ruled England in the 12th and early 13th centuries; its monarchs were Henry II, Richard I and John. In the 10 years from 1144, two successive counts of Anjou in France, Geoffrey and his son, the future Henry II, won control of a vast assemblage of lands in western Europe that would last for 80 years and would retrospectively be referred to as the Angevin Empire. As a political entity this was structurally different from the preceding Norman and subsequent Plantagenet realms. Geoffrey became Duke of Normandy in 1144 and died in 1151. In 1152 his heir, Henry, added Aquitaine by virtue of his marriage to Eleanor of Aquitaine. Henry also inherited the claim of his mother, Empress Matilda, the daughter of King Henry I, to the English throne, to which he succeeded in 1154 following the death of King Stephen.
The Capetian–Plantagenet rivalry was a series of conflicts and disputes that covered a period of 100 years (1159-1259), during which the House of Capet, rulers of the Kingdom of France, fought against the House of Plantagenet in order to suppress the growing power of the Plantagenet-controlled Angevin Empire. Some historians refer to that series of events as the "First Hundred Years War".
| Duke of Brittany jure uxoris |
|Peerage of England|
| Earl of Richmond |