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List of rulers of Brittany

This is a list of rulers of the Duchy of Brittany. In different epochs the sovereigns of Brittany were kings, princes, and dukes. The Breton ruler was sometimes elected, sometimes attained the position by conquest or intrigue, or by hereditary right. Hereditary dukes were sometimes a female ruler, carrying the title duchesse of Brittany. Its principal cities and regions were ruled by counts who often found themselves in conflict with the Breton ruler, or who became the Breton ruler.

During the declining years of the Roman Empire, the earliest Breton rulers in Gaul were styled "kings" of the small realms of Cornouaille and Domnonia. Some such kings may have had a form of hegemony over all of the Brythonic populations in the Armorican peninsula, and Riothamus is called King of the Britons by the chronicler Jordanes. However, there are no certain rulers of the whole of Brittany, which was divided into the fiefdoms of local counts.

The Duchy of Brittany had its origins in the Battle of Trans-la-Forêt of 939, which established the river Couesnon as the boundary between Brittany and Normandy.[1] In 942, Alan II paid homage to Louis IV of France, however the duchy did not gain royal attention until 1123, when Louis VI of France confirmed the bishop of Nantes.[2] No other Duke of Brittany repeated Alan II's homage until Arthur I recognised Philip II of France as his liege in 1202.[3]

The area was often called a Duchy, and its rulers were considered independent Sovereign Dukes. However one historical view is that before the middle of the 12th century the Dukes of Brittany were often also called Counts by the Kings of France, as the kingdom of France then saw Brittany as no more than a county.[citation needed] In 1297, the peninsula was elevated into a Duchy in the peerage of France.[4] This view is not consistent with the manner in which Charles VIII of France and then Louis XII of France approached the Duchy and the rights of Anne of Brittany who married each in succession.

Early Breton rulers [ edit ]

Dukes of Brittany [ edit ]

Dukes under the Carolingians [ edit ]

  • Nominoe (or Nevenoe) (r.841–851), as a missus dominicus of the Emperor Louis the Pious,[5] a count of Vannes (Gwened) and arguably a duke (dux) of Brittany
  • Erispoe (r.851–857), as a duke, then as a king
  • Salomon (or Salaun) (r.857–874), as a duke, then a king
  • Pasquitan (or Paskweten) (r.874–877), ruling Brittany (southern part) with Gurvand
  • Gurvand (r.874–877), ruling Brittany (northern part) with Pasquitan
  • Judicael (r.877–888), successor of Gurvand, ruled Brittany (north) with Alan the Great (south)
  • Alan the Great (reigned from 877 to 888 with Judicaël, alone as a duke, then as a king up to 907)
  • Gourmaëlon, Count of Cornouaille (reigned from 907 as a guardian of the kingdom)

The succession was interrupted by the Viking occupation (907–937)

House of Nantes [ edit ]

Name Portrait Birth Marriages Death
Alan II

the Fox


(Alan al Louarn)

938–952
c. before 919

son of Mathuedoi, Count of Poher, and a daughter of Alan I
(1) Roscille of Anjou

943

(2) ? of Blois

bef. 949/51

one son
c. 952

Nantes

aged 33+
Drogo

(Drogon)

952–958
c. 949/52

only son of Alan II
never married c. 958

Angers

aged 5–9
Hoël I

(Hoel Iañ )

958–981
?

illegitimate son of Alan II and Judith
never married c. 981

Guerech

(Guerech Iañ)

981-988
?

illegitimate son of Alan II and Judith, younger brother of Hoël I
married to Aremburga of Ancenis

after 981

one son
c. 988

Alan

(Alan Breizh)

988-990
after 981

son of Guerech and Aremburga of Ancenis
never married c. 990

House of Rennes [ edit ]

Name Portrait Birth Marriages Death
Conan I

(Konan Iañ)

990–992
c. 927

eldest son of Judicael Berengar, Count of Rennes and Gerberga
Ermengarde-Gerberga of Anjou

973

five children
27 June 992

Conquereuil

aged 64–65
Geoffrey I

(Jafrez Iañ )

992–1008
c. 980

eldest son of Conan I and Ermengarde-Gerberga of Anjou
Hawise of Normandy

996

four children
20 November 1008

aged 27–28
Alan III

(Alan III)

1008–1040

with Odo I (1008–1034)
Alan III of Brittany (icon).jpg c. 997

eldest son of Geoffrey I and Hawise of Normandy
Bertha of Blois

1018

two children
1 October 1040

Montgommery

aged 42–43
Odo I

(Eozen I)

1008–1034

with Alan III
Eudes.jpg c. 999

second son of Geoffrey I and Hawise of Normandy
Orguen of Cornouaille

six children
c. 1079

Cesson

aged 79–80
Conan II

(Konan II)

1040–1066

with Odo I as regent (1040–1057)
c. 1033

only son of Alan III and Bertha of Blois
never married 11 December 1066

Château-Gontier

aged 32–33
Hawise

(Hawiz)

1066–1072

with Hoël II
c. 1037

only daughter of Alan III and Bertha of Blois
1066

seven children
19 August 1072

aged 34–35
Hoël II

(Hoël II)

1066–1072

with Hawise
c. 1031

eldest son of Alain Canhiart, Count of Cornouaille and Judith of Nantes, descendant of Alan II
13 April 1084

aged 52–53

House of Cornouaille [ edit ]

Name Portrait Birth Marriages Death
Alan IV

the Younger


(Alan IV Fergant )

1072–1112

with Hoël II as regent

(1072–1084)
Sceau Alain Fregent.jpg bef. 1060

eldest son of Hoël II and Hawise
(1) Constance of Normandy

1086/88

no issue

(2) Ermengarde of Anjou

1093

three children
13 October 1119

Redon Abbey

aged 60s
Conan III

the Fat


(Konan III)

1112–1148
Bannière Maison Cornouaille.svg c. 1093-1096

eldest son of Alan IV and Ermengarde of Anjou
Maud FitzRoy

1112

three children
17 September 1148

aged 54–58
Bertha

(Berta)

1148–1156

with Odo II
Bannière Maison Cornouaille.svg c. 1114

eldest daughter of Conan III and Maud FitzRoy
(1) Alan, 1st Earl of Richmond

1137/8

three children

(2) Odo II

1148

three children
c. 1156

aged 41–43
Odo II

(Eozen II)

1148–1156

with Bertha
Bannière Eudes de Porhoët.svg ?

eldest son of Geoffrey, Viscount of Porhoet and Hawise
(1) Bertha

1148

three children

(2) Joan-Eleanor of Léon

August 1167

two or three children
c. 1170

House of Penthièvre [ edit ]

Name Portrait Birth Marriages Death
Conan IV the Black

(Konan IV)

1156–1166
Conan IV de Bretagne.jpg c. 1138

only son of Alan of Penthièvre, 1st Earl of Richmond and Bertha
Margaret of Huntingdon

1160

one daughter
20 February 1171

aged 33
Constance

(Konstanza)

1166–1201

with Geoffrey II

(1181–1186)

with Ranulf

(1188–1199)

with Guy

(1199-1201)
Bannière Maison Penthièvre.svg 12 June 1161

daughter of Conan IV and Margaret of Huntingdon
(1) Geoffrey II

July 1181

three children

(2) Ranulf

3 February 1188

no issue

(3) Guy of Thouars

October 1199

two or three daughters
5 September 1201

Nantes

aged 40
Geoffrey II

(Jafrez II)

1181–1186

with Constance
Geoffrey2.jpg 23 September 1158

fourth son of Henry II of England and Eleanor of Aquitaine
Constance

July 1181

three children
19 August 1186

Paris, France

aged 27
Ranulf

(Ranulf)

1188–1199

with Constance[6]
Ranulf de Blondeville.jpg c. 1172

Montgomeryshire, Powys, England

only son of Hugh de Kevelioc, 5th Earl of Chester and Bertrade de Montfort
(1) Constance

3 February 1188

no issue

(2) Clemence of Fougères

bef. 7 October 1200

no issue

28 October 1232

Wallingford, Berkshire, England

aged 59–60
Guy

(Gi)

1199-1201

1203-1213

with Constance

(1199-1201)

with Alix

(1203-1213)
birth date unknown

second son of Aimery IV of Thouars and Aénor of Lusignan
(1) Constance

October 1199

two or three daughters

(2) Eustachie of Chemillé

1203

two sons
13 April 1213

Chemillé, France

House of Plantagenet [ edit ]

Name Portrait Birth Marriages Death
Arthur I

(Arzhur Iañ)

1196–1203

with Constance

(1196-1201)
Artur of Brittany.jpg 29 March 1187

Nantes

only son of Geoffrey II and Constance
never married 3 April 1203

Rouen

aged 16

Eleanor, Fair Maid of Brittany, eldest daughter of Geoffrey and Constance and full elder sister of Arthur, also unmarried, was prevented from succession for her imprisonment in England which lasted till her death in 1241, thus was only a titular duchess until 1214 when King John of England ceased to support her claim.

House of Thouars [ edit ]

Name Portrait Birth Marriages Death
Alix

(Alis)

1203-1221

with Guy as regent

(1203-1213)

with Peter I

(1213–1221)
AlixBretagne.jpg 1200

eldest daughter of Guy and Constance
Peter I

1213

three children
21 October 1221

aged 21
Peter I

Mauclerc


(Pêr Iañ)

1213–1221

with Alix
Peter I of Brittany.jpg c. 1190

second son of Robert II of Dreux and Yolanda de Coucy
(1) Alix

1213

three children

(2) Nicole

c. 1230

one son

(3) Marguerite de Commequiers

bef. January 1236

no issue
6 July 1250

sea off Damietta

aged 59–60

House of Dreux [ edit ]

Name Portrait Birth Marriages Death
John I

the Red


(Yann Iañ ar Ruz)

1221-1286

with Peter I as regent

(1221–1237)
Jean Ier le Roux.png c. 1217/18

eldest son of Peter I and Alix
Blanche of Navarre

Château-Thierry, Aisne

16 January 1236

eight children
8 October 1286

Château de l'Isle, Férel, Morbihan

aged 67–69
John II

(Yann II)

1286–1305
Jean II de Bretagne (détail).png 3/4 January 1239

eldest son of John I and Blanche of Navarre
Beatrice of England

Westminster Abbey, London

25 December 1260

eight children
16 November 1305

Lyon

aged 66
Arthur II

(Arzhur II)

1305–1312
Artur Bretan.jpg 2 July 1262

eldest son of John II and Beatrice of England
(1) Marie of Limoges

Tours

1277

three children

(2) Yolande of Dreux

May 1292

six children
27 August 1312

Château de l'Isle, Férel, Morbihan

aged 50
John III

the Good


(Yann III)

1312–1341
PohrebJana3Bretan.jpg 8 March 1286

Château de Champtoceaux, Maine-et-Loire

eldest son of Arthur II and Marie of Limoges
(1) Isabella of Valois

18 February 1298

no issue

(2) Isabella of Castile and León

Burgos

21 June 1310

no issue

(3) Joan of Savoy

Chartres

21 March 1330

no issue
30 April 1341

Caen

aged 55

Breton War of Succession [ edit ]

Name Portrait Birth Marriages Death
Joan

the Lame


(Janed)

1341-1364

with Charles I
Jeanne de Penthièvre - Louvre L.P. 2665 (Room 12).jpg c. 1319

only daughter of Guy of Brittany, Count of Penthièvre and Joan of Avaugour
Paris

4 June 1337

five children
10 September 1384

Guingamp

aged 61–62
Charles I

(Charlez Iañ)

1341–1364

with Joan
CarlosIdebritania.jpg c. 1319

Blois

second son of Guy I, Count of Blois and Margaret of Valois
29 September 1364

Auray

aged 44–45
John (IV) of Montfort

(Yann IV Moñforzh)

May 1341-1345
Jan z Montfortu.gif c. 1293

only son of Arthur II and Yolande de Dreux
Joanna of Flanders

Chartres

March 1329

two children
26 September 1345

Château d'Hennebon, Hennebont

aged 51–52
John (V) of Montfort

(Yann V Moñforzh)

1345-1364
Jan5Bretan.jpg c. 1339

only son of John of Montfort and Joanna of Flanders
(1) Mary Plantagenet of England

Woodstock Palace, Woodstock, Oxfordshire

summer of 1361

no issue

(2) Joan Holland

London

May 1366

no issue

(3) Joan of Navarre

Saillé-près-Guérande

2 October 1386

nine children
1/2 November 1399

Nantes

aged 59–60

House of Montfort [ edit ]

Name Portrait Birth Marriages Death
John IV

the Conqueror


(Yann IV)

1364-1399

(Previously John V in pretentious succession from his father.)
Jan5Bretan.jpg c. 1339

only son of John of Montfort and Joanna of Flanders
(1) Mary Plantagenet of England

Woodstock Palace, Woodstock, Oxfordshire

summer of 1361

no issue

(2) Joan Holland

London

May 1366

no issue

(3) Joan of Navarre

Saillé-près-Guérande

2 October 1386

nine children
1/2 November 1399

Nantes

aged 59–60
John V

the Wise


(Yann V ar Fur)

1399–1442
Sceau de Jean V - Duc de Bretagne.png 24 December 1389

Château de l'Hermine, Vannes, Morbihan

eldest son of John IV and Joan of Navarre
Joan of France

Hôtel de Saint-Pol, Paris

19 September 1396

seven children
29 August 1442

Manoir de La Touche, Nantes

aged 52
Francis I

the Well-Loved


(Frañsez Iañ)

1442–1450
Franta1.jpg 11 May 1414

Vannes

eldest son of John V and Joan of France
(1) Yolande of Anjou

Amboise

20 August 1431

one son

(2) Isabella of Scotland

Château d'Auray

30 October 1442

two daughter
17 July 1450

Château de l'Hermine, Vannes, Morbihan

aged 36
Peter II

the Simple


(Pêr II)

1450–1457
Pierre II de Bretagne (BNF-NB-C-181416).png 7 July 1418

Nantes

second son of John V and Joan of France
Françoise d'Amboise

c. 1442

no issue
22 September 1457

Nantes

aged 41
Arthur III

the Justicier


(Arzhur III)

1457–1458
Arthur III de Bretagne.png 24 August 1393

Château de Suscinio, Vannes

second son of John IV and Joan of Navarre
(1) Margaret of Burgundy

Dijon

10 October 1423

no issue

(2) Jeanne d'Albret

Nérac

29 August 1442

no issue

(3) Catherine of Saint Pol

2 July 1445

no issue
26 December 1458

Nantes

aged 65
Francis II

(Frañsez II)

1458–1488
François II de Bretagne (BNF-RC-A-86355).png 23 June 1433

Château de Clisson

eldest son of Richard de Dreux, Count of Étampes and Marguerite d'Orléans, Countess of Vertus
(1) Marguerite of Brittany

Château de l'Hermine

16 November 1455

one son

(2) Marguerite of Foix

Château de Clisson

27 June 1474

two daughters
9 September 1488

Couëron

aged 55
Anne

(Anna)

1488–1514
Portrait of Anne of Brittany - Mostaert.jpg 25 January 1477

Château de Nantes

eldest daughter of Francis II and Margaret of Foix
(1) Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor

(by proxy) Rennes Cathedral

19 December 1490

no issue

(2) Charles VIII of France

Château de Langeais

19 December 1491

four children

(3) Louis XII of France

Château de Nantes

8 January 1499

four children
9 January 1514

Château de Blois

aged 36

House of Valois [ edit ]

Name Portrait Birth Marriages Death
Claude

(Klaoda)

1514–1524

with

Francis

(1514–1515)
ClaudeFranceEdit.JPG 14 October 1499

Romorantin-Lanthenay

eldest daughter of Louis XII of France and Anne
Francis I of France

Château de Saint-Germain-en-Laye

18 May 1514

eight children
20 July 1524

Château de Blois

aged 24
Francis

(Frañsez)

1514–1515

with Claude

(1514–1515)
François 1515.jpg 12 September 1494

Château de Cognac

only son of Charles de Valois, Count of Angoulême and Louise of Savoy
(1) Claude

Château de Saint-Germain-en-Laye

18 May 1514

eight children

(2) Eleanor of Austria

Abbaye de Veien

7 August 1530

no issue
31 March 1547

Château de Rambouillet

aged 52
Francis III

(Frañsez III)

1524–1536
François III de Bretagne - Dauphin de France.jpg 28 February 1518

Château d'Amboise

eldest son of Francis I of France and Claude
never married 10 August 1536

Chateau de Tournon

aged 18
Henry

(Herri)

1536–1547
Henry II, king of France.. F Clouet.jpg 31 March 1519

Château de Saint-Germain-en-Laye

second son of Francis I of France and Claude
Catherine de' Medici

Marseille Cathedral

28 October 1533

ten children
10 July 1559

Place des Vosges

aged 40

As courtesy title [ edit ]

Name Portrait Birth Marriages Death
Louis de France

1704–1705
Grand Royal Coat of Arms of France.svg 25 June 1704

Palace of Versailles

eldest son of Louis, Duke of Burgundy and Marie-Adélaïde of Savoy
never married 13 April 1705

Palace of Versailles

died before first birthday
Louis de France

1707–1712
Louis de bourbon (1707-1712).jpg 8 January 1707

Palace of Versailles

second son of Louis, Duke of Burgundy and Marie Adélaïde of Savoy
never married 18 February 1712

Palace of Versailles

aged 5
Francis de Bourbon

1973–1984
Armoiries Alphonse de Boubon, duc de Cadix.svg 22 November 1972

Madrid

eldest son of Alfonso, Duke of Anjou and Cádiz and María del Carmen Martínez-Bordiú y Franco
never married 7 February 1984

Pamplona

aged 11

Family tree [ edit ]

BrittanyDukes.png

References [ edit ]

  1. ^ John Le Patourel, Feudal Empires: Norman and Plantagenet; ed. Michael Jones, (The Hambledon Press, 1984), p. 241.
  2. ^ Michael Jones, The Creation of Brittany, (The Hambledon Press, 1988), 4.
  3. ^ Michael Jones, The Creation of Brittany, 4.
  4. ^ Michael Jones, The Creation of Brittany, 287.
  5. ^ Pierre Riche, The Carolingians:A family who forged Europe, Transl. Michael Idomir Allen, (University of Pennsylvania Press, 1993), 195.
  6. ^ Though Ranulf used, not consistently, the style Duke of Brittany, he never had the control of the duchy, and is not known to have played an important role there.

See also [ edit ]

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