Duke of Brittany

From Academic Kids

The Duke of Brittany (French: Duc de Bretagne) governed Brittany, a region with strong traditions of independence, including a language and culture all its own. However, incorporation into the Carolingian empire ensured that the political and social institutions were simular to those prevaling elsewhere in western Francia. Prior to the 10th century, Brittany was severely affected by Viking attacks and ducal athority was weak. Dynastic disputes caused the political fragmentation of the duchy into counties and authority suffered even further from the pressures of resisting claims by both the dukes of Normandy and the counts of Anjou. This process of fragmentation was halted and reversed from the mid-eleventh century, when intermarriage resulted in the ducal title vesting in one individual, Duke Alain IV.

Alain's long and stable reign included expansion of Breton holdings by King William I of England conferring upon him the honour of Richmond, after the Norman Conquest of England. His son Conan III also saw progress in the revival of central authority through fingers grasping more English territory in Arundel and Scotland's House of Stuart following thereafter. A succession dispute following Conan's death undid the duke's achievements and allowed Henry II of England, to claim overlordship. Between 1158 and 1166, Henry II annexed Brittany to his continental holdings, marrying his younger son, Geoffrey, to Constance, heiress of the duchy. The Angevin Empire in Brittany came to an end in 1203, after King John of England murdered his nephew, Arthur, the son of Geoffrey and Constance.

The marriage of the infant Alice to Capetian cadet Peter of Dreux in 1213, began the new House of Dreux. This allowed Brittany a measure of autonomy again, although continuously giving lip service to Capetian sovereignty. After the Breton War of Succession, Brittany still had links with the English Crown through the Earldom of Richmond, until the Wars of the Roses forced Richmondshire to become partisan with the House of Lancaster under the Tudor dynasty. Richmond became a dukedom in its own right, as the former Breton rulers would not be able to regain the honour that brought King Henry VII of England to the throne. A disoriented and shut out Brittany became royally subsumed into France, during a tapering reign of the Montfort house. The present holder of Richmond owes the honorific title Duke of Aubigny, in descent from Breton Louise de Kérouaille, Duchess of Portsmouth.


Dukes of Brittany

Houses of Vannes and Rennes

House of Nantes

House of Rennes (Brittany united)

House of Cornouaille

House of Anjou

House of Dreux

Breton War of Succession (1341-1364)

House of Montfort

The cadet branch of the House of Dreux

See also

External link

fr:Liste des ducs de Bretagne kw:Dugeth Vreten Vyghan nl:Lijst van hertogen van Bretagne pt:Ducado da Bretanha


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