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Angevin (IPA: [ˈæn.dʒə.vɪn]) is the name applied to the residents of Anjou, a former province of the Kingdom of France, as well as to the residents of Angers. It is also applied to three distinct medieval dynasties which originated as counts (from 1360, dukes) of the western French province of Anjou (of which angevin is the adjectival form), but later came to rule far greater areas including England, Ireland, Hungary, Poland, Naples and Sicily, and Jerusalem (see Angevin Empire). The first of these Angevin dynasties ruled England in some form or another from the reign of Henry II, beginning in 1154, until the House of Tudor came to power when Richard III fell at the Battle of Bosworth Field in 1485.


[edit] Plantagenet

The original House of Anjou was the dynasty established by the viscounts and counts of Angers at the beginning of the 10th century. It became extinct in the male line in 1060, but was inherited through a daughter by the House of Gâtinais, which came to rule both Anjou and Maine by the early 12th century. This became the first royal Angevin dynasty, known from the 12th century as the Plantagenet dynasty in England, came (with its Lancastrian and Yorkist branches) to rule Jerusalem (1131–1205), England (11541485), Normandy (11441204 and 14151450), and Gascony and Guyenne (11531453), but lost Anjou itself to the French crown in 1206.

The name "Plantagenet" is derived from the broom flower (planta genesta). It originated with Geoffrey of Anjou, father of King Henry II of England, because he adopted the flower as his emblem, often wearing a sprig of it.

The surname "Plantagenet" has been retrospectively applied to the descendants of Geoffrey of Anjou as they had used no surname. The first descendant of Geoffrey to use the surname was Richard Plantagenet, Duke of York, father of both Edward IV and Richard III, who apparently assumed it about 1448. That said, it has been traditional when referring to the Plantagenets to call all descendants of Geoffrey by this surname.1

The family became extinct in the legitimate male line with the execution of Edward, Earl of Warwick, the nephew of Edward IV and Richard III, in 1499. The last female Plantagenet was his sister, Margaret Pole, 8th Countess of Salisbury, who was executed by Henry VIII in 1541.

A notable illegitimate line of the family were the Beauforts, descendants of John of Gaunt by his mistress, who held the title of Duke of Somerset and were one of the prominent Lancastrian families in the Wars of the Roses. Although the Beauforts became extinct in the male line in 1471, it was through them, on his mother's side, that Henry Tudor claimed the English throne. In Colonial America, the wife of Leonard Calvert, Anne Brent, also descended from this line (Plantagenet - Beaufort - Neville - Willoughby - Greville - Reed - Brent).

An illegitimate branch of the Beauforts, descended from an illegitimate son of Henry Beaufort, 3rd Duke of Somerset, survives to the present day, bearing the surname "Somerset" and the title Duke of Beaufort.

[edit] Capet-Anjou (senior)

The second Angevin dynasty, known also as the house of Capet-Anjou, began with Charles, made count (from 1360 the family were dukes) of the western French province of Anjou by his elder brother king Louis IX of France in 1246; they were members of the French ruling house of Capet.

In 1266 Charles was granted the crown of Naples and Sicily by the Pope in return for overthrowing the territories' Hohenstaufen rulers. Charles was driven out of Sicily in 1282, but his successors ruled Naples until 1435. This House of Anjou included the branches of Anjou-Hungary, which ruled Hungary (1308–1385, 1386–1395) and Poland (1370–1399); Anjou-Taranto, which ruled the remnants of the Latin Empire (1313–1374); and Anjou-Durazzo, which ruled Naples (1382–1435) and Hungary (1385–1386). The line became extinct in the male line with the death of King Ladislas of Naples in 1414, and totally extinct with the death of his sister Joan II in 1435.

[edit] Valois-Anjou or Capet-Anjou (junior)

In the 1350s, a junior branch of the Capet-Anjou was originated when King John II of France, of Valois line of Capetians, whose grandmother had been a princess of the senior Angevin line (eldest daughter of King Charles II of Naples), gave the County, and then Duchy of Anjou to his second son, Louis.

Within a couple of decades, Queen Joan I of Naples (of the senior Angevin line) realized that she would remain childless. Although there were extant heirs of the senior branch (for example, the Durazzo cadet line), she decided to adopt Louis as her final heir. Thus, in addition to the struggle of the Angevins with the Aragonese in Southern Italy, the two Angevin lines now began to contest with each other for the possession of the Kingdom of Naples. The Durazzo line was initially successful in securing control of Naples, but the Valois Angevins managed to secure Provence and continued to contest the throne, with Louis II actually in control of the city of Naples from 1389 to 1399. The extinction of the line of Anjou-Durazzo in 1435 temporarily secured Naples for the Valois-Anjou, but they were driven from Naples by Alfonso V of Aragon in 1442. René, the last duke of this line, died in 1480, and Anjou reverted to the French crown. With the death of his nephew the Duke of Maine in 1481 all Angevin possessions (including Provence) reverted to the crown.

The Angevin pretensions to Naples were continued intermittently by the House of Lorraine, which descended from René's eldest daughter, particularly during the Valois-Habsburg War of 1551 to 1559, when François, Duke of Guise, a member of a cadet branch of the family, led an unsuccessful French expedition against Naples.

[edit] References

  • 1The Complete Peerage, 2nd edition, vol. I, p. 183, note (c).

[edit] See also

et:Anjou dünastia es:Casa de Plantagenet fr:Plantagenêt it:Angioini he:בית פלנטג'נט - אנגואין hu:Anjou-ház nl:Plantagenêt ja:プランタジネット朝 no:Angevin pl:Andegawenowie pt:Plantageneta ru:Плантагенеты sr:Анжувинци sv:Angevin uk:Анжуйська династія


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