Anjou

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njou was an area that is now in western France, the city of Angers marking its centre. The origins of the house of Anjou start with Ingelgar, a fierce warrior who took control of the region of the Loire Valley. His son, Fulk the Red, became the first count of Anjou. The second count was Fulk the Good (941-960) and under his leadership the region prospered. Fulk the Good had several children and was succeeded by his son Geoffrey who was a legendary soldier.

A legend surrounds Geoffrey depicting him as a great knight and warrior. The legend concerns an invasion by the Danes who had been attacking lands of France for some time. Amongst them was a fierce warrior called Ethelulf. No one could kill the huge Dane and he challenged all to try. When Geoffrey heard of this he secretly travelled to Paris where the Danes were approaching. Geoffrey confronted Ethelulf and killed the giant. He cut off the head of Ethelulf and gave it to a servant to take to Paris. No one knew who had killed the Dane and it was only later at a reception at Paris that Geoffrey was recognised by the servant who had been given the head. Because he was wearing a grey cloak, Geoffrey was given the nickname Graygown or Greymantle. Geoffrey was succeeded by his son Fulk, the Black. Fulk Nerra, the Black, became count of Anjou as a teenager in 987 after the death of his father. Fulk was both a fanatical pilgrim and a tyrant. On the one hand he travelled to the holy land three or four times in his life and had built the abbey of Beaulieu-les-Loches, but on the other hand he had his wife burnt at the stake for adultery. Fulk was a fierce warrior both defending his lands and attacking those that opposed him.

Geoffrey Martel was the son of Fulk Nerra, count of Anjou. Geoffrey became count of Anjou in 1040 when his father died. Martel was a fierce warrior brushing aside all that stood before him. In 1044 the county of Touraine was overrun by Geoffrey when his army captured Tours, its capital town. When he died in 1060 Geoffrey had no children so he divided his lands of Anjou and Touraines between his nephews Geoffrey the Bearded and Fulk Rechin. Fulk received Touraine and Geoffrey received Anjou. Geoffrey Martel died in great pain from an illness.

The brothers Geoffrey the Bearded and Fulk rechin began to fight amongst themselves and in 1066 Fulk captured Geoffrey and imprisoned him. Fulk became count of Anjou from 1068.

In the early twelfth century the count of Anjou, Fulk V, had several children that married into the family of William the Conqueror. Fulk's son Geoffrey married Matilda the daughter of Henry I. Their son Henry became Henry II Plantagenet, the king of England from 1154 to 1189. The area of Anjou stayed in the Plantagenet family until it was lost by Henry's son King John in 1205.

 
YearMonthEvent
942   Death of Fulk the Red
 Fulk I, count of Anjou, also known as Fulk the Red, died. He was succeeded by his son, also called Fulk. 
1044   Geoffrey Martel takes Tours and Touraine
 Geoffrey Martel, count of Anjou, captured the town Tours and took control of the county of Touraine.[1] 
1066   Fulk Rechin defeats Geoffrey the Bearded
 Fulk Rechin was at war with his brother Geoffrey. They were fighting over the lands of Anjou and Touraine which had been left to them by their uncle Geoffrey Martel, the count of Anjou. Fulk captured Geoffrey the Bearded and captured Anjou later taking the title of count.[1] 
1119   William Adelin marries Matilda
 Fulk V of Anjou married his daughter Matilda to William Adelin, heir to the English crown. Wanting to go on Crusade, Fulk needed to ensure security and a marriage between his family and the English crown could help. 
1128 Apr  Hugh de Payen visits Fulk of Anjou
 Hugh de Payen travelled around France starting with a visit to Fulk of Anjou who had become an associate member of the Knights Templar order in 1120. Support and donations across Europe for the Templars increased. The visits lasted during April and May.[2] 
 May 22  Matilda marries Geoffrey Plantagenet
 Henry I arranged a marriage between his daughter Matilda and the son of Fulk V of Anjou, Geoffrey Plantagenet. He had previously arranged a marriage between his son William Adelin to Fulk's daughter also called Matilda, but William had died when the 'White Ship' sank returning the Prince from Normandy. Geoffrey and Matilda were married in St. Julien's Cathedral in Le Mans, Maine (France). 
1129   Fulk V marries Melisende
 Fulk V married Melisende, the heir to the Kingdom of Jerusalem. Fulk gave up his title of Count of Anjou which passed to his son Geoffrey Plantagenet. 
1152 May  Henry marries Eleanor
 Only two months after Eleanor of Aquitaine's marriage to Louis VII, king of France was annulled, she married Henry of Anjou - future king of England - Henry II.[3] 
1153 Nov 6  Treaty of Wallingford
 Henry had besieged a fort that Stephen had built at Crowmarsh on the banks of the Thames opposite Wallingford Castle. An agreement of succession of Henry II after Stephen was concluded and witnessed by the English Knights Templars. King Stephen accepted Henry of Normandy, Anjou and Aquitaine as heir to the throne and in turn Henry recognised Stephen as king. Stephen made his barons do homage to Henry (Jan.1154).[4] 
1156   Henry captures Anjou
 Anjou was captured by Henry II in this year. It was regained by the French in 1205 from king John. 
1202 Apr 28  John fails to attend a summons to Philippe's court
 Failing to attend the court of Philippe II, John was declared to be a rebel and to have forfeited the areas of Aquitaine, Poitou and Anjou. Philippe tried to mediate in the problems between John and the Lusignans but was ignored by John. The lands were given to Arthur of Brittany. Philippe kept Normandy for himself.[5] 
 Aug 1  Battle of Mirabeau
 Arthur of Brittany and the Lusignans had laid siege to Mirabeau Castle trapping Eleanor of Aquitaine inside. King John launched a rescue mission to free her. Arthur was captured by William de Braose and was handed over to King John. Many other important knights were also captured and it was an important and famous victory for the English king. Those that were captured were treated badly by King John. He could have ransomed them for their freedom and made a lot of money, instead he kept them prisoner locked in dungeons. Some he had shipped to England and imprisoned. Arthur was sent to the dungeon in the castle at Falaise in Normandy. 
1259 Dec 4  Treaty of Paris
 Also known as the treaty of Albeville/Abbeville. A treaty between Louis IX of France and Henry III in which Henry agreed to the loss of Normandy, Maine, Anjou and Poitou. These areas had been lost under the reign of King John. Henry was able to keep the lands of Gascony and parts of Aquitaine. This won Henry the support of Louis IX of France against the rebellious Barons back in England. 
1470 Jul 22  Warwick and the Lancastrians
 Louis XI, the French King devised a plan to remove Edward IV from the English throne. Louis persuaded the Earl of Warwick (a Yorkist) and Margaret of Anjou the exiled wife of Henry VI (a Lancastrian) to combine forces and attempt to over through Edward. Warwick and Margaret met on 22 July at Anger Cathedral to put their differences aside and to agree on a course of action.