Geoffrey Of Brittany - Encyclopedia




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GEOFFREY (1158-1186), duke of Brittany, fourth son of the English king Henry II. and his wife Eleanor of Aquitaine, was born on the 23rd of September 1158. In 1167 Henry suggested a marriage between Geoffrey and Constance (d. 1201), daughter and heiress of Conan IV., duke of Brittany (d. 1171); and Conan not only assented, perhaps under compulsion, to this proposal, but surrendered the greater part of his unruly duchy to the English king. Having received the homage of the Breton nobles, Geoffrey joined his brothers, Henry and Richard, who, in alliance with Louis VII. of France, were in revolt against their father; but he made his peace in 1174, afterwards helping to restore order in Brittany and Normandy, and aiding the new French king, Philip Augustus, to crush some rebellious vassals. In July 1181 his marriage with Constance was celebrated, and practically the whole of his subsequent life was spent in warfare with his brother Richard. In 1183 he made peace with his father, who had come to Richard's assistance; but a fresh struggle soon broke out for the possession of Anjou, and Geoffrey was in Paris treating for aid with Philip Augustus, when he died on the 19th of August 1186. He left a daughter, Eleanor, and his wife bore a posthumous son, the unfortunate Arthur.

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