Geoffrey Plantagenet - Encyclopedia




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'GEOFFREY, surnamed Plantagenet [or ] (1113-1151), count of Anjou, was the son of Count Fulk the Young and of Eremburge (or Arembourg of La Fleche; he was born on the 24th of August 1113. He is also called "le bel" or "the handsome," and received the surname of Plantagenet from the habit which he is said to have had of wearing in his cap a sprig of broom (genet). In 1127 he was made a knight, and on the 2nd of June 1129 married Matilda, daughter of Henry I. of England, and widow of the emperor Henry V. Some months afterwards he succeeded to his father, who gave up the countship when he definitively went to the kingdom of Jerusalem. The years of his government were spent in subduing the Angevin barons and in conquering Normandy '(see ANJou). In 1151, while returning from the siege of Montreuil-Bellay, he took cold, in consequence of bathing in the Loir at Chateau-du-Loir, and died on the 7th of September. He was buried in the cathedral of Le Mans. By his wife Matilda he had three sons: Henry Plantagenet, born at Le Mans on Sunday, the 5th of March 1133; Geoffrey, born at Argentan on the 1st of June 1134; and William Long-Sword, born on the 22nd of July 1136.

See Kate Norgate, England under the Angevin Kings (2 vols., London, 1887), vol. i. chs. v.-viii.; Celestin Port, Dictionnaire historique, geographique et beographique de Maine-et-Loire (3 vols., Paris-Angers, 1874-1878), vol. ii. pp. 254-256. A history of Geoffrey le Bel has yet to be written; there is a biography of him written in the 12th century by Jean, a monk of Marmoutier, Historia Gaufredi, ducis Normannorum et comitis Andegavorum, published by Marchegay et Salmon; "Chroniques des comtes d'Anjou" (Societe de l'histoire de France, Paris, 1856), pp. 229-310. (L. H.*)

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