Duke of Normandy

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The Channel Islands were ruled by the Duke of Normandy from about 933AD, when the Norse invaders who had been granted territory in north-western France spread west towards Brittany and became rulers of the Channel Islands.

The title Duke of Normandy was held or claimed by various rulers from the tenth century until the end of the French monarchy.

Rollo the Viking

The fiefdom of Normandy was created in 911 for the Viking leader Rollo.

Rollo and his allies conquered a large region of France and besieged Paris until, in return for paying homage to Charles the Simple, the king of the West Franks, Rollo legally gained the territory he and his Viking allies had previously conquered. The name "Normandy" reflects Rollo's Viking origins.

Rollo and his immediate successors were styled as "counts" of Normandy. Some later sources refer to them by the title dux, a Latin term from which is derived the English word "duke"; however, Rollo's great-grandson Richard II of Normandy was the first to assuredly be styled "Duke of Normandy".

William the Conqueror

William the Conqueror added England to his realm in the Norman Conquest of 1066. After his death his eldest son Robert became Duke of Normandy while his second son, William Rufus, became William II of England. After their death their younger brother Henry assumed both positions.

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In 1204 King John of England lost the bulk of his French territories, including Normandy, but held on to the Channel Islands, and although their link with Normandy was thereby irrevocably severed, islanders continue to refer to the English monarch as their "Duke". The Loyal Toast drunk in Jersey is to Notre reine, le Duc.

List of Dukes of Normandy

  • Rollo 911-927
  • William I 927-942
  • Richard I 942-996
  • Richard II 996-1027
  • Richard III 1027-1028
  • Robert the Magnificent 1028-1035
  • William the Conqueror 1035-1087
  • Robert Curthose 1087-1106
  • Henry I 1106-1135
  • Stephen 1135-1144
  • Geoffrey Plantagenet 1144-1150
  • Henry II 1150-1189
  • Richard I 1189-1199
  • King John 1199-1204

Thereafter, the ducal title was held by several French princes. In 1332 King Philip VI gave the Duchy to his son Jean, who became king as John II of France in 1350. He in turn gave the Duchy to his son Charles, who became king as Charles in 1364. In 1465 Louis XI gave the Duchy to his brother Charles de Valois. When he died in 1466 the Duchy was again subsumed into the crown lands and remained a permament part of it.

References

  • Onslow, Richard (Earl of Onslow). The Dukes of Normandy and Their Origin. London: Hutchinson & Co., 1945.

External links

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