1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Fulk Nerra

FULK NERRA (c. 970–1040), count of Anjou, eldest son of Count Geoffrey I., “Grisegonelle” (Grey Tunic) and Adela of Vermandois, was born about 970 and succeeded his father in the countship of Anjou on the 21st of July 987. He was successful in repelling the attacks of the count of Rennes and laying the foundations of the conquest of Touraine (see Anjou). In this connexion he built a great number of strong castles, which has led in modern times to his being called “the great builder.” He also founded several religious houses, among them the abbeys of Beaulieu, near Loches (c. 1007), of Saint-Nicholas at Angers (1020) and of Ronceray at Angers (1028), and, in order to expiate his crimes of violence, made three pilgrimages to the Holy Land (in 1002–1003, c. 1008 and in 1039). On his return from the third of these journeys he died at Metz in Lorraine on the 21st of June 1040. By his first marriage, with Elizabeth, daughter of Bouchard le Vénérable, count of Vendôme, he had a daughter, Adela, who married Boon of Nevers and transmitted to her children the countship of Vendôme. Elizabeth having died in 1000, Fulk married Hildegarde of Lorraine, by whom he had a son, Geoffrey Martel (q.v.), and a daughter Ermengarde, who married Geoffrey, count of Gâtinais, and was the mother of Geoffrey “le Barbu” (the Bearded) and of Fulk “le Réchin” (see Anjou).

See Louis Halphen, Le Comté d’Anjou au XI e siècle (Paris, 1906). The biography of Fulk Nerra by Alexandre de Salies, Histoire de Foulques Nerra (Angers, 1874) is confused and uncritical. A very summary biography is given by Célestin Port, Dictionnaire historique, géographique et biographique de Maine-et-Loire (3 vols., Paris-Angers, 1874–1878), vol. ii. pp. 189-192, and there is also a sketch in Kate Norgate, England under the Angevin Kings (2 vols., London, 1887), vol. i. ch. iii. (L. H.*)