strong army, including in its ranks William, duke of Aquitaine, Geoffrey, count of Vendôme, and William Talvas, count of Ponthieu, but after a few successes was wounded in the foot at the siege of Le Sap (October 1) and had to fall back. In May 1137 began a fresh campaign in which he devastated the district of Hiémois (round Exmes) and burnt Bazoches. In June 1138, with the aid of Robert of Gloucester, Geoffrey obtained the submission of Bayeux and Caen; in October he devastated the neighbourhood of Falaise; finally, in March 1141, on hearing of his wife’s success in England, he again entered Normandy, when he made a triumphal procession through the country. Town after town surrendered: in 1141, Verneuil, Nonancourt, Lisieux, Falaise; in 1142, Mortain, Saint-Hilaire, Pontorson; in 1143, Avranches, Saint-Lô, Cérences, Coutances, Cherbourg; in the beginning of 1144 he entered Rouen, and on the 19th of January received the ducal crown in its cathedral. Finally, in 1149, after crushing a last attempt at revolt, he handed over the duchy to his son Henry “Curtmantel,” who received the investiture at the hands of the king of France.
All the while that Fulk the Young and Geoffrey the Handsome were carrying on the work of extending the countship of Anjou, they did not neglect to strengthen their authority at home, to which the unruliness of the barons was a menace. As regards Fulk the Young we know only a few isolated facts and dates: about 1109 Doué and L’Île Bouchard were taken; in 1112 Brissac was besieged, and about the same time Eschivard of Preuilly subdued; in 1114 there was a general war against the barons who were in revolt, and in 1118 a fresh rising, which was put down after the siege of Montbazon: in 1123 the lord of Doué revolted, and in 1124 Montreuil-Bellay was taken after a siege of nine weeks. Geoffrey the Handsome, with his indefatigable energy, was eminently fitted to suppress the coalitions of his vassals, the most formidable of which was formed in 1129. Among those who revolted were Guy of Laval, Giraud of Montreuil-Bellay, the viscount of Thouars, the lords of Mirebeau, Amboise, Partbenay and Sablé. Geoffrey succeeded in beating them one after another, razed the keep of Thouars and occupied Mirebeau. Another rising was crushed in 1134 by the destruction of Candé and the taking of L’Île Bouchard. In 1136, while the count was in Normandy, Robert of Sablé put himself at the head of the movement, to which Geoffrey responded by destroying Briollay and occupying La Suze, and Robert of Sablé himself was forced to beg humbly for pardon through the intercession of the bishop of Angers. In 1139 Geoffrey took Mirebeau, and in 1142 Champtoceaux, but in 1145 a new revolt broke out, this time under the leadership of Elias, the count’s own brother, who, again with the assistance of Robert of Sablé, laid claim to the countship of Maine. Geoffrey took Elias prisoner, forced Robert of Sablé to beat a retreat, and reduced the other barons to reason. In 1147 he destroyed Doué and Blaison. Finally in 1150 he was checked by the revolt of Giraud, lord of Montreuil-Bellay: for a year he besieged the place till it had to surrender: he then took Giraud prisoner and only released him on the mediation of the king of France.
Thus, on the death of Geoffrey the Handsome (7th of September 1151), his son Henry found himself heir to a great empire, strong and consolidated, to which his marriage with Eleanor of Aquitaine (May 1152) further added Aquitaine.
At length on the death of King Stephen, Henry was recognised as king of England (19th of December 1154). But then his brother Geoffrey, who had received as appanage the three fortresses of Chinon, Loudun and Mirebeau, tried to seize upon Anjou, on the pretext that, by the will of their father, Geoffrey the Handsome, all the paternal inheritance ought to descend to him, if Henry succeeded in obtaining possession of the maternal inheritance. On hearing of this, Henry, although he had sworn to observe this will, had himself released from his oath by the pope, and hurriedly marched against his brother, from whom in the beginning of 1156 he succeeded in taking Chinon and Mirebeau; and in July he forced Geoffrey to give up even his three fortresses in return for an annual pension. Henceforward Henry succeeded in keeping the countship of Anjou all his life; for though he granted it in 1168 to his son Henry “of the Short Mantle,” when the latter became old enough to govern it, he absolutely refused to allow him to enjoy his power. After Henry II.’s death in 1189 the countship, together with the rest of his dominions, passed to his son Richard I. of England, but on the death of the latter in 1199, Arthur of Brittany (born in 1187) laid claim to the inheritance, which ought, according to him, to have fallen to his father Geoffrey, fourth son of Henry II., in accordance with the custom by which “the son of the eldest brother should succeed to his father’s patrimony.” He therefore set himself up in rivalry with John Lackland, youngest son of Henry II., and supported by Philip Augustus of France, and aided by William des Roches, seneschal of Anjou, he managed to enter Angers (18th of April 1199) and there have himself recognized as count of the three countships of Anjou, Maine and Touraine, for which he did homage to the king of France. King John soon regained the upper hand, for Philip Augustus having deserted Arthur by the treaty of Le Goulet (22nd of May 1200), John made his way into Anjou; and on the 18th of June 1200 was recognized as count at Angers. In 1202 he refused to do homage to Philip Augustus, who, in consequence, confiscated all his continental possessions, including Anjou, which was allotted by the king of France to Arthur. The defeat of the latter, who was taken prisoner at Mirebeau on the 1st of August 1202, seemed to ensure John’s success, but he was abandoned by William des Roches, who in 1203 assisted Philip Augustus in subduing the whole of Anjou. A last effort on the part of John to possess himself of it, in 1214, led to the taking of Angers (17th of June), but broke down lamentably at the battle of La Roche-aux-Moines (2nd of July), and the countship was attached to the crown of France.
Shortly afterwards it was separated from it again, when in August 1246 King Louis IX. gave it as an appanage to his son Charles, count of Provence, soon to become king of Naples and Sicily (see Naples). Charles I. of Anjou, engrossed with his other dominions, gave little thought to Anjou, nor did his son Charles II. the Lame, who succeeded him on the 7th of January 1285. On the 16th of August 1290, the latter married his daughter Margaret to Charles of Valois, son of Philip III. the Bold, giving her Anjou and Maine for dowry, in exchange for the kingdoms of Aragon and Valentia and the countship of Barcelona given up by Charles. Charles of Valois at once entered into possession of the countship of Anjou, to which Philip IV. the Fair, in September 1297, attached a peerage of France. On the 16th of December 1325, Charles died, leaving Anjou to his eldest son Philip of Valois, on whose recognition as king of France (Philip VI.) on the 1st of April 1328, the countship of Anjou was again united to the crown. On the 17th of February 1332, Philip VI. bestowed it on his son John the Good, who, when he became king in turn (22nd of August 1350), gave the countship to his second son Louis I., raising it to a duchy in the peerage of France by letters patent of the 25th of October 1360. Louis I., who became in time count of Provence and king of Naples (see Louis I., king of Naples,) died in 1384, and was succeeded by his son Louis II., who devoted most of his energies to his kingdom of Naples, and left the administration of Anjou almost entirely in the hands of his wife, Yolande of Aragon. On his death (29th of April 1417) she took upon herself the guardianship of their young son Louis III., and in her capacity of regent defended the duchy against the English. Louis III., who also succeeded his father as king of Naples, died on the 15th of November 1434, leaving no children. The duchy of Anjou then passed to his cousin René, second son of Louis II. and Yolande of Aragon, and king of Naples and Sicily (see Naples).
Unlike his predecessors, who had rarely stayed long in Anjou, René from 1443 onwards paid long visits to it, and his court at Angers became one of the most brilliant in the kingdom of France. But after the sudden death of his son John in December 1470, René, for reasons which are not altogether clear, decided to move his residence to Provence and leave Anjou for good. After making an inventory of all his possessions, he left the duchy in October 1471, taking with him the most valuable of his