Charles of Provence

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Charles of Provence (845 – 24 January 863) was the Carolingian King of Provence from 855 until his early death in 863.

Charles was the youngest son of Holy Roman Emperor Lothair I and Ermengarde of Tours.

His father divided Middle Francia between his three sons: the eldest, Louis, received Italy and the emperorship; Lothair II received Lotharingia (modern Lorraine, the Low Countries, and Upper Burgundy); and the youngest, Charles, received Lower Burgundy (Arles and Provence).

Charles was only a child when his father died; and the governance of his realm was undertaken by his tutor, Count Gerard II of Vienne, whose wife had been a sister-in-law of Emperor Lothar I. Gerard was a vigorous regent, defending the kingdom from the Northmen, who raided up the Rhone as far as Valence. In 860, he ejected them from the Rhone delta.

Charles' uncle, Charles the Bald of West Francia, attempted to intervene in Provence in 861. After receiving an appeal for intervention from the Count of Arles, he invaded Provence, but only reached Macon, being restrained by Hincmar of Rheims.

Charles of Provence never ruled his realm in anything more than name. It was Gerard, rather than he, who in 858 arranged that should Charles die without children, Provence would revert to Charles' brother Lothair II. However when Charles died, his elder brother Emperor Louis II also claimed Provence, so the realm was divided between the two: Lothair received the bishoprics of Lyon, Vienne and Grenoble, to be governed by Gerard; Louis II received Arles, Aix and Embrun.

Ancestry[edit]

Charles of Provence
Born: 845 Died: January 863
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Emperor Lothar I
as King of Middle Francia
King of Provence
23 September 855 – January 863
Succeeded by
Kingdom divided between Emperor Louis II
and Lothair II of Lotharingia