List of rulers of Brittany

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For the consorts of Brittany, see List of consorts of Brittany.

This a list of rulers of the Duchy of Brittany. In different epochs the sovereigns of Brittany were kings, princes, and dukes. The Breton ruler was sometimes elected, sometimes attained the position by conquest or intrigue, or by hereditary right. Hereditary dukes were sometimes a female ruler, carrying the title duchesse of Brittany. Its principal cities and regions were ruled by counts who often found themselves in conflict with the Breton ruler, or who became the Breton ruler.

During the declining years of the Roman Empire, the earliest Breton rulers in Gaul were styled "kings" of the small realms of Cornouaille and Domnonia. Some such kings may have had a form of hegemony over all of the Brythonic populations in the Armorican peninsula, and Riothamus is called King of the Britons by the chronicler Jordanes. However there are no certain rulers of the whole of Brittany, which was divided into the fiefdoms of local counts.

The Duchy of Brittany had its origins in the Battle of Trans-la-Forêt of 939, which established the river Couesnon as the boundary between Brittany and Normandy.[1] In 942, Alan II paid homage to Louis IV of France, however the duchy did not gain royal attention until 1123, when Louis VI of France confirmed the bishop of Nantes.[2] No other Duke of Brittany repeated Alan II's homage until Arthur I recognised Philip II of France as his liege in 1202.[3]

The area was often called a Duchy, and its rulers were considered independent Sovereign Dukes. However one historical view is that before the middle of the 12th century the Dukes of Brittany were often also called Counts by the Kings of France, as the kingdom of France then saw Brittany as no more than a county.[citation needed] In 1297, the peninsula was elevated into a Duchy in the peerage of France.[4] This view is not consistent with the manner in which Charles VIII of France and then Louis XII of France approached the Duchy and the rights of Anne of Brittany who married each in succession. Most histories see the Duchy of Brittany as independent of the French crown until both the King's and the Duke's Crown were joined in one person, Henry II of France in 1532.

Early Breton rulers[edit]

Dukes of Brittany[edit]

Dukes under the Carolingians[edit]

  • Nominoe (or Nevenoe) (r.841–851), as a missus dominicus of the Emperor Louis the Pious,[5] a count of Vannes (Gwened) and arguably a duke (dux) of Brittany
  • Erispoe (r.851–857), as a duke, then as a king
  • Salomon (or Salaun) (r.857–874), as a duke, then a king
  • Pasquitan (or Paskweten) (r.874–877), ruling Brittany (southern part) with Gurvand
  • Gurvand (r.874–877), ruling Brittany (northern part) with Pasquitan
  • Judicael (r.877–888), successor of Gurvand, ruled Brittany (north) with Alan the Great (south)
  • Alan the Great (reigned from 877 to 888 with Judicaël, alone as a duke, then as a king up to 907)
  • Gourmaëlon, Count of Cornouaille (reigned from 907 as a guardian of the kingdom)

The succession was interrupted by the Norman occupation (907–937)

House of Nantes[edit]

Name Portrait Birth Marriages Death
Alan II
the Fox

(Alan al Louarn)
938–952
c. before 919
son of Mathuedoi, Count of Poher, and a daughter of Alan I
(1) Roscille of Anjou
943
one daughter
(2) ? of Blois
bef. 949/51
one son
c. 952
Nantes
aged 33+
Drogo
(Drogon)
952–958
c. 949/52
only son of Alan II
never married c. 958
Angers
aged 5–9
Hoel I
(Hoel Iañ )
960–981
 ?
illegitimate son of Alan II and Judith
never married c. 981
Guerech
(Gwereg)
981-988
 ?
illegitimate son of Alan II and Judith
Aremburge of Ancenis
aft. 981
one son
c. 988
Alan
(Alan)
988-990
c. 981
only son of Guerech and Aremburge of Ancenis
never married c. 990
aged 9

House of Rennes[edit]

Name Portrait Birth Marriages Death
Conan I
(Konan Iañ)
990–992
c. 927
eldest son of Judicael Berengar, Count of Rennes and Gerberga
Ermengarde-Gerberga of Anjou
973
five children
27 June 992
Conquereuil
aged 64–65
Geoffrey I
(Jafrez Iañ )
992–1008
c. 980
eldest son of Conan I and Ermengarde-Gerberga of Anjou
Hawise of Normandy
996
four children
20 November 1008
aged 27–28
Alan III
(Alan III)
1008–1040
with Odo I (1008–1034)
Alan III of Brittany (icon).jpg c. 997
eldest son of Geoffrey I and Hawise of Normandy
Bertha of Blois
1018
two children
1 October 1040
Montgommery
aged 42–43
Odo I
(Eozen I)
1008–1034
with Alan III
Eudes.jpg c. 999
second son of Geoffrey I and Hawise of Normandy
Orguen of Cornouaille
six children
c. 1079
Cesson
aged 79–80
Conan II
(Konan II)
1040–1066
with Odo I as regent (1040–1057)
c. 1033
only son of Alan III and Bertha of Blois
never married 11 December 1066
Château-Gontier
aged 32–33
Hawise
(Hawiz)
1066–1072
with Hoel II
c. 1037
only daughter of Alan III and Bertha of Blois
1066
seven children
19 August 1072
aged 34–35
Hoel II
(Hoel II)
1066–1072
with Hawise
c. 1031
eldest son of Alain Canhiart, Count of Cornouaille and Judith of Nantes
13 April 1084
aged 52–53

House of Cornouaille[edit]

Name Portrait Birth Marriages Death
Alan IV
the Younger

(Alan IV Fergant )
1072–1112
with Hoel II as regent
(1072–1084)
Sceau Alain Fregent.jpg bef. 1060
eldest son of Hoel II and Hawise
(1) Constance of Normandy
1086/88
no issues
(2) Ermengarde of Anjou
1093
three children
13 October 1119
Redon Abbey
aged 60s
Conan III
the Fat

(Konan III)
1112–1148
Bannière Maison Cornouaille.svg c. 1093-1096
eldest son of Alan IV and Ermengarde of Anjou
Maud FitzRoy
1112
three children
17 September 1148
aged 54–58
Bertha
(Berta)
1148–1156
with Odo II
Bannière Maison Cornouaille.svg c. 1114
eldest daughter of Conan III and Maud FitzRoy
(1) Alan, 1st Earl of Richmond
1137/8
three children
(2) Odo II
1148
three children
c. 1156
aged 41–43
Odo II
(Eozen II)
1148–1156
with Bertha
Bannière Eudes de Porhoët.svg  ?
eldest son of Geoffrey, Viscount of Porhoet and Hawise
(1) Bertha
1148
three children
(2) Joan-Eleanor of Léon
August 1167
two or three children
c. 1170

House of Penthièvre[edit]

Name Portrait Birth Marriages Death
Conan IV the Black
(Konan IV)
1156–1171
Conan IV de Bretagne.jpg c. 1138
only son of Alan of Penthièvre, 1st Earl of Richmond and Bertha
Margaret of Huntingdon
1160
one daughter
20 February 1171
aged 33
Constance
(Konstanza)
1171–1194
with Geoffrey II
(1181–1186)
with Ranulf
(1188–1194)
Bannière Maison Penthièvre.svg 12 June 1161
only daughter of Conan IV and Margaret of Huntingdon
(1) Geoffrey II
July 1181
three children
(2) Ranulf
3 February 1188
no issue
(3) Guy of Thouars
October 1199
two daughters
5 September 1201
Nantes
aged 40
Geoffrey II
(Jafrez II)
1181–1186
with Constance
Geoffrey2.jpg 23 September 1158
fourth son of Henry II of England and Eleanor of Aquitaine
Constance
July 1181
three children
19 August 1186
Paris, France
aged 27
Ranulf
(Pêr Iañ)
1188–1194
with Constance[6]
Ranulf de Blondeville.jpg c. 1172
Montgomeryshire, Powys, England
only son of Hugh de Kevelioc, 5th Earl of Chester and Bertrade de Montfort
(1) Constance
July 1181
no issue
(2) Clemence of Fougères
bef. 7 October 1200
one daughter
(3) Marguerite de Commequiers
bef. January 1236
no issues
28 October 1232
Wallingford, Berkshire, England
aged 59–60

House of Plantagenet[edit]

Name Portrait Birth Marriages Death
Arthur I
(Arzhur Iañ)
1194–1203
Artur of Brittany.jpg 29 March 1187
Nantes
only son of Geoffrey II and Constance
never married 3 April 1203
Rouen
aged 16

Eleanor, Fair Maid of Brittany, eldest daughter of Geoffrey and Constance and full elder sister of Arthur, also unmarried, was prevented from succession for her imprisonment in England which lasted till her death in 1241.

House of Thouars[edit]

Name Portrait Birth Marriages Death
Alix
(Alis)
1203-1221
with Peter I
(1213–1221)
AlixBretagne.jpg 5 September 1201
eldest daughter of Guy and Constance
Peter I
1213
three children
21 October 1221
aged 20
Peter I
Mauclerc

(Pêr Iañ)
1213–1221
with Alix
Peter I of Brittany.jpg c. 1190
second son of Robert II of Dreux and Yolanda de Coucy
(1) Alix
1213
three children

(2) Nicole
c. 1230
one son
(3) Marguerite de Commequiers
bef. January 1236
no issues

6 July 1250
sea off Damietta
aged 59–60

House of Dreux[edit]

Name Portrait Birth Marriages Death
John I
the Red

(Yann Iañ ar Ruz)
1221-1286
with Peter I as regent
(1221–1237)
Jean Ier le Roux.png c. 1217/18
eldest son of Peter I and Alix
Blanche of Navarre
Château-Thierry, Aisne
16 January 1236
eight children
8 October 1286
Château de l'Isle, Férel, Morbihan
aged 67–69
John II
(Yann II)
1286–1305
Jean II de Bretagne (détail).png 3/4 January 1239
eldest son of John I and Blanche of Navarre
Beatrice of England
Westminster Abbey, London
25 December 1260
eight children
16 November 1305
Lyon
aged 66
Arthur II
(Arzhur II)
1305–1312
Artur Bretan.jpg 2 July 1262
eldest son of John II and Beatrice of England
(1) Marie of Limoges
Tours
1277
three children
(2) Yolande of Dreux
May 1292
six children
27 August 1312
Château de l'Isle, Férel, Morbihan
aged 50
John III
the Good

(Yann III)
1312–1341
PohrebJana3Bretan.jpg 8 March 1286
Château de Champtoceaux, Maine-et-Loire
eldest son of Arthur II and Marie of Limoges
(1) Isabella of Valois
18 February 1298
no issues
(2) Isabella of Castile and León
Burgos
21 June 1310
no issues
(3) Joan of Savoy
Chartres
21 March 1330
no issues
30 April 1341
Caen
aged 55
Breton War of Succession
(1341–1364)
Joan
the Lame

(Janed)
1341-1364
with Charles I
COA fr BRE.svg c. 1319
only daughter of Guy of Brittany, Count of Penthièvre and Joan of Avaugour
Paris
4 June 1337
five children
10 September 1384
Guingamp
aged 61–62
Charles I
(Charlez Iañ)
1341–1364
with Joan
CarlosIdebritania.jpg c. 1319
Blois
second son of Guy I, Count of Blois and Margaret of Valois
29 September 1364
Auray
aged 44–45

House of Montfort[edit]

Name Portrait Birth Marriages Death
Breton War of Succession
(1341–1364)
John IV
the English-Lover

(Yann Moñforzh)
May 1341-1345
Jan z Montfortu.gif c. 1293
only son of Arthur II and Yolande de Dreux
Joanna of Flanders
Chartres
March 1329
two children
26 September 1345
Château d'Hennebon, Hennebont
aged 51–52
John V
the Conqueror

(Yann IV)
1345/65-1399
Jan5Bretan.jpg c. 1339
only son of John IV and Joanna of Flanders
(1) Mary Plantagenet of England
Woodstock Palace, Woodstock, Oxfordshire
summer of 1361
no issues
(2) Joan Holland
London
May 1366
no issues
(3) Joan of Navarre
Saillé-près-Guérande
2 October 1386
nine children
1/2 November 1399
Nantes
aged 59–60
John VI
the Wise

(Yann V ar Fur)
1399–1442
Sceau de Jean V - Duc de Bretagne.png 24 December 1389
Château de l'Hermine, Vannes, Morbihan
eldest son of John V and Joan of Navarre
Joan of France
Hôtel de Saint-Pol, Paris
19 September 1396
seven children
29 August 1442
Manoir de La Touche, Nantes
aged 52
Francis I
the Well-Loved

(Frañsez Iañ)
1442–1450
Franta1.jpg 11 May 1414
Vannes
eldest son of John VI and Joan of France
(1) Yolande of Anjou
Amboise
20 August 1431
one son
(2) Isabella of Scotland
Château d'Auray
30 October 1442
two daughter
17 July 1450
Château de l'Hermine, Vannes, Morbihan
aged 36
Peter II
the Simple

(Pêr II)
1450–1457
Pierre II de Bretagne (BNF-NB-C-181416).png 7 July 1418
Nantes
second son of John VI and Joan of France
Françoise d'Amboise
c. 1442
no issues
22 September 1457
Nantes
aged 41
Arthur III
the Justicier

(Arzhur III)
1457–1458
Arthur III de Bretagne.png 24 August 1393
Château de Suscinio, Vannes
second son of John V and Joan of Navarre
(1) Margaret of Burgundy
Dijon
10 October 1423
no issues
(2) Jeanne d'Albret
Nérac
29 August 1442
no issues
(3) Catherine of Saint Pol
2 July 1445
no issues
26 December 1458
Nantes
aged 65
Francis II
(Frañsez II)
1458–1488
François II de Bretagne (BNF-RC-A-86355).png 23 June 1433
Château de Clisson
eldest son of Richard de Dreux, Count of Étampes and Marguerite d'Orléans, Countess of Vertus
(1) Marguerite of Brittany
Château de l'Hermine
16 November 1455
one son
(2) Marguerite of Foix
Château de Clisson
27 June 1474
two daughters
9 September 1488
Couëron
aged 55
Anne
(Anna)
1488–1514
with Charles II
(1491–1498)
and with Louis I
(1499–1514)
Portrait of Anne of Brittany - Mostaert.jpg 25 January 1477
Château de Nantes
eldest daughter of Francis II and Margaret of Foix
(1) Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor
(by proxy) Rennes Cathedral
19 December 1490
no issues
(2) Charles VIII of France
Château de Langeais
19 December 1491
four children
(3) Louis XII of France
Château de Nantes
8 January 1499
four children
9 January 1514
Château de Blois
aged 36
Charles II
the Affable

(Charlez II)
1491–1498
with Anne
Charles VIII.png 30 June 1470
Château d'Amboise
only son of Louis XI of France and Charlotte of Savoy
Anne of Brittany
Château de Langeais
19 December 1491
four children
7 April 1498
Château d'Amboise
aged 27
Louis I
the Father
of
the People

(Loeiz I)
1499–1514
with Anne
Ludvig XII av Frankrike på målning från 1500-talet.jpg 27 June 1462
Château de Blois
only son of Charles I, Duke of Orléans and Maria of Cleves
(1) Joan of France, Duchess of Berry
Château de Montrichard
8 September 1476
no issues
(2) Anne of Brittany
Château de Nantes
8 January 1499
four children
(3) Mary Tudor of England
Abbeville Cathedral
9 October 1514
no issues
1 January 1515
Hôtel des Tournelles, Paris
aged 52

House of Valois[edit]

Name Portrait Birth Marriages Death
Claude
(Klaoda)
1514–1524
with
Francis I of France
(1514–1524)
ClaudeFranceEdit.JPG 14 October 1499
Romorantin-Lanthenay
eldest daughter of Louis XII of France and Anne
Francis I of France
Château de Saint-Germain-en-Laye
18 May 1514
eight children
20 July 1524
Château de Blois
aged 24
Francis I of France
(Frañsez Iañ, roue Bro-C'hall)
1514–1524
with Claude
(1514–1524)
François 1515.jpg 12 September 1494
Château de Cognac
only son of Charles de Valois, Count of Angoulême and Louise of Savoy
(1) Claude
Château de Saint-Germain-en-Laye
18 May 1514
eight children
(2) Eleanor of Austria
Abbaye de Veien
7 August 1530
no issues
31 March 1547
Château de Rambouillet
aged 52
Francis III
(Frañsez III)
1524–1536
François III de Bretagne - Dauphin de France.jpg 28 February 1518
Château d'Amboise
eldest son of Francis I of France and Claude
never married 10 August 1536
Chateau de Tournon
aged 18
Henry
(Herri)
1536–1547
Henry II, king of France.. F Clouet.jpg 31 March 1519
Château de Saint-Germain-en-Laye
second son of Francis I of France and Claude
Catherine de' Medici
Marseille Cathedral
28 October 1533
ten children
10 July 1559
Place des Vosges
aged 40

As Courtesy Title[edit]

Name Portrait Birth Marriages Death
Louis de France
1704-1705
Grand Royal Coat of Arms of France.svg 25 June 1704
Palace of Versailles
eldest son of Louis, Duke of Burgundy and Princess Marie-Adélaïde of Savoy
never married 13 April 1705
Palace of Versailles
aged 1
Louis de France
1707–1712
Louis de bourbon (1707-1712).jpg 8 January 1707
Palace of Versailles
second son of Louis, Duke of Burgundy and Princess Marie Adélaïde of Savoy
never married 18 February 1712
Palace of Versailles
aged 5
Francis de Bourbon
1973–1984
Armoiries Alphonse de Boubon, duc de Cadix.svg 22 November 1972
Madrid
eldest son of Alfonso, Duke of Anjou and Cádiz and María del Carmen Martínez-Bordiú y Franco
never married 7 February 1984
Pamplona
aged 11

References[edit]

  1. ^ John Le Patourel, Feudal Empires: Norman and Plantagenet; ed. Michael Jones, (The Hambledon Press, 1984), p. 241.
  2. ^ Michael Jones, The Creation of Brittany, (The Hambledon Press, 1988), 4.
  3. ^ Michael Jones, The Creation of Brittany, 4.
  4. ^ Michael Jones, The Creation of Brittany, 287.
  5. ^ Pierre Riche, The Carolingians:A family who forged Europe, Transl. Michael Idomir Allen, (University of Pennsylvania Press, 1993), 195.
  6. ^ Though Ranulf used, not consistently, the style Duke of Brittany, he never had the control of the duchy, and is not known to have played an important role there.

See also[edit]