William V, Duke of Aquitaine
|William V, Duke of Aquitaine|
|Spouse(s)||Adalemode of Limoges
Sancha of Gascony
Agnes of Burgundy
|Noble family||House of Poitiers|
|Father||William IV of Aquitaine|
|Mother||Emma of Blois|
|Died||31 January 1030|
He was the son and successor of William IV by his wife Emma of Blois, daughter of Theobald I of Blois. He seems to have taken after his formidable mother, who ruled Aquitaine as regent until 1004. He was a friend to Bishop Fulbert of Chartres, who found in him another Maecenas, and founded a cathedral school at Poitiers. He himself was very well educated, a collector of books, and turned the prosperous court of Aquitaine into the learning centre of Southern France.
Though a cultivated prince, he was a failure in the field. He called in the aid of his suzerain Robert II of France in subduing his vassal, Boso of La Marche. Together, they yet failed. Eventually, Boso was chased from the duchy. He had to contain the Vikings who yearly threatened his coast, but in 1006, he was defeated by Viking invaders. He lost the Loudunais and Mirebalais to Fulk Nerra, count of Anjou. He had to give up Confolens, Ruffec[disambiguation needed], and Chabanais to compensate William II of Angoulême, but Fulbert negotiated a treaty (1020) outlining the reciprocal obligations of vassal and suzerain.
However, his court was a centre of artistic endeavour and he its surest patron. His piety and culture brought peace to his vast feudum and he tried to stem the tide of feudal warfare then destroying the unity of many European nations by supporting the current Peace and Truce of God movements initiated by Pope and Church. He founded Maillezais Abbey (1010) and Bourgueil Abbey. He rebuilt the cathedral and many other religious structures in Poitiers after a fire. He travelled widely in Europe, annually visiting Rome or Spain as a pilgrim. Everywhere he was greeted with royal pomp. His court was of an international flavour, receiving ambassadors from the Emperor Henry II, Alfonso V of León, Canute the Great, and even his suzerain, Robert of France.
In 1024–1025, an embassy from Italy, sent by Ulric Manfred II of Turin, came to France seeking a king of their own, the Henry II having died. The Italians asked for Robert's son Hugh Magnus, co-king of France, but Robert refused to allow his son to go and the Italians turned to William, whose character and court impressed many. He set out for Italy to consider the proposal, but the Italian political situation convinced him to renounce the crown for him and his heirs. Most of his surviving six letters deal with the Italian proposal.
His reign ended in peace and he died on the last (or second to last) day of January 1030 at Maillezais, which he founded and where he is buried.
He was married at least 3 times. His first wife was Adalemode of Limoges, widow of Adalbert I of La Marche. They had one son:
- William VI, his successor
His second wife was Sancha of Gascony  (or Brisa/Prisca), daughter of Duke William II Sánchez of Gascony and sister of Duke Sancho VI William. She was dead by 1018. They had two sons and a daughter:
- Peter William, later duke as William VII
- Guy Geoffrey, later duke as William VIII
- Agnes (or Ala), married Henry III, Holy Roman Emperor (1043)
- Nouvelle Biographie Générale. Paris, 1859.
- Owen, D. D. R. Eleanor of Aquitaine: Queen and Legend.
- Weir, Alison. Eleanor of Aquitaine. 2001.
- Cawley, Charles, AQUITAINE: Guillaume V Aquitaine died 1030, Foundation for Medieval Genealogy, retrieved August 2012
William V, Duke of AquitaineBorn: 969 Died: 31 January 1030
|Duke of Aquitaine
|Count of Poitiers