Hoël II, Duke of Brittany

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Hoël II (c. 1031–1084) was Count of Kernev (French: Cornouaille, Breton: Kernev), from 1058 as Hoël V. On the basis of his marriage to Hawise, Duchess of Brittany,[1] in 1066, he became Duke of Brittany jure uxoris.


Hoël was the son of Alain Count of Cornouaille and his wife, Judith of Nantes,[1] granddaughter of the illegitimate son of Alan II of Brittany. Hoël started the House of Kernev (Cornouaille) of Brittany,[a] which ruled the Duchy until 1156.

Hoël became Count of Nantes in 1054. The title came to him through his mother's family. Matthew I of Nantes, Count of Nantes until his death in 1050, was the nephew of Hoël's mother, Judith of Nantes, the son of her only brother Budic of Nantes. Alain Canhiart seize the County in the name of his son Hoël in 1050, and held it as Regent for his son until 1054.

Conan II, Duke of Brittany, attempted to seize Nantes in 1054 but was defeated. Hoël ruled the County of Nantes in his mother's name from this date until Judith's death in 1063. From 1063 onward he was Count of Nantes in his own right.

Conan II, Duke of Brittany, died childless in December of 1066 and the duchy passed to his sister Hawise, Hoël's wife. Hawise became Duchess of Brittany and as her husband, Hoël became Duke of Brittany jure uxoris. Hawise died in 1072 and Hoël acted as regent for his son, Alan IV, until 1084.

Little is known of the lives of Hawise and Hoël. However, this political marriage between the House of Rennes in the east and the House of Cornouaille in the west may have further strengthened Brittany at a time when external interference was attempted by William the Conqueror.

During his reign Hoël faced several rebellions from Breton nobles. Geoffrey Grenonat of Rennes (an illegitimate son of Duke Alan III of Brittany and half-brother of Hawise) led a revolt and was joined by Ralph de Gael[2] who had returned to Brittany from England after the failure of the previous year's Revolt of the Earls. In 1076, Ralph having plotted against Hoël, was besieged at Dol. William the Conqueror came to Hoël's aid, after which Hoël finally made peace with Ralph.[3]

Marriage and children[edit]

Hoël and Hawise had:


  1. ^ The Cornouaille region of Brittany is distinct from the Cornwall region of Britain.


  1. ^ a b c Dunbabin 1985, p. 387.
  2. ^ Keats-Rohan 1992, p. 3.
  3. ^ Chisholm 1911.
  4. ^ Everard 2000, pp. 28–29.


  • Dunbabin, Jean (1985). France in the Making, 843-1180. Oxford University Press.
  • Everard, Judith A. (2000). Brittany and the Angevins: Province and Empire 1158–1203. Cambridge University Press.
  • Keats-Rohan (1992). "The Bretons and Normans of England 1066-1154" Nottingham Medieval Studies (PDF).
  • Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Ralph de Guader" . Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.
  • B. Gregory Bailey, Meaghan E. Bernard, Gregory Carrier, Cherise L. Elliott, John Langdon, Natalie Leishman, Michal Mlynarz, Oksana Mykhed and Lindsay C. Sidders (January 2008). "Coming of Age and the Family in Medieval England". Journal of Family History. 33 (1): 41–60. doi:10.1177/0363199007308449. S2CID 143864636.{{cite journal}}: CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link)
Hoël II, Duke of Brittany
House of Cornouaille
 Died: 1084
Regnal titles
Preceded by Duke of Brittany
with Hawise
Succeeded by
Preceded by Count of Cornouaille
Preceded by Count of Nantes
with Judith (1054-1063)
Succeeded by