The New International Encyclopædia/Normandy
NORMANDY (Fr. Normandie). A former province of France, bordering on the English Channel. Its capital was Rouen. It is comprised in the modern departments of Seine-Inférieure, Eure, Orne, Calvados, and La Manche. In the northeastern part of Normandy (formerly Upper Normandy) are the towns of Rouen, Dieppe, Havre, Harfleur, Honfleur, Lisieux, Evreux, Yvetot; in the southern and western parts (Lower Normandy) are Caen, the chief town, Falaise, Saint-Lô, Bayeux, Coutances, Avranches, Granville, Alençon, and Cherbourg.
In the time of the Romans the region was included in Gallia Lugdunensis Secunda. Under the Frankish monarchs it formed a part of Neustria, and came to be known as Normandy after Charles the Simple, in 911 (912?), had given it to Hrolf or Rollo, the leader of a band of Norse rovers (see Normans), as a fief of the French Crown. From Hrolf (baptized under the name of Robert) and Gisela, the daughter of Charles the Simple, sprang the dukes of Normandy, of whom Richard I. (grandson of Hrolf) vigorously maintained his authority against his liege lords, Louis IV. and Lothaire. William II., son of Robert II., le Diable, became Duke of Normandy in 1035, and in 1066 established a Norman dynasty on the throne of England (see William I.), thereby politically uniting Normandy with the latter country. In 1077 his eldest son, Robert, wrested Normandy from him, but it was again united to England under Henry I. in 1106. With this monarch the direct male line became extinct. Henry II., the son of Henry I.'s daughter, Matilda, after the death of Stephen of Blois, obtained in 1154 the government of England and Normandy; but in the reign of his son, John, Normandy was conquered by Philip Augustus of France (1202-04). It remained a portion of the French monarchy for over two centuries, save when conquered by Edward III. in 1346; but after the battle of Agincourt (1415) it was reconquered by the English, who held it till 1449, when it was finally wrested from them by Charles VII. The Channel Islands, which were once a part of Normandy, have remained in possession of England. Consult: Dumoulin, Histoire générale de Normandie (Rouen, 1631); Goube, Histoire du duché de Normandie (Rouen and Paris, 1815); Barthélemy, Histoire de la Normandie ancienne et moderne (Tours, 1857).