Encyclopædia Britannica, Ninth Edition/Anjou

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ANJOU, one of the thirty-six ancient provinces of France, approximately equivalent to the modern department of Maine and Loire. It was bounded on the N. by Maine, which separated it from Normandy; E. by Touraine; S. by Poitou; and W. by Brittany. It was, as Mr Freeman has remarked, altogether lacking in geographical individuality, and owed its somewhat prominent position in history to the character and fortunes of its counts and dukes. By the ancient chronicler of Anjou the origin of the countship is referred to a certain Tertullus, who owed his elevation from an humble rank to Charles the Bald; but the first person history lays hold of is Ingelgar, who lived about 870, and obtained possession of that portion of the subsequent province which lies between the Maine and the Mayenne. He was followed in succession by Fulk the Red (888); Fulk the Good (938), author of the proverb that an unlettered king is a crowned ass; Geoffrey Grisegonelle, or Grey-Tunic (958); Fulk Nerra, or the Black, famous as a warrior, and on account of his pilgrim ages, by way of penance, to the Holy Sepulchre; Geoffrey Martel, a vigorous but unsuccessful opponent of William the Conqueror; his nephews, Geoffrey the Bearded and Fulk Rechin, from the latter of whom we have an interesting historical fragment, giving an account of his ancestors and defending his own conduct (D'Achéry, Spicilegium, folio edition, vol. iii.); Fulk Nerra II.; and Geoffrey Plantagenet, who united Anjou and Maine, and—by his marriage with Matilda of England—Normandy also into one dominion. When his son became (1154) king of England, as Henry II., these various provinces passed into the power of the English crown, but were forfeited by King John (1204) to Philip Augustus of France. Henry III. demanded restitution, but did little in support of his demand; and Anjou soon passed into the hands of Philip, son of Louis VIII., and from him to Charles, the brother of Louis, who by his exploits in Italy made the name of Charles of Anjou famous, and established the house of Anjou on the throne of Naples (12661285). His son, Charles II., king of Naples, nicknamed il Zoppo, or the Lame, gave the investiture of Anjou and Maine to his son-in-law, Charles of Valois, younger son of Philip the Bold; and from 1290 the counts of Valois took the title of. dukes of Anjou and counts of Maine. In 1328 the son of Charles of Valois became king of France, as Philip VI., and united the duchy of Anjou to the crown. King John in 1356 bestowed it on his son Louis. The Anjou line ended in the unfortunate René (noticed below), who was deprived of his duchy by Louis XI. of France, or, more strictly, in his brother Charles, who died in 1481. Meanwhile old Rene s daughter Margaret, who was made of sterner stuff than her father, was battling with more than a woman s valour for the rights of her son in England. From this time onward the title of duke of Anjou has been borne, without implying any territorial sovereignty, by Charles VIII. of France, by each of the four sons of Henry II., by the second son of Henry IV,, by the two sons of Louis XIV., by his grandson (Philip V. of Spain), and by his great-grandson (Louis XV.) Charles, a nephew of Charles of Naples, obtained the throne of Hungary in 1308, and was succeeded by his son Louis the Great, who also became king of Poland; but the same fatality of failure in the male line also befell this branch of the house of Anjou. (See Freeman's Norman Conquest, vol. ii. p. 267; D Achery, Spicilegium, vol. iii.)