Geoffrey, Count of Anjou and Duke of Normandy, 1129-51

Dutton, Kathryn Ann (2011) Geoffrey, Count of Anjou and Duke of Normandy, 1129-51. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Count Geoffrey V of Anjou (1129-51) features in Anglo-French historiography as a
peripheral figure in the Anglo-Norman succession crisis which followed the death of his
father-in-law, Henry I of England and Normandy (1100-35). The few studies which
examine him directly do so primarily in this context, dealing briefly with his conquest
and short reign as duke of Normandy (1144-50), with reference to a limited range of
evidence, primarily Anglo-Norman chronicles. There has never been a comprehensive
analysis of Geoffrey’s comital reign, nor a narrative of his entire career, despite an
awareness of his importance as a powerful territorial prince and important political
This thesis establishes a complete narrative framework for Geoffrey’s life and career,
and examines the key aspects of his comital and ducal reigns. It compiles and employs
a body of 180 acta relating to his Angevin and Norman administrations to do so,
alongside narrative evidence from Greater Anjou, Normandy, England and elsewhere.
It argues that rule of Greater Anjou prior to 1150 had more in common with
neighbouring principalities such as Brittany, whose rulers had emerged in the tenth and
eleventh centuries as primus inter pares, than with Normandy, where ducal powers over
the native aristocracy were more wide-ranging, or royal government in England. It
explores the count’s territories, the personnel of government, the dispensation of justice,
revenue collection, the comital army, and Geoffrey’s ability to carry out ‘traditional’
princely duties such as religious patronage in the context of Angevin elite landed
society’s virtual autonomy and tendency to rebel in the first half of the twelfth century.
The character of Geoffrey’s power and authority was fundamentally shaped by the
region’s tenurial and seigneurial history, and could only be conducted within that
framework. This study also addresses Geoffrey’s activities as first conqueror then ruler
of Normandy. The process by which the duchy was conquered is shown to be more
intricate than the chroniclers’ accounts of Angevin siege warfare suggest, and the ducal
reign more complex than merely a regency until Geoffrey’s son, the future Henry II
(1150-89), came of age.
Through use of a much wider body of evidence than previously considered in
connection with Geoffrey’s career, and a charter-based methodology, this thesis
provides a new and appropriate treatment of an important non-royal ruler. It situates
Geoffrey in his proper context and provides an account of not only how he was
presented by commentators who were sometimes geographically and temporally remote,
but by his own administration and those over whom he ruled. It provides an in-depth
analysis of the explicit and implicit characteristics of princely rulership, and how they
were won, maintained and exploited in two different contexts.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Plantagenets, Anjou, Normandy, charters, Geoffrey V, Anglo-Norman realm, Empress Matilda, Henry II, Robert of Gloucester, non-royal rulership
Subjects: D History General and Old World > D History (General) > D111 Medieval History
C Auxiliary Sciences of History > CD Diplomatics. Archives. Seals
D History General and Old World > DC France
Colleges/Schools: College of Arts > School of Humanities > History
Supervisor's Name: Marritt, Dr, Stephen
Date of Award: 2011
Depositing User: Dr Kathryn Dutton
Unique ID: glathesis:2011-3052
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 05 Dec 2011
Last Modified: 03 Dec 2014 08:23

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