Abbey of St Martin of Tours (12th C)

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Charles the Bald (840-877) or Charles III (893-923) Reissue

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AR denier, 20mm, 1.53 gr. Obv: +GRATIA D-I REX, central monogram. Rev: +ANDEGVIS CIVITAS, central cross. Mint is Angers. R1382; MG 912 (MG gives this to CB. A version CRATIA is attributed to Charles III.) Dep 11-A1, 43 (73 examples); Prou 429 (as CB); Bel 101.

Charles the Bald from Tours (immobilized)
Approximately contemporary Fulk Nerra III )987-1040)

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AR denier, 18 mm, .95gr. Obv: GRATIA D-I REX, central KRLS monogram. Rev: TVRONES CIVITAS (?), central cross. Mint is Tours. This is a 10th C immobilized coin that was part of the Fecamp hoard. Coin appears clipped. Dumas 6935+. #6952-53 are listed as .96gr. This would make this coin among the lightest in this subset of coins. This is possibly one of these two coins. The hoard included 1407 immobilized coins from Charles the Bald, most commonly from Quentovic and Mans. There were 31 Charles the Bald Tours mint coins in the hoard. This is one of several Fecamp era coins on the site. Another is Bishop Hugues of Rouen in the name of Richard I of Normandy. For background on the hoard see Fecamp.  This coin is not in Boudeau or PdA as Fulk Nerra but I place it here as a contemporary coin of Fulk Nerra from a city (Tours) he controlled. The Fecamp hoard was buried about 977, so both this coin and Fulk Nerra overlap in a territory he controlled at this time. The map below shows Tours within Anjou territory over the period 950-1000. Fulk Nerra captured much of Touraine but apparently not Tours itself (Stalley 89).

The Counts of Anjou

At the end of the 9th century there were two counts of Anjou, one on each side of the river Maine. Charles the Bald gave one of these to Robert the Strong, who was succeeded as count by Eudes, subsequent king of France after 887. The counties were united after Eudes became king (888). The first of the new line of counts was Fulk I (le Roux). He was succeeded by Fulk II (938-958) and then by Geoffrey I Griesegonelle (Graymantle)(958-987). These early counts did not have person specific coinage and PdA notes only two coins preceding those of Fulk Nerra.

Fulk was a great builder of castles, many of which survive to some extent to today. The Fragmentum Historiae Andegavensis below lists some of these and they are also shown on the map with the coin of Fulk IV. The first set of pictures is from Langeais. Today Langeais is primarily known as a 15th C chateau but in the gardens is the ruin of Fulk's donjon. This structure is thought to date from the 990s, making one of the oldest surviving donjon fragments in France. The site is a promotory overlooking the town. The ruin is at the back of the current park associated with the chateau. The first picture shows a wall of the donjon. The second is an aerial view of the chateau. The donjon is just beyond the right side of the picture. The third photo is from the back of the wall, showing a surviving side wall of the donjon.

Whereas Langeais has just fragmentary walls, Loches is much more impressive. Loches was a property of the counts of Anjou dating back to the end of the 9th C. Fulk Nerra built the donjon at the start of the 11th C and successive holders built additional walls in the 12th and 13th centuries. The walls of the donjon are 3.5 meters thick at the base, tapering to 2.5 meters at the top. The fortress passed to the English and was held for a time by John Lackland. He lost it to Philip Augustus, who in tern lost it to Richard the Lion Hearted, who in turn lost it again to Philip in 1205. It remained in French hands thereafter. The first picture is an aerial view of Loches today. The second is a schematic showing the dates of the different parts of the fortress and the last two are images of the donjon.


Montrichard is the site of another donjon built by Fulk Nerra. Montrichard is on the Cher. This donjon was built about 1010, with additional walls added in 1109 and 1250. The first picture shows Montrichard with the fortress overlooking the town. The second shows the grounds of the donjon today and the third is a view of the donjon from the town.

Fulk was buried in Beaulieu s/ Loches. This text is from a historical marker at the site. "The abbey of the Holy Trinity was founded in 1007 by Foulques Nerra, count of Anjou, in atonement for his numerous sins and with a view to having a worthy site for his own tomb close to his fortress in Loches. He endowed both the monastery and the town with important privileges (a weekly market, the right to collect acorns and wood from the forest and emancipation of the townspeople.). The church was consecrated in 1007 by Pierre de Piperno, papal legate. The same night, according to local legend and the evidence of the monk Raoul Glabber, a high wind destroyed the roof. This was only the first of a long series of disasters. The abbey was enlarged by Geoffrey de Martel in 1040." The abbey suffered during the Hundred Years War when it was sacked and burned twice. It got caught in the cross fire again during the wars of religion. Weather did further damage. The facade evident in the left hand picture dates from the 20th C, when substantial renovation was undertaken. The right hand picture shows the front town of the current church and the ruin of an adjoining church. The last picture shows the burial place of Fulk Nerra.

Geoffrey II (Martel) (1040-1060)

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Bill denier, 20mm, 1.19gr. Obv: +GOSIDVS, central cross with alpha and omega. Rev: VRBS AIDCV, central monogram. Mint is Angers. Rev + PdA 1488, obv = PdA 1487, not clearly in R, Boud, Dup.

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Bill denier, 20mm, 1.32gr. Obv: +GOSFRIDVS COS, central cross with alpha and omega. Rev: +VRBS ANDEGAV, central design. Mint is Angers. R4113v; Boud 149; PdA 1468 and varieties.

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Denier, 20mm, 1.2 gr. Poey d'Avant 1472 var. Obv: +GOSFRIDVS COS, cross, alpha in third quarter, omega in fourth, . Rev:  +VRBS AIDECAV, Angevin monogram,. Mint is Angers. Poey d'Avant 1472 var. Image from Hagadorn

Fulk IV-V (1069-1129)

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Denier, 19mm, .93gr. Obv: COMES FVLCO, central cross. Rev: +VRBS ANDEGAV, central monogram. Mint is Angers. R4114v.  Boud 152v as argent and Fulk IV (1060-1109).

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 Billion denier, 17mm, .95gr. Similar to previous coin, with same uncertainties. Likely Fulk III-V. Obv: +FVLCO COMES, central cross with alpha and omega. Rev: VRBS ANDEGAVS, central monogram. 'S' on end of reverse legend. Mint is Anjou. R4112 (obv), 4113v (rev).

Times: Over these years Anjou expanded, in large part due to an effective strategy of building castles both to protect border areas and to surround enemies. This allowed the military advantage to to shift to Anjou. While this map is hard to read, the extent of castle construction is evident. It spans the years 950 - 1050. (Cambridge Illustrated Atlas: Warfare 35)

This fragment of a history of the counts of Anjou  (Fragmentum historiae Andegavensis) was translated by Geoffrey G. Koziol (University of California - Berkeley) and is reproduced here with his permission (2/27/04)

"From Chroniques des comtes d'Anjou et des seigneurs d'Amboise, ed. Louis Halphen and René Poupardin (Paris, 1913), pp. 232-38. "

Professor Koziol's introduction: "In spite of its brevity, this is one of the most important texts of the early middle ages, partly because it deals with the history of one of the most powerful principalities in early Capetian France, but especially because it is one of the few texts (only one other is known to me) written (or more accurately, dictated) by a lay lord and not by a member of the clergy. The history was written by Count Fulk le Réchin in 1096 (Fulk IV), for reasons unknown. If we read it carefully, it should give a rare glimpse into the way an eleventh-century count actually thought (and spoke, though not necessarily in Latin: the scribe could have translated from the French)."

"Fragmentum historiae Andegavensis"

"I, Fulk, count of Anjou, who am the son of Geoffrey of Château-Landon and Ermengard, daughter of Fulk, count of the Angevins, and nephew of Geoffrey Martel, who was the son of the same man, my grandfather, Fulk, and brother of my mother, after holding the county of Anjou for twenty-eight years as well as the counties of Tours, Nantes, and Le Mans, desired to commit to letters how my ancestors gained their honor and held it up to my time, and then how with the aid of divine mercy I myself held the same honor. (1)"

"And so, those ancestors of mine, as my uncle Geoffrey Martel told me himself, were the bravest of counts. Their names are as follows: first Ingelgerius; second Fulk the Red, his son; then Fulk, called the Good; afterwards his son, Geoffrey Greymantle. These four held the honor of Anjou, wresting it from the hands of the pagans and defending it from Christian counts. And Ingelgerius held this honor first from the king of France, not from the line of that impious Philip, but from the children of Charles the Bald, who was the son of Louis, son of Charles the Great (2)."

"We cannot give worthy commemoration to the virtues and deeds of these four counts, since they lived so far in time from us and since even the places where their bodies lie are unknown to us. We can only record thosewho are closer to us, that is, my grandfather Fulk, and his father Geoffrey Greymantle, and my uncle Geoffrey Martel."

"So, this Geoffrey Greymantle, father of my grandfather Fulk, whose outstanding deeds we could not possibly list, seized Laudun from the hand of the count of Poitou and defeated him on the field of battle on the Roches, and pursued him all the way to Mirebeau. And he drove the Bretons to flight when they came to Anjou with a marauding army. Their dukes were sons of Conan. And later he was with Hugh in the siege of Marçon, where the illness from which he died seized him. And his body was brought to Tours and buried in the church of St. Martin.

"He was succeeded by his son Fulk, my uncle, whose courage was great and admirable. He acquired the county of Maine and added it to the county of Anjou; and he built several castles on his land, which had remained deserted and reverted to woods on account of the savagery of the pagans. So in the county of Tours he built Langeais, Chaumont, Montrésor, Saint- Maur; in Poitou [he built] Mirebeau, Moncontour, Faye, Montreuil, Passavant, Maulévrier. In Anjou he built Baugé, Château-Gontier, Durtal, and many others which it would be tedious to list. He also began the castle of Saumur in that time when Count Odo [of Blois] came to Anjou with his army and built his castle on the Onglée between the same city and the river Loire. Fulk also fought two great battles in the open field: one on the plain of Conquereuil against Conan, count of Brittany, near the city of Nantes, which Conan tried to take from him. Conan himself died in this battle along with a thousand of his knights [equites]. He fought the other battle against the said Odo, a most powerful count, on the river Cher, at Pontlevoy. Here was great slaughter of Gauls and Angevins. Count Herbert called Wake- Dog (3) fought with him in this battle of Le Mans, where by the grace of God he came away the victor. He built two abbeys: one in honor of St. Nicholas near the city of Angers, another at the castle of Loches, which is called Beaulieu, in honor of the Lord of the Holy Sepulchre. He went to Jerusalem twice. On his second trip he left human cares (4) around the feast of St. John, in the year from the incarnation of the Lord one thousand forty. His body was brought to the said abbey of Beaulieu and was buried there in the chapter."

"And so his son, my uncle, that is Geoffrey Martel, succeeded him. His courage and skill in worldly matters were greatly praised throughout the entire kingdom of France. Already during his father's life he was a knight [miles], and he tested his new knighthood against neighbors in two battles: one at Moncontour against the Poitevins, where he captured the count of Poitou, and another against the men of Maine, where he also captured the count, who was called Herbert Bacon. He also made war against his father, in which many bad things were done, for which he later did penance. But after his father left this life, upon returning from Jerusalem, as was already said, he took possession of the land of his father and the city of Angers, and he began a war against Theobald, count of Blois, that is, the son of Count Odo; and at the will of King Henry he received from the same king the city of Tours as gift. For this reason the war between him and Count Theobald worsened, and they engaged in battle between the city of Tours and the castle of Amboise, and Theobald was captured and with him up to a thousand of his knights [equitibus]. And so he received the city of Tours and the castles in his area: Chinon and Isle and Châteaurenault and Saint-Aignan. But the other part of the county of Tours belonged to him by paternal possession (5). After this he had a war with William, count of the Normans, who later gained the kingdom of the English, and was a great king [rex magnificus]; and also with the Gauls, and with the men of Bourges, and with William, count of the Poitevins, and with Haimeric, viscount of Thouars,and with Hoël, count of Nantes, and with the counts of the Bretons who held the city of Redon, and with Hugh, count of Le Mans, who withdrew his fealty. Because of all these wars and because of the daring with which he fought them, he deserved his name of Martel (6), since he smashed his enemies. At the end of his life he girded me, his nephew, as a knight [ornavit in militem] in the city of Angers on the feast of Pentecost, in the year of the Lord's incarnation one thousand and sixty, and he committed to me the county of Saintes with its city, on account of a war that he was waging with Peter of Didonné. I was seventeen years old when he made me a knight. Also, in the same year King Henry died, on the anniversary of St. John, and my uncle, G., died in a good end on the third day after the feast of St. Martin. In fact, on the night before his death, he put aside all cares of worldly knighthood [militie secularium] and was made a monk in the monastery of St. Nicholas, which his father and he had built with much devotion and endowed with their property."

"He resigned his honor, which he had defended from outsiders and held securely with great peace and wealth; and so it passed into [a time of] considerable troubles, since a fight arose over it between me and my brother. We carried on this struggle for eight years, often making war and making truces in between. Finally, on the order of Pope Alexander [II], I released by brother from the chains in which I had held him; but he again attacked me, putting up a siege around a castle of mine called Brissac, where I rode against him with those barons [proceres] whom the mercy of God had given me, and I fought him on the field of battle, where by the grace of God I defeated him. He himself was captured and handed over to me, and a thousand of his people [civibus] with him. Then I received the county of Anjou and Tours and the castle of Loches and Loudun, which were the capitals of the honor of the counts of the Angevins."

"I held that honor for twenty-eight years, up to the time when I decided to make this writing. In these twenty-eight years and in the other eight that preceded them, if you want to hear what I did, continue on with what I will write and you will know what happened [que facta sunt]. But before I go on with them, I want to recall some signs and prodigies that happened just this last year, not only those affecting our people, but those throughout the kingdom of Gaul, as matters afterwards revealed. For in that time stars fell from the sky onto the earth as if they were hail. Many of those who saw it were struck with wonder, and many with terror. This sign was followed by a great death among men throughout the entire kingdom of France, because the harsh weather left no food, so that even in our city of Angers a hundred of our barons [primatibus] died and more than two thousand of the lesser people [minoris plebis]."

"At the end of this year, towards Quadragesima (7), the Roman pope, Urban [II], came to Angers and instructed our people that they should go to Jerusalem to fight the gentile people who had taken over that city and all the land of the Christians up to Constantinople. Then in Septuagesima (8), the church of St. Nicholas was dedicated by the same pope and the body of my uncle G. was translated (9) from the chapter into the church itself. The pope also established and ordered by edict that on the date that he had performed the dedication, a public holiday be celebrated every year at Saint-Nicholas, and that a seventh of the penances of the people gathering for that feast should be remitted. Leaving there, he went to Le Mans and then to Tours; and there, after issuing decrees in an august council, in the middle of Quadragesima he was crowned and then led in solemn procession from the church of St. Maurice to the church of St. Martin. There he gave me a gold coin that he held in his hand, which I, in thanks and in memory and love of him, established should always be carried by me and my successors. After his departure, on the following day, Palm Sunday, the church of St. Martin was burned. The pope himself went on to Saintes and celebrated Easter there. . . . (10)"


1) Actually, only the first part of Fulk's history, that dealing with his ancestors, survives. The second part in which he spoke of  his own reign has never been found.

2) Charles the Great, i.e., Charlemagne. In the tenth century, two kings ancestral to the later Capetian line ruled France in place of the Carolingians (Robert I and Raoul of Burgundy). Fulk's point is that the counts of Anjou received the county from the Carolingians, not these ancestors of the Capetians. The editors believe that Fulk's hostility to the reigning King Philip I and his ancestors reflected the fact that Philip had seduced Fulk's wife and was living with her. Other historians, however, believe that Fulk bore no hard feelings to Philip, since he had his own mistresses, but this makes Fulk's statement here puzzling.

3) Count of Maine, whose chief city was Le Mans.

4) I.e., he died.

5) I.e., he inherited it from his father's line.

6) Meaning  "the Hammer."

7) I.e., towards the beginning of Lent. There were several different ways of dividing the years, one of the most common being at Easter.

8) Feb. 10, 1096.

9) I.e., moved. The term is a formal one, used when transferring bishops, the relics of saints, and here, oddly, the body of a
count, from a place of lesser honor to a place of greater.

10) The manuscript breaks off at this point.

Another Fulk IV/V coin: Denier, 18mm, 1.08gr. Obv: FVLKO monogram, reversed, +VRBS AIDCCSV. Rev: cross, omega in second quarter, alpha in fourth, +FVLCO COMES.  Variety with reversed monogram. Poey d'Avant 1495. Image from Sue Hagadorn.

Fulk V (1109-29 continuing with
Geoffroi Plantagenet (1129-51)

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Bill denier, 19mm, 1.08gr. Obv: +FVLCO COMES, central cross with alpha and omega. Rev: +VRBS ANDEGAVS, central monogram. Mint is Angers. R4114 as Fulk IV-V; Boud 153 which only differentiates Fulk IV and Geoffroi Plantagenet by sayings “same type but a more recent style.” PdA 1506. Seller ID’s as continuing into the reign of GP and cites ‘D376.’

Neighbors: People and Places

Abbey of St. Martin of Tours (late 10th, early 11th C)

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AR denier, 21mm, 1.2gr. Obv: +SCS MARTINVS, central Carolingian style temple. Rev: +TVRONIS CIVITAS, central cross. Mint is St. Martin de Tours. This coin dates from the end of the 10th C to the beginning of the 11th C. R4851; Boud 183; PdA 1622/24 XXXI 3 and 5. Later version have a more degenerate temple and end in CIVI.  PdA observes "Ces monnaies appartiennent a l'epoque carolovingienne." Dup 408 extends the type into the 11th C.

Eudes the Ancient (Deols) (1012 – 1037)

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AR denier, 20mm, 1.17gr. Obv: :ODO:DVX, central cross. Rev: .DOLEO CIVE S, central star formed by two triangles. Mint is Deols. R4402; Boud 271v; PdA 1229; Dup 268.

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AR denier, 20mm, 1.7gr. Obv: +ODO + DVX, central cross. Rev: +DOLEO CIVE, central monogram. Mint is Chareauroux. R4073; Boud 269; PdA 1922.

Raoul VI  Comte de Deols/Chateauxroux (1160-1176)

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AR denier, 19mm, .93gr. Obv: +RADVLFVS, central cross. Rev: +DEDOLIS, central star of David, Mint is Deols. R4411; Boud 277; PdA 1946; Dy 679.

Abbey of St Martin of Tours (12th C)

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AR denier, 18mm, 1.06gr. Obv: +SCS MARTINVS, central chatel tournois. Rev: +TVRONVS CIVI, central cross. Mint: Abbey of St. Martin, Tours. 12thC. R4857v, not in Boudeau.

The image is from Beckwith, (image 49) "The monks of the Abbey of St. Martin at Tours, headed by their lay abbot Count Vivian, presenting the Bible to Charles the Bald. Count Vivian's Bible, Tours, 843-51."

Times: This was a powerful abbey dating from the 6th C as an important religious center. It played an important role in the religious life of the Carolingians and operated under the protection of Charlemagne. Hugh Capet was a lay abbot (the cape he wore, sign of a lay abbot, gave him his nickname and his lineage its title (Capetians). The Capetians maintained their influence over the abbey even during the years Henry II ruled as count of Touraine in the middle of the 12th C. (This claim to Touraine was subsequently renounced by John Lackland in 1214.) As was not uncommon during this period, ecclesiastical centers often had minting privileges and this coin is an example of such. Source: online Catholic Encyclopedia: Hugh Capet, Archdiocese of Tours.

Anon Seigneurie de Bourbon (1160-1205)

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Bill denier, 19mm, 84gr. Obv: +LODVICVS REX, central post-carolingian monogram. Rev: +BORBONENSIS, central cross, two 'trefles.' R-; Boud 365 (rarity =10); PdA 2195; Dup 794.

Geoffrei II of Gien (1120 - 80)
(Also the Sire of Donzy)

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Billon denier, 18mm, .99gr. Obv: +GOSEDVS COS, central cross, where the E looks like I. Rev: +GIEMIS CA, central monogram. R4117 (as Geoffrei II), Boud 299, PdA 1998 (as Geoffrei). There is limited coinage from Gien. It is only associated with Geoffrei, even though there were other counts of Gien.

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Billon denier, 19mm, .79g. Obv: : +GOSEDVS COS, central cross with staff in one quadrant. Rev: +GIEMIS CA, central monogram. R4118, Boud 299, PdA 1998.
Background: Gien is located ESE of Orleans, on the way to Nevers. It is in the val de Loire, right on the banks of the Loire. It is between Anjou and Burgundy and I don't know yet which had the greater influence, hence it tentative placement with coins of Anjou. The sires of Donzy possessed Gien and St. Aignan. In 1197 Herve IV of Donzy ceded Gien to Philippe Auguste. The names are awkward. By Poey d'Avant Gien had a Geoffrey in 1030, Geoffrey II 1093-1112 and reverts to a simple Geoffrey between 1120-80. Boudeau places Geoffrey II as 1120-80. It became a royal possession in 1214.

Comte de Sancerre (Anon c. 1190-1230)

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AR denier, 19mm, 1.07gr. Obv: +IVLIVS CES.A.R, head facing left, star to right. Rev: +SACRUM CESARIS, central cross, lis in 2nd quadrant, star in 4th. Mint is Sancerre. R4974; Boud 305 as Ar; PdA 2012 as Billon, Dy 646.

Guillaume I de Chauvigny (1203-1233)

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BL denier, 19mm, .829gr., Obv: +GVILERMVS, central cross with lis in quadrant 1 and 4. Rev: DEDOLI, central six pointed star with lis in the center. R4415; Boud 281 (4fr.); PdA 1963 (which cites a weight of 1.14gr.)

Raoul II (1127-64) or Raoul III (1199-1212) of Issoudun

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AR denier, 19 mm, .94gr. Obv: .RADVLFVS, central omega. Rev: +XOLIQYN, central cross with two besants. R 4045v as RII; PdA 1994 as RIII; Boud 295 as RIII.

Charles of Anjou (1246-85)

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Denier, 19mm, .90gr. Obv: K COMES PROVINCIE, central monogram. Rev: +FIL_REGIS FRANCIE, cross with two besants, one lis and one ?. R4124, not clearly in Boudeau but obv same as 814, not in Bel.
Life and times: For a look at his life and times see Charles of Anjou on the Provence page. This coin appears twice on these pages - here because of title, and on Burgundy because of connection to that territory.

Charles III of Anjou (1290-1317

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Denier, 21mm, .96gr. Obv: +SIGNVM.DEI.VIVI, central cross, 2 opposing lis, 2 opposing trefoils. Rev: +MONETA CENOM, crown over lis, legend starts at the bottom of the coin. Mint is LeMans. Boud 179; Dup 406 with annelets rather than trefoils; Legros 631; PdA 1611 with annelets rather than trefoils; R-; Kunker Auktion 121 #359 3/07, ex DeWitt Collection.

Robert of Anjou 1309 - 1343

Titles and Holdings. One might expect a coin of Robert of ANJOU to be placed here, but while he had the name, he didn't have the title. The coin is on the  Provence page. The history of the title is interesting. The county dates to the end of the 9th century, when it was held by Fulks I (the Red). By the middle of the 12th century it was held by Geoffroi Plantagenet, where it essentially became an English title. It was held by Henry III, Richard the Lion Hearted and John (Lackland). It came back to France after the English lost territory and was given by Louis IX to his brother Charles. Here I am somewhat unclear, since the next holder of the title was Charles II, son of Louis VIII. These Charles' had their primary interests in Italy, and the Anjou title went to the house of Valois, where it was held by Charles de Valois.