Hugh IV of Burgundy (1218-72)

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The Duchy of Burgundy and the Capetian Dukes

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After the death of Charles the Bald in 877 his kingdom in west Francia splintered. Richard the Justiciar was duke of Burgundy, of the area generally to the west of the Saone. (Lands to the east were Lotharingian Burgundy.) When Richard died in 921 his son Raoul became duke of Burgundy. This was a short lived rule as duke because in 923, on the death of Robert I of France, brother of the former king Eudes, Raoul was elected king of west Francia. Raoul was able to claim a Carolingian link, since his uncle, Boso, married Ermengard, daughter of Louis II, son of Lothar I.

Raoul (923-936)

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AR Denier of Chateau Landon, 20mm, 1.30gr. Obv: GRATIA D-I, central monogram. Rev: CAST_SI___NI, central cross.  Seller M. Garnier in Paris id'd as Raoul, and Chateau Landon. Not clearly in Roberts, but monogram same as R1798. Not in MG or Dep (but reverse similar to 309) or Belaubre. The difficulty is the obverse as Eudes had several coins very similar (R1656 of Eudes identical). Roberts says "Eudes' nephew Raoul imitated these monograms very closely." CGB Monnaies IX #881 had a similar coin for sale December 2000 and described it "Le monogramme particulier du droit est inspiré de celui d'Eudes. Pierre Crinon a montré que ce type de monogramme fut employé par Raoul et qu'il fut même immobilisé dans certains ateliers tels que Château-Landon, Étampes ou Orléans (P. Crinon, BSFN, avril 1993 p. 539-543 et F. Dumas, Le trésor de Fécamp, p. 188-189).

 When Raoul was elected king of France, he passed the dukedom on to his brother, Hugh the Black. Hugh died in 952 and passed the dukedom on to his son, Gilbert. Gilbert ruled about four years, until 956. At this point the dukedom left Richard the Justiciar's line and passed to the Capetians. I think Gilbert's daughter Luitgard married Otto, son of Hugh the Great and brother of Hugh Capet. Otto ruled until 965 when he was succeeded by another brother, Henri, known as the Venerable. Henri ruled until his death in 1002.

In 1002 Henry the Venerable died without a direct male heir. The inheritance was contested between a nephew, Robert of France, and his stepson, Otto William. Robert was son of Hugh Capet and at the time king of France. Otto William was a vassal of the emerging HRE. Had he prevailed, he would have taken much of the duchy to a Germanic influence and France would have been correspondingly reduced. As it was, after thirteen years of conflict Robert prevailed and the duchy remained French and Capetian. When Robert died he was succeeded by his son Henri I. Henri, given the dynamics of the time, accepted his brother Robert as duke of Burgundy with the right to pass the duchy on to his heirs. Thus the dukedom became hereditary and remained Capetian for several hundred years.

Here is a coin of Robert II (the Pious) of France, nephew of Hugh the Venerable and heir to the duchy of Burgundy.

Robert 11 (996-1031)

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AR denier, 977 - 1030, 20 mm. Obv: ROB FRAN REX (and variations), crowned stylized head of the king. Rev: ADALERO LAD, stylized head of the bishop. Mint is Laon. D8, C29.

With this background, let's turn to some of the coinage of the Capetian dukes of Burgundy.

Hugh III, Duc of Burgundy (1162-1193)

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Bl. Denier, 17mm, 1.07gr. Obv: +VGO DVX BVRG: DEI, central cross with rounded ends, one visible besant. Rev: +DIVIONENSIS, central cross. Mint is Dijon. R4521v (R's reverse does not have a pellet, as does this coin and shows four besants on the reverse, not evident on this coin - closer to H III than HIV). Boudeau 1202v; not in Bel. Boud indicates that before Hugh III there was no identifiable Burgundian ducal coinage.

The 12th century was a time of relative prosperity for Burgundy, supported by the growth of the wine trade. The ducs of Burgundy "kept a low profile on the international scene" but established alliances with the HRE via two marriages. Hugh III married first Alix of Lorraine and second Beatrice of Albon (Viennois). Ducal marriage policy was aimed at territorial expansion. Hugh was focussed on Dauphine.

The serious conflict that emerged was over competition for alliances along the Burgundian border with Royal French territory. This conflict was first with Louis VII and by 1180 Philip Auguste, his successor, triggered a war over the sphere of control between the two. One of these episodes was in 1186 over the appropriate loyalty of the sire of Vergy who held a castle claimed by both duke and king. Philip Augustus invaded up the Seine and besieged and captured Chatillon, Eudes, son of Hugh, and other Burgundian lords. Hugh had to pay an indemnity of 30,000 livres for their return and peace. This image of a siege of one of Hugh's fortifications by Philip Auguste (Journal de la Bourgogne 100).

The duchy came to be centered at Dijon and prospered in spite of its westward containment by Philip Augustus. Dijon received a charter in 1187 granting it new privileges consistent with its growing stature. The process of granting urban charters was a recognition of the growing importance of the role cities were playing in the economic and political life of a territory. Hugh generally enjoyed good relations with churchmen, alleviating a source of tension common in other parts of France over this century. Hugh died on crusade in 1192. Hugh III's lineage goes back to Hugh Capet. Source: Calmette, Dunbabin 305-310.

The abbey church of St. Hippolyte was built in the 12th century at Poligny under the auspices of the count of Champagne. It was the refuge for Thomas Becket, Stephen Lanton and Edmond Rich during their conflicts with English kings. Becket returned to England from here and was murdered at Canterbury in 1180

Eudes III (1193-1218)

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Bill denier, 18mm, 1.13gr. Obv: +ODO DUX BVRG:DIE, central anille. R: +DIVIONENIS, central cross with two opposing arrow points. Mint is Dijon. R4522; Boud 1203; PdA 5659.

Eudes continued the policy of territorial enhancement and directed his attention towards Nevers.

Hugh IV of Burgundy (1218-72)

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BL denier, 17mm, .68gr. Obv: +VGO BVRGONDIE,  central cross with diagonal staff topped by three pellets on each side. Rev: AVSONIENSIS, central Anille. Seller (Mather) id'd as Hugh IV but not clearly in Roberts. See R 4522+ for similar types, Boudeau 1214 as Hugh V, Bel 429 as H IV. Second coin similar.

Hugh was born March 9, 1212. His father was Eudes III of Burgundy and mother was Alice de Vergy. He was a grandson of Hugh III of Burgundy. He married (1229) first Yolande de Dreux (1212 - 48) and second Beatrice de Navarre (1242-1295). His marriages were aimed at enhancing ducal territory by expanding towards Bourbonnais, Niverais, Torrerre and Auxerre. He had ten children and was succeeded by his son Robert II (1249 - 1305). Hugh died October 27, 1272 at Villaines en Duismois. Source: various on line genealogies.

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Bill denier, 17mm, .59gr. Obv: +VGO DVX BVRG:DIE, central design. Rev: +DIVIONESIS, central cross. Mint is Dijon. R4523 (cross with two pellets as H#3); Boud 1204 (as H4); PdA 5657/8V or 5661. I'm not sure if this is H3 or H4. R comes closest with two besants on the reverse for H4. Seller id'd as H3.

Robert II (1272-1305)

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  Bill denier, 18mm, .87gr. Obv: +R:DUX:BVRG:DIE, central shield surmounted by a symbol. Rev: +DIVIONENIS, central cross with besant in one quadrant. Mint is Dijon. R4571; Boud 1210; PdA 5673 (vol. III).

Previous to Robert II, the ducal estate was divided among the sons or given to the daughters as part of their dowry. This practice meant that the duchy was being continuously fragmented, making it a challenge for the oldest son (next duke) to try to reunify the territory. Robert ended this ancient practice and passed the duchy on in its entirety to his primary heir. This document is the Robert's testament changing the inheritance structure (JB 105).

Hugh V, Duc of Burgundy (1305-15)

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Bill. denier, 18mm, .83gr. Obv: +HVGO DVX BVRG : DIE, in the field DVX in an aniline. Rev: +DIVIONENSIS, center cross with 'trefle' in quadrants 2 and 3. R5784; Boud 1212; PdA 5678.

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Bl denier, 17mm, .62gr. Obv: +VGO DVX BVRG: DIE, quarter anchor cross. Rev: +DIVIONENSIS, central cross. Mint is Dijon. R4534, Boud 1211.

He is the son of Robert II of Bourgogne, duc of Burgundy (~1245 - 9/10/1305) and Agnes Princess of France (1260 - 1327), youngest daughter of Louis IX and Marguerite Berenger, born in Paris, died at Abbeye de Citeaux. His parents had 9 children and Hugues was the second son (his older brother died 1283). Hugues was born 1282 in Of and died 9 May 1315 in Argilly. He married Catherine de Valois (born 1275) on 24/3/1302. He was involved in a crusade and was king of Thessalonica. Calmette notes that this title was more impressive than the reality, and that adventures in the East did not become a substitute for the nurturing of the duchy in France. Sources: Calmette, various online genealogies, including Benjamin.

Eudes IV (1315-1350)

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Bill denier, 18mm, .62gr. Obv: +EVDES DVX, central cross. Rev: +BVRGONIE, chatel tournus over BG. R5251; Boud 1217; PdA 5688 (vol. III).

Life and times: By this time the duchy was well established and prosperous. By his marriage he acquired the Franche-Comte, the territory Otto William took to the HRE in his conflict with Robert the Pious at the start of the 11th. century. The family made very good marriages. He married Joan, daughter of Philip V. His sister Margaret of Burgundy married Louis X, king of France; while another sister, Joan, married Philip VI, the first Valois king of France. His son Philip married Joan of Boulogne. The duke was also a patron of the arts. One of his sponsorships were the frescos in the Romanesque 12th century church in Brancion. Today Brancion is a small pedestrian only village on a bluff overlooking the Burgundian countryside. The images are the Brancion church and one of the frescoes.

The problem of succession and the end of the Capetian line: Eudes son died and so was succeeded by his grandson Philip of Rouve. Philip had a short reign and died of the plague on 21 November 1361, ending the Capetian rule in Burgundy. He had time to make a will and people had a short time to anticipate his death. His will read, in part "Item, we direct and appoint as heirs to our county and to our possessions whatever they may be, those, male and female, who by law or local custom ought or may inherit." (Calmette 22) Essentially, he called on feudal law to determine who gets what, going back to the principle of original ownership. He had three heirs. Margaret of France, daughter of Philip V, inherited from her mother the Franche Comte and lands in the Jura and Champagne. King John of France (Jean le Bon) inherited the duchy. John of Boulogne was the third heir. While Charles the Bad of Navarre claimed the duchy, the other three effectively cut him out of the inheritance. This was an amicable inheritance, in that the king and John of Boulogne were friends and Margaret was amenable to the split. The estate was settled by December 1362, very quickly given the complexity of the division. King John, in turn, granted the duchy to his youngest son, Philip the Bold (coin, life and times), who was the first of the four Valois dukes of the Burgundy. For coins only of the Valois dukes see the Valois Dukes of Burgundy page. Source: Calmette 15 - 28