Herbert 1 of Maine (1015-36) Successors

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 Counts of Maine
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Comtal Predicates

The history of the county of Maine is hard to put together with any certainty. This page relies heavily on Robert Latouches' Histoire du Comte du Maine pendant le Xe et le XIe Siecles. Maine was a Merovingian administrative district that emerged as a duchy during the Carolingian years. It appears to have the characteristics of an appanage, a territory given to a son by the father, much as Dauphine was to the Valois and Wales is to the English. It was held by Griffon, brother of Pepin le Bref, in the 8th century. Then Charles, son of Charlemagne received it as a concession. In 838 Louis the Pious gave it to Charles the Bald and in 856 Charles the Bald gave it to his son Louis le Begue (the Stammerer). Charles the Bald's coin from LeMans represents this Carolingian period.

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AR denier, 22mm, 1.75gr. Obv: +GRATIA D-I REX, central KRLS monogram. Rev: +CINOMANIS CIVITAS, central cross. Le Mans mint. R1414; MG 905; Dep 11 A1, 559 (2173 examples); MEC 872; Bel 131-133; Nouchy CB146, seller (Vinchon) id Pr 422. Based on weight, this is most likely a coin of CB. See the coin weights page for discussion. These coins from LeMans are among the most common Charles the Bald/Charles III coins.

Information about Maine is not thick on the ground. Latouche indicates that simultaneously to the existence of  royal 'ducs' of Maine, there were also local counts. The title of count was held in the first half of the IX century by one Rorgon. Loosely between 861 and 878 is was held by his son Geoffroi. His loyalty apparently wavered but he was pardoned by Charles the Bald in 863 and joined Charles in the fight against the Norman invasions. It is murky, but it appears that this line ended after 878 and by 895 passed to another house. Latouche suggests two different people, Berenger (12) and Roger (14) appeared next (or sequnetially?).

To give an indication of the confusion that exists,  Poey d'Avant (1:210) notes that Hugh the Grand, duc of France, established Hugues I, son of David, as count of Maine in 965. This is after a break in a series of 9th century rulers. His listing of the counts of Maine gives Hugues I's reign as from 955 to 1015, (yes - 955) when he is succeeded by Herbert I. The Grand Larousse Encyclopedia also notes 955 as the start of a reign, but does not identify whose or a date of death.

Latouche suggests that this record needs rectification. Given that Latouche writes after Poey d'Avant and offers a fuller and more documented history, I'll follow him. Records of Roger come from the accounts of the bishop of Mans, whose lands were ravaged  by Roger. The bishop excommunicated him for this bad behavior. Roger ruled until about 929 - 931 and was succeeded by his son (Hugues I) who ruled about 25 years. He, in turn, was succeeded by his son Hugues II, who assumed the title about 955. Latouche suggests that the lineage the Poey d'Avant cites is legendary, or "fabuleuse." Here are several coins, commonly attributed to Hugues II. They are immobilized CARLVS REX coins.

Charles the Bald immobilized
Hugh I (Hugues) Count of Maine (955-992)

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AR denier, 19mm, 1.38gr. Obv: +CRATIA D-I REX, central degenerate Carolingian monogram. Rev: CINONANIS CIVITAS, central cross. Mint is Le Mans. Dumas 7900-8086 ID's 10 of this type at this weight. PdA-; R -.

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AR denier, 1.48gr., 21mm. Obv:+XERI-DAITAIC, retrograde with central mangled monogram. Rev:+CIHOHANIS CVITAS, central cross. Mint is LeMans. Dumas 8331-8336, 1st series (weights 1.35 - 1.02). Dumas breaks the hoard into two series. The first is earlier and similar to a hoard dating from the 920s. It is characterized by elongated letters and heavier weights. Hugues I was comte de LeMans 955-1015. This coin is significantly heavier than the other Fecamp coins with similar legends. It is also better struck than other LeMans cons. I hypothesize ythat this coin is earlier than Fecamp. My estimate is circa 940s/950s, based on the continuity of the similar retrograde legend found in Fecamp but higher weight and better condition. 

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AR denier, 20mm, 1.34g. +C(?)RATIA D-I REX, central KRLS monogram. Rev: +CINOMAS CIVITAS, central cross. Mint is Le Mans. Dumas 7045-7462 (18 this weight). This is the most common type. Very similar is 7463-7690 which has 12 coins in this weight category. PdA 1544v; not in R, Boud. This coin dates 960-80 which is contemporary with the Fecamp hoard. Latouche  indicates Hugues II was count over these years.

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AR denier , 20 mm, 1.4gr. Obv: CRATIA D-I REX, central KRLS monogram. Immobilized in the name of Charles the Bald. Rev: +CIN+MANIS CIVITAS, central cross. First letters obscured but this is the most common type. Mint is Le Mans . R-; Dumas 7045-7462 or 7463-7690; PdA 1544v.

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AR denier, 20mm, 1.05gr. Obv: CIATIA DI REX, central KRLS monogram. Rev: CIIONANIS CIVTA, central cross. Mint is LeMans. This coin was also identified as from Fecamp but does not match any of the LeMans references in Dumas (7045-8357). It varies in several ways. The closest ones are 8092 CIVITA and 8355 IITA. This coin starts with CIIO which is uncommon and not paired with either of the CIVITA coins. This is in all likelihood an unusual (in that it does not appear in Dumas)  immobilized 10th C coin. Weight suggests later rather than earlier. Not in Roberts, Boud or PdA. Hugues II was count of Maine (LeMans) at this time. By the 11th C, under Herbert I (1015-36) the legend from LeMans shifted to COMES CENOMANNIS, arguing that this is in fact 10th C. It appears to be an uncatalogued coin. :)

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AR denier, 19mm, 1.45gr. Obv: +CIATA D-I REX, central monogram, all too worn to see clearly. Rev: +CINOMANIS CIVITAS, central cross. Mint is Le Mans. Dumas 7900-8086 indicates 2 at this weight.

Latouche suggests that part of the reason for the continued issuance of immobilized coins in Maine was a breakdown of royal control in the 10th century and the inability of a weakened central government to exert direction over minting standards (20). This was a transitional time in the development of feudalism. The title of count had become hereditary, reflecting one major weakening of the royal grip. Loss of monetary control was another reflection of this trend.

Guizot (1:238) mentions Hugues (II) as being present at the conference that chose Hugh Capet as king of France. "At the time fixed, probably the 29th or 30th of June, 987, the grandees of Frankish Gaul, who had bound themselves by oath reassembled at Senlis. Hugh Capet was present with his brother Henry of Burgundy and his brother in law, Richard the Fearless, duke of Normandy. The majority of the direct vassals of the crown were also there, Foulques (Fulk) Nerra (the Black), count of Anjou; Eudes, count of Blois, Chartres and Tours; Bouchard, count of Verdome and Corbeil; Gautier, count of Vexin; and Hugh, count of Maine..."

ArchbishopAdalberon presided and noted the conclave was to elect a ruler of France. Recognizing that there was a shift from a Carolingian pretender, he said "the throne is not acquired by hereditary right and we are bound to place at the head of the kingdom none but him who not only hath the distinction of corporeal nobility but also hath honor to recommend him and magnanimity to rest upon." The concave went on to recognize Hugh Capet as king of France, who was crowned July 1, 987. (See the Siege of Paris page for the story of Hugh's defense against a Viking invasion that key to winning him the crown.)

Hugues II was succeeded by his son Hugues III (992-1014/5), who in turn was succeeded by Herbert I.

Dunbabin makes several mentions of Maine. He notes the title goes back to the middle of the 10th century, consistent with Poey d'Avant. Maine often found itself in a militarily precarious position. Dunbabin notes it was pressed by Normandy after Rollo and William Longsword protected themselves against Scandinavian incursions (80). Plunder and land were a big incentive to follow the Normans into Maine (90). Toward the end of Hugues (III?)'s reign Foulques Nerra claimed suzerainty over Maine. By this time, under Herbert I, Maine was part of the Anjou mouvance. The count of Maine (Herbert) fought with Foulques at the battle of Pontlevoy in 1016, against Eudes II of Blois.

Raoul (923-36) likely immobilized by Hugh le Grand

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AR denier, 18mm, .94gr. Obv: +CRATIA D-I REX, Rudolphus monogram of Odo type. Rev: +AVRELIANIS CIVITA, central cross. Mint is Orlean. Dep -; MEC 1003 says 'probably introduced after Raoul's death at mints in the region where Hugh the Great exercise authority - immobilized to the end of the (Xth) century." Dumas 6788 - 6830; Gariel LIV 31v. 

Herbert 1 of Maine (1015-1032/36)

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Bill. denier 22mm, 1.14gr. Obv: +COMES CENOMANNIS, central monogram of Herbert I of Maine. Rev: SIGNUM DEI VIVI, central cross with detail. Mint in Maine (LeMans). R 4121; Boud 170; PdA 1546.

These were difficult years for the county of Maine. There were apparently two major sources of tension over these years. From Latouche, "Deux faits principaux dominent son regne: le rivalite constante de comte et l'eveque du Mans Avejot, et l'influence excercee par le comte d'Anjou Foulque Nerra (22)." Militarily the county was pressed first by Fulk III of Anjou, and his son Geoffrey II from one direction (south) and then by William of Normandy from another (west). After the death of Herbert I's grandson, Herbert II,  the county passed into William's hands. Herbert I (984-1032/36) found it hard to maintain his independence and fell under the influence of Fulk III Nerra. Herbert I fought with him at Pontlevoy in 1016. This did not stand him in good stead in the long run. (Dunbabin 188, 204, 234; genealogical web sites.)

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Bill. denier, 21mm, 1.37gr. Obv: +COMES CENOMANNIS, central monogram. Rev: +SIGNVM DEI VIVI, central cross, 2 besants and alpha and omega. Mint is LeMans. R4121; Boud 170; PdA 1546 as billon.

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Bill. denier, 22mm, 1.22gr. As above.

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Bill. denier, 21mm, 1.1gr. As above.

Herbert 1 of Maine (1015-36) Successors

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AR denier, 18mm, 1.09gr. Obv: +COMES CIIOMANIS, central monogram of Herbert I. Rev: +SIGNVM DEI VIVI, central cross with detail in each quadrant. Mint is LeMans. R4122, Boud 171v.

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Bill denier, 20mm, 1.08gr. Obv: +COMES CENOMANIS, central monogram. Rev: +SIGNVM DEI VIVI, central cross with two besants and alpha and omega. Mint is LeMans. R4122v; Boud 171; PdA 1580. It is hard to differentiate between Herbert and his successors, so this is a conservative attribution. Likewise, this coin is hard to read. I call it COMES whereas it could also be CONES.

Who were the successors the numismatic sources all mention? Perhaps a genealogical table will help.


Hugues I (~929 - 955)

Hugues II  (955 - 992)

Hugues III  (992 - 1015/16)      Foucoin        Herbert Bacon
Herbert I (1015/6 - 1032-35)

Hugues IV (d. 26/2/1051)                            Gersent                Paule                 Biote

                                       (married Berthe)
                                                 |                                                            |

                             Hertbert II (d. 9/3/1062)      Marguerite                   Foulque  Hugues IV

After the death of Herbert I,  Hugues IV was apparently a minor. His great-uncle, Herbert Bacon, brother of  Hugues III, ruled as regent. As I read Latouche, Herbert Bacon continued the family conflict with the bishop of LeMans, who found royal protection insufficient and obtained from the king (Henri I) the right to seek protection from Geoffrey Martel of Anjou. This, not surprisingly, acerbated conflict between Maine and Anjou.

The bishops of LeMans varied in their posture over these years as they sought to balance the competing pressures of Maine and Anjou. Gervais, bishop of LeMans, negotiated a marriage between Hugues IV and Berthe, daughter of Eudes of Blois and niece of Alain III, count of Brittany. This further heightened Maine-Anjou discord and Hugues IV fought against the growing domination of Anjou. When Hugues IV died in 1051, Geoffrey Martel entered LeMans and Hugues' children fled out another gate. Geoffrey essentially had control of Maine and Herbert II, son of Hugues IV, became a count without a county.

Geoffrey Martel fortified the frontier with Normandy. Meanwhile, Herbert II concluded a treaty with William (the bastard) of Normandy recognizing Normandy's suzerainty. Herbert II was promised marriage with one of William's daughter and Herbert's sister Marguerite was promised to an ally of William. Herbert died in 1062 without heirs and the county and title passed to William of Normandy in 1063 (I think with resistance from the comte of Anjou, but who supported him during the invasion of England three years later).

The following years were characterized by continuing conflict over the region between Normandy and Anjou, and by revolt within the county against the Norman rule. But these events are beyond our interest at the moment, until some appropriate coinage comes along.

So whose coin might this be as a successor to Herbert I? I'd guess Hugues IV, but there is not a way to know for sure. Boudeau indicates this type of coinage was immobilized into the middle of the 13th century, which offers a lot of latitude as to whose coin it actually is.

By the 12th century the county passed into English hands for a time. Philippe Auguste seized it from king John (Lackland), but all this is further down the timeline from our current interest.

Hugues Bardoul, Comte de Dreux (1035-1055(?))

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Billon denier, 22mm, 1.28gr. Obv: +HVGO COMITI, central eglise. Rev: +DRVCAS CASTA, central cross. Mint is Dreux. R 4872; Boud 2 (rarity = 12); PdA 88; Dy 420

Robert II Count of Dreux (1184 - 1218)

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Bill denier, 20mm, .78gr. Obv: +M. ROBERTVS, central ACO/MES. Rev: DRVCAS CASTA, central cross with symbols in quadrants 1 and 3. Mint is Dreux. R3935; Boud 4; Dup 421; PdA 91.

Charles le Mauvais (1349-1387)

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Billon denier tournois, 17mm, 1.31gr. Obv: +KAROLVS REX, central cross. Rev: +DE NAVARRE, central chatel. Mint is Evreux. R5237; Boud 566 (rarity = 10); Dup 48 who places the minting at the end of 1348 (ordance of 31 Octobre 1348); PdA 191.