HUGH CAPET, King of France

HUGH (Hugues) CAPET, KING OF FRANCE. Count of Paris, Poitou, and Orleans; Hereditary Abbot of St. Martin of Tours & St. Denis.
Born (938-S9)(about 939-S1,S2,S4)(Winter 941-S3,S5,S7), (Of, Paris)(born in Paris-S9), Seine, France(born in Chartres-S7); son of Hughes, The Great (Magnus), Duke of France[Count of Paris, King of Burgundy] and Hedwige (Hartwige) Princess Germany (Saxony).

Hugh Capet wanted to become a lay abbot, and in 980 arranged to move the relics of St. Valery to Amiens Cathedral. His surname "Capet" may derive from his abbot's cape.

He inherited his fathers vast estates and became the most powerful noble of his time. King Hugh possessed minor properties near Chartres and Anjou. Between Paris and Orléans he possessed towns and estates amounting to approximately 400 square miles. His authority ended there and if he dared travel outside his small area, he risked being ransomed or even murdered. Beyond this power base, in the rest of France, there were still as many codes of law as there were fiefdoms. The country operated with 150 different forms of currency and at least a dozen languages. Uniting all this into one cohesive unit was a formidable task and a constant struggle between those who wore the crown of France and its feudal lords. As such, Hugh Capet's reign was marked by numerous power struggles, both with the Roman Catholic Church and the vassals on the borders of the Seine and the Loire.

Hugh Capet married Adelaide of Aquitaine (952-1004).

Hugh allied himself with the German emperors and exercised greater influence than the weak Carolingian king, Lothair. After Lothair and his son died in early 987, the archbishop of Reims convinced an assembly of nobles at Senlis to elect Hugh Capet as their king. He was crowned King of France at Noyon, Picardie on 3 JUL 987, the first of the Capetian dynasty, which ruled France from 987 to 1328.

His election as king by the French nobles marked the end of the struggle between the nobility and the last feeble heirs of the Carolingian line. As king, Hugh had certain powers but they were more theoretical than real. The only lands he actually ruled over were those he inherited as count of Paris. However, he secured the succession for his descendants by suspending the feudal right of election. While King Hugh's military power was limited, and he had to seek military aid from the Duke of Normandy, his unanimous election as king gave him great moral authority and influence.

He died 24 OCT 996 in (Paris, Seine, France-S1,S4,S9)(at Les Juifs, Chartres, Eure-et-Loir, France-S2,S3,S5).

He was buried at St Denis Abbey, St Denis, Seine, France. He is buried in front of the altar in the Basilica of the Trinity at St. Denis, France. He was succeeded by his son, Robert II.

Adelaide (Adelais) (Princess of Aquitaine)(of Poitou-S6).
Born in (945)(952-S9). Married in 968. She died 15 JUN 1006.

CHILDREN of Hugh Capet, King of France and Adelaide:
  1. Avois. Born in 970. Died in 1013.
  2. Alice. Born 974. Died 1079.
  3. Gilette. Born about 976.
  4. Gisela of France. Born about 978. She married Hugh I de MONTREUIL Seigneur of Abbeville.
  5. Hedwige (Hedwiga-S3), Princess of France. Born (about 969-S2)(972-S3). She married Regnier IV, Count of Hainault. She died in 1013.
  6. ROBERT II, The Pious. (Sanctus). King of France. Born (27 Mar 972-S2,S9)(in 970-S3). He married (1) Bertha of Burgundy. He also married Constance TAILLEFER, daughter of William TAILLEFER, Count of Tolouse. Robert died 20 JUL 1031.
  7. Adele (Adelaide) Princess of France. Born in 993. She married (1) Rainald I, Count of Nevers, Auxerre. He died in 1040. She died in 1063.


CHILDREN of Hugh Capet, King of France and (concubine):
  1. Gauzlin, Archbishop Of Bourges. Born about 964 at Fleury Monastery, France. Died 19 Nov 1030 at Bourges