Foulques (Fulco) first appears as a witness to a charter of count (later king) Eudes, abbot of of Saint Martin de Tours, in April 886 [BEC 30 (1859): 431-3]. He first appears with the title of viscount in a charter of viscount Hardrad of Tours on 29 September 898 [Signum Fulconis vicecomitis, Mabille (1871), xcii-xciii]. In a charter of a certain Archambaldus dated 5 July 905, he appears as viscount of both Angers and Tours [Signum Fulconis Turonorum et Andecavorum vicecomitis, Mabille (1871): xcv], but does not appear to have the latter title for long, for a charter dated 30 October 909 has Tedbaldus signing as viscount of Tours, immediate after "count" Fulco [Signum domni Fulconis Andecavorum comitis; signum Tedbaldi Turonorum vicecomitis, Mabille (1871), xcviii]. As shown by Werner, this use of the comital title by Foulques comes from a brief period when he was count of Nantes, confirmed by the appearance of Foulques as count of Nantes and viscount of Angers in a charter of count (later king) Robert, abbot of Saint-Martin de Tours, dated 31 March 914 [S. Fulconis Namnetens. comitis et Andegavensis vicecomitis, Werner (1958), 287], and by the statement of the Chronicle of Nantes that Foulques ("Fulco Ruffus") had possessed Nantes [Chr. Nantes, 122]. Foulques had apparently obtained the countship of Nantes between 907 (the death of Alain le Grand) and 30 October 909, and lost it before 919 [see the detailed discussion in Werner (1958), 265-8, 284-8]. He appears as abbot and viscount in a charter of a certain Fulculf dated 13 August 924 [Signum Fulconi[s] abbatis atque vicecomitis, Cart. S.-Aubin 1: 60], and calls himself count of the Angevins and abbot of Saint-Aubin d'Angers and Saint-Lézin in a charter of 929 [Cart. S.-Aubin 1: 203-4 (see below)]. However, as he was still not signing as count in two charters of Hugues le Grand on 3 May 930 [S. Fulconis vicecomitis, Werner (1958), 284] and 26 March 931 [Signum domni Fulconis, Mabille (1871), ciii], he does not appear to have been recognized as count of Anjou by his Robertian lords until sometime between 931 and 26 December 940, when he appears as count in a charter of Hugues le Grand [Signum Fulconis comitis, Mabille (1871), cv-cviii, erroneously dated 943; see Werner (1958), 286]. Foulques was still living in [13×31] August 941, when he signed a charter along with his son Foulques [Signum domni Fulconis. Signum Fulconis filii ipsius, Mabille (1871), cv]. See Werner (1958), 264-279, and the detailed list of charters mentioning Foulques on pp. 283-6, many of which are printed in full in Mabille (1871).
Date of Birth: Unknown.
Although there is no direct evidence for his date of birth, an estimate of 870 or a little earlier should not be far off, given his long career.
Place of Birth: Unknown.
Date of Death: After 13 August 941.
Both Foulques and his son Foulques witnessed a charter between 13 and 31 August 941, so Foulques was still living on the former date. A charter was witnessed by a count Foulques of Anjou in May 942 [RHF 9: 723], often identified as Foulques II, but, as Werner points out, it is not certain which Foulques was the signer of that charter, and the date of death of Foulques I remains unknown. Nevertheless, given his long career, he probably did not live long after 941.
Place of Death: Unknown.
The name of Foulques's father is confirmed by a charter of 929 [Cart. S.-Aubin 1: 203-4 (see below)], but nothing else is known about him. For Ingelger as a figure of legend, see the Commentary section.
Mother: see Commentary Section.
Roscille, d. after 929, daughter of Garnier (Warnerius)
In the seventh year of king Raoul, Fulco (Foulques), his wife Roscilla, and his sons Widdo (Gui) and Fulco, gave a donation to Saint-Aubin d'Angers for the benefit of his soul and the souls of his father (genitor) Ingelgerius, his son Ingelgerius, his father-in-law Warnerius and the latter's wife Tescenda ["Ego Fulco, Andecavorum comes, abbas quoque Sancti Albini Sanctique Lizinii, necnon et uxor mea Roscilla et filii mei, Widdo ac Fulco, nullius cogentis imperium, sed nostra plenissima voluntate, fatetur nos, pro Dei amore et pro remedium mee anime vel anime Ingelgario, genitor meo, atque Ingelgerio, filio meo, necnon pro anima Warnerio, socro meo et uxore sua, Tescenda, ..." Cart. S.-Aubin, 1: 203-4; see also Cart. Angers, 75].
[Cart. S.-Aubin, 1: 203-4 (see above)]
Ingelger, d. before 929 (probably 927).
For the death date, see Werner (1958), 271.
Gui, d. 966×985, canon of Saint-Martin
de Tours; bishop of Soissons, 937-966×985.
He became bishop of Soissons in 937 in succession to Abbo ["Abbo Suessorum praesul defungitur; et Wido filius Fulco Andegavensis, sancti Martini Turonensis canonicus, eius episcopatu potitur", Flodoard's Annals, s.a. 937, MGH SS 3: 385]. Gui was still living in 966, as a charter of Geoffroy I (son of Foulques II) mentions Geoffroy's avunculus bishop Widdo [Cart. S.-Aubin, 1: 62-3].
Foulques II "le Bon", d. after 958, count of Anjou, after 941-after 958, m. Gerberge.
See Commentary section for supposed additional child.
Although the 929 charter mentioned above confirms that the father of Foulques was named Ingelger, contemporary records tell us nothing further about this Ingelger, or about other ancestors of Fulk. A history of the counts of Anjou compiled in the twelfth century, Gesta Consulum Andegavorum, purports to give an account of the ancestors of Foulques [Spicilegium 3: 237-243].
Another rescension of the Gesta Consulum Andegavorum claims to give more details about how Ingelger obtained his lands. It tells of an elder Ingelger who married Adèle, daughter and heiress of "consul" Geoffroy of Gâtinais, and who obtained Gâtinais as a result of this marriage. After the death of this elder Ingelger, his widow is falsely accused of adultery and murder by a certain Guntrannus, parens (i.e., relative) of her husband, and her godson, Ingelger, son of Torquatius (an obvious error for Tertullus), defends her by fighting Guntrannus in single combat, as a result of which the younger Ingelger receives her lands [Gesta Cons. Andegav. iii, 2-7 (Spicilegium 3: 238-9)]. This fanciful story illustrates the extent to which legend and romance has crept into the tale.
Given the contemporary evidence which shows the gradual rise of Foulques, first without title, then as viscount, finally as count, most scholars have rejected the legendary account of Foulques's ancestors in Gesta Consulum Andegavorum [e.g., Mabille (1871), Werner (1958), Settipani (1997)]. For a recent attempt to find some history in the account of Ingelger and his "ancestors" in Gesta Consulum Andegavorum, see Bachrach (1989) [also, see Settipani (1997) for a response to Bachrach's attempts]. Thus, although Ingelger's name is well documented, nothing certain can be said about him. The other "ancestors" could be outlined as follows:
of Regino, bishop of Angers, and of Adalard,
bishop of Tours.
["..., Turonensium nobiles atque pontifices Adalaudus & Raino, ambo germani fratres et ex Aurelianensi urbe nobiliter nati cives, neptim suam Aalendim ei in coniugium copularunt, ...", Gesta Cons. Andegav., as quoted in Settipani (1997), who uses the form Adalais; the edition of Spicilegium 3: 239 gives Delendim instead of Aalendim]. Werner (1958) and Settipani (1997) both accept this marriage as likely, but there is no confirmation in a source other than Gesta Consulum Andegavorum. However, it could be noted that Gesta Consulum Andegavorum does correctly identify the parentage of Foulques's wife Roscille, and that bishops Regino and Adalard are known to have been brothers.
Supposed grandfather (probably mythical): Tertullus.
(probably mythical): Petronilla, consanguinea of Hugues "the
Abbot", d. 886.
Although the "duke of Burgundy" who was supposedly a relative of Petronilla is not explicitly named in Gesta Cons. Andegav. in the passage mentioning Petronilla's supposed marriage to Tertullus, it is clear from context that the person intended is Hugues "the Abbot" (who does not appear to have actually held the title of "duke of Burgundy").
Supposed great-grandfather (probably mythical): Torquatius alias Tortulfus.
In addition to the legendary ancestry of Foulques, some sources provide him with an additional child:
m. Alain Barbetorte, d. 952, count of Vannes,
duke of Brittany.
Lobineau (1707), 1: 81, who offers the following note: "Comes Fulco & Tescendis Comitissa habuerunt tres filios, &c. &c... Roscillam Alani Comitis dicti de Barbetorta uxorem. Registre conservé à la Tour de Londres, composé par ordre de Foulques IV." Since the source cited by Lobineau is not contemporary, and misnames the wife of Foulques (Tescenda was his mother-in-law), there is evidently some confusion here, possibly related to the fact that Foulques II married the widow of Alain Barbetorte. Lobineau is followed by Morice (1750) and Anselme 3: 44; 6: 6, and the statement is common on internet databases.
Conjectured additional daughter (more probably a granddaughter):
Adèle, m. Gautier I, count of Valois,
Vexin, and Amiens.
Gautier I of Valois/Vexin/Amiens and his wife Adèle had children Gautier II, Gui (bishop of Soissons), Raoul, Geoffroy, and Foulques. Based on the onomastic evidence of the names Gui, Geoffroy, and Foulques, and the fact that Gui, son of Foulques I, was also bishop of Soissons, Grierson made the reasonable suggestion that Adèle was a member of the family of counts of Anjou, placing her as a possible daughter of Foulques I [Grierson (1939), 107-8]. Although a relationship between the two families is likely, it is chronologically more probable that Adèle was a daughter of Foulques II (on whose page she has been placed as a probable daughter), a relationship which would also more easily explain the appearance of the name Geoffroy among the sons of Gautier I and Adèle.
Anselme = Père Anselme, Histoire généalogique et chronologique de la maison royale de France, 9 vols (Paris, 1726-33).
Bachrach (1989) = Bernard S. Bachrach, "Some observations on the origins of the Angevin dynasty", Medieval Prosopography 10 no. 2 (1989): 1-24.
BEC = Bibliothéque de l'école des chartes.
Cart. Angers = C. Urseau, Cartulaire Noir de la Cathédrale d'Angers (Paris & Angers, 1908).
Cart. S.-Aubin = Bertrand de Broussillon, Cartulaire de l'abbaye de Saint-Aubin d'Angers, 3 vols. (Angers, 1903).
Chr. Nantes = René Merlet, ed., La Chronique de Nantes (Paris, 1895).
Grierson (1939) = Philip Grierson, "L'origin des comtes d'Amiens, Valois et Vexin", Le Moyen Age 49 (1939): 81-125.
Gesta Cons. Andegav. = Gesta Consulum Andegavorum (As the more modern editions of this work have not yet been been available to me, I have cited the pages from Spicilegium)
Lobineau (1707) = Gui Alexis Lobineau, Histoire de Bretagne, 2 vols., (Paris, 1707).
Mabille (1871) = Émile Mabille, Introduction au Chroniques des Comtes d'Anjou (Société de l'Histoire de France, vol. 155, Paris, 1871).
Morice (1750) = Dom Hyacinthe Morice, Histoire ecclésiastique et civile de Bretagne, 2 vols, (Paris, 1750).
RHF = Recueil des historiens des Gaules et de la France.
Settipani (1997) = Christian Settipani, "Les comtes d'Anjou et leur alliances aux Xe et XIe siècles", in K. S. B. Keats-Rohan, ed., Family Trees and the Roots of Politics (Woodbridge, Suffolk, 1997): 211-267.
Spicilegium = Luc d'Achery, Spicilegium sive collectio veterum aliquot scriptorum qui in Galliæ bibliothecis delituerant (Paris, 1723 [vol. 3]).
Werner (1958) = "Untersuchungen zur Frühzeit des französischen Fürstentums (9.-10. Jahrhundert)", Die Welt als Geschichte 18 (1958): 256-289.
Compiled by Stewart Baldwin
First uploaded 11 May 2006.
30 April 2016: A mistake (pointed out by Geoffrey Tobin) in which Alain le Grand of Brittany was erroneously called Alain Barbetorte was corrected.
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