Foulques le Réchin
Foulques le Réchin

Fulk the Quarrelsome

(1043 - 1109)

In the 11th century, the counts of Anjou threatened the power of the counts of Blois. They took over Touraine in 1044: the castle of Chinon was ceded to Geoffroy Martel. He died childless in 1060. His nephew Fulk IV succeeded him. He succeeded in gradually establishing his authority over his vassals.

When he died in 1109, Anjou had more or less reached its final configuration. His powerful neighbours and rivals were the King of France, the Duke of Aquitaine and the Duke of Normandy. Fulk IV, known as "the Quarrelsome", usurped the title of count from his elder brother, whom he locked up in the fortress of Chinon for almost thirty years. Pope Urban II, who had come to preach the crusade in Tours, had to move to Chinon to obtain his release. Educated and cultured, Fulk IV made himself famous by having a chronicle of the counts of Anjou written according to the accounts of his uncle Geoffroy Martel.

The grandson of Fulk IV, Geoffroy le Bel, adopted the nickname of Plantagenet in reference to the flower (broom) that he frequently wore on his hat. This modest nickname would become, thanks to his son Henry II Plantagenet, synonymous with a prestigious dynasty.