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Geoffrey Plantagenet

Geoffrey of Anjou, known as Plantegenet, is the Count of Anjou and Maine and later Duke of Normandy. In 1128 he marries Mathilda the Empress, the daughter of Henry I Beauclerc, King of England and son of William the Conqueror. This marriage tied him to the political turbulence which shook Normandy and England on the death of Henry. In the absence of a legitimate male heir they had to present Mathilda to the rulers of the English kingdom and make them swear an oath of fidelity.  In spite of this it is Etienne de Blois, first cousin of Mathilda and a powerful political figure enjoying the support of England but also the Pope, who becomes King of England and Duke of Normandy.  A period of civil war and anarchy breaks out which sees numerous barons side with Etienne, King of England or with Mathilda and Geoffrey. The stakes are high: it is all about the control of the whole of the Norman French territory.  It is a return to bloody private wars. The city of Falaise, fighting with Etienne, undergoes an attack lead by Mathilda and Geoffrey lasting 18 days, but their garrisons are defeated by the Falaise garrison.  Finally the conquest of Normandy by Geoffrey is completed in 1144 and he takes the title of duke whilst Etienne and Mathilda continue to oppose each other in England.

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