Anjou coins catalog with values

County of Anjou


Charles I (1246-1285)

Charles (1227-1285) - the younger brother of King Louis IX of France (the fourth son of Louis VIII and Blanche of Castile). In 1246 he was knighted and received Anjou, Mans and Touraine. In 1246 he married Beatrice of Provence, daughter and heiress of Raymond Berenguer V, Count of Provence and Forcalquier. The Provençal nobility, led by the Dowager Countess Beatrice of Savoy, met the new overlord without enthusiasm and their resistance was muffled only by Beatrice's concession of the county of Forcalquier. In 1248, Charles, together with his brother Louis IX, went on a crusade. In 1250, Charles, together with Alphonse de Poitiers, returned to France, where, in the absence of the king and after the death of Blanche of Castile (1252), the brothers became regents.

In the next few years, Charles tried to increase his possessions by getting involved in an internecine war in the county of Hainault and was engaged in pacifying the unconquered Provence. The returning king helped complete both, but if Louis forced Charles to abandon Hainaut, then Provence was eventually subjugated.

Back in 1252, Pope Alexander IV, who was at enmity with Frederick II of Hohenstaufen, offered Charles to win the crown of Sicily from the emperor, but then Charles was forced to refuse by order of King Louis IX. In 1262 the proposal was renewed by the new Pope Urban IV. After lengthy negotiations, in 1266 another pope, Clement IV, crowned Charles as King of Sicily. On February 26, 1266, near Benevento, the army of Manfred (the illegitimate son of Frederick II) was defeated, and he himself was killed. Charles, now de facto became the king of Sicily and solemnly entered the capital of his new state - Naples (at that time the kingdom of Sicily, in addition to the island, also included part of mainland Italy). Karl didn’t stop there. By the end of 1266, almost the entire north of Italy was in his hands. Sicily, however, did not submit and in 1267 an uprising began. The nobility prophesied the grandson of Frederick II, Conradin, as king. But, in 1268, Conradin’s army was defeated, and then he himself was executed, which made an indelible impression on his contemporaries - still, to put it mildly, it was not very consistent with knightly principles... The Italians were not happy with Charles’s rule. Order was ensured through repression. Almost all senior positions were occupied by the French, and in general, management was restructured according to the French model. In addition, taxes have increased significantly.

In 1267, the emperor of the dying Latin Empire, Baldwin II, trying to gain allies and get money, transferred suzerainty over the Achaean principality and most of the islands of the Aegean Sea to Charles. Baldwin's son, Philip, and Charles's daughter Beatrice were betrothed, with the condition that if the marriage turned out to be childless, all rights to the empire would go to Charles. Charles also became related to the King of Hungary, Bela IV - his daughter Isabella married Bela’s grandson, the Hungarian Prince Laszlo, and Laszlo’s sister, Maria, married Charles’s heir, the future Charles II. Subsequently, this allowed the grandson of Charles II, Charles Robert, to ascend the Hungarian throne. Prince of Achaia Guillaume Villehardouin was forced in 1271 to marry his eldest daughter and heiress Isabella to Charles's second son, Philip. And, again, in the case of a childless marriage, all rights (and not just suzerainty) to the Achaean Principality passed to Charles. It seems that our hero did not suffer from excessive modesty :)

In 1270, Louis IX went on another crusade. Karl sailed a little later and arrived after the death of his brother. In this extremely unsuccessful campaign, Karl proved himself to be a skilled warrior. Mainly thanks to him, the Tunisian army was defeated and peace was concluded.
In 1272, Charles conquered part of Albania from the Despot of Epirus and proclaimed himself the Albanian king. In 1277, Mary of Antioch transferred to Charles her rights to the Kingdom of Jerusalem (which she disputed with King Hugo III of Cyprus) in exchange for a life annuity. The governor left by Hugo III in Acre fled and Charles also became king of Jerusalem.

From 1278 to 1280, Charles’s struggle with Emperor Rudolph lasted. The Count of Provence was considered a vassal of the emperor, which Charles, naturally, tried not to remember. The widow of Louis IX, Margaret of Provence, who hated Charles all because of Provence, turned to Rudolf with a request to give the county to her. Reconciliation was achieved through the mediation of the Pope.

On March 29, 1282, an uprising began in Sicily - the famous Sicilian Vespers. Charles's fleet was burned in Messina. The rebels offered the crown of Pedro III to the King of Aragon. He was married to Manfred's daughter Constance, who remained the only heir of the Hohenstaufens. On September 4, Pedro was proclaimed King of Sicily in Palermo, on October 2, Messina was occupied by him, and on October 14, the Aragonese fleet defeated Charles's fleet. Charles was supported by his nephew, King Philip III of France, who sent mercenaries, and Pope Martin IV, who excommunicated the rebels, and then Pedro, from the church. In 1284, the pope announced the deposition of Pedro III and transferred the crown of Aragon to Charles of Valois, the second son of Philip III. Naturally, Pedro did not even think of obeying, so the pope declared a crusade against the king, scheduled for 1285. Charles, for his part, intended to carry out renew military operations in Sicily. However, at the end of December 1284 he fell ill and died on January 7, 1285.

“He was a brave knight, distinguished by prudence, restraint, firmness, insight. But along with this, he was power-hungry, greedy and cruel.” Chronicle of Salimbene of Parma.



coin Anjou denier 1246-1285
denier no date

Value - 30-50 USD





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