Geoffrey II, Duke of Brittany

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Geoffrey Duke of Brittany (Plantagenet), Duke of Brittany

Lithuanian: Džefris II Duke of Brittany (Plantagenet), Britanijos Kunigaikštis
Also Known As: "Geoffrey of England"
Birthplace: Beaumont Palace, Oxford, Oxfordshire, England
Death: Died in Paris, Île-de-France, France
Place of Burial: Cathedral of Notre Dame, Paris, France
Immediate Family:

Son of Henry II "Curtmantle", king of England and Eleanor of Aquitaine, Queen of France and England
Husband of Constance, Duchess of Brittany
Father of Eleanor of Brittany; Matilda and Arthur, duke of Brittany
Brother of William IX, Count of Poitiers; Henry "The Young King", King of England; Duchess of Saxony; Richard "the Lionheart", king of England; Philip, Prince of England and 3 others
Half brother of Geoffrey of Plantagenet, Archbishop of York; Hugh Plantagenet, Bishop of Wells; William Longespée, 3rd Earl of Salisbury; Peter Plantagenet, Archdeacon of Lincoln; Rosamond FitzHenry and 6 others

Occupation: Duke of Brittany
Managed by: Henn Sarv
Last Updated:

About Geoffrey II, Duke of Brittany

"Geoffrey II (23 September 1158 – 19 August 1186) was Duke of Brittany between 1181 and 1186, through his marriage with the heiress Constance. Geoffrey was the fourth son of King Henry II of England and Eleanor, Duchess of Aquitaine"




Citations / Sources:

[S11] Alison Weir, Britain's Royal Families: The Complete Genealogy (London, U.K.: The Bodley Head, 1999), page 60. Hereinafter cited as Britain's Royal Families.

[S12] #497 Die Nachkommen Karls des Großen (1964), Brandenburg, Erich, (Frankfurt am Main: Zentralstelle für Deutsche Personen- und Familiengeschichte, 1964), FHL book 940 D5be., Tafel 9 gen 14 no. 118b.

[S17] Plantagenet Ancestry, 2011 ed., Richardson, Douglas, (Kimball G. Everingham, editor, 2nd edition, 2011.), vol. 1 p. 15.

[S22] #374 The Lineage and Ancestry of H. R. H. Prince Charles, Prince of Wales (1977), Paget, Gerald, (2 volumes. Baltimore: Geneal. Pub., 1977), FHL book Q 942 D22pg., vol. 1 p. 14.

[S23] #849 Burke's Guide to the Royal Family (1973), (London: Burke's Peerage, c1973), FHl book 942 D22bgr., p. 195.

[S36] #89 A Genealogical History of the Kings of England, and Monarchs of Great Britain, & C. From the Conquest, Anno 1066 to the Year, 1677, Sandford, Francis, (London: Thomas Newcomb, 1677), FHL microfilm 599,670 item 3., p. 67-68.

[S37] #93 [Book version] The Dictionary of National Biography: from the Earliest Times to 1900 (1885-1900, reprint 1993), Stephen, Leslie, (22 volumes. 1885-1900. Reprint, Oxford, England: Oxford University Press, 1993), FHL book 920.042 D561n., vol. 21 p. 136-138.

[S39] Medieval, royalty, nobility family group sheets (filmed 1996), Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Family History Department. Medieval Family History Unit, (Manuscript. Salt Lake City, Utah : Filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 1996), FHL film 1553977-1553985..

[S40] Handbook of British Chronology (1986), Fryde, E. B., editor, (Royal Historical Society guides and handbooks, no. 2. London: Offices of the Royal Historical Society, 1986), FHL book 942 C4rg no. 2., p. 36.

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Geoffrey II, Duke of Brittany's Timeline

September 23, 1158
Oxford, Oxfordshire, England
Age 14

In March 1173, aggrieved at his lack of power and egged on by his father's enemies, the younger Henry launched the Revolt of 1173–1174. He fled to Paris. From there 'the younger Henry, devising evil against his father from every side by the advice of the French King, went secretly into Aquitaine where his two youthful brothers, Richard and Geoffrey, were living with their mother, and with her connivance, so it is said, he incited them to join him'. The Queen sent her younger sons to France 'to join with him against their father the King'. Once her sons had left for Paris, Eleanor encouraged the lords of the south to rise up and support them. Sometime between the end of March and the beginning of May, Eleanor left Poitiers to follow her sons to Paris but was arrested on the way and sent to the King in Rouen. The King did not announce the arrest publicly. For the next year, her whereabouts were unknown. On 8 July 1174, Henry took ship for England from Barfleur. He brought Eleanor on the ship. As soon as they disembarked at Southampton, Eleanor was taken away either to Winchester Castle or Sarum Castle and held there.

September 8, 1174
Age 15

When Henry II and Louis VII made a truce on 8 September 1174, Richard was specifically excluded. Abandoned by Louis and wary of facing his father's army in battle, Richard went to Henry II's court at Poitiers on 23 September and begged for forgiveness, weeping and falling at Henry's feet, who gave Richard the kiss of peace. Several days later, Richard's brothers joined him in seeking reconciliation with their father. The terms the three brothers accepted were less generous than those they had been offered earlier in the conflict (when Richard was offered four castles in Aquitaine and half of the income from the duchy) and Richard was given control of two castles in Pitou and half the income of Aquitaine; Henry the Young King was given two castles in Normandy; and Geoffrey was permitted half of Brittany. Eleanor would remain Henry II's prisoner until his death, partly as insurance for Richard's good behaviour.

Age 20

After his failure to overthrow his father, Richard concentrated on putting down internal revolts by the nobles of Aquitaine, especially the territory of Gascony. The increasing cruelty of his reign led to a major revolt there in 1179. Hoping to dethrone Richard, the rebels sought the help of his brothers Henry and Geoffrey. The turning point came in the Charente Valley in spring 1179. The fortress of Taillebourg was well defended and was considered impregnable. The castle was surrounded by a cliff on three sides and a town on the fourth side with a three-layer wall. Richard first destroyed and looted the farms and lands surrounding the fortress, leaving its defenders no reinforcements or lines of retreat. The garrison sallied out of the castle and attacked Richard; he was able to subdue the army and then followed the defenders inside the open gates, where he easily took over the castle in two days. Richard’s victory at Taillebourg deterred many barons thinking of rebelling and forced them to declare their loyalty. It also won Richard a reputation as a skilled military commander.

July 1181
Age 22
France probably
Age 22
Age 23

In 1182, the Plantagenet children's aggression turned inward. Young Henry, Richard and their brother Geoffrey all began fighting each other for their father's possessions on the continent. The situation was exacerbated by French rebels and the French King, Philip Augustus. This was the most serious threat to come from within the family yet, and the King faced the dynastic tragedy of civil war. However, on 11 June 1183, Henry the Young King died. The uprising, which had been built around the Prince, promptly collapsed and the remaining brothers returned to their individual lands. Henry quickly occupied the rebel region of Angoulême to keep the peace.

Age 24

Geoffrey was fifteen years old when he joined the first revolt against his father, and was later reconciled to Henry in 1174, when he participated in the truce at Gisors (when Richard was absent) and later, when Richard reconciled at a place between Tours and Amboise. Geoffrey prominently figured in the second revolt of 1183, fighting against Richard, on behalf of Henry the Young King.

Age 25
Age 25

The final battle between Henry's Princes came in 1184. Geoffrey of Brittany and John of Ireland, the youngest brothers, had been promised Aquitaine, which belonged to elder brother Richard. Geoffrey and John invaded, but Richard had been controlling an army for almost 10 years and was an accomplished military commander. Richard expelled his fickle brothers and they would never again face each other in combat, largely because Geoffrey died two years later, leaving only Richard and John.