Childeric II, King of the Franks

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Childéric Rois des Austrasia et des Francs (Marquard), II

Birthplace: Alsace & Lorraine
Death: 675 (19-28)
Chelles, France, Between Sep 10 & Nov 15 (Murdered in Forest of Lognes)
Immediate Family:

Son of Clovis II "the Lazy", King of the Franks and Saint Balthild, Abbess of Chelles
Husband of Bilchilde Austrasia et des Francs
Father of Chilpéric II, King of the Franks
Brother of Chlothar III, King of the Franks; Theodoric III, king of the Franks and Childebert Marquard Rois des Neustria et Bourgogne, III

Occupation: Roi des Francs, King of Austrasia from 662 and King of Neustra (including Burgundy) from 673 until his death in 675, King of the Franks
Managed by: Petra Spithost-Douma
Last Updated:

About Childeric II, King of the Franks

Childeric II (c. 653 – 675) was the king of Austrasia from 662 and of Neustria and Burgundy from 673 until his death, making him sole King of the Franks for the final two years of his life. He was the second eldest son of Clovis II. His elder brother Chlothar III was briefly sole king from 661, but gave Austrasia to Childeric the next year. He was still a mere child when he was raised on the shields of his warriors and proclaimed king in Austrasia.

Bodilo adjusting his culottes after corporal punishmentAfter the death of Chlothar in 673, Theuderic III, his youngest brother, inherited his kingdoms, but a faction of prominent Burgundian nobles led by Leodegar and Eticho invited Childeric to become king in Neustria and Burgundy. He soon invaded his brother's kingdom and displaced him, becoming sole king. He made his Austrasian mayor of the palace, Wulfoald, mayor also in Neustria and Burgundy, displacing Ebroin of Neustria and upsetting his supporters in Burgundy who did not wish to see functionaries active in a kingdom other than their native one. In March 675, Childeric had granted him honores in Alsace to Eticho with the title of dux. This grant was most probably the result of Eticho's continued support for Childeric in Burgundy, which had often disputed possession of Alsace with Austrasia.

The final straw for the magnates of Neustria, however, was Childeric's illegal corporal punishment of the noble Bodilo. Bodilo and his friends Amalbert and Ingobert conspired to assassinate the king, who was killed, along with his wife Bilichild, while hunting in the forest by Livry. He was buried in Saint-Germain-des-Prés, near Paris, where the tombs of he, Bilichild, and his infant son Dagobert were discovered in 1645; the contents were pilfered.

Childeric II

Merovingian Dynasty

Born: 653 Died: 675

Preceded by

Clotaire III King of Austrasia

662–675 Succeeded by

Clovis III

Preceded by

Theuderic III King of Neustria and Burgundy

673–675 Succeeded by

Theuderic III


Title last held by

Clotaire III King of the Franks

673–675 Vacant

Title next held by

Theuderic III

[edit] References

Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Childeric II 

This article incorporates text from the Encyclopædia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, a publication now in the public domain.

Gregory of Tours, a writer of the sixteenth century, relates in several passages of his "History of the Franks," that they exhibited the same repugnance to compulsory taxation as the Germans of the time of Tacitus. The Leudes considered that they owed nothing to the treasury, and to force them to submit to taxation was not an easy matter. About the year 465, Childéric I., father of Clovis, lost his crown for wishing all classes to submit to taxation equally. In 673, Childéric II., King of Austrasia, had one of these Leudes, named Bodillon, flogged with rods for daring to reproach him with the injustice of certain taxes. He, however, was afterwards assassinated by this same Bodillon, and the Leudes maintained their right of immunity.