Ancient history

Hugues Capet

Birth c. 940
Death October 24, 996
near Prasville

Title King of the Franks
(987 - 996)

Coronation 3 July 987
in Noyon Cathedral
Predecessor Louis V
Successor Robert II

Son of Hugh the Great
and of
Hedwig of Saxony
Spouse Adelaide of Poitiers
Children Gisèle (969 - c. 1000)
Edwige (970 - 1013)
Robert II (972 - 1031)
Adelaide (973 - 1068)

Hugues Capet (c. 940 - October 24, 996), was King of the Franks from 987 to 996, founder of the Capetian dynasty.

The heir

Hugues Capet is the son of Hugh the Great, Duke of the Franks, and Hedwig of Saxony, or Avoia, daughter of Henry I of Saxony, known as Henry I the Birdcatcher, King of Germania. (ancestry)

He married Adélaïde d'Aquitaine (c. 945 - c. 1004), daughter of Guillaume III Tête d'Étoupe, Count of Poitiers from 934 to 963, and Duke of Aquitaine from 928 to 963. They had four children:

* Gisèle (969 - v. 1000), who married Hugues I of Abbeville count of Ponthieu,
* Edwige (Hadwige) (970 - 1013) who married Regnier IV, count of Hainaut. She remarried to Hugh III Count Dasbourg,
* Robert II the Pious (972 - 1031), who would succeed her.
* Adelaide, (973 - 1068) .

Hugues Capet is the great-nephew and grandson of the Robertians Eudes and Robert I who were both elected kings of the Franks.

His father, Hugues le Grand, died on June 16, 956, and the young Hugues, the eldest of the late duke's three sons, was still a minor. Together with his two brothers, they are placed under the guardianship of their maternal uncle Brunon, Archbishop of Cologne.

The Duke of the Franks

Inherited from his father, he became Count of Orléans and lay abbot of Saint-Martin de Tours, Marmoutier, Saint-Germain-des-Prés and Saint-Denis. In 960, King Lothaire agreed to restore to him the titles held by his father, namely Duke of the Franks and Marquis of Neustria.

The King of the Franks

Accession to the throne and coronation

Louis V, the Carolingian king died suddenly in May 987. He had no children. His closest relative is Charles de Basse-Lotharingie, his uncle. The latter had not been associated with the reign of his brother Lothair.

On June 1, 987, the great lords of the high nobility of the kingdom met in Senlis to discuss the succession to the throne of France. Archbishop Adalberon of Reims, who had been accused of treason by King Lothaire and then by his son Louis V, delivered a speech against Charles de Basse-Lotharingie and pleaded in favor of the candidacy of Hugh, Duke of the Franks, from of the Robertian lineage. The aristocrats therefore elected Hugues who was crowned a few days later, on Sunday July 3, 987, in the cathedral of Noyon. The king in the screed - from his abbot's screed - inaugurates the Capetian dynasty, which will last until 1328.


In 988, the Carolingian pretender Charles de Basse-Lotharingie made himself master of Laon. But after Bishop Adalbéron de Laon betrayed, the latter delivered to Hugues Capet his competitor who was imprisoned in Orléans in 991.

Hugues Capet had his eldest son Robert elected and crowned a few months after his own election, on December 25, 987. Until Philip II, the rule of primogeniture prevailed, while retaining the election by aristocrats .

Suffering from smallpox, he died on Saturday October 24, 996 at the age of 55 in his residence called "The Jews", in Beauce, near Prasville between Chartres and Orléans.

Place of death

Some historians actually think that Hugues Capet would have died on October 24, 996 in Prasville at the castle of the Jews, the real name of this castle being Juy or Juees in old French which became Jewish by deformation. In 1987 (millennium of the coronation) research made it possible to locate the medieval oppidum in the open fields, at a place called:Petit Teillay. Photographs taken from the plane have confirmed the presence on this site of an old feudal motte surrounded by a sophisticated defense system. The researchers found in the plowing important remains proving that the site was inhabited from the 1st century to the 13th century:a knife, fragments of swords, a spur from the 10th century and a Chartres denier from 990 appraised by the National Library . A commemorative plaque was placed in 1996. The site is a stopover on the historical-tourist circuits organized by the Maison de la Beauce.

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