Sunday, August 24, 2008
Geoffrey V : 25th Great grandfather
Geoffrey V (24 August 1113 – 7 September 1151), called the Handsome (French: le Bel) and Plantagenet, was the Count of Anjou, Touraine, and Maine by inheritance from 1129 and then Duke of Normandy by conquest from 1144.
Geoffrey was the elder son of Fulk V of Anjou and Eremburga of La Flèche, heiress of Elias I of Maine. Geoffrey received his nickname for the yellow sprig of broom blossom (genêt is the French name for the genista, or broom shrub) he wore in his hat as a badge. King Henry I of England, having heard good reports on Geoffrey's talents and prowess, sent his royal legates to Anjou to negotiate a marriage between Geoffrey and his own daughter, Matilda. Consent was obtained from both parties, and on 10 June 1128 the fifteen-year-old Geoffrey was knighted in Rouen by King Henry in preparation for the wedding.
On 17 June 1128 Geoffrey married Empress Matilda, the daughter and heiress of King Henry I of England, by his first wife, Edith of Scotland and widow of Henry V, Holy Roman Emperor. The marriage was meant to seal a peace between England/Normandy and Anjou. She was eleven years older than Geoffrey, very proud of her status as an Empress (as opposed to being a mere Countess). Their marriage was a stormy one with frequent long separations, but she bore him three sons and survived him.
Together they had a son, Henry Curtmantle, who became the English King Henry the II and founded the Plantagenet dynasty to which Geoffrey gave his nickname.