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Angevin is the name applied to three distinct medieval dynasties which originated as counts (from 1360, dukes) of the western French province of Anjou (of which angevin is the adjectival form), but later came to rule far greater areas including England, Hungary and Poland (see Angevin Empire).



The first Angevin dynasty, known from the 12th century as the Plantagenet dynasty, came (with its Lancastrian and Yorkist branches) to rule England (11541485), Normandy (11441204, 13461360 and 14151450), and Gascony and Guyenne (11531453), but lost Anjou itself to the French crown in 1206.

The name "Plantagenet" is derived from the broom flower, (planta genesta). It originated with Geoffrey of Anjou, father of King Henry II of England, because he adapted the flower as his emblem, often wearing a sprig of it.

The surname "Plantagenet" has been retrospectively applied to the descendants of Geoffrey of Anjou without historical justification: it is simply a convenient method of referring to people who had, in fact, no surname. The first descendant of Geoffrey to use the surname was Richard Plantagenet, Duke of York, father of both Edward IV and Richard III, who apparently assumed it about 1448.1

Capet-Anjou (senior)

The second Angevin dynasty, known also as the house of Capet-Anjou, began with Charles, created count (from 1360 the family were dukes) of the western French province of Anjou by his elder brother king Louis IX of France in 1246; they were members of the French ruling house of Capet.

In 1266 when Charles was granted the crown of Naples and Sicily by the Pope in return for overthrowing the territories' Hohenstaufen rulers. Charles was driven out of Sicily in 1282, but his successors ruled Naples until 1442.

Charles's descendants later ruled Hungary (13081395) and Poland (13701399) as well. The line became extinct with the death of Joan II of Naples in 1435.

Capet-Anjou (junior)

In the 1350s, a junior branch of the Capet-Anjou was originated when King John II of France, of Valois line of Capetians, whose grandmother had been a princess of the senior Angevin line (eldest daughter of Charles II of Naples), gave the Duchy of Anjou to his second son, Louis.

Wihin a couple of decades, Queen Joan I of Naples (of the senior Angevin line) realized that she will remain childless. Although there were extant heirs of the senior branch (for example, the Durazzo cadet line), she decided to adopt Louis I of Anjou as her final heir. Thus, in addition to the struggle of the Angevins with the Aragonese in Southern Italy, the two Angevin lines now began to contest with each other for the possession of the Kingdom of Naples. The extinction of the senior line in 1435 temporarily secured Naples for the junior, but they were driven from Naples by the Aragonese in 1442. The last duke of the junior line died in 1481, and Anjou reverted to the French crown.


  • 1The Complete Peerage, 2nd edition, vol. I, p. 183, note (c).

See also

de:Haus Plantagenet et:Anjou dŁnastia fr:PlantagenÍt pl:Andegawenowie pt:Plantageneta


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