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Geoffrey III

Geoffrey III of Anjou (1040–1096), called le Barbu ("the Bearded"), was a French nobleman who was the Count of Anjou 1060-68.

Early career

Geoffrey III, born c. 1040, was the oldest son of Geoffrey II, Count of Gâtinais and Ermengarde-Blanche of Anjou. Ermengarde-Blanche was the daughter of Fulk III of Anjou. Both he and his younger brother Fulk, called le Réchin, were raised at the court of their uncle, Geoffrey Martel. Both Geoffrey and Fulk were knighted by him in 1060. Geoffrey was well treated by his uncle but the count may have favored his younger nephew, Fulk. Nonetheless Geoffrey became his heir to succeed him as count of Anjou. Geoffrey III reigned as Count of Anjou until the countship was taken from him by his brother, Fulk.

Count of Anjou

He succeeded his uncle Geoffrey Martel in 1060, but it soon became clear to his vassals he was not a very good count. Geoffrey Martel left his younger brother, Fulk, Saintonge as an appanage. In 1062, when Saintonge was attacked by Count Guy-Geoffrey of Poitou, Geoffrey did nothing to help Fulk and Saintonge was lost. In 1063 the county of Maine was lost to Anjou as well. In 1064 Geoffrey failed to come to the aid of one of his vassals, Rainaldus of Chateau-Gontier, who was captured by the Bretons. In 1065 Geoffrey angered Archbishop Barthelemy of Tours by trying to force his own choice for Bishop of Le Mans on the church. In turn the archbishop excommunicated Geoffrey.

As the situation in Anjou became worse Fulk argued with his brother Geoffrey. Finally, in 1067, Fulk rebelled and took the county away from Geoffrey, briefly imprisoning him. In 1068 Geoffrey attacked Fulk, and once again he was defeated. This time Geoffrey was imprisoned where he remained for 28 years. Geoffrey was finally freed by the intervention of Pope Urban II in 1096. But Geoffrey died soon after his release.

Family

Geoffrey married Julienne de Langeais before 1060. She died after 7 August 1067. They had no children.

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