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Philippe I (c.May 23, 1052 – July 29, 1108), called the Amorous, was King of the Franks from 1060 to 1108. His reign, like that of most of the early Capetians, was extraordinarily long for the time. The monarchy began a modest recovery from the low it reached in the reign of his father and he added to the royal demesne the Vexin and Bourges.

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Philippe I, King of the Franks

Philippe was the eldest son of Henri I, King of the Franks and his wife Anne of Kiev, daughter of Yaroslav I the Wise, Grand Prince of Kiev, Prince of Novgorod, and his second wife Ingegerd Olofsdotter of Sweden, the daughter of Swedish King Olof Skötkonung and Estrid of the Obotrites .

Philippe was an unusual name for the time in Western Europe, his name was of Greek origin, being bestowed upon him by his mother. However, the name Philippe did become popular within the French Royal Family and France itself. Although he was crowned King of the Franks at the age of seven, until age fourteen (1066) his mother acted as regent, the first queen of the Franks (France) ever to do so. Count Baldwin V of Flanders also acted as co-regent.

Count Baldwin V of Flanders was the son of Baldwin IV of Flanders and Ogive of Luxembourg. Baldwin married Adela of the Franks daughter of King Robert II of the Franks, in 1028 in Amiens; at her instigation he rebelled against his father but in 1030 peace was sworn and the old count continued to rule until his death. The couple had three children: Baldwin VI, Count of Flanders (1030–1070) Matilda (c. 1031–1083), who was married to William the Conqueror, King of the English, and Robert I, Count of Flanders (c. 1033–1093).

Baldwin VI, Count of Flanders was married to Richilde, Countess of Hainaut (c.1018-1086) who is most likely a daughter of Reinier of Hasnon (died c.1049) and Adelheid of Egisheim.

On his deathbed in 1070, Baldwin VI left Flanders to his elder son, Arnulf III, and Hainaut to the younger son, Baldwin, with the provision that if either preceded the other in death, he would inherit the other’s county as well. Baldwin VI further entrusted Robert, his brother, with the safeguard of Arnulf III, who was still a minor, to which Robert gave his oath of homage and solemn promise to protect his nephew Arnulf. Richilde, Arnulf’s mother, was to be regent until Arnulf came of age.

Despite the oath, Robert disputed the succession of his nephew Arnulf III upon Baldwin VI’s death and entered Ghent with the intent of taking Flanders for himself. Richilde appealed to King Philippe I of the Franks who summoned Robert to appear before him.

Robert refused and continued his war with Richilde at which point Philippe I amassed an army which he brought to Flanders. Philippe’s army was accompanied by Norman troops, probably sent by Robert’s sister, Queen Matilda, and led by William FitzOsborn. William had an interest in marrying Richilde but he was killed in battle at Cassel on June 22, 1071.

In that engagement Robert’s forces were ultimately victorious but Robert himself was captured and his forces in turn captured Countess Richilde. Both were freed in exchange and the battle continued to its conclusion. Among the dead was Arnulf III, killed by Gerbod the Fleming, 1st Earl of Chester, who apparently fought for Robert. As a result of the battle Robert became the new Count of Flanders. Countess Richilde and her son Baldwin returned to Hainaut but continued to instigate hostilities against Robert.

Count Robert I of Flanders eventually gained the friendship of King Philippe I of the Franks by offering him the hand in marriage of his stepdaughter, Bertha of Holland. As a part of their negotiations Corbie, an important trade center on the border between Flanders and lesser France, was returned to royal control.

Philip first married Bertha of Holland in 1072. Bertha was the daughter of Count Floris I of Holland and Gertrude of Saxony, the daughter of Bernard II, Duke of Saxony and Eilika of Schweinfurt.

Although the marriage produced the necessary heir, Philippe fell in love with Bertrade de Montfort, the wife of Fulk IV, Count of Anjou. He repudiated Bertha (claiming she was too fat) and married Bertrade on May 15, 1092.

Bertrade de Montfort was the daughter of Simon I de Montfort and Agnes of Evreux. Her brother was Amaury de Montfort.

In 1094, he was excommunicated by Hugh of Die, for the first time; after a long silence, Pope Urban II repeated the excommunication at the Council of Clermont in November 1095. Several times the ban was lifted as Philippe promised to part with Bertrade, but he always returned to her, but in 1104 Philippe made a public penance and must have kept his involvement with Bertrade discreet.

Philippe appointed Alberic first Constable of France in 1060. A great part of his reign, like his father’s, was spent putting down revolts by his power-hungry vassals. In 1077, he made peace with William the Conqueror, who gave up attempting the conquest of Brittany. In 1082, Philippe I expanded his demesne with the annexation of the Vexin, in reprisal against Robert Curthose’s attack on William’s heir, William Rufus. Bother we’re sons of the Conqueror. Then in 1100, he took control of Bourges.

It was at the aforementioned Council of Clermont that the First Crusade was launched. Philippe at first did not personally support it because of his conflict with Urban II. Philippe’s brother Hugh of Vermandois, however, was a major participant.

Philippe died in the castle of Melun and was buried per his request at the monastery of Saint-Benoît-sur-Loire and not in St Denis among his forefathers. He was succeeded by his son, as Louis VI, King of the Franks.

Philippe’s children with Bertha were:

1. Constance (1078-1126), married Hugh I of Champagne before 1097 and then, after her divorce, to Bohemund I of Antioch in 1106.
2. Louis VI of the Franks (1081-1137).
3. Henri (1083 – died young).

Philippe’s children with Bertrade were:

1. Philippe, Count of Mantes (1093 – fl. 1123), married Elizabeth, daughter of Guy III of Montlhéry.
2. Fleury, Seigneur of Nangis (1095-1119)
3. Cecile (1097-1145), married Tancred, Prince of Galilee and then, after his death, to Pons of Tripoli.

King Philippe I of the Franks was the grandfather of King Louis VII of the Franks, first husband of Eleanor of Aquitaine.