Duke William VII Poitiers AQUITAINE
Countess Philippa Mathilde TOULOUSE
(Abt 1066-1117)
Viscount Aumary CHATELLERAULT, I
(Abt 1075-)
(Abt 1079-)
(Abt 1103-Aft 1130)
(Click on Picture to View Full Size)
Queen Eleanor Aquitaine ENGLAND
(Abt 1121-1204)


Family Links

1. King Louis FRANCE, VII

2. King Henry ENGLAND, II

Queen Eleanor Aquitaine ENGLAND

  • Born: Abt 1121-1122, Chateau, DE Belin, Gironde, France
  • Christened: Bordeaux, Aquitaine, France
  • Married (1): 22 Jul 1137, Cathedral, Saint Andre, Bordeaux, France
  • Married (2): 11 May 1152, Bordeaux, Gironde, France
  • Died: 31 Mar 1204, Fontevrault L'abbaye, Maine-Et-Loire, France
  • Buried: Abbey, Fontevrault, Maine-Et-Loire, France

   Other names for Eleanor were AQUITAINE Duchess, ENGLAND Queen and FRANCE Queen.

   Ancestral File Number: 8XJ3-Q2. User ID: 18909745/37819511.

   General Notes:

Duchess of AQUITAINE Consecrated Poitiers 8 Aug 1137, Queen of FRANCE Crowned 25 Dec 1137, Queen of ENGLAND 1152 with Henry's accession as Henry II of England in 1154 until his death 1189.

The Political History of England George Burton Adams, 1905, Longmans Green and Co, Ch XI, p247:
[1152] "It is not likely that a woman of the character of Eleanor and of her unusual attractions, alike of person and possessions, would quietly accept as final the position in which this divorce had left her. After escaping the importunate wooings of a couple of suitors who sought to intercept her return to her own dominions, whe sent a message to Henry of Anjou, and he responded at once. In the third week of May they were married at Poitiers, two monts afterthe divorce...At the date of his marriage Henry had just entered on his twentieth year. Eleanor was nearly twelve years older. If she had sought happiness in her new marriage, she did not find it,as least not permanently; and many later years were spent in open hostility with Henry, or closely confined in his prisons; but whatever may have been her feelings towards him, she found no occasion to regard her second husband with contempt..."
p268: [1159] "With his feet firmly planted in Britanny, in a positon where he could easily take advantage of any future turn of events to extend his powere, Henry next turned his attention to the south where an even greater opportunityseemed to offer. The great county of Toulouse stretched from the southeastern borders of Eleanor's lands towards the Mediterranean and the Rhone over a large part of that quarter of France. A claim of some sort to this county, the exact natureof which we cannot now decide from the scanty and inconsistent accounts of the case which remain to us, had come down to Eleanor from the last two dukes of Aquitaine, her father and grandfather. The claim had at any rate seemed good enough toLouis VII while he was still the husband of the heiress to be pushed, but he had not succeeded in establishing it. The rights of Eleanor were now in the hands of Henry and, after consulting with his barons, he determined to enforce them in a military campaign in the summer..."
Ch XIX, p405:
[1204] "With the loss of Normandy nothing remained to John but his mother's inheritance, and against this Philip next turned. Queen Eleanor, eighty-two years of age, had closed her marvellous career on April 1, and no question of her rights stood in the way of the absorption of all Aquitaine in France..."

Eleanor of Aquitaine the Mother Queen, Desmond Seward, 1978, Dorset Press, p13:
"Eleanor of Aquitaine was born in 1122, either at Bordeaux or at the nearby castle of Belin. She was the daughter of the future William X of Aquitaine and his wife Aenor of Chatellerault, and grand-daughter of the duke of Aquitaine then reigning, William IX."
p22: "...Quite apart from her great possessions, Eleanor was very desirable in herself. So far as one may judge from the contemporary sources and the ecstasies of even the most grudging clerical witnesses, at fifteen she was a beauty- tall, with a superb figure that she kept into old age, lustrous eyes and fine features. (It is likely that her hair was yellow and her eyes blue, as at that time these were considered indipensable for truly remarkable good looks.) Obviously she had inherited the splendid constitution of her father and grandfather. In manner, as befitted a lady who claimed descent from Charlemagne, she was gracious and regal. She must have been far more adult than her bridegroom...
"On Sunday 25 July 1137 the couple were married in the cathedral of Saint Andre at Bordeaux, by archbishop Geoffrey of Loroux, in the presence of the lords spiritual and temporal of Gascony, Poitou, and the Saintonge. Afterwards, at the nuptial banquet in the Ombriere palace, Louis wore the ducal coronet of Aquitaine. Then they went on progress, the wedding night being spent at the castle of Taillebourg.
"A fortnight later another ceremony took place in the cathedral at Poitiers. On 8 August Eleanor and Louis wereconsecrated duke and duchess of Aquitaine with a sacramental rite modelled on that of the service for crowning a king of France. During the banquet in the Maubergeon that followed, abbot Suger brought them the news that Louis VI had died a weekearlier, killed by gluttony..."
p60: "Gerald of Wales claims that Geoffrey made adulterous advances to queen Eleanor; but most chroniclers agree with William of Newburgh that she was more attracted by Geoffrey's son, Henry. In the sternwords of her Victorian biographer, Miss Strickland, `Eleanor acted with her usual disgusting levity in the advances she made to this youth'. But William of Newburgh says simply that the queen desired a marriage with the young duke on the grounds of compatibility, which is quite possible. The fact that Henry was eleven years her junior is irrelevant: his father was eleven years younger than his mother Matilda. And by now Louis was growing more and more difficult..."
p63: "[At Beaugency] a council of the Frech clergy had been summoned. It met on 11 March 1152 under the presidency of the archbishop of Sens, primate of France. On 21 March the marriage of king Louis and queen Eleanor was pronounced null and void on the grounds that they were third cousins. It is said that the annulment was heartily approved by St Bernard, but some chroniclers report that pope Eugenius tried to forbid it. Unreliable sources suggest that the queen was accused of adultery but it is almost certain that this is untrue; the proceedings had obviously been carefully arranged beforehand with the agreement of both parties.
"...It is quite clear that Eleanor was only too anxious for a separation and made no attempt to dispute the annulment, even though she had to give up her two little daughters.
"Eleanor quickly left Beaugency for Poitiers. But she was once again a fabulous heiress. At Blois, count Thibault- the son of Louis's old enemy in the Champagne war- was so insistent in his courtship that she had to excape by night, taking a barge down the Loire to Tours. Here she learned that seventeen- year-old Geoffrey of Anjou, a younger brother of duke Henry of Normandy, was lying in ambush for herat the crossing of the little river Creuse at Port-de- Piles, no doubt with the intention of forcing her to marry him. Travelling by a little-used road, however, she at length reached Poitiers and her palace of the Maubergeon."
p69: "...This stately and masterful lady, who as queen of France had been accustomed to deference and respect, might now expect as unmarried heiress to Aquitaine to be seized at any moment and married at the point of the sword. She was once more what shehad been when her father died- the quarry of every fortune hunter and robber baron...
"The only escape possible was remarriage to a man of her own choice... Ironically, although she was no less closely related to the duke than she was toLouis, the couple did not bother to obtain a papal dispensation (although in 1146 a proposed marriage between Henry and Eleanor's daughter had been vetoed by St Bernard on the grounds of consanguinity). On Whit Sunday, 18 May 1152, eight weeksafter the annulment of her first marriage, the duchess of Aquitaine was married to the duke of Normandy in the cathedral church of Saint-Pierre at Poitiers."
231: "One may claim without exaggeration that as a dynast Eleanor of Aquitaine was very much a precursor of queen Victoria. The soubriquet `grandmother of Europe' has been bestowed on the latter, but it belongs no less to Eleanor. Her daughters were the queens of Castile and Sicily and the consorts of the counts of Blois,Champagne and Toulouse and the duke of Saxony. Two grandsons were Holy Roman Emperors and another three were kings of England, Castile and Jerusalem. Her grand-daughters sat on the thrones of France, Portugal and Scotland, and an illegitimate one was the princess of Wales. Louis IX, `Saint Louis', who was to be the most venerated of all French kings, was one of her great-grandsons. Furthermore, her son John's descendants in the direct male line were to rule England until 1485."

[Eleanor Queen of CASTILE Mar Alphonso VII, Joanna Queen of SICILY Mar William II, Alice Countess of BLOIS Mar Theobald V, Marie Countess of CHAMPAGNE Mar Henry, Joanna Countess of TOULOUSE Mar Raymond VI, Matilda Duchess of SAXONY Mar Henry;Otto of BRUNSWICK King of GERMANY and Holy Roman Emperor Son of Matilda, Richard King of GERMANY and Holy Roman Emperor Son of John; Henry III King of ENGLAND Son of John, Henry I King of CASTILE Son of Eleanor, Henry I King of JERUSALEM Son ofMarie; Blanche Queen of FRANCE Daughter of Eleanor Mar Louis VIII, Uracca Queen of PORTUGAL Daughter of Eleanor Mar Alfonso II, Joan Queen of SCOTLAND Daughter of John Mar Alexander II, Joan Gifford Princess of WALES Illiegitimate Daughter ofJohn Mar Llewelyn ap Iorwerth; Saint Louis IX King of FRANCE Son of Blanche Grandson of Eleanor GGson of Eleanor; Kings of ENGLAND Richard I, John, Henry III, Edward I, Edward II, and Edward III.]

The story of the Plantagenets, Vol I, The Conquering Family, Thomas B Costain, Doubleday & Co, Garden City, 1949, p37:
"And now we must have something to say about Eleanor, the loveliest, the richest, the most fascinating, the most notorious, and most talked about woman of the age..."
p38: "When Eleanor was fifteen and already recognized as Queen of the Courts of Love, her father died and the unsaintly grandfather would no longer delay his plan to balance a lifetime of lechery with a year or two of penitence. The question of a husband for the luscious little beauty became, therefore, an issue of international importance. The husband selected for her would assume the title of duke and rule the country in her right...
"...[Louis VI] had enough of worldlyappetites to become enamoured of the dark-eyed, long-lashed Eleanor. It would have been hard for him not to fall in love with her, for the Lady of Aquitaine was lively and amusing as well. She dressed herself well, and the first time Prince Louis saw her she swept into the room in a skirt which was fifteen yards around at the hem, one for each year of her age, and which swayed and rustled voluptuously as she walked. For her part, she liked the idea of being Queen of France, and so onAugust 1, 1137, the marriage took place.
"It was not a success, not even at the start. A saint in the nuptial couch was not Eleanor's idea of a marriage..."
p41: "Henry had seen in Eleanor more than a beautiful and willing woman. She represented to him the chance for an empire. All of Aquitaine and its allied provinces, added to England and Normandy and Anjou, would make him ruler over lands twice as extensive as those of Louis of France..."
"The marriage between Louis and Eleanor was finally dissolved on March 18, 1152, at Beaugency, the grounds being consanguinity. Her patrimony was returned to Eleanor without any restrictions...If Louis had entertained any suspicion of what was coming, he would not haveacted with such generosity...The news when it came was like a thunderbolt.
"Disguised as a private gentleman and with a small train of attendants, Henry crossed French territory into the domain of his lady and arrived at Bordeaux in timeto marry her on the first day of May..."
p222: "Queen Eleanor died soon after the fall of Rouen. Her death was universally ascribed to a broken heart, some stating the cause as the murder of Arthur, others the loss of Normandy. The heartof Eleanor, who had been a queen for sixty-seven years and had suffered continuous sorrow, was too stout to break. She died because she was eighty-two years old. Time, that insatiable victor, could no longer be gainsaid, She was buried at Fontevrault between her husband and her much-loved Richard.
"Because of the circumstances of her divorce and her subsequent marriage to Henry II, and even more because of the silly legend of the Fair Rosamonde and the cup of poison, she has been called ever since the Wicked Queen. Once a verdict has been brought in by history, it becomes almost impossible to have it set aside. Eleanor deserves a second hearing and a different verdict. Following her through these three reigns, observing the moderation of her later years and the unquenchable energy with which she strove to help her sons, one becomes much attached to this foolish beauty who turned into a wise old woman. She made up for the mistakes of her youth and deserves much better of history...
"The old Queen had been the richest woman in the world. She left her dower castles and lands in England, the handsom chateaux she had inherited in her native land, the wide firtile fields and vineyards of Aquitaine. There was a huge store of beautiful jewelry. John, who had refused to honor any of the legacies in Richard's will, gave everything left by Eleanor to his own wife. Richard's widow, luckless Queen Berengaria, who was in dire straits at the time, received not a penny."

A History of the English Speaking People Winston S Churchill Vol I The Birth of Britain Dodd Mead & Co p196:
"[Louis VII's] pious and exemplary habits did not endear him to his queen. Eleanor of Aquitaine was inher own right a reigning princess, with the warmth of the South in her veins. She had already complained that she had `married a monk and not a king' when this square-shouldered, ruddy youth, with his `countenance of fire,' sprightly talk, andoverflowing energy, suddenly presented himself before her husband as his most splendid vassal. Eleanor did not waste words in coming to a decision. The Papacy bowed to strong will in the high feudal chiefs, and Eleanor obtained a divorce from Louis VII in 1152 on the nominal grounds of consanguinity. But what staggered the French Court and opened the eyes of its prayerful King was the sudden marriage of Eleanor to Henry two months later. Thus half of France passed out of royal control into the hands of Henry. Rarely have passion and policy flowed so buoyantly together. The marriage was one of the most brilliant political strokes of the age. He was nineteen and she was probably thirty; and, uniting their immense domains, they made common cause against all comers. To Louis VII were vouchsafed the consolations of the spirit; but even these were jarred upon by the problems of government.
"War in all quarters lay before the royal pair. The joining to Normandy and Anjou of Poitou, Saintonge, Perigord, the Limousin, the Angoumois, and Gascony, with claims of suzerainty over Auvergne and Toulouse, fascinated and convulsed the feudal Christian world. Everywhere men shook their heads over this concentration of power, this spectacle of so many races and states, sundered from each other by long feuds or divergent interests, now suddenly flung together by the hot blood of a love intrigue..." The Oxford Book of Royal Anecdotes, Elizabeth Longford, 1991, Oxford Univ Press, pxix: "Normans and Plantagenets Genealogy: Eleanor Duchess of Aquitaine, mar Henry II Curtmantel, Died 1202."

The Story of Civilization, Will Durant, Vol IV, The Age of Faith, Bk V, The Climax of Christianity, Ch XXIII,The Crusades, p594-5: Queen Eleanor accompanied King Louis VII of France on the Second Crusade to Jerusalem 1146-1148.

Encylcopaedia Britannica, 1981, Micropaedia, Vol III, p830, Eleanor of Aquitaine: "Born Abt 1122, Died 1 Apr 1204, Fontevrault France, Queen consort of both Louis VII of France and Henry II of England, mother of Richard I the Lion Heart and John Lackland of England...was perhaps the most powerful woman of her era. Eleanor inherited the duchy of Aquitaine from her father, William X. Married to Louis VII (1137), she was queen of France for 15 years, exerting considerable influence over Louis and accompanying him on the Second Crusade (1147-1149). They became estranged, and the marriage was annulled in 1152. Two months later she married Henry Plantagenet, who became Henry II, King of England (1154), and participated in the administration of his realm. After supporting her sons in their ill-fated revolt against her husband, she was imprisoned fornerarly 15 years (1174-1189). Released upon Henry's death, she administered the realm during the absences of her son Richard and remained active in political affairs after Richard's death (1199), when John became king."

Encyclopaedia Britannica, 1981, Macropaedia, Vol VI, p524-525, Eleanor of Aquitaine: "Her political daring made her the equal of most contemporary sovereigns, and, as patroness of the arts, she provided at the court of Poitiers a congenial environment for the burgeoning literary culture of 12th century Europe...Beautiful, capricious, and adored by Louis, Eleanor exerted considerable influence over him, often goading him into undertaking perilous ventures...From 1147 to 1149 Eleanor accompanied Louis on theSecond Crusade to protect the fragile Latin kingdom of Jerusalem, founded after the First Crusade only 50 years before, from Turkish assault. Eleanor's conduct during this expedition, especially at the court of her uncle Raymond of Poitiers at Antioch, aroused Louis's jealousy and marked the beginning of their estrangement...Their marriage was annulled in March 1152...two months later she married the grandson of Henry I of England, with the result that England, Normandy, and the west of France were united under his rule. Eleanor had only two daughters by Louis VII; to her new husband she bore five sons and three daughters...Eleanor would well have deserved to be named `grandmother of Europe.' She was instrumental in turning the court of Poitiers, then frequented by the most famous troubadours of the time, into a centre of poetry and a model of courtly life and manners. She was the great patron of the two dominant poetic movements of the time: the courtly love tradition, conveyed in the romantic songs of the troubadours, and the historical matiere de Bretagne, or `legends of Britanny,' which originated in Celtic traditions and in the `Historia regum Britanniae,' written by the chronicler Geoffrey of Monmouth sometime between 1135 and 1139...She was beautiful and just, imposing and modest, humble and elegant; and, as the nuns of Fontevrault wrote in their necrology: a queen `who surpassed almost all the queens of the world.'"

The Lives of the Kings and Queens of England, Antonia Fraser, 1975, Alfred Knopf, p24: "Henry II 1133-1189 mar (2) Eleanor of Aquitaine 1122-1202..."

INTERNET http://www.findagrave.com/claimtofame/2.html; http://www.findagrave.com/pictures/6437.html

World Ancestral Chart No. 17779 James Carl Romans.
World Ancestral Chart No. 31759 Ancestors of Warren Cash 1760.
World Ancestral Chart No. 125360 Ancestors of Patricia Ann Kieffer.

Ancestral File Ver 4.10 8XJ3-Q2 Eleanore AQUITAINE Born Abt 1121/1122 Princess Mar 22 Jul 1137, EofA Born 1122 MarriedLouis VII Sunday 25 Mar 1137 Crowned Queen of FRANCE 25 Dec 1137 Bourges, CF Married Louis VII 1 Aug 1137, EofA Married Henry II 18 May 1152 Cathedral Church of Saint-Pierre Poitiers France, BG Eleanor of Guienne.

   Marriage Information:

Eleanor married King Louis FRANCE, VII, son of King Louis FRANCE, VI and Queen Adelaide Maurienne Savoy FRANCE, on 22 Jul 1137 in Cathedral, Saint Andre, Bordeaux, France. The marriage ended in divorce. (King Louis FRANCE, VII was born in 1119-1120 in Reims, Champagne, France, died on 18 Sep 1180 in Paris, Seine, France and was buried in Abbey, Barbeau, Chartrettes, Seine-Et-Marne, France.)

   Marriage Information:

Eleanor also married King Henry ENGLAND, II, son of Count Geoffrey Plantagenet ANJOU and Empress Matilda England GERMANY, on 11 May 1152 in Bordeaux, Gironde, France. (King Henry ENGLAND, II was born on 5 Mar 1133 in Le Mans, Sarthe, Maine, France, died on 6 Jul 1189 in Chinon, Indre-Et-Loire, Tours, France and was buried on 8 Jul 1189 in Abbey, Fontevrault, Maine-Et-Loire, France.)

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