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Hugh I of Francia (The Once and Never Kings)

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Hugh I
King Hugh Capet.jpg
Hugh I
King of the Franks
Reign 3 July, 987 - 18 April, 990
Predecessor Louis V
Successor Charles IV
Count of Paris
Reign 956 - 18 April, 990
Predecessor Hugh the Great
Successor Robert I
Spouse Adelaide of Aquitaine
Issue Hedwig of Mons
Robert of Paris
Gisèle of Ponthieu
Full name
Hugh Capet
House Capet
Father Hugh the Great
Mother Hedwige of Saxony
Born 941
Paris, County of Paris
Died 24 October, 990
Reims, Francia

Hugh I of Francia, born Hugh Capet, was the King of the Franks (a title later renamed "Emperor of Francia") from the time of his election in 987 AD, to his death at the Battle of Reims in 990. Most of his rule was spent trying to put down a contest to his rule by Charles of Lower Lorraine, a member of the Carolingian dynasty who wanted to see a return to power for his family. This attempt would succeed during the rebellion, resulting his Hugh I's death, and Charles's ascension to the Francian throne. Hugh Capets rule is regarded as ultimately insignificant as it happened, though it is opined it could've succeeded in far more areas had Charles's rebellion been put down. Nevertheless, his rule is often considered the end of the old "West Francia" and the beginning of the succeeding "Empire of Francia".

Life

Born in 941 to Hugh the Great, Duke of the Franks, and Hedwige of Saxony, he was a nephew of Otto I, Holy Roman Emperor through his mother, among other high-ranking nobles in the Holy Roman Empire. His paternal grandfather was Robert I, and his granduncle was King Odo. He was also a seventh-generation descendant (great x5-grandfather) of Charlemagne.

His rise to power was the result of the rise of his paternal family, the Robertians. After continued failures of rule by the Carolingians, the nobles of West Francia elected two successive Robertian kings, Odo and Robert I. Hugh's father, Hugh the Great, through careful maneuvering, succeeded in becoming on of the most powerful men in West Francia, complete with the title "Duke of the Franks".

Following the death of King Louis V, his fathers prominence allowed the equal rise of Hugh himself. He was elected King of the Franks on 3 July, 987. Almost immediately, Charles IV, Duke of Lower Lorraine, and one of the highest ranking remaing Carolingian rulers, challenged his election. He found support in the Archbishop of Reims, among other nobles wary that the Capets would infringe on their privileges, and centralize power to Paris.

Hugh would find allies in the Dukes of Normandy and Aquitaine, though his cousins, the Ottoians of the Holy Roman Empire, proved unable to assist.

The next three years were a seesaw war, both sides maneuvering to try to force the other into an engagement on their terms. Several small battles also lead to an inconclusive outcome. Following the death of the Duke of Normandy at the Battle or Rouen, Normandy fell into a succession crisis, effectively knocking it out of the war. Deciding to gamble on taking out Charles's biggest ally, the Archbishop of Reims.

The gamble refused to pay off, as Charles's main army met Hugh's on favorable ground. A flanking attack collapsed Hugh's position. Several family legends have claimed their ancestor was the one who personally slay Hugh. Whatever the truth maybe, the fact remains that Hugh I Capet, King of the Franks, was found after the battle with his head cleaved in two down to the spine.

Following his death, the Capetian allies capitulated. In a following, often accused as sham, election, Charles of Lower Lorraine, was elected King.

Hugh Capets son, Robert, would inherit the County of Paris, though the title "Duke of the Franks" was revoked.

Template:TONK Francia Emperors

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