Charles II (Carolingian) of France

Charles (Carolingian) of France (0823 - 0877)

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Charles (Charles II) "le Chauve, the Bald, King of the West Franks, Emperor of the West Franks" of France formerly Carolingian
Born in Frankfurtmap
Ancestors ancestors
Husband of — married (to ) in Quierzy, Aisnemap
Husband of — married in Aix-la-Chapellemap
Descendants descendants
Died in Brides Les Bains, Bourgogne,map
Profile last modified | Created 28 Apr 2011
This page has been accessed 24,383 times.

Categories: Carolingian Dynasty | Battle of Fontenoy (841) | Descendants of Charlemagne.

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Names and Titles

Charles "the Bald"
Charles II "le Chauve" (13 Jun 823 - 06 Oct 87). [1]
King of the West Franks. [1]

823 Birth and Parents

Charles the Bald was born 13 June 823.[2] He was the youngest son of the Emperor Louis the Pious (Hludowic) by his second wife Judith. [2] His father was Louis I "le Pieux"[1] and his mother was Judith Welf.[1]

Timeline Between Birth and First Marriage

829: granted Alemannia, Rhaetia and part of Burgundy.[3].

837: Father Louis I "Le Debonnaire", by arrangement with Louis the German and Pepin gave Charles the land West of the Meuse, Burgundy, Chartres and Paris together with all the bishops, abbots and counts who held benefices in these territories. A portion of Neustria was added in 838, and upon Pepin's death, Louis Le Pieux made Charles King of Aquitaine. [3]

24 Jul 840: emperor Lothar, in Strasburg, refuses to support land claims of Charles (from agreement of Worms on 30 May 839). The two brothers, Louis and Charles, unite against Lothar and the War of the Three Brothers begins. [3]

24 June 841 Fontenoy-en-Puisaye: defeats brothers Lothar in spite of arrival of the Army of Aquitaine in the Imperial ranks -- and loss of 40,000 lives) and Louis Le Germanique. [3]

14 Feb 842 Strasbourg: Charles and Louis sign alliance. Leaving Strasbourg, the two brothers defeat the imperial army of Lothar just West of Comblence. Lothar leaves Aix-le-Chapelle precipitously, pursued by the two brothers. In Mellecey, not far from Chalon-sur-Saone, Lothar proposes a plan to establish perpetual peace which is acceptable to both Louis and Charles. On 15 June, they sign the preliminary peace document. [3]

01 Oct 842: each of them sends 40 commissioners to Metz to forge the official document. Prudence, the Bishop of Troyes, notes that Louis regained Germania in the East, Lothar gets the middle part of the Franc Kingdom, including Italy, and Charles obtains the Western lands (West of the Rhone, including Soissons). After that Charles goes to the Palace in Quierzy, where he marries Ermentrude.[3]

842 First Marriage to Ermentrudis

He married first on 13 Dec 842 in Quierzy, Aisne (867 separated) Ermentrudis d'Orleans (27 Sep 830 - 06 Oct 869; p. Eudes, Comte d'Orleans and Engeltrudis). [4]

Timeline between First Marriage and Second Marriage

843: Charles signs Treaty of Verdun ... splits Kingdom of Charlemagne. ... destiny of Occidental Europe heavily influenced to this day. Louis obtains all lands East of the Rhine, including cities of Spire, Worms, Mayence. Lothar gets all the lands extending between Rhine and Escaut, Cambresis, Hainaut, country of Mezieres, and all countships neighboring the Meuse, through Saone and Rhone, Artois and Italy. Charles got all the lands East all the way to Spain. Kingdom of Charlemagne split forever, with serious rift between germanic lands of Louis, and French lands of Charles. Intervening lands extending from Frisia to Rome, from North Sea to Mediterranean including what would become Holland, Belgium, Lorraine and Switzerland a sore point between these two. The only thing that mattered to Lothar was the fact that both capitals (Aix and Rome) were located in his territory, thus legitimizing the title of Emperor.[3]

845-851: fought Brittany (Bretagne) -- victorious. [3]

6 June 848: King of Aquitaine, though he could not defend his kingdom against the Normands. [3]

849 Corbie: had Charles of Aquitaine jailed [3]

850: attacks Bretagne and leaves a garrison in Rennes. No sooner does he leave, that Nomenoe takes the city and then takes Nantes as well. [3]

860: Nomenoe ravages Maine ... King of Bretagne dies suddenly on 7 March in Vendome. [3]

852: Charles has Pepin II locked in the Monastery of Saint-Medard de Soissons. The Normands under Godfrid pillage Tours and Angers and penetrate via the Valley of Escaut all the way to the Seine. [3]

853: loyalty of Aquitaine shifts, and Louis the German called in to help against Charles le Chauve ... defeats Louis and offers Aquitaine his son by Ermentrude, Charles, who would be crowned sovereign in Limoges in October 855. Both Pepin II and Charles d'Aquitaine escape raise armies against Charles le Chauve. [3]

859, 870 [Treaty of Mersen] and 875: Charles fights Louis for Lorraine[3]

9 Sep 869 Metz: Charles annoints himself King of Lorraine by the Bishop Hincmar.[3]

Mar 867: Charles d'Aquitaine dies, and his father Charles le Chauve is recognized as King by the Assembly in Pouilly-sur-Loire. Upon the death of his nephew, Lothar II on 8 August 869, Charles sped to Lotharingia and had himself crowned King of Lotharingia annointed on 9 Sep in the cathedral at Metz by Bishop Adventius of Metz and Archbishop Hincmar of Rheims. In 9 August 870, through the Treaty of Meerseen, Louis "Le Germanique" and Charles "Le Chauve" reach an agreeable compromise whereby they divide the lands of Lothar II between themselves, leaving Louis II no part of the inheritance. As soon as Louis II died on 12 August 875, Charles rushed to Italy and received the imperial crown and is annointed by Pope John VIII on 25 December 875. In Pavia on 5 January 876, by acclamation of the counts and nobles of Italy, Charles becomes King of Italy. On 31 January 876, the Archbishop of Milan proclaims Charles as Emperor. The French ecclesiasticals and nobles, having some misgivings about Charles' ability to take care of his Kingdom meet in Ponthion. Charles joins them dressed in the attire of the Frankish King. As soon as they declare him elected and recognize his imperial authority, Charles donned the Byzantine crown, and purple vestment of emperor. When Louis le Germanique dies on 28 August 876, Charles claims Lorraine as his own. [3]

870 Second Marriage to Richildis

He married secondly on 22 Jan 870 in Aix-la-Chapelle) Richildis. She died 30 Jan in 910 or later; p. Buvinus "Bouvin" and UNKNOWN of Arles). [4]

877 Death

Charles the Bald died 6 October 877. [2]

While on an expedition in Italy against the Sarrasins, through the specific request of Pope Jean VIII, Charles le Chauve dies at the foot of Mount Cenis.[3]

Died while ill and traveling through the pass of Mont Cenis at Brides-les-Bain, while on his way to Gaul.

Buried at the abbey of Nantua, Burgundy.


Issue of Charles and Ermentrude

Charles II & his first wife Ermentrude had nine children:[5]

  1. Judith, born 844 [1] [6]
  2. Louis "le begue", King of the West Franks, born 846. [7]
  3. Charles, born 847/848 [7]
  4. Carloman, born 845 [8] [7]
  5. Lothaire. [7]
  6. Hildegarde, born 856[8] Hildegardis. [6]
  7. Ermentrude. born 854[8] Ermentrudis. [6]
  8. Gisela, born 858[8] Gisela. [6]
  9. Rotrud, born 852[8] Cawley has Rotrudis, born 850. [1] Cawley observes that Settipani names Rotrudis as the daughter of King Charles II apparently based on her being named as such in the Genealogica Arnulfi Comitis, but Cawley states taht this does not appear to be the case. Cawley reports that Flodoard names "Rotrudi" when recording her election as abbess of "monasterii Sanctæ Crucis et Sanctæ Radegundis" but does not give her parentage. [1]

Issue of Charles and Richildis

Charles and Richildis had five children:[9]

  1. Rothilde or Rothildis, born 871[9] [10]
  2. Drogo, born 872/3 and died a year later. He was buried in the Abbaye de Saint-Amand, Flanders). (Cawley reports that the Chronico Floriacensi records the birth and death of "de Caroli Carolus…rex…Pippinus…simulque Drogo"[284]. Twin with Pépin.) [9]
  3. Pippin or Pepin, born 872/873 and died a year later. Buried with his brother. [9]
  4. Cawley reports an additional son, born 23 Mar 875 and died soon after. [11]
  5. Charles was born 10 Oct 876 and died before 7 April 877; buried in the église de l'abbaye royale de Saint-Denis). [12]

Children linked in WikiTree but not named in Cawley/FMG

  1. Bertha, born 850[8]
  2. Godehilde, born 864[8]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 Charles Cawley and the Foundation for Medieval Genealogy. Medieval Lands Database: Accessed January 10, 2017
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Wikipedia. Charles the Bald. Accessed Jan 11, 2017
  3. 3.00 3.01 3.02 3.03 3.04 3.05 3.06 3.07 3.08 3.09 3.10 3.11 3.12 3.13 3.14 3.15 3.16 3.17 Don Webster. Families of Webster, Bachman, Van Valkenburg, McCall. Charles II "the Bald", Holy Roman Emperor. Sources employed include Royalty for Commoners, Roderick W. Stuart, Rosamond, Frankish kingdom under Carolingians, Paul, Nouveau Larousse Universel, Andre Roux. Accessed Jan 11, 2017
  4. 4.0 4.1 Charles Cawley and the Foundation for Medieval Genealogy. Medieval Lands Database: Accessed January 10, 2017
  5. Charles Cawley and the Foundation for Medieval Genealogy. Medieval Lands Database: Accessed January 10, 2017
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 Cawley reports that the Genealogica Arnulfi Comitis names (in order) "Iudith et Hildegardim, Hirmintrudim et Gislam" as the four daughters of "Karolus imperator…ex Hyrmentrudi regina", specifying that she married "Balduinus comes". Cited at Medieval Lands Database: Accessed January 10, 2017
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 The Genealogica Arnulfi Comitis names (in order) "Hludovicum Karolum Karlomannum et Hlotharium" as the four sons of "Karolus imperator…ex Hyrmentrudi regina". Cited at Medieval Lands Database: Accessed January 10, 2017
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 8.5 8.6 Current WikiTree Profile Birth Year Data
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 Charles Cawley and the Foundation for Medieval Genealogy. Medieval Lands Database: Accessed January 10, 2017
  10. Cawley reports that Charles III "le Simple" King of the West Franks confirmed donations of property "in comitatu quoque Cœnomannico" made by "Hugo comes et mater sua Rothildis", at the request of "genitrix nostra Adeleidis et…comes Hugo consanguineus, necnon et…comes Ecfridus" by charter dated 1 Nov 900[277]. Cited by Charles Cawley and the Foundation for Medieval Genealogy. Medieval Lands Database: Accessed January 10, 2017
  11. The Annales Bertiniani record that in 875 "Richildis uxor eius [=Karoli]" gave birth to a child "noctu ante quartam feriam paschæ" which died immediately after being baptised. Cited by Cawley.
  12. Recorded in the Annales Bertiniani as cited by Charles Cawley and the Foundation for Medieval Genealogy. Medieval Lands Database: Accessed January 10, 2017

See also:

1. Tab. Gen. Souv., France 22, Tab. IV
2. Die Nachkomen Karls des. Grossen
3. Carm. Pub. BT, v. 11, p. 3
4. Ahnen Zu Karl der Grossen, Germ FH 694, p. 103
5. Americana AM Pub. f, v. 32, p. 585
6. Burke's Peerage, Eng. P, 1949, p. ccli
7. Anderson's Royal Genealogy, Eng. 132, p. 451, 616
8. Plantagenet Ancestry, Eng. 116, p. 171
9. Keiser und Koenig Hist., Gen. Hist., 25, pt. 1, p. 6, 7, 9
10. Betham's Gen. Tab., Eng. 133, Tab. 253
MEDIEVAL LANDS: A prosopography of medieval European noble and royal families by Charles Cawley © Foundation for Medieval Genealogy & Charles Cawley 2000-2018.

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Images: 4
Charles Carolignian Image 1
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Chart of Paternal Royal and Noble Ancestors
Chart of Paternal Royal and Noble Ancestors


On 7 Jul 2018 at 08:55 GMT Adrien Bertrand wrote:

The very top of the article says "Born 3 Aug 0823" but it's really "Born 13 June 823" as the rest of the page correctly says.

On 30 Jun 2018 at 10:10 GMT Andrew Lancaster wrote:

As the Frankish names are normally theoretical reconstructions, I think a more common solution for this period is to use the Latin forms which were used by speakers of all languages in this period. I would tend to explain Frankish reconstructions in the body.

On 28 Jun 2018 at 21:07 GMT Steve (Vander Leest) VanderLeest wrote:

I added Hludowic parenthetically in the biography, to avoid any future confusion.

On 28 Jun 2018 at 08:51 GMT Andrew Lancaster wrote:

Stormy Knight I guess what is confusing is that his father's profile has a reconstructed Frankish name (Hludowic), whereas in this article he is given the modern French version of the same name, Louis? But they are the same name. Latin would be Ludovicus whereas Charles would be Karl or Karel in Frankish and Carolus in Latin.

On 27 Jun 2018 at 17:23 GMT Stormy Knight wrote:

The top of this page lists different parents than the body of the biography.  ????

On 25 Oct 2017 at 14:09 GMT Helmut Jungschaffer wrote:

Please, Frankfurt was not Prussian until 1866, don't make him a Prussian!

On 11 Jan 2017 at 22:51 GMT Jack Day wrote:

I've added material in a section on "Issue" in order to highlight which of the children linked on WikiTree have documentation. Two do not and need further review to see if they are actually children of Charles. I found the source for the timeline material and added it. I removed the "long profile" category, but a further review could still condense the timeline into enough to convey an understanding of how Charles spent his life without the detail appropriate to a political biography.

On 19 Sep 2015 at 06:18 GMT RJ Horace wrote:

Emperor of the West and King of France-1 and Carolingian-17 appear to represent the same person because: clearly they're the spitting image of each other

On 5 Mar 2015 at 21:00 GMT Vic Watt wrote:

The Bald-4 and Carolingian-17 appear to represent the same person because: Please merge. Merge of mother already proposed. Thanks.

On 1 Dec 2014 at 00:51 GMT Doug Lockwood wrote:

Charles II (Carolingian) of France is notable.
Join: Notables Project
Discuss: notables

more comments

Charles II is 37 degrees from Rosa Parks, 35 degrees from Anne Tichborne and 26 degrees from Victoria of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.

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