Norman Conquest Encyclopedia
Count of Anjou
Geoffrey Martel became count of Anjou, the territory south of Normandy and Maine, in 1040 and, until he died in 1060, was a menace to William the Bastard's duchy. Astride the lower Loire River, Anjou commanded the route from Paris to the Atlantic and the south-west and bordered Brittany to the north-west and Maine to the north. Geoffrey was a tough man, devoid of principle and he so ingratiated himself with the citizens of that province that in 1051 the men of Le Mans offered their town to the Angevin count. Henry I of France could not ignore this expansion and William naturally supported his king at the same time as guarding his own interests. William besieged Domfront and took Alençon but this now increased his power to a level that also worried the king. In 1054 Henry, his brother Odo and probably Geoffrey of Anjou invaded Normandy by much the same route as Rommel took in 1940, pushing south of Neufchâtel-en-Bray and east of Rouen to lay waste the land. William succeeded in rallying numerous nobles to his support and defeating the invaders in the Battle of Mortemer. In August 1057 the king and Geoffrey invaded once more, but were caught crossing the River Dives at Varaville north east of Caen where William had the better of them in a fight later chroniclers spoke of as a mighty battle. With Geoffrey's death on 14 November 1060 the threat to William from the south ceased.
- Hastings 1066 (Revised Edition)- The Fall of Saxon England
(Campaign 13 )