Conan II, Duke of Brittany

Conan II, Duke of Brittany

Conan II of Rennes (c. 1033 – 11 December 1066) was Duke of Brittany, from 1040 to his death. Conan was the eldest child and heir of Alan III, Duke of Brittany by his wife Berthe de Blois, and member of the House of Rennes.[1] He was the elder brother of Hawise, who succeeded him as suo jure duchess.

Duke of Brittany

Conan's inheritance was usurped by his uncle, Eudes, Count of Penthièvre, who initially ruled Brittany as regent during Conan's minority.[1] However, by the time Conan reached his majority his uncle Eudas refused to give up his authority. By 1057 Conan captured his uncle, whom he had chained and imprisoned.[1]

Once enthroned as Duke Conan II of Brittany, he faced numerous threats, including revolts from his nobles sponsored by William, Duke of Normandy, afterwards King of England.[2]

Brittany, an independent Celtic duchy, had a traditional rivalry with neighboring Normandy. The 1064 -1065 War between Brittany and Normandy was sparked after Duke William supported Rivallon I of Dol's rebellion against Conan II.[1]

In 1065, before his invasion of Anglo-Saxon England, William of Normandy sent word to the surrounding counties, including Brittany, warning them against attacking his lands, on the grounds that his mission bore the papal banner.[2] However, Conan promptly informed the duke that he would definitely take the opportunity to invade the latter's duchy. During Conan's 1066 campaign against Anjou, he took Pouancé and Segré, and arrived in Château-Gontier, where he was found dead after donning poisoned riding gloves. Duke William was widely suspected.[2]

Conan II was succeeded by his sister Hawise, whose marriage to Hoel of Cornwall may have been a political move to consolidate and stabilize the east and west regions of the duchy following Conan's death.

See also: Dukes of Brittany family tree


  1. ^ a b c d Brittany Genealogy extracted Feb 1, 2008
  2. ^ a b c [Howarth, 1066: The Year of the Conquest]
Preceded by
Alan III
Duke of Brittany
Succeeded by
Hawise, until 1071
Hoel II, as duke-consort