Louis IV of France


Louis IV of France

Louis IV (10 September 92030 September 954), called "d'Outremer" or "Transmarinus" (both meaning "from overseas"), reigned as king of France from 936 to 954. He was a member of the Carolingian dynasty, the son of Charles III and Eadgifu of England, a daughter of King Edward the Elder.

Exile

He was only two years old when his father was deposed by the nobles, who set up Robert I in his place. When he was only three years old, Robert died and was replaced by Rudolph, duke of Burgundy. Rudolph's ally, a Carolingian himself, Count Herbert II of Vermandois, took Charles captive by treachery and the young Louis's mother took the boy "over the sea" to the safety of England, hence his nickname.

Charles died in 929, but Rudolph ruled on until 936, when Louis was summoned back to France unanimously by the nobles, especially Hugh the Great, who had probably organised his return to prevent Herbert II, or Rudolph's brother Hugh the Black, taking the throne.

Rise to the throne

He was crowned king at Laon by Artald, archbishop of Rheims, on Sunday 19 June 936. Effectively, his sovereignty was limited to the town of Laon and to some places in the north of France, Louis displayed a keenness beyond his years in obtaining the recognition of his authority by his feuding nobles. Nonetheless, his reign was filled with conflict; in particular with Hugh the Great, count of Paris.

Marriage

In 939, Louis became involved in a struggle with the Emperor Otto the Great on the question of Lorraine, but then married Otto's sister Gerberga of Saxony (914 – May 5, 984). They were parents to eight children:

*Lothair of France (941-986)
*Mathilde b. about 943; married Conrad of Burgundy
*Hildegarde b. about 944
*Carloman b. about 945
*Louis b. about 948
*Charles, Duke of Lower Lorraine (953-993)
*Alberade b. before 953
*Henri b. about 953

Death

Louis IV fell from his horse and died September 10, 954, at Rheims, in the Marne, and is interred there at Saint Rémi Basilica.


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