Louis IV of France

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Louis IV (10 September 920 – 30 September 954), called d'Outremer or Transmarinus (both meaning "from overseas"), reigned as King of Western Francia 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.


Early years across the sea

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.

Return to France

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. He was crowned king at Laon by Artald, archbishop of Rheims, on Sunday 19 June 936. The chronicler Flodoard records the events as follows:

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.

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


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