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Nr. F63.var - Bretagne
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(FRANCE, Provincial. Bretagne . Geoffroi II Plantagenet. 1169-1186. AR Denier (19mm, 0.77 g, 8h). Rennes mint. Struck circa 1175-1186. + GAVFRIDVS, cross with annulet at center / + DVX BRITANI, fleur de lis; four broken annulets around. Duplessy, Féodales 63 var. (unbroken annulets); Poey d' Avant 271 (Geoffroi I); Boudeau 25 (Geoffroi I); Roberts 4537 (Geoffroi I). VF, toned, a couple light deposits. Rare. From the BRN Collection, purchased from Andy Singer, March 2006. This coin type has traditionally been ascribed to King Henry II's father, Geoffroi of Nantes, but more recent hoard analyses have led to a reattribution to this issue to Geoffroi II. Geoffroi was born on 23 September 1158, the fourth son of king Henry II Plantagenet of England and Eleanor of Aquitine, between his elder brother Richard (the future Richard I of England) and younger brother John (Lackland). He was betrothed to Constance, daughter of Conan IV, Duke of Bretagne, in return for Henry II's aid in thwarting a rebellion by some of the duke's nobles in 1166. In addition to the betrothal, Conan accepted Henry's overlordship; Bretagne was now part of the vast Angevin empire. In 1169, Henry II set his dynasty in order, crowning his eldest son, Henry, as joint king, and giving Richard and Geoffroi the titles duke of Aquitaine and duke of Bretagne, respecively. These titular assignments were not effective, particularly for Geoffroi, since Conan was still in control of Bretagne. As none of the brothers had assumed any real power with their new titles, their resentment grew and, through the manipulation of other discontented nobles, finally led to a rebellion. The Revolt of 1173-1174 saw all three brothers joining with their mother, Eleanor, and a host of nobles in France, Scotland, and England, against Henry II. The king, though, proved himself to still be an incredibly powerful monarch, and his forces won almost every engagment on the battlefield. The failure of this revolt did little to change the status quo within the royal family, and Geoffroi assumed the dukedom of Bretagne in 1175. In 1183, Geoffrey joined his brother Henry in a conflict against Richard, who refused to pay homage to their father. Warfare raged in Aquitaine for months, and became so disruptive that Henry II was forced to intervene and impose peace. In the aftermath, the younger Henry became ill and died, ending this latest conflict with finality. The earlier estrangement of King Henry II and his surviving sons, Geoffroi and Richard, though, endured. Geoffroi was eventually drawn into a close alignment with King Philippe II of France, Henry II's main rival at that time. Philippe even made Geoffroi suzerain of France, which had little true authority, but exacerbated the ill will between the son and his father. Before any further conflict could ensue, though, Geoffroi was killed while participating in a tournament in Paris.)
References Literature Trade Finds Museums
Classical Numismatic Group, LLC Electronic Auction 425, 689